When Erica Parise, granddaughter of Cedarhurst Mayor Andrew Parise, moved to Los Angeles in 2009, the set photographer had no idea her profession would blossom and she would come to work with celebrities such as Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actress Charlize Theron and pop star P!nk.
Parise, 29, got hooked into the profession nearly ten years ago by working on her first film, “Game Six,” starring Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr., while studying at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. “As a still photographer, my job on set, whether it be on a film or television show, is to capture the actors in a moment that truly represents the feeling of the particular scene,” she said. “The beautiful lighting is there, but finding the best angle and capturing that exact magical moment is the real challenge. It’s an exhausting job but a rewarding one.”
After graduating college, Parise started working on a film, “I Believe in America,” and was promoted to location manager soon after joining the crew. It was on that set that she met her now husband, Alex, who was the co-location manager. “Talk about getting to know someone; working in film is the best and fastest way,” she said. “From that film, I worked on back-to-back projects with Alex and started taking pictures on set and realized it was kind of a cool little niche.”
Four years ago, Alex was accepted into graduate school at the University of Southern California and Parise decided to make the move with him to pursue her career. “It made sense for both of our careers but being away from my family is the hardest part,” she said. “I have real ties [to the Five Towns] and I get to fly back several times a year to visit everyone which is nice but it’s still hard.”
Linda Barreira, Parise’s mom and the curator at Rock Hall Museum in Lawrence, was amazed when her daughter discovered her passion for set photography. “Her personality is unique and she’s invisible when she’s on set so people enjoy working with her because they don’t know she’s there and she does her job and does it well,” Barreira said. “Since moving out to California, she’s established herself, earned her reputation and is getting to work with really interesting people. It’s all very exciting and I’m very proud.”