Aspiring photographer, Sam Cohen, knows there must be more to life than helping his father run the family business in Cleveland, Ohio. He sets off for New York City and stumbles into an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the celebrity and art world of the 1980's.
He apprentices with "Johnny Strand the Photo Man" in a wacky commercial studio. Sam gets his big break a year later when he becomes the assistant to the world-famous photographer Izzy Teivel.
It is an auspicious start for Sam but reality sets in and dysfunction prevails. Izzy is revered by her fans, clients, and subjects but is unrealistically demanding to everyone, especially Sam, who finds himself questioning his choices and sanity.
The pressure manifests in nightmares of his father's past as a survivor of the death camps during the WWII Holocaust. Sam's guilt in leaving his family behind is triggered by Izzy's portrait assignment photographing the famous Jewish writers Elie Wiesel and I.B. Singer for Vanity Way magazine. Morally conflicted, Sam has to decide whether to return to Cleveland to help his estranged father and overprotective mother or to stay in New York City and pursue his dreams.