Photo agency BFA shares their favorite stories behind some of their favorite photographs


by Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but often they tell half the story. The Impression asked the team at BFA, upon celebrating their 5 year anniversary, to share the tales behind some of their photographic moments, including hand slapping, tie straightening, Peroni, double divas and heavy hitters.


Billy Farrell

There was the one time (and only time) I attempted to remove the laundry tag off of the front of Francisco Costa’s shirt backstage before a show… it’s a lucky charm of his, I found out.

“He likes it on like that,” an astute CKer told me just after I tried to rip it off for him and he stopped me with a friendly swat.

Billy Farrell
Francisco Costa

Francisco Costa

It’s no secret that I pride myself on how many faces and names I’ve retained in my head over the years, but on this particular evening, I dropped the ball. All night long I had been addressing poor A-Rod as “Derek” (as in, Derek Jeter) as I invited him into group photo after group photo on the night of Aby and Samantha Rosen’s annual Art Basel dinner in Miami. He was a complete gentleman the entire time and didn’t bother to correct me as we went about it. It wasn’t until the next day when my photo editor pointed it out to me that I had realized my party foul. Just look at that smile… what a good sport!

Alex Rodriguez, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Peter Marino

Alex Rodriguez, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Peter Marino


David x Putting

The shot I took of Beyoncé and Rihanna that ended up on the cover of Vogue’s special Met Gala issue in 2014, Rihanna had arrived second to last at the Gala, she was dressed in and accompanied by Stella McCartney. I was positioned at the top of the entry stairs in the Great Room of the Met with inside access. As Rihanna’s group approached the top of the stairs, I saw Jay Z and Beyoncé enter the bottom of the stairs to a roar from the crowd and a frantic shout of, “Beyoncé!” I knew then that if I held up Stella and Rihanna long enough, I might be able to get a greeting moment between Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jay Z. Sure enough, I held up Stella’s group long enough with photos, mostly because Stella had to keep adjusting Rihanna’s hardly there dress. Out of the corner of my eye, I then noticed Jay Z and Beyoncé walk inside. Rihanna had been loitering long enough for me to shuffle her over to them. They greeted. Hugs all around, then I seized my moment and said to the girls with all my nerves going, “May I get a picture of the two Queens together?”

Rihanna, Beyoncé Knowles, SPECIAL RATES APPLY

Rihanna, Beyoncé Knowles, SPECIAL RATES APPLY


Neil Rasmus

This shot is from a CFDA trip to Beijing involving Rag & Bone, Marchesa and Proenza Schouler. Shooting a fashion show on an ancient Ming Dynasty Wall running through Beijing was incredible, but I think the highlight was hiking on the Great Wall with Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. One of my favorite memories from the trip was backstage after the show. David always stocks Peroni at R&B events, and somehow he was able to find a case in Beijing.

David Neville, Marcus Wainwright

David Neville, Marcus Wainwright

Marcus Wainwright, David Neville

Marcus Wainwright, David Neville


Joe Schildhorn

At the Italian embassy in Paris a few years back, PR from TOD’s was setting up a private photo of Diego Della Valle with Nicole Kidman. Just before snapping the photo, I stopped and approached Diego, telling him that his tie was crooked, as if I was going to fix it for him. He quickly swatted me away, making me aware that the tie was exactly as he wanted it to look. I backed off, took the photo and left the room as fast as possible. Finding out later from PR that the crooked tie was his signature, I had felt a bit silly for trying to style a man who founded a fashion empire, TOD’s Group. What was even better was 2 years later at an event in NYC, another photographer attempted to do the same tie adjustment when I stepped in and stopped him. This time, Diego and I had a good laugh about it.

Diego Della Valle, Nicole Kidman

Diego Della Valle, Nicole Kidman