For once, Annie Watt was on the other side of the camera. And she was smiling as broadly as if she were behind it. Watt, for those who aren’t part of the social echelon who consider New York Social Diary (and, of course, Hamptons.com) a personal album, is the go-to lenser for the well-heeled. She’s been shooting their private parties and charitable events for almost nine years. Now, she is launching her own photo agency and expanded website in January, with a one woman photography exhibition. Galerie Dumonteil was flooded with well wishers wearing couture, museum quality jewelry, bags worth a few month’s rent — and a smiles as big as hers. “We’re so happy for Annie,” they all gushed. And they meant it. Annie Watt’s loving attention to all was bouncing around the walls filled with her pitch perfect “Impromtu Portraits,” and landing right back at her.
Annie’s appeal lies not only in her gracious, low key ways, but in the loving and professional manner in which she gets people to look their best. “Turn this way…Put your hand here…Tilt your head down,” she tells them. No wonder Annie Watt is “The Posing Expert.” In a former life, she helmed a modeling agency. But, she’s not interesting in talking about what she’s done, only what she’s doing.
The new specialty photo agency and website, www.AnnieWattAgency.com, will be the only female-owned of its kind, functioning as Patrick McMullan’s, Getty, and BFA, with photographers, videographers, as well as media outreach. It’s a seamless transition, affording easier access and accommodating Annie’s expanding business. Watt already has six photographers working for her and a presence in the Hamptons, Palm Beach, and Miami.
It all began eight years ago, with an introduction from Marcy MacDonald to Jason Grant and the late Roger Webster, who lead her to David Patrick Columbia and New York Social Diary. No surprise then, that Geoffrey Bradfield, Barbara Tober and Donald Tober, Gillian Miniter and Sylvester Miniter, Eleanora Kennedy and Michael Kennedy, and Ambassador John Loeb and Sharon Handler Loeb co-hosted this opening.
Also in the room: Hilary Geary Ross and husband Wilbur Ross, Muffy Potter Aston, Lawrence Kaiser, Ann Van Ness, Ann Rapp, Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, Lucia Hwong Gordon, CeCe Black and Lee Black, Chris Meigher and Grace Meigher, Cece Cord, Chappy Morris, Jean Shafiroff, Joan Hornig and George Hornig, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Robin Cofer, Diana Pinck, Barbara Poliwoda, Dr. Penny Grant, James Luce, Jeremy Hu, designer Victor De Souza, Eric Goodman and Alexandra Fairweather, Mai Hallingby, Jeannette Hektoen, and Prince of Chintz Mario Buatta.
On the walls: Bill Clinton, Neil Patrick Harris, Oscar de la Renta, Barbara Walters, Prince Andrew, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Donna Karan, Dr. Oz, Henry Kissinger, Hugh Jackman, James Earl Jones, Christie Brinkley, Candice Bergen, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Catherine Zeta Jones, Hilary Clinton, Donatella Versace, Janet Jackson, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Gloria Steinem, Itzhak Perlman, Jane Fonda, Joan Rivers, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Paris Hilton, Robert De Niro, Sarah Duchess of York, Sir Elton John, Walt Frazier, Wynton Marsalis, Zubin Mehta, ZZ Top, and so many more.
“Impromptu Portraits” will exhibit in New York at Galerie Dumonteil through January 15, 2015 before the show travels to Paris and Shanghai. Galerie Dumonteil is located at 475 Park Avenue, New York City, 10022. Gallery hours are from Monday to Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm, and Saturdays from 11:00am to 5:00pm. For more information, please contact 212 840 0475 or [email protected].