When photographing a famous person, world renowned snapper Gregory Heisler uses one simple tactic to get the ball rolling: “I tell them I need their help to make the portrait a success and that I can’t do it alone.”

The American has seen many star faces through his lens, from Hollywood, politics and sport. His most bewitching portraits, some of which are here, can be seen in an exhibition titled 50 Portaits at the Gulf Photo Plus gallery this month.

How do you put your subjects at ease? It’s like a trip to the dentist for them, so I tell them what to expect and how long it will take. Once they know the game plan, it tends to allay their fears.

How do you put your subjects at ease? Do you chat, tell jokes, play music? I’m very chatty, friendly and, hopefully, amusing, but I don’t tell jokes because they take too long. Music can make it difficult to concentrate and communicate during the shoot, so if it’s there, it’s in the background. I prefer my subjects to focus on the shoot.

Your photo of George Bush caused distress at the White House. Looking back, how do you feel about the shot? I’m still very proud of that portrait. I feel his displeasure was mostly caused by the somewhat critical context in which it appeared. Had the article said that he’s twice as great as any other president, or does the work of two men, he’d have probably asked for a framed copy for his office at the White House.

March 6 to April 19
GPP Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, free. Tel: (04) 3808545. Taxi: Near Ace Hardware. gulfphotoplus.com