My Afternoon with David Archuleta


One of the distinct pleasures of being a professional photographer is getting to meet the most fascinating people up close. In New York, while working with photographer Sante D’Orazio, I had the privilege of working with a number of celebrities, many of whom I personally admired and was happy to get to hang out with on set.  And boy, were there many stories! I will never forget the time I found myself alone in the makeup room with Diana Ross; Or the time I took a swig from Keith Richards’ vodka after a shoot for Rolling Stone Magazine; Or the day I helped James Taylor locate his wife, who went missing in Milk Studios.  And there were more — Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, the Victoria’s Secret Girls, Mickey Rourke, Faith Hill, Jennifer Garner (with Ben Affleck in tow), the list goes on.

Anyway, just recently, I was happy to receive a call from Ivory Records, asking me to shoot David Archuleta, who was in town recording an album of OPM hits (Original Pilipino Music).  I must mention right off the bat that I am a huge fan of David’s, and remember rooting for him when he was competing in American Idol in 2008 — so imagine my excitement to actually be working with him. By the way, did you know that he got 44 percent of some 97 million votes that season? Amazing.

Happy to share photos from my afternoon with David — Two days, actually. The first was in the recording studio, and the second was on location for his album cover shoot. Enjoy!

I walked into the studio that morning as David was recording his version of Side A's "Forevermore," the album's title track. Wow, this is even better than a front row seat, I told myself.

As David collaborated with songwriter Jimmy Antiporda in between takes, I instantly observed how David was charming, focused and a delight to work with.

In less than an hour, David completed recording "Forevermore," and immediately moved on to the next song.

David shares a light moment with his manager Kari Sellards, as they viewed a viral video of him interacting with "Vangie," the Pinoy virtual assistant.

On set for the album cover shoot, David was energetic, focused and professional, despite a hectic mall tour the day before.

Of course, there were the occasional bursts of laughter, which also produced some of the shoot's most memorable portraits.

I was excited to shoot this portrait because it represented the two things I love most about David — His music and his laughter.

Found this handsome jet-black mini-coop parked in the driveway and couldn't help using it for one of our shots.

The shoot went by smoothly, shot after shot, and before I knew it, David and I were off to our last outfit of the day.

Thanks for a wonderful afternoon, David and Kari! Hope to see you guys back in the Philippines again very soon!

Forevermore is released by Ivory Music. Here is the video of the album’s title track:

And in case you’re interested, here’s the video that Kari was showing David — You gotta love Vangie! Hahaha!


  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the article and the beautiful photos!! BTW all follow @DavidArchie on twitter – he can’t tweet during his church mission but Kari posts bit from his emails on his twitter. And check out David’s album Forevermore (iTunes, mymusicstore, WOWHD, Amazon, Multiply, and Astroplus stores).

  • Dayzee

    The photography for the Forevermore CD was terrific, showing so many facets of David’s personality. It was much appreciated. Thank you for sharing this finely illustrated back story.

  • Hello Balloon

    Hi Dayzee! The pleasure is mine… So glad you like the portraits. David is such a special and talented artist! :)

  • Hello Balloon

    You’re most welcome! Glad you like the photos! :)

  • Ally

    Those pictures are gorgeous! I loved seeing them on his album, and it’s great getting your behind-the-scenes recount of what went down whilst shooting them. Thanks for sharing, and for the awesome pictures!

  • rhed31

    thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. i loved your commentary as well.

  • Anela

    I love the album cover. Thanks for all the amazing pictures on the album. Great job.

  • Hanne ♥ ツ

    Thanks for sharing your “Afternoon with David Archuleta” with us!! Your picture are wonderful – they really embrace David – his voice, his laughter and his endearing personality! May he last FOREVERMORE ;)

  • Dorothy

    What a wonderful article you have written. To have the privilege to spend the day with David is no doubt one more memorable than all he others combined. I could b wrong about that, but with the graciousness that David is just so sweet to be around. thank you for your lovely words

  • VickiFOD

    Hey Arlu, loved your post and photos! I used a few in my Fans of David post today, and linked to your blog. Beautiful stuff!!

  • judie miller

    Really nice photos of David. His smile and his music are the epitome of David. Love how you captured his sweet nature.

  • abejoshlee

    I love how you added captions for each picture. You are pretty artistic. David is loved by so many Filipino professionals and die hard fans know he’s a real deal.

  • Linda Spivey

    Loved your photo shoots of this beautiful young man whom we love very much and will wait for him forevermore.

  • Hello Balloon

    Hi Vicki! Thanks for sharing the link on FOD! So glad you like the photos. It means a lot to me. :)

  • Hello Balloon

    Thanks for all the love, guys! Really feeling the love… So glad you like the post! Feel free to stay in touch! :)

  • Cindyluwho

    I know David is pretty awesome but you seem to be really cool too! Thanks for the lovely post and pictures!!

  • Van_Kyle

    Super Love it!!! :D

  • Applsauce03

    Oh wow you’re the one behind these gorgeous pics..they’re just perfect. You’re one amazing photographer!

  • Applsauce03

    just wow..!!

  • SherylNotCrow

    You are truly an amazing artist! You captured David beautifully….the depth we feel when looking at your work reflects him as a person and the moment. Hope you can work with him in the future! Welcome to the David-family! :)

  • WyzeArchie

    Loved the photos and your commentary! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Michelle G

    really loving your blog and photo shoot pics of David. What a special day for you. Thanks for sharing it with all of us! This means the World to all of us :) SO proud and happy to be a fan of David Forevermore :)

  • RD

    You have David all figured out….a wonderful young man with such an appreciation for life and others. Thanks for the great pics and the captions below them. Really enjoyed them.

  • RD

    Loved your pics of David as well as your commentary on each one. You’ve really captured what we love about David…his appreciation of life and his thoughtfulness of others.

  • Amy (in VA)

    Thanks so much for sharing your “afternoon with David” with all of us! He is so genuine and talented beyond belief. I always love seeing confirmation that he is the “real deal” so that those who have not had the pleasure of this experience with David can know it too. The photos are gorgeous! And you gotta love David’s advertisement for “Vangie.” He’s the best!