Celebrity Stories – Hilary Swank and a Muffin

I thought I would try out a new series on my blog tonight called celebrities stories.  I am not going to include photos in most of these posts as I am not going to tell stories about celebrities I necessarily photographed.  Think of my photography work as doctor/patient or attorney/client privilege.  I don’t want to break any covenant that may exist with celebrities that put their trust in me.  Instead, the posts will be more New York stories of living in the city and running into stars.

I thought I would start with Hilary Swank, the beautiful 2-time Oscar winner, since she was in the news this week for an ill conceived trip to Chechnya.  Nothing big, she attended a birthday party for the President, Ramzan Kadyrov.  But he is a controversial figure for human rights violations.  For those of you who don’t know.  There was a war, atrocities, some pretty upsetting terrorism.  Putin appointed Kadyrov President in 2007 and he has taken a hard line against the Chechen rebels.  Since the birthday party, she made a nice statement and donated the cash to various charities.

Hilary Swank and a Muffin

When I still shot all film, some years back, I had an almost daily routine.  Take the subway to Union Square and walk to the different labs in the photo district; some for E-6, some for prints, etc.  I was almost always dropping off or picking up.  On this particular day, I am hungry, really hungry.  So up from the Subway, I stop at the great Farmer’s Market right there in the square.  I buy this wonderfully big chocolate muffin.

I exit the square going west on 17th street heading to the first photo lab past 6th Ave.  I start unwrapping the cellophane and I am looking down at this big muffin with my mouth watering.  I take a huge bite.  Maybe too big of a bite and as I struggle to control the massive gob of muffin in my mouth, I look up and see an absolutely lovely looking, Hilary Swank directly opposite me on the sidewalk. Except she isn’t completely lovely looking as she has a somewhat horrified look on her face as she had just watched me attack that muffin.

I never said a word to her (I physically couldn’t with that much muffin in my mouth).  I didn’t smile or find some crazy way to start up a conversation with her that led to an awesome photoshoot you could now go see on my website.  I just kept walking and chewing.

If it is worth anything, the muffin was really tasty.


Michael Creagh


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Michael Creagh is a New York Fashion Photographer specializing in Advertising, catalogs, magazines, models and editorial work.  Check out his international award winning photography at the websites and blogs above.