More Access: Inside All
Access
with Ken Regan

This week we’ve given you an “all access” pass to Ken Regan with exclusive photos not seen in his new book of the same name. With today’s conclusion we turn to Ken’s career at present.

Much like Ken’s foray into music photography resulted from a friendship with rock promotor Bill Graham, many of the films he began to photograph on set were those of director Jonathan Demme. They first met when PEOPLE magazine asked Regan to shoot on the set of Demme’s 1987 movie, Swimming to Cambodia.

Madonna (February, 1985) at Mondrian Hotel, Los Angeles

“I spent like a week or two with him on that set and we became really good friends,” Regan said. “He had just broken up with his girlfriend I had just broken up with mine, so we started to go out partying together, and a few months later we had lunch. He said, ‘I’m about to do another film called Married to the Mob and I want you to do the photography for this film.'”

The notice was a last minute one for Regan, as he had already committed to a few pictures over the next few years and regretfully told Demme he wouldn’t be able to work on the project.

“So he takes out this 8×10 envelope and spreads out on the table a dozen pictures of Michelle Pfeiffer and tells me she’s in the film, and I started to laugh,” Regan said. “After partying together in the past, Jon knew we had very similar taste in women and I couldn’t turn it down. From there I did photography for every film he’s done except one. It was a job for other photographers but for me it was love, and I would approach it as a photojournalist; I knew what the magazines wanted.”

Regan was able to consistently stay busy working with Demme until he began to take more breaks between films to spend time with his family. This allowed Regan to expand and begin working with other directors, like Clint Eastwood.

“Clint asked me to do Bridges of Madison County and he wanted me to teach him how to look like a photographer that knows what he’s doing,” Regan said. “He often used my equipment as well. Because of the amount of equipment I had, I needed to stay not in a hotel room but on my own in a little house near the set. Before shooting, Clint and I went out to some of the briges and I showed him how to load film, how to change lenses, etc. It was interesting because once we were on on the set, he was taking pictures of Meryl—and I photographed him learning how to take pictures!”

As rewarding as film photography was for Ken, in most recent years he has transitioned to shooting television shows as the hours are more consistent.

“I just finished working on “Nurse Jackie” and “The Big C,” Regan told me. “Laura Linney and I both have homes in Massachusetts and have been friends for a long time, so it is nice to work with people that you know. It’s great working in TV because you only have to come in 2 or 3 days a week and you have a lot more freedom. I’m also doing more films with Demme over the next few years on some projects he hopes to get green lighted.”

Talking to Ken, it is clear that after decades of constantly working, he shows no signs of slowing down. From rock stars to movie heartthrobs to sports legends to war torn countries, Ken has seen and photographed it all.

Don’t forget to enter to win your copy of his book of intimate rock n roll photographs, All Access, in our contest here.

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