back to press page

'I don't just take pictures of nude girls and celebrities': James Caan's son Scott steps out of his father's shadow to release his second photography book.

Actor Scott Cann, son of The Godfather's James Caan and star of CBS's hit Hawaii Five-0 remake, is releasing his second photography book, titled Vanity. But the plush hardback, which features a cover image taken from the top of the Cannes red carpet (where no photographer has ever been allowed), doesn't showcase his usual glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. Rather, it is an extensive and somewhat candid collection of the 38-year-old's most recent work: 'day-to-day' stuff, he told MailOnline, and images taken on his travels around the world.

'A lot of [the images] don't necessarily belong in the same book,' he admitted. 'They're kind of scattered and all over the place. But that's how I shoot, and that's how I spent time in the places I travel - I'm rarely in a city for more than couple weeks - and sometimes for just a day or two.'

The actor, also known for his recurring role as manager Scott Lavin in the HBO television series Entourage, released his first photography book, Scott Caan Photographs, Vol. 1, in 2009. But many of Mr Caan's favorite images, photos taken in locations he has worked, and traveled to for pleasure during the last ten years, didn't make the cut - so he decided to save them for round two.

'[The publishers] wanted it to be a specific theme: nude girls and celebrities,' he said of his first book. 'At the time I didn't really agree, but obviously I wasn't bummed that they were going to publish a bunch of my photos so I wasn't going to say no. 'That's why we called it Vol. 1, because I wanted people to know there was going to be a volume two - that this wasn't it. That this wasn't all I shoot: naked girls and celebrities.'

His favorite pictures from the new book, an 'outstanding volume that showcases Caan’s revered photojournalist style,' states the press release, are from Cuba - one of Mr Caan's first trips he took with his first camera, a Nikon FE that had been gifted to his father by Francis Ford Coppola in the Seventies.

'There were a tonne of photos left out of the first book and a tonne of photos I was shooting at the time that would not have made that book, and that's ultimately what this book is now - the photos I wanted to show.'

As for the title, Vanity, Mr Caan explains that it is a play on the term 'vanity project' - which he says he has heard a lot from critics over the years. 'Every time I do something, if I put on a little play or I try to do a photo exhibit, or I do something outside of what I'm supposed to be doing, which is being an actor I guess, critics say it's a "vanity project". 'It has always been derogatory, a negative thing,' he said, adding: 'I understood what people meant by it, "Oh, you're using your celebrity to show something artistic that you've done, and how dare you." 'But at the end of the day, it confused me. As an artist, you're saying, "Here 'I've done this, I've put this out into the world for people to critique me". If you're willing to say, "Judge me," I don't get how that can be a vanity project - it's the most ridiculous gripe I've ever heard.'

It is a gripe Mr Caan heard so many times that he chose to take the words out of his critics' mouths by calling it a vanity project himself. 'Photography for me is something I've always been excited about. These are the photos I have enough pride in to put into a photo book, so it is a "vanity project". 'That's why we put that photo on the cover - because there's more in there than you would imagine.

'People will open the book and think they're about to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt - a book of vanity, of all these celebrities. But I'm pretty sure there's not one celebrity in the book, and if they're in there, they're in there by accident.'

Now a father (three-month-old Josie was born on July 9, 2014), Mr Caan says he has turned the lens on his daughter. 'I've been shooting her a bunch, but at this stage she’s just a breathing potato. Maybe I'll put out a photo book of her when she's 50.'  

Daily Mail

14 Oct, 2014

Olivia Fleming