Michael Crichton for Money Magazine

Michael Crichton worked with Money Photo Editor Scott Lacey on two features for the August issue: “Invest: Homing in on Old Tech” and “Plan: Don’t Let a Crisis Crush You.” As Michael is well known for his fresh approach to still-life and his expertise with flight, he was the perfect photographer for these projects that involved a flying anvil and well, carrier pigeons.

The concept for the carrier pigeon shot was to support a discussion about tech investing. The excitement about new tech is warranted (FaceBook, Netflix and Twitter), but these companies wouldn’t and can’t exist without the old tech. The carrier pigeons represent the old tech and the scrolls, FaceBook, Netflix and Twitter the new tech.


“We had some fun with the pigeons. There were four pigeons and a handler, or in this case a wrangler. The shoot went surprisingly well – nothing several rolls of paper towels couldn’t clean up!” added Michael. “I would like to point out that no birds were harmed in the making of this shot and in fact they seemed quite at home to fly around the studio and roost up in the ceiling support beams while the handler tried to coax them back down. They were quite willing to fly for us, out of the shot of course!”

The anvil and parachute shot highlights a critical situation in the current landscape of financial planning. According to Bankrate.com only half of those making 75K or more have adequate savings in the event of an emergency such as job loss etc. The  parachute represents the inadequate savings and the anvil the emergency, the idea being the small parachute is clearly unable to deal with the massive anvil.