Join mailing list by writing your e-mail and hit return on your keyboard: contact HOME

The Story Behind That Picture - 166
      Thosten von Overgaard on Facebook Thorsten von Overgaard on Twitter Thorsten von Overgaard on Instagram Thorsten von Overgaard on Google+ Thorsten von Overgaard on Leica Fotopark Thorsten von Overgaard on LinkedIn Thorsten von Overgaard on Polaroid BlipFoto Pinterest Thorsten von Overgaard on Flickr Thorsten Overgaard on YouTube Thorsten Overgaard video on Vimeo Thorsten Overgaard on Tumblr Thorsten von Overgaard on Exposure Thorsten von Overgaard on Behance Thorsten von Overgaard on 500px
Bookmark and Share Clip to Evernote    


The Story Behind That Picture: "Doug E. Fresh"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. March 24, 2016


Add to Flipboard Magazine.


I usually say that a good portrait is one that the person uses and keep using. If the person in it doesn't use it, it’s not a good portrait. Just a good photograph.

The reason I mention this again is that I went to Harlem in New York some months ago to do a magazine cover with Doug E Fresh that I thought was great.

Except, he didn't use it.

This is the story about a photograph that didn't make it. Coincidentally I was doing atmosphere photos from Harlem for one magazine and Doug E. Fresh for another magazine, so I got to spend some days visiting Harlem.

I went to Harlem some days before (see the previous Story Behind That Picture, “The Harlem Experience”) to see and experience Harlem for the first time. The schedule for the portrait wasn't set in stone either.



Buy the new eBook
"A Little Book on Photography"
by Thorsten von Overgaard


A Little Book on Photography by Thorsten von Overgaard eBook

Order now - Instant delivery.

More info

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


It's a humorous understatement to call this
new eBook by Thorsten Overgaard for
"A Little Book on Photography".
It's a grand book, a history lesson, life experience, a biography and poetry book and brilliant photo book!
All in one beautiful package of 180 pages
to fire you up and get you to love
photography ... unconditionally!

"A Little Book on Photography"
eBook for computer, Kindle and iPad.
New release March 2017.
Intro price only $47 - 180 pages.


Buy Now

Add to Cart

Instant Delivery


View Cart







In fact, the editor and other people involved weren't sure it would happen. But I had arrived in New York, so I was more than ready. But it’s a fact of life that celebrities travel all the time and they have a filter of people around them. Till you get to the actual person it is always hard to finalize dates and places. And even when you think you got it, things may change.

Joy and I had dinner one evening after we arrived in New York and I was mailing back and forth with the editor. Then we realized we had been hanging out with Doug E. Fresh’s wife and youngest son Jonah. We told the editor we could go via her, and he said, “By all means, if you can get hold of him, do it! I can’t.”

So we called her and that’s how the date for the shoot got finalized. Wifes and mothers are the best tools to get things done.



Mr. Cool - Doug E Fresh 101

If you weren't around when the Human Beat Box came about, here's a short 101 on Doug E. Fresh:

Doug E Fresh has his fingerprints all over the hip hop and rap music of today since his breakthrough 31 years ago with the hits "Da Di Da Di" and "The Show" that made him one of the biggest names in rap music at age 18.

He's widely known as the original "Human Beat Box" and a master performer being able to imitate drum machines and various special effects using only his mouth, lips, gums, throat, tongue and a microphone. Michael Jackson sampled Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's "La Di Da Di"

"Hip-hop is supposed to uplift and create, to educate people on a larger level and to make a change." - Doug E. Fresh

"21 Questions to Doug E Fresh in New York Mgaazine"

  Doug E Fresh




Shooting magazine cover in Harlem

I had decided for the hour just before sunset as the best time for an outdoor shoot in Harlem; low sun and warm colors. I would look for and find the exact spot when I got there. It's all about the light.

We arrived in front of the place where some friends and family were hanging out outside. Doug E Fresh has a studio in one brownstone building and lives not far away, and apparently his entourage, kids, father, sisters and all live in the same area.

Visiting Harlem to do portrait. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


On the other side of the street was the projects. His sister told that Harlem has gotten much better. “But Friday it get’s a little crazy over at the projects with drinking, so Friday evening I just try not to be on the street.”

After a while Doug E. Fresh arrives too. I can tell now why the editor and others were afraid it wouldn't happen, because he’s the king of Harlem and he’s a little hesitant. He hasn't made up his mind yet.

His driver comes by to pick him up. He actually has a meeting in Brooklyn to go to, he tells me, so what do we do? I explain that I work fast, so either we do it before or we do it after the meeting.


Lightroom Survival Kit 6


He’s quiet for a little while. “All right”, he decides. As I get the location ready, the car takes off.  With Doug E. Fresh.

What the heck?

His sister tell me he just wanted to go get his hair cut two blocks away. He will be back in 10 minutes. He actually comes back and we’re all set. I shoot the portraits by a staircase outside with the background glowing of the low sun. That will be the cover.

It goes well, he’s very easy to work with. He want’s to show us the studio.

As always when you get through the filter of assistants and entourage, to the actual person, it’s easy. He owns it; he got all the time in the world and he is enjoying it.

We get the idea to do a photo of him by the studio console, so we do that really quick. We use the few spotlights in the ceiling and a reflector to reflect the light back onto his face.  He’s a natural, all he has to do is sit and be himself.

Then we’re done and he can head over to Brooklyn for the meeting. It all took less than 30 minutes. We head to the train down to 29th Street where we live.

Mission accomplished. Everybody is happy. We got it.


Another photograph from the console in the studio. We played with using the photograph or maybe the whole story in black & white to bring it back to early hip hop of the 1980's, so I made some versions for that also. Leica M 240 with Leica 28m Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


He didn't use it

Some months later I get a mail from the editor not to worry about the magazine cover when I get the magazine: Doug E Fresh had asked for it to be taken again. He changed his mind. Nobody knows why.

It’s a shame, but it confirms the rule. That’s how it works. If the person doesn't use it, it’s a great photo but not a great portrait.

It could be he changed his mind on the red jacket he was wearing, or maybe he didn't like the way the light was on his face.

Nobody has to tell why he or she doesn't like a portrait. If they use it, they like it. If they don't, they don't.

But at least I got a great photo by the studio console that we both like.

One day I will make him a portrait he will use for everything, all the time, forever and ever …


You don't get to see what he didn't want to use. But here is the test shot of the light and location, all looking really promising.
© 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.


I hope you enjoyed this Story Behind the Picture. As always, feel free to mail be at for ideas, questions and suggestions.







Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston    
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
  I-Shot-It photo competition
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for older Leica 35mm/1.4 lenses
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for 50mm Summicron lenses
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Vintage Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4






Above: Doug E. Fresh in his studio. Leica M 240 with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2015-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.




Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 Video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL full-frame mirrorless
Leica R9 and R8 SLR with digital back
Leica Q
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
The Story Behind That Picture



Overgaard Photo Workshops



Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to for
advice, ideas or improvements.







Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard


Thorsten Overgaard: "A Little Book on Photography"

Thorsten Overgaard:
"A Little Book on Photography"
(180 pages)
eBook for iPad, Kindle and computer.

Buy now. Only $47

Add to Cart

Instant delivery.
Released March 2017

Leica Q Masterclass
eBook + Video Course
Leica Q Video Course

"Leica Q Masterclass" eBook
"Leica Q Masterclass" Video Course
+ Leica Q Presets for Lightroom

You save 30% on buying as bundle compared to buying the individual items. Video Masterclass is delivered instantly. eBook and LR Presets in a few weeks.

Buy Now. Only $298

Add to Cart

"The Freedom
of Photographic Expression"

For eBook for iPad, Kindle
and computer. 268 pages

Only $148.

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.

"Finding the Magic of Light"
New Version with +30 pages.
eBook for iPad, Kindle and computer

Only $47.

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.
Also available in German -->

"Composition in Photography"
- The Photographer as Storyteller

Preorder today. Only $148

Add to Cart

"Leica TL2/TL/T Quick-Start Video Course"

"Leica TL2/TL/T
Quick-Start Video Course"

Video and checklist
for things to try out.

Only $179.00

Add to Cart

Order now. Instant delivery.

Thorsten Overgaard Lightroom Preset for Leica TL2:
"Black and white tones, muted tones and special effects"

Only $29.00

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.

The Thorsten Overgaard New Extension Course 2016

The Thorsten Overgaard New Extension Course 2016

Only $798
More info

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.
100% satisfaction or money back.

Lightroom Survival Kit

How to survive and master Lightroom
so you can get your photographs made.
My accumulated experience
on workflow, storage and editing
in one essential package.
Lightroom 2 to Lightroom 6 tutorials
plus Photoshop and
Media Pro 1 tutorials.

Only $498

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.
100% satisfaction or money back.

Thorsten Overgaard Lightroom Preset for Leica M10: "Black and white tones as the Leica M9"

Only $29.00

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.

The New Inspiration
Extension Course

Only $798

Add to Cart

Buy now. Instant delivery.
100% satisfaction or money back.



  · © Copyright 1996-2017 · Thorsten von Overgaard


© 1996 - 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard. All rights reserved


Web Analytics