Meet the Photographer Who Took THAT Photo of Kathy Griffin

Video kathy griffin trumps head

Known for his provocative photography, Tyler Shields does not shy away from controversy.

He picked up photography by accident, after a picture he took on a friend’s camera went viral on the now defunct social media site Myspace.

Since then, the photographer has taken pictures of Aaron Paul, Mischa Barton, Demi Lovato, and Lindsay Lohan. He says some of the celebrities he shoots with take months to prepare for the shoot.

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“It’s funny because, to me, it’s just normal – I don’t think anything about it. Whenever I shot [them] there was no stylist, there was no makeup artist, they just came over to my house and then we made something,” he said. “They wanted to make something special.”

While great photography can be extremely technical, he says he finds a way to connect with all his subjects before the shoot.

“I’ve had people tell me everything that’s happened in their lives and I don’t react, I don’t judge. I have this real ability to just let people exist in how they actually are. And I think, when somebody comes to shoot with me, it’s not just a shoot,” he said. “I’ll talk to somebody for two hours before I even take one picture.”

He was the photographer behind the now infamous photo of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a decapitated mannequin head of President Donald Trump. He had shot with Griffin before, and this particular photo came at the very end of a shoot. She said she wanted to “do something political.”

“When [the photo] came out, the first eight hours it was all normal and then it just [spiked]. I’ve had controversy before – I’ve had death threats. But as soon as the president commented, it was like this is a whole other level that I’ve never experienced before,” he said of the reaction to the photo.

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Following the response to the photo, he had the roll of film put in a safe. There were news vans outside his house and he had visits from the Secret Service and FBI.

“I just sat in my house for two weeks-did nothing,” he said.

He said he never could have anticipated, in that moment, what the photo would have become.

“For me, that’s just what I do,” he said. “That was just a Tuesday for me.”

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