The BFA Founders

It is officially holiday events season, but there are four guys out there who know not of a season where events aren’t in full swing. Those guys are the founders of The Billy Farrell Agency: Billy Farrell, Neil Rasmus, David Prutting and Joe Schildhorn.

You can think of these guys as the gatekeepers to every ‘who’s who’ event on both coasts. They’re the guys snapping shots at any and every event worth going to – from magazine launches with Kendall Jenner to fundraisers with the Clintons. We caught up with the four of them on taking the perfect photograph, their favorite Instagram accounts, and what we all don’t know about one of their co-founders…

David X Prutting

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?  

For breakfast, an iced coffee from Joe, half of a coffee cake doughnut from Doughnut Plant, pineapple, watermelon, splitting a bowl of Cheerios with my son Lucas, and a croissant with eggs, bacon, and avocado (A big breakfast usually lasts an hour or two). Lunch happens faster than breakfast, so something quick is good. A Chicken Mole Torta from Cafe Habana with a Mexican Coca-Cola, or a Just Salad California Chopped Salad and an Acai Lemonade from Argo Tea. If I had to choose a last meal (for dinner), it would be delicious lasagna from my Aunt Laura in Mount Kisco.

Your favorite thing to capture in a photograph… 

Joy or sorrow; both are beautifully expressed in natural moments.

Your favorite thing to see at an event…

People vibe-ing one another and genuinely enjoying each other’s company – not keeping to themselves or in small groups. This most often happens at an event turned dance party where people let go of pretense and just groove.

What’s a personal grooming item you can’t live without? 

My friend, hairstylist Jordan Blackmore, owner of Three Squares Studio, gave me this Oribe styling crème that I savor. It smells great and handles my unruly frizzy curls pretty damn well.

Where do you want to travel that you’ve never been before?

Greece

Your favorite restaurants in NYC and LA…

In LA, I love my Vietnamese go-to spot, Nong La, near the BFA apartment. A-Frame is a cool spot as well (although no longer a secret). I met the chef Roy Choi years ago through our client Bon Appetit; he is a real talent and true Angelino.

In NY, Carbone, because deep down when I eat I love to embrace the 50% Italian in me. The experience there is authentic. Lots of wine, lots of pasta. Bliss. Corner Bistro is a staple for a classic monster NY burger and cold beer. Boom.

Your favorite Instagram account…

Either @magnumphotos or @mistermort. Neither compromises what they stand for.

The person you want to take a photograph of that you haven’t gotten to yet…

I’d really love to photograph President Obama because I believe, no matter what his politics are, he is a powerful and iconic person of our time. He’s smart too, and if possible I would love to talk with him. I did do a few pictures of Michelle once when they were campaigning and she was so refined – an elegant, very sweet person.

One funny thing we don’t know about one of your co-founders?

Billy makes all types of disgusting sound effects and uses them to make you uncomfortable. It’s his humor. Also he is a pitch perfect whistler and will rub that fact in your face. He’s also a stickler for pronunciation and constantly corrects me and others. Slightly annoying but useful.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato in terms of events? 

I love how now a lot of the events blend the art, fashion, and music worlds together. So to me, cultural diversity is hip – and collaborations are hip if done right.

Dave wears Topman jacket, Rochambeau pants, and Vans shoes

Joe Schildhorn 

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

Breakfast would consist of eggs, sausage, bacon, French toast, pancakes, potatoes and an English muffin. Lunch is a burger from JG Melon. Dinner is lasagna and fish, ending with Tiramisu.

Your favorite thing to capture in a photograph…

A beautiful landscape.

Your favorite thing to see at an event…

A performance if there is one. If not, then all of the beautiful girls!

What’s a personal grooming item you can’t live without?  

My electric razor. I am too lazy to take a real shave.

Where do you want to travel that you’ve never been before?

The beautiful beaches in Asia.

Your favorite restaurants in NYC and LA… 

JG Melon, Shabu-Tatsu, Ballato, Blue Ribbon Fried ChickenMiss Lily’s, Anassa Taverna, Ginza, Café Mogador, Cafe Orlin, Jules, and Hampton Maid in Montauk.

Your favorite Instagram account…

@lxprutting

The person you want to take a photograph of that you haven’t gotten to yet…

President Obama.

One funny thing we don’t know about one of your co-founders?

Neil once sent the office rent check back to our office and not to the rental office. So Neil. 

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato in terms of events? 

I would say having a photo booth, and the coolest, newest one is “BFA BOX” by BFA of course!

Joe wears Greats shoes, Diesel jeans, Alternative shirt, Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket, and Cole Haan glasses.

Billy Farrell

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

For breakfast, fresh watermelon and a strong black coffee. For lunch, a lobster roll (Connecticut style). For dinner, a home-cooked meal by my new super wife Bethanie Brady, and for dessert, Talenti vanilla bean gelato in bed while watching a David Attenborough narrated nature show.

Your favorite thing to capture in a photograph…

Nice eyes

Your favorite thing to see at an event…

A pool

What’s a personal grooming item you can’t live without? 

My toothbrush

Where do you want to travel to, that you’ve never been before?

Lhasa, Tibet

Your favorite restaurants in NYC and LA…

In New York, Brasserie Les Halles. In Los Angeles, Odys + Penelope.

Your favorite Instagram account…

@BFA

The person you want to take a photograph of that you haven’t gotten to yet…

Steve Jobs

One funny thing we don’t know about one of your co-founders? 

Joe is a bottomless pit when it comes to his appetite. We have a common saying, “Joe likes to eat.” We’ll be going into an important business meeting and without fail, Joe will say something like, “Is anybody else hungry?” But it’s ironic, because he’s the skinniest one of our bunch.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato in terms of events? 

“Step-and-Repeat” backdrops made from shrubbery, privet hedge or rose petals.

Billy wears Cole Haan shoes, H&M pants, Banana Republic jacket, and TOMS glasses.

Neil Rasmus

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Coffee and cereal for breakfast, soup and a sandwich for lunch, and pork for dinner.

Your favorite thing to capture in a photograph…

People laughing.

Your favorite thing to see at an event…

I love to see performances by artists that are thrilled to be hired for what they love to do. For example, the performance artists at Allison Sarofim’s annual Halloween party always seem honored and excited to be performing and not afraid of the camera or the crowd. Too often performances feel like business as usual for the performers.

What’s a personal grooming item you can’t live without?

Does Dr. Bronner’s count? I don’t have go-to grooming products. Maybe Skin Food for dry skin and Aquaphor for dry lips.

Where do you want to travel that you’ve never been before?

Cuba and Salvador, Brazil.

Your favorite restaurants in NYC and LA…

In New York, I love Jules for a burger and jazz. Jules never fails as long as you’re there for the music.

Your favorite Instagram account…

@oterodan, especially with the new addition. Honestly, @BFA is my favorite Instagram feed.

The person you want to take a photograph of that you haven’t gotten to yet…

Tom Waits

One funny thing we don’t know about one of your co-founders

David X Prutting can break dance.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato in terms of events?

I think the biggest compliment someone can give a party these days is “Wow, this party feels like New York back in the day.” Any time a party features unplanned moments, indoor smoking, no visible bodyguards, limited photography, low lighting and loud music it starts to feel like its not just one big planned corporate objective. I think a lot of people are nostalgic for the unpredictability of parties past. I wasn’t around for Studio 54, but even when I started twelve years ago you’d see celebrities behaving badly. Now with social media and the feeling that cameras (or the wrong cameras) are everywhere, it gets more and more difficult for things to get wild. So I guess unpredictability would be The New Potato of events.

Neil wears Vans shoes, Levis jeans, Belstaff jacket, and Master & Dynamic headphones.

Hosting a party? Find out how to be a good hostess. Photographer Liz Collins also gave us some great photo tips. 

*David X Prutting, Billy Farrell, Neil Rasmus and Joe Schildhorn, photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.