Since the 1980s, Patrick McMullan has been a fixture at some of the hottest nightclubs and events in New York City—a guest of the rich and famous who takes pictures at their parties, movie premieres and events. Gayle talks to Patrick about his career and his sixth book, Glamour Girls.
As a college student at New York University, Patrick says he was able to get into the social circles of the young and hip and even partied with the likes of Andy Warhol. "I used to say I majored in business and minored in Studio 54 because that is where I really learned and met a lot of people," he says. After suffering from testicular cancer at age 23, Patrick says he was out of work and used his social connections to snag a part-time job taking pictures at hot spots and nightclubs.
Soon invitations to cover movie premieres and other events followed, and Patrick says his career as a well-known celebrity photographer was born. However, he dispels the idea of being a paparazzo. "I am an event photographer—I am like a wedding photographer, really," he says. "What the paparazzi do is they follow and chase and follow and chase."
Patrick says taking pictures of people looking or behaving badly is never his goal—instead he aims for taking beautiful pictures. In his latest book, Glamour Girls, Patrick showcases more than a thousand pictures of rich and famous women who are glamorous…but not necessarily "drop-dead gorgeous," he says.
"Glamour is effort," he says. "To be glamorous, it requires your hair is done, it requires that you think about what you are going to wear." Many glamour girls also know a thing or two about posing well, Patrick says. "It's a little turn of the hip, one leg behind, arms back as much as possible—you can try it in front of the mirror," he says.