Now it was time to work the visual vernacular for his own debut work. Puff Daddy and the Family released their debut album, No Way Out on July 1, 1997. It was the apex of a moment in hip hop. Diddy chose Michael Benabib to photograph the cover.
“By this time I had known Puffy for five years. I met him during that infamous time when he was an intern at uptown records shaking it up,” recalls Benabib, a native New Yorker. “I was the unofficial staff photographer for Uptown records so I met Puffy when he was just an intern there. I would see him on video sets, in clubs, everywhere – he was involved in everything. He was so enterprising.”
That enterprising spirit and zero fucks attitude would serve Sean Combs well. “To stand out in that music crowd of the 90’s, you had to be charismatic and you had to be relentless in your vision. It was really a special time.He would often have me do shoots at 2am. Puffy would work all night and then want to do a photo shoot afterwards. He was always on.”