Monday, 7 January 2013

Bob Willoughby

Widely considered to be the first "Hollywood Special" photographer (an outside photographer hired in by the studios to document their productions for magazines such as Life and Look), Bob Willoughby captured some fantastic, iconic stills from classic films such as The Graduate, Rebel Without A Cause and Rosemary's Baby.
He perfected his craft by pouring over old magazines, and cutting out and studying the strongest shots of stars, which he would use as a starting point for his own photographs when on set. Of course, shooting actors on beautifully built, dressed and lit film sets is easier than in most situations, but Willoughby had a great knack for getting striking off-set portraits too, with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and James Dean caught in unguarded moments in beautifully composed photos. And some of his on-set photos, such as those on Who's Afraid Of Virgina Woolf?, have an amazing energy and atmosphere to them.
An exhibition, "On Set", showing some of his finest images, is on show at Fahey/Klein in Los Angeles until the end of January.