Tony Duran has an eye for Jennifer Lopez. And Ben Affleck.
The photographer, 35, who happens to be J.Lo’s primary photographer, recently had a show at the Roxy in New York that spotlighted his famous subject. He also just happened to have snapped Affleck’s Sexiest Man Alive cover for PEOPLE this year — all while Lopez was sitting just feet away, getting her makeup done.
“She said, ‘Ben, why don’t you go take some pictures with Tony?'” recalls Duran, 35. So the photog placed Affleck in a corner a few feet from Lopez, and within a few minutes, the shots were done without the help of formal lighting.
Duran — whose Lopez photos appear in the new American Photo magazine — considers Affleck one of the smartest people he knows. And despite the hot love affair between Jen and Ben, Duran has not noticed any change in his muse — whom he has known since the late ’90s, when, as he says, they “were both zeros.”
The Duran-Lopez link first began when he made a list of stars he wanted to photograph. Lopez came after No. 1 choice Winona Ryder, whom he selected because he hails from Winona, Minn.) Two days after compiling the list, Lopez met Duran through a mutual friend in South Beach, and “I felt connected in the first second,” recalls Duran. “She’s easy.”
Their first photo session ended up on the cover of Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine. When Duran moved to Australia soon after, Lopez soared to fame with the movie “Selena,” which led to Duran’s taking her picture for her CD “On the 6.” And so it has remained.
“She trusts me and respects me and what I do, and vice versa,” says Duran, who lives in Southern California’s tony Bel Air community. “I never wanted anything from her and I think she knows that I like doing what I do.”
Why not? As he says about the ease at which his favorite subject takes to a shoot: “If I pick up a camera, she’ll fly around in a G-string — while 99 percent of everyone else won’t do it.”