Willem Dafoe photographed by Brad Trent

August 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Willem Dafoe photographed by Brad Trent. I was lucky to hear Willem Dafoe speak with the audience at a recent screening of Shadow of the Vampire in Cleveland’s Cinemateque. Here Brad takes us behind the scenes on his recent photo shoot for The Wall Street Journal.

Damn Ugly Photography

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As a young photographer, I had this very dreamy, romanticized idea of what it must be like to shoot celebrities. One of my early photography idols was Bert Stern, and I just figured every shoot with a celebrity might end up like his famous session with Marilyn Monroe where they locked themselves in a suite at the Bel-Air Hotel for three days with a case of ’53 Dom Perignon, a couple of cameras and a few props, and emerged totally spent but with a collection of amazing photographs. But I moved to New York a couple of decades later…just about the time when shoots like that were becoming increasingly controlled by managers, publicists, agents and the studio P/R machine. Ideas had to be pre-approved and even then it didn’t mean you would get to do them. And three days? More like five minutes…

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