Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet Kella Macphee, the Photographer Behind the Bruce Springsteen Photobomb

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Kella Macphee, photographer of weddings -- and the Boss! - COURTESY OF KELLA MACPHEE
  • courtesy of Kella Macphee
  • Kella Macphee, photographer of weddings -- and the Boss!

When Bruce Springsteen jumped into a shoot for a couple's engagement photos, he thrilled the couple and, as it turns out, the photographer, Kella Macphee. Macphee is a professional wedding photojournalist who's been at for five years -- "I shoot mainly weddings and fun portraits and the occasional rock star!" she laughs - who lives at the Jersey Shore (specifically, in a waterfront community in Brick). Little did she know that as she was documenting her friends' relationship, she was about to meet one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Macphee kindly took the time to answer some email questions about the experience.

Annie Zaleski: Where did the shoot take place? Who was the couple? Kella Macphee: The photographs were taken at Manasquan Inlet, a famous surf spot in Manasquan, New Jersey. The couple is Jen Smith and Ed Dwyer, they are good friends of mine and my husband, Chris, who was also there. They are getting married next month in New Jersey. Ed is a musician and had his guitar with him as a prop to serenade Jen for some pics. We also had a surfboard with us as a prop, but Bruce was not too interested in that!

I guess what everyone wants to know -- how did this happen? Did Bruce walk up to you, or to the couple? Did he introduce himself? Set the scene and describe what transpired. Basically, we were walking down the sidewalk along the water that leads to the beach -- it was me, my camera, Ed, his guitar, Jen, my husband Chris and Jen's brother, Scott, and [the couple's goldendoodles] Miles and Ella, [who are] named after the musicians. (Chris and Scott were the designated dog wranglers!) We were almost to the beach when my husband mouthed to me, "That's Bruce Springsteen." He was sitting with two buddies on the last bench enjoying the sunset. We all just sort of stopped and looked at him -- it must have been awkward because we were only a couple feet away! We could not believe it, it was him, just hanging out at the beach!

Bruce then said, "Let me see that box, play that thing." Ed immediately gave over the guitar and Bruce rolled up his sleeves and started strumming! I asked to take a few pics and he said, "Sure," and moved over for the couple to sit down next to him! He sang a bit about how they were getting married next month - [the] only info he knew about them! -- and that was about it. I took about ten pics and he handed back the guitar. We all shook his hand and he then got ready to leave and walked off in the sunset, with bare feet and his flannel shirt three buttons open! We walked onto the beach totally stunned finished up the shoot! When we left we could not help but tell everyone we saw what happened and they responded with, "Oh we missed him again." He must be there a lot!

What was your reaction as all this was happening? What was the couple's reaction as this was happening? We were all a bit starstruck. I mean, he is the most famous rock star ever and there he was in front of us sitting on a bench with sandy bare feet! We tried to play it cool and not act like groupies!

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