Icons of Hollywood

Before the advent of TV available to the masses, Hollywood ruled supreme and its stars were gods, both in the eyes of the studios and the public.

In today’s multi-media society it’s difficult to imagine life without TV trailers and web-hype, and yet the Hollywood stars became icons across the globe, helped in part by the photographs taken by the studios and some of the greatest portrait photographers of all time. Many of these images were career-defining for these actors and actresses and even today stand as supreme examples of the power of the photograph.


Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

The “Hollywood Portrait” was the film studio’s primary method of keeping the faces of the stars in the minds of their audiences, often involving dramatic lighting techniques, and the photographs were widely used in the fan magazines that existed during the time.


Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery’s holding an exhibition called Glamour Of The Gods – Hollywood Portraits” from 7 July to 23 October. It covers the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, from the 20s to the 60s and has stars from Greta Garbo and Clark Gable through to Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

For anyone interested in Hollywood it’s going to be a fanscinating exhibition, and for photographers it’s the opportunity to view classic images in print and to study the lighting and posing that makes a timeless image.


Bournemouth portrait photographer

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