Making Wishes Come True – UCLA

When Dr. Busuttil, Distinguished Professor and Executive Chairman of the Department of Surgery, decided to retire after 39 years of service with the UCLA Medical Center, he wished for something that had never been attempted before on campus. He desired a formal picture with every one of his esteemed colleagues. Creating a piece of artwork this size to commemorate Dr. Busuttil’s distinguished career, would not be an easy task, and the first order of business was to find the right photographer for the job.

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Multiple studios were interviewed but most felt uncomfortable with the project size. It would require a big crew, with a lot of set-ups, and given the challenge of coordinating the demanding schedules of almost 200 prominent physicians, there would only be a 5-minute window in which to complete the shot. Another photographer recommended us to the project team. Our one-hour interview turned into a three and a half-hour strategizing session. We knew that working together, we could create this special retirement gift.

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There were details to attend to. I became an official UC vendor, allowing me access to shoot on the University of California campuses. Additional group shots were arranged to take advantage of this historic gathering. The pictures were to be taken at the new David Geffen Medical Center, which is still under construction, providing additional challenges. The UCLA project team, Colleen Devaney, Dylan Reade, and Mira Sobson, worked relentlessly to manage a million details flawlessly. My expert crew and I arrived at 6:00 am and got to work. By noon, exactly on schedule, over 180 doctors were assembled in their lab coats. Five minutes later, the group was arranged and their many smiling faces were captured to create a very personal memento for Dr. Busuttil.

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Every project presents us with unique challenges but thanks to a seamless client relationship combined with our extraordinary crew, the shots went off without a hitch. Thanks to all involved and a special, thanks to the doctors and project team at UCLA Medical Center.

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