Johns Hopkins Magazine
J U N E 1 9 9 9 I S S U E
Art director Shaul Tsemach knew
that Tim Hoen and his iguana "Zivio" were naturals for this
issue's cover; he also knew the photo shoot--capably handled by
photographer Mark Lee--would be tricky, given Zivio's razor-sharp
nails and sensitivity to flashing light. "It's not like
shooting a photo with a dog," says Tsemach. "You can't tell the
iguana to 'sit.'" (See "Cold-blooded
Tsemach showed up to art direct the Sunday shoot with two of his kids in tow--and tried not to feel uneasy when he looked up to find his 7-year-old delightedly holding an armful of snakes. (He did, however, warn his son to stay away from the garage, wherein resides an 18-foot python named Bernadette who feasts on goats about young Daniel's size.)
Not surprisingly, the photos featured on pages 48 through 53 took many hours to shoot, and Tsemach had plenty of time to chat with Hoen. "He's so warm, and enthusiastic, and nurturing with the animals," says Tsemach. "It was really inspiring to meet him. To see how one person could have such a huge impact on the world."
During an initial tour of Hoen's home, Tsemach noticed a large ball of snake skin (one of Bernadette's thrice-yearly "sheds"), which he asked Hoen to unfurl. Would you mind wearing it, the art director asked? Hoen said sure, and so the shoot moved out back to the woods. Photographer Lee suggested Hoen look skyward. The effect, says Tsemach, "was almost prayerful, " beautifully capturing Hoen's oneness with the natural world. --SD
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