Who Shot It Better? Jon Hamm: Peggy Sirota vs. Yu Tsai

Who Shot It Better? Jon Hamm: Peggy Sirota vs. Yu Tsai

Let’s slow this jam down for the ladies…

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t watch AMC’s Mad Men, then you’re probably sick of people talking about it. On the other hand, can I make a suggestion? Watch it. I mean, they [spoiler alert!] tripped on LSD this past week, and it was hilariously depressing.

Actor Jon Hamm plays advertising executive Don Draper. Apparently, the women find him attractive. Ok, ok, I’m playing coy. The dude is very handsome and quite funny if you’ve ever seen him on SNL or Bridesmaids.¬†Plus his longtime partner, Jennifer Westfeld, [boast alert] went to Yale with yours truly. But enough of the name dropping, let’s get to the photos, shall we?

Esquire UK’s May 2012 issue features Jon as photographed by Peggy Sirota, who I mentioned in a little rant I wrote. With all of the period photos, it’s nice to see Jon smiling and wearing something other than some Banana Republic suit with a skinny tie. There is a real freshness to Sirota’s work in that it always feels contemporary to me even though she’s been in the biz for a long time. In this case, there’s no fancy schmancy lighting, just a great pose with some good styling. If a good portrait is measured by its ability to capture the personality of the subject in a fraction of a second, I would argue this is pretty successful. Well, that is to say, it’s the personality that I imagine Jon has.

The March 2012 American issue of Esquire also featured Jon on the cover as photographed by Yu Tsai. Oh, and there was a little secret when you unfold the cover.

I know what you’re thinking…Look at how handsome Jon Hamm is!

This is also a nice image, and I’m not talking about Kate. Another smiling Jon with the poofy hair. The lighting is brighter, and seems slightly more on axis than Peggy’s image. I’m not sure what’s up with the weird shadow behind his head though. I like the jacket with the double pocket — it seems very British, or old school, or something like that. Also, you’ve gotta be a stud to pull off wide lapels with the peaked collar. I like the fact that neither image tried to (over)Photoshop his crows feet and the bags under his eyes. He looks like a normal guy movie star.

Verdict: Sirota. Jon feels a little too shiny in the Tsai photo and the weird shadow is bugging me out – although it’s more likely something the photo department stuck in there. But Yu, don’t let my arbitrary decision prevent you from allowing me to assist you on the next Kate Upton shoot. Just sayin.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the "I Love Photography" podcast on iTunes.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Per-BKWine at 5:41 pm

    Oh, I don’t think either of them were a particularly exciting photograph. Goes to show that you don’t have to do particularly exceptionally brilliant photo to be on the cover.

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