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David Bodrick

Celebrity photographer David Bodrick was born on July 31, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. His mother was a teacher, his father a contractor. Bodrick was educated in the New York City public school system. In 1980, during his sophomore year at high school, he became a teenage father. After earning his diploma from James Madison High School in 1982, he began working full time as a messenger on Wall Street.

Over the next several years, Bodrick held several temporary jobs on Wall Street until he landed a full time position at Nippon Credit Banking. While working at Nippon, Bodrick earned his B.A. degree in film in 1988 from The School of Visual Arts in New York. In 1992, he began producing a cable show highlighting fashion and music trends in New York City. He also worked as a production assistant for MTV.

In 1995, Bodrick and his younger brother, Jonathan, started DMBJ Productions, a company which photographs and videotapes celebrities. His agency, known for celebrity footage, has often been the first to publish photos of famous couples.

Bodrick lives in New York City. His son, David III, is a producer at DMBJ Productions.

Accession Number

A2005.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/1/2005

Last Name

Bodrick

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

James Madison High School

Ps 155 William Paca School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BOD01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/31/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chitterlings

Short Description

Photographer and photography entrepreneur David Bodrick (1963 - ) is the co-founder of DMBJ Productions, which specializes in shooting celebrity video and photographs. Bodrick has also produced a cable show highlighting fashion and music trends in New York City, and has worked as a production assistant for MTV.

Employment

Nippon Credit Bank

DMBJ Productions

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for David Bodrick's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Bodrick lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Bodrick describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Bodrick describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Bodrick describes his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Bodrick describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Bodrick talks about his family's conversion to Jehovah's Witnesses

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Bodrick describes his daily routine growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Bodrick describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Bodrick remembers his childhood neighborhood and elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Bodrick remembers his experience at P.S. 193 in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Bodrick describes his childhood personality and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Bodrick talks about being raised as a Jehovah's Witness

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Bodrick describes his experience at J.H.S. 278 Marine Park in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Bodrick talks about his dreams and aspirations as a junior high school student

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Bodrick describes himself as a student at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Bodrick remembers becoming a teenage father, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Bodrick remembers becoming a teenage father, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David Bodrick remembers his aspiration to work on Wall Street in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Bodrick remembers his aspirations and interests after graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Bodrick talks about his temporary work for companies on Wall Street in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Bodrick talks about studying film at the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Bodrick talks about starting and producing his own show called 'Avant Garde'

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Bodrick remembers working for MTV in the early 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Bodrick remembers the settlement that gave him the money to start his own company

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Bodrick remembers shooting video at fashion shows

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David Bodrick recalls how he started selling footage of celebrities, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - David Bodrick recalls how he started selling footage of celebrities, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Bodrick explains the process for photographing celebrities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Bodrick reflects upon the ethical issues for celebrity photographer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Bodrick talks about racial issues in celebrity photography

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Bodrick names his favorite celebrities to photograph

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Bodrick explains the factors that create photogenic celebrities

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Bodrick explains the role of celebrity photographers in commercialization

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David Bodrick reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David Bodrick offers advice for those interested in a career as a celebrity photographer or videographer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - David Bodrick describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - David Bodrick gives advice and explains why history is important

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Bodrick narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
David Bodrick recalls how he started selling footage of celebrities, pt.1
David Bodrick talks about racial issues in celebrity photography
Transcript
A show called 'A Current Affair,' contacted 'Fashion File' and they wanted some b-roll of a model Naomi Campbell with her boyfriend at that time, who was like some Italian businessman and so forth, because they were doing a story on her. So, 'Fashion File,' couldn't release their video, but I had video of her and th--they, you know, they're like, do you wanna sell it to them? So, I'm like, you know, I'll speak to them, I, you know, I didn't know anything about, you know, selling, you know, I just knew I just wanted to shoot, you know? So, he, a producer at 'A Current Affair,' contacted me and she wanted to know how much I wanted for it, and I just threw out this ballpark figure and they agreed to it. So, I said, oh, I'm like wow! That was interesting, you know? And she said, you know, if you get any more footage of celebrities at fashion shows, contact us. So that whole time, you know, that whole week, I'm like getting, you know, Julia Roberts, you know, Susan Sarandon, all these people backstage at these fashion shows and I'll call 'em up and they're like how much would you, you know, do you want for it? I throw out a ballpark figure and they agree to it. So I'm like, hmmm, this, this is interesting so, I decided that I should pursue that whole celebrity aspect instead of like, you know, working with a show, all right, pursue, like shooting, getting a stock of, you know, celebrity b-roll, and that's what I started doing and shows started, you know, from, you know, 'A Current Affair' they, you know, would give my name to different other shows and, you know, they started contacting me and that's how my company--$$And what was the name of your production company?$$DMBJ Productions [New York, New York].$$And so were you, so basically you were starting to develop a reputation as a go-to man for celebrity video?$$Um-hm.$$How did you transition, if it is a transition into like celebrity still shots? How did that happen?$$Well, a friend of mine's started shooting, when I went to video, he started shooting photos and he wan--needed an agent to get his stuff out there and I said, you know, well since I sell video I can contact different magazines in the same way that I sell the video and I started contacting different magazines and they started, oh, okay and they started buying photos so, you know, it, it was, you know, how my life is, you know, trial and error, it caught on and it started becoming, you know, photos and video and it went from like, predominately shooting celebrities backstage at fashion shows to shooting celebrities at premiers, at parties, at, you know, different film festivals, at concerts, so it just grew.$Right now today in 2005, who are the most sought after? What celebrities are most sought after, what photographs of celebrities are most sought after?$$Well, I mean like, it's just, the market is always dominated by white actors and actresses. So you'll have your, like, you know, like your Britney Spears or, you know, Nicole Kidman, or Tom Cruise and so forth. But, you know, as the market is, I mean like it's, you know, like with Will Smith and Halle Barry and Whitney Houston and Jamie Foxx, I mean like it's, it's getting more and more demand for, you know, people of color, you know? And, which is a good thing, you know, because the more images that you see out there, you know, kids know that, you know, they can do it too.$$Well what's, what's happening behind the scenes in terms of people of color? We're seeing those same kinds of advancements behind the scenes?$$No. Not, not at all, I mean like, I've been doing this since ninety-- '94 [1994], wait '95 [1995]? Ninety-four [1994], '95 [1995], and it's 2005 and I'm the only person of color that has, or an agency on the level, that's dealing, you know, syndicated worldwide, you know, which is not a good thing, you know? And then as far as like, shooters go, you rarely find other shooters that are of color and sometimes it just makes it challenging, you know? Because, the--they, you know, I mean like, they feel that, you know, they can, you know, push you or say things to you that's unacceptable which, you know, which is not. You know, I mean like if, you know, I tell my shooters [for DMBJ Productions, New York, New York] if, you know, somebody pushes you or hits you or whatever and stuff like that, you know, hey, I mean like if it gets physical now, you have to, you know, call a cop, you know?$$And what, what kinds of change, where do you think we should be in 2005 in terms of representation of people of color behind the scenes? Are we still of the mindset that one is enough in various industries and jobs?$$Yeah, I mean like I, I, I grew up thinking that you, you know, I mean like you get your nine to five, all right and I know like a lot of, a lot of people grow up thinking that, you know, I'm gonna get a city job or you know, I'm, I'm gonna get a job working at a bank and so forth, you know? That's safe, you know and we don't teach our kids to pursue their dreams, you know? And which, I think it's getting better, you know, but once we encourage our kids to pursue their dreams, then you'll see more people of color behind the scenes.$$And do you think sometimes that celebrity photographers of color are treated different than their white counterparts?$$Oh yeah, I know so.$$How so?$$Because, like because it's not as many when PR [public relations] firms that's handling like say different, different premiers or parties and so forth, they'll assign say a white photographer a better spot than a black photographer because, I mean like, they don't think, you know, they just think that we still just shoot for Ebony and Jet, you know, where we shoot for People and Us and Vogue and Glamour, the whole gambit, you know. So, we're just as, you know, international as they are and sometimes, I mean like, you know, a few times, you know, I, I've had to let quite a few PR people know that, hey, you know, I, you know, we shoot for 'Entertainment Tonight,' for 'Extra,' for 'The Insider,' you know, we have photographers for People, Us, and all these magazines and it's just not, you know, a black thing, you know? It's a global thing. So, once, I mean like, once you inform them and you give them your credentials, you know, they open the door, you know but, it shouldn't be like that, you know, once you say that you're with a media outlet, it should be, you know, first come, first serve. But all the time it's not like that.