Snapshots of the Famous by the Famous

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Bill Cosby By Dennis Hopper

There is a raw, metaphysical power in snapshots that cannot be denied.
Throughout my career I have been hired or commissioned to create very specific technical photos. There are lights and crews and mechanics involved – and while it’s incredibly creative – it’s also complicated. There is a purity and undeniable power in a snapshot. I recently came across these stunning snapshots (via Flavorwire), spanning 50 years, shot by the likes of Lady Gaga and Andy Warhol. The subjects are their equally famous friends. Click through some of the image tabs above to see some great examples of snapshots of the famous – by the famous.

We are approaching critical mass of cameras in our culture. They are nearly ubiquitous. Point and shoot cameras, web cameras, surveillance cameras, DSLR cameras, and particularly mobile phones. Celebrating that we can now be whimsically, instantly, in-the-moment free to be more creative than ever before, is something that I have enjoyed playing with. Some of my recent work (Dasein:Invitation to Hang) has come to rest not in the artistic exploration of what creativity these devices afford, but specifically the content of the snapshot images that spring from them. Like it or not, the snapshot has become the most meaningful visual storyboard we have of our ‘being’ in the world because it is pure, direct, unmediated visual expression. It refreshingly lacks academic influence or vogue and invites accessibility and participation. The intention to capture a moment is fundamentally present but not over thought. There is an innocence in snapshots, a marked lack of sophistication, that resonates in today’s media landscape off well-orchestrated “messaging.” Snapshots of the famous by the famous…who better to demonstrate the raw power of a snapshot?

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For more of these snapshots and some great commentary on the celebrity side of this story head over to Flavorwire, where I discovered these snapshots.

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Colum Graham #54:”What was the original point of his post? For me, it still remains valid.”If you are refering to his leading post, that seems to be about reinforcing his strong belief, there is a “conspiracy” taking place, but some people are not buying into it.He then continued on with some fairly emotional and not very factual rants, in defence of his theories.I am not about point scoring. I am jst asking for some objectivity and maybe some proof, that things are, or are not, as Jim claims.It is sad, this whole mess is fast bringing Thailand down to the level of a “failed state”.But, it is not going to get better, if people like Jim (who by his occupation, certainly has more power ,than someone like me) use flimsy heresay as reality.Isn’t that after all, part of what is wrong in this country, where the mass media are either lazy, ill-informed, or just playing a certain line, fed to them by their various patrons?

Romeo Hauffe says:

johnfernquest: “That they’ve learned to **not kill** people in certain contexts is noteworthy and praiseworthy.” When they learn not to kill civilians in contexts such as Tak Bai maybe then they deserve some praise. To praise them for at the moment not ” hav[ing] thrown a monkey wrench in the works but they didn’t” seems giving them way, way too much credit. Historically, they are unworthy of praise or respect. Presently, one act of (presumed) good judgment hardly constitutes an historical watershed.

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Thorn:Well, Princess Bajarakitiyabha actually also got an undergraduate law degree from Thammasat with “second” class honours. This degree, I think, is more associated with her than her pol.sci degree from Sukhothai Thammatirat.

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Most of the Reds believe that the King ordered the military to kill them. Whether he is the one who ordered’ or not, I do not know. But what I know is that he remained silent despite realising that his army was out killing his own people, yet he did nothing to stop them despite the fact that it is his duty to stop. Thus his silence, or his acquiescence to the killing (if you want to put it that way) has shamed the Monarchy beyond repair. My mum used to love the King very much. Up until last year she hung the pictures of the King and Queen on the wall. After all these events, however, she threw those pictures in a bin.

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arcadius says:

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Sergiu says:

It”s also probably the most authentic form of photography now, in the age of the vital role of post-processing.

Jim says:

Methinks that most of these shots are badly out of focus..Methinks they stink.

c.d.embrey says:

Juergen Teller and Terry Richardson are two top pro photographers who have been shooting snapshots since the 1990s. Their work has graced the covers of W, Harpers Bazaar, Rolling Stone and various Vogue editions.They have snapshoted many ads for luxery brands such as Marc Jacobs and Belvedere Vodka.

The ubiquitousness of cameras has changed the perception of photos for the average person. Regulat folks, are taking lotsa pix with their P&S or Smart Phone. Unlike Serious Amatuers, who use DSLRs, they are not put-off by snapshots.

brett says:

very nice promotion chase, are you paying usage on these pics or just joining the fair use bandwagon? shame!

Jon Brooke says:

Is it April 1st already?

Normally I share your aesthetic Chase, but this pic by Lady Gaga is truly awful – it’s not even a lucky shot by someone with no technical ability – it’s an unlucky shot by someone with no technical ability, and should have been deleted on the spot. Apart from being blown out in a particularly horrible way I find the bag hovering above her hand to be totally jarring and a distraction.

Sure it’s somebody famous (I guess – actually I’m not really sure who Lindsay Lohan is) but she ain’t Marylin Monroe.

This is definitely a case of Emperor’s new clothes.

Just rubbish.

brett says:

but ..you dont think that chase compiled this post?

Ed says:

Gotta agree with Cris on this one. There’s nothing in the Lohan pic for me, doesn’t matter whether it’s of and by a famous person or not.

Sergio says:

The Sinatra pic is amazing.

Adam Parsons says:

wow Cris I couldn’t disagree more.

The mutually respected innocence the camera captures is what’s so incredible.
Too often it’s ‘the photographer and the star’. If I was to get shot by Chas, my smile and mind would be caught in the persona of being photographed by someone so gifted in his craft…. if you look closely that’s what’s so gorgeous.

Look at the peace in Lohan’s face. The knowledge that she’s not being shot as “a star” but just a mutual caring soul.
You can see the same with Warhol and McKellen…. You almost can’t tell who might be more enamored with who… or even if they care about all that ‘famous’ bullshit anyways!!!

The shots are raw – yes, but capture in a way that makes my heart fill. Thanks for the post Chas. That was rockin’!…. almost as much as Reignwolf yesterday… Holy crap… did y’all catch THAT!!!!?

Josh says:

Bang on Adam! Agreed 100%

Spender007 says:

yawn…snapshots
yawn…boring uninformed opinions of sheep
yawn…this entire site oozes blandness
yawn…at you silly septics who assume you are blessed with talent. You’re mistaken.

Cris says:

Although some of the older photos are great, this Lohan photo doesn’t do much for me.

Yes, she’s famous… Yes, Gaga is famous… The eyes are good, the hand is interesting, but the blown-out fish-face isn’t all that intriguing.

If you take away the names of the photographer and subject you’re left with a MySpace photo.

Dawg says:

Agreed, this is the one that really stands out as being weak to me. The Sinatra shot is also fairly average as a shot, very amateurish.

faisal says:

But its the effort which needs to be appreciated ;-)

icewater says:

that’s why its called snaphots… don’t expect too much.

I’ll have to agree with Cris…I fear this is another example of the cult of celebrity rather than a good portrait. Seeing so many similar images of Lohan by Terry Richardson, I’m not really drawn to this at all. Without Lohan’s name, it’s nothing at all.
Cosby, tho…love it.

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