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Celebrities who love photography

By dpreview staff on May 1, 2013 at 18:23 GMT

The overwhelming majority of photographers, even those who derive income from their images, practice the craft alongside their primary gig. And celebrities are no different. While they certainly have fewer budget constraints than the rest of us and easy access to fellow A-listers, there are quite a few with real talent who take their photography seriously. Here's a look at three of them. (via PhotographyTalk.com)

Bryan Adams

Mia Goth. © Copyright Bryan Adams. All rights reserved.

Canadian-born Grammy and Oscar-nominated singer, songwriter and composer Bryan Adams has developed a photography career that easily stands on its own. His images have been published in numerous fashion and style magazines, he's shot major advertising campaigns and has exhibited in galleries in Europe and North America. You can see his work here.

Andy Summers

© Andy Summers. All Rights Reserved.

Best known as guitarist in the band The Police, Summers has composed a number of film scores, released three books of black and white photography and has exhibited internationally. You can see a selection of his work here.

Jeff Bridges

On the set of True Grit. © Jeff Bridges. All Rights Reserved.

Actor Jeff Bridges has been an avid photographer since his teen years and over the last couple of decades has taken to documenting his time on film sets with a Widelux 35mm panorama format camera. He published a collection of these images in 2003 and is represented by a US gallery. You can see a selection of his recent work here.

Comments

Total comments: 66
nawknai
By nawknai (11 months ago)

My only consolation is that I have more music talent than Bryan Adams.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (11 months ago)

I think the book was called Shooting Stars, Grace Kelly on the cover. The good old days when everyone aspired to a Rolleiflex.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
efeibush
By efeibush (11 months ago)

Let's not forget Sammy Davis Jr. Even though he had great backstage access to the "Rat Pack" some of his back stage images were excellent. He was able to capture some of the greats while perfecting available light B&W techniques.

0 upvotes
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (11 months ago)

These are fun, but...

I have access to similar subjects in political arenas in some of my corporate work and one exercise I always employ in editing is to think of the image as if it were a bit more mainstream, less exclusive in terms of access and then look at it again. 8/10 times, it is the exclusivity of the subject rather than the talent behind the shot that got it in the 1st and 2nd round of the edit.

I would love to see these same photographers take on more pedestrian subjects, then post them anonymously in a place like Flickr or even here for critique and see what happens. I bet the difference in reaction to the work would vary quite a bit

2 upvotes
LJ - Eljot
By LJ - Eljot (11 months ago)

The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions.

4 upvotes
chj
By chj (11 months ago)

Well if I had access to Bryan Adams' subjects, my photos would be fabulous also! Just kidding, he's clearly got talent and skill.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
108
By 108 (11 months ago)

yeah, Bryan Adams. ..this is not photography, this is fashion, already done, cooked and overcooked a thousand times.
Andy Summers is a different, and better story.

0 upvotes
Imagefoundry
By Imagefoundry (11 months ago)

when Bryan Adams embarked on his photography quest there was this huge ripple in the force, as Canadian fashion industry collectively rolled their eyes.

just a sheer amount of snide remarks back then...haha, good times!

But then everyone realized that it's all about backstage access and BA can pull off stuff other people simply can't. So it's not all waste, although I am personally not a fan.

0 upvotes
CTaylorTX
By CTaylorTX (11 months ago)

The professional wrestler "Killer" Kowalski was a remarkable portraitist. Some of his studio shots of fellow wrestlers are legendary within the sport.

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (11 months ago)

LOL, this Bryan Adams guy has talent and access to everyone it seems.

0 upvotes
reid thaler
By reid thaler (11 months ago)

Amazingly, no mention of Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. A pioneering printer whose iris printer is in the Smithsonian Institute:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Nash

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
leicaman
By leicaman (11 months ago)

I agree. I know Graham and Mac Holbert. They practically invented digital printing. Too bad he is no longer controlling Nash Editions. He and Mac did get their original IRIS prointer aquired by the Smithsonian. Both he and Mac are both very humble and knowledgeable guys. Graham is a good shooter as well. How they would omit him is unfathomable.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
FredSpain
By FredSpain (11 months ago)

And there is one singer-writer-composer who made a song for a film: Paul Simon who wrote "Kodachrome".

0 upvotes
SteveNunez
By SteveNunez (11 months ago)

Carmen Elektra is an avid Canon shooter.

0 upvotes
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (11 months ago)

Finding out that Bryan Adams is an awesome photographer reminds me of the time I found out Clint Eastwood was an awesome jazz pianist. You just got *that* much cooler.

8 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (11 months ago)

Eastwood is more than just a good pianist. He has written the scores for quite a few of his films. Very capable guy, Clint.

1 upvote
carla99
By carla99 (11 months ago)

Joel Gray also. Had a show at the Museum of the City of New York

0 upvotes
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (11 months ago)

Nikki Sixx and Richard Gere also

0 upvotes
Roadtripper
By Roadtripper (11 months ago)

All these jealous remarks...where's the "DISLIKE" button?

4 upvotes
Ladisai
By Ladisai (11 months ago)

Yuka Osawa is also a photographer. If you know who she is... ;-)

0 upvotes
mrb375
By mrb375 (11 months ago)

New York Knicks 7' center Wilson Chandler also enjoys photography

0 upvotes
photo_rb
By photo_rb (11 months ago)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Alan Arbus of M*A*S*H fame, who died the other day. He and his wife Diane had a photography business before he became an actor and she went on to a solo career.

1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (11 months ago)

He had an interesting life. I always liked the MASH episodes he was in, the ones where he was listening to their problems. He was remarkably convincing, and seemed a lot younger than he was. I was very surprised by his age when he died, and had no idea before then that he had been married to Diane Arbus.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (11 months ago)

Awesome! All three of these guys rule!!

1 upvote
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (11 months ago)

The geezer from Motley Crue (sp?) .. http://www.nikki-sixx.com/photography/

He even bought a tripod back in his D2X days :o at the shop where I worked .... and the girl in the picture was pretty much speechless during the sale :D

Geez, trying to post this pic in near impossible :o maybe, if at all interested, you have to copy and paste the link ??? [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v121/JSimpson/PAMtheRockStarandaTripod-July28-200.jpg[/IMG]

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (11 months ago)

nice article....

0 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (11 months ago)

Holy sh!t,

That Bryan Adams is actually REALLY REALLY good, surprisingly good in fact.

Bravo to him.

P.S.
I have just been taking a further look, it seems he is actually something of a pro photographer; he has exhibitions of his work and has shot for Vogue and other leading publications.

Really cool. It''s great to see a famous person getting good assignments because they are actually good at photography rather than because ...............they're famous.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

Don't tell me...don't tell me. Ashton Kutcher and his Coolpix. Ha ha ha!

3 upvotes
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (11 months ago)

If only Bryan Adams had stuck to photography and saved us from his irritating music

9 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

Now that cut him like a knife.

8 upvotes
1MPXL
By 1MPXL (11 months ago)

Bryan Adams music made his fame and millions. The reason he can get a the gear he wants without stressing the bank. If he would have listen to you he might ended up just like u now - looking at gear stuff in dpreview which you will never have and just dream about it.

9 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (11 months ago)

The comment is about the music, calm down dear...

0 upvotes
John Driggers
By John Driggers (11 months ago)

Interesting that many "celebrities" are in the photo news for controlling access to photo opps with them, yet are happy to push their photos out and to use celebrity status/access to shoot where other photographers would not be allowed. That being said, the fairness of that has little to do with whether they have talent as photographers-many do. I guess it's a little like celebrities being political spokespersons or endorsers. Some do their research and really bring something intellectual to the political debate--others are just along for the ride. Some celebrity photographers bring talent to their work--others are just hacks. As for my opinion-I've been a fan of Jeff Bridges' work for some time. And I'm willing to look at anyone's photos and let the pictures speak for themselves. I have, perhaps, a little higher bar for celebrity photographers because I think it's easier for them to get their photos out there than it is for Joe Sixpack. But good photos will always be good photos.

1 upvote
Anepo
By Anepo (11 months ago)

Man having all that money from acting gets you some serious pro gear and makes it a piece of cake to afford travelling to places to photograph, i dont even own a car nor have a license, its just to expensive today. Plus ALL my money is being slowely invested into gear for my omd, got the 25mm 1.4 and 45mm 1.8 so far, really happy with them both.

0 upvotes
mark_ken9820
By mark_ken9820 (11 months ago)

Oh so that Bryan Adam IS that Bryan Adams...

0 upvotes
Woodlink
By Woodlink (11 months ago)

I'd be more impressed if they were photogs who became famous actors and not the other way around?

Sure, some of these folks take great pics, but darn, they also get access to places and people that NO ONE else does.

Bryan Adams site is virtually a People magazine shoot.

Fun, sure, but big deal.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (11 months ago)

Woodlink, I see what you mean.

It's easier to build a strong portfolio if a trip to Iceland, a chat with Steven Spielberg and a 80mp Phase One costs you literally nothing. I know sure, it's easier, and I agree on that.

What I disagree is taking away Bryan Adrams's artistic meretic as a photographer. Taking away his hability to SEE.

I didn't know he was a photographer before reading this article, but a quick visit at his site made me realize he's a world class skilled one.

He's just more than a professional singer, shooting for hobby on weekends.

He could make a living as a HIGH END, world class photographer, if he wasn't a world class singer in the first place.

I dare to say his people photography portfolio is better than 99,5% portfolios you see from real working photographers (me included).

I felt humbled seeing his site.

There's tons of talent involved in his shots, I really mean tons of it.

We should show some respect, his work is trully remarkable.

13 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (11 months ago)

Viggo mortensen, he was a photographer before becoming a famous actor

0 upvotes
Matei H
By Matei H (11 months ago)

Marcio,
I agree.
In my humble opinion he's probably a better photographer than he ever was a singer.

2 upvotes
Woodlink
By Woodlink (11 months ago)

good points Marcio.

he is very good at his craft but he never sat in a rice paddy like Charlie Haughey.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (11 months ago)

Vogue isn't big on rice paddy shots. It's just a different segment of the business. He's been a success because he'd good.

1 upvote
gurgeh
By gurgeh (11 months ago)

Viggo Mortensen, most famous for playing Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings, is also a photographer (and musician and poet among other things). I think he's published quite a few photography books.

4 upvotes
jedinstvo
By jedinstvo (11 months ago)

Alan Arkin and Harry Belafonte are avid photographers and Leica collectors. Same with the late Sonny Bono. Senator Barry Goldwater enjoyed photographing the Southwest with his Leica in his spare time. Frank Sinatra had boxing photos published in Time and Life. The list goes on....

1 upvote
burbis
By burbis (11 months ago)

Elton John is one of the largest collectors of fine art photography in the world.

0 upvotes
stratplaya
By stratplaya (11 months ago)

At least Adams uses color as well.

1 upvote
Managarm
By Managarm (11 months ago)

Leonard NIMOY!

Seeing is believing...

http://www.rmichelson.com/Artist_Pages/Nimoy/pages/MaxBeaut.htm

4 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (11 months ago)

I just threw-up, a little bit; in my mouth.

0 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (11 months ago)

Dafuq?

0 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (11 months ago)

Moby: http://www.moby.com/photos

Seal: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sealsong/

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
trac63
By trac63 (11 months ago)

Here in Canada we're constantly force-fed Brian Adams' photography, and quite frankly the guy's portraits are not very good.

A good portrait evokes a sense of who the subject is. Adams does the opposite: he masks his subject with phoney costumes, make-up and backgrounds, then clobbers the entire image with harsh, one-dimensional lighting.

1 upvote
gwales
By gwales (11 months ago)

I had a look at his photos and they look over-processed.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (11 months ago)

That's what most fashion photography looks like. A shot of a model in the latest fashions is not intended to probe the model's psyche. It's not a portrait. She (maybe he) is there to make the clothes look good. She has to be gorgeous, but in the most superficial way. Mother Theresa would have been a lousy fashion model.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (11 months ago)

It is nice to see some of these people showcasing their talents rather than telling us their ups and downs of their drug and alcohol addictions.

Character is part of a resume.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Kenny Rogers is a very skilled photographer. The guy from The Police does books. Given their access to interesting subject matter, it might be difficult to find celebrities who don't take great photos.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (11 months ago)

Sadly, it's never that hard to find people (even famous ones) who take poor photos. ;-)

5 upvotes
francesco from rome
By francesco from rome (11 months ago)

I am always fascinated by the variety of approaches to photography. Today I discovered the existence of panorama format camera. Thanks for pointing out these links.

1 upvote
Silat Shooter
By Silat Shooter (11 months ago)

Ann Curry too!

0 upvotes
Silat Shooter
By Silat Shooter (11 months ago)

Brad Pitt, I have read is an avid Leica shooter.

0 upvotes
RideLD
By RideLD (11 months ago)

How about Graham Nash?

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Ian
By Ian (11 months ago)

It looks like we've killed Bryan Adams server, Andy Summers site is definitely NSFW, and Jeff Bridges has created what is possibly the most annoying site I have ever been to. Still trying to figure out how to view even one of his photos...

1 upvote
fyngyrz
By fyngyrz (11 months ago)

I suggest we use a new acronym: NSFP "Not Safe For Prudes"

Because it isn't just work these sites are unsafe for, and it is strictly prudery that defines the "problem"

I can think of few things as beautiful as the human body; nor few things as basically wrongheaded as viewing it, and/or sexuality, or lack thereof, as unsafe, improper, or anything else along those lines.

NSFP. Yep. Much closer to the mark.

1 upvote
Ian
By Ian (11 months ago)

Certainly not a prude here, not at all. But I am looking at this at work, and in today's litigation crazy corporate world, it's not a great idea to look at nudity on your monitor at work. If not wanting to get fired and being a prude are one and the same, I'm confused. I was just warning others to be discrete at work, or wait till they get home to view his work.

7 upvotes
Woodlink
By Woodlink (11 months ago)

looked at his site today...cute concept, way too cute.

0 upvotes
Mark B.
By Mark B. (11 months ago)

Completely agree with Ian; NSFW is absolutely legitimate. I'd hate to have brought up Andy Summers' site during my lunch break and have my boss or a female worker glimpse one of his nudes. It has nothing to do with being prudish and everything to do with having images on the screen that, right or wrong, could be misconstrued as well as breaking the rules at my workplace. If you work at a workplace with an open policy and women that aren't going to take offense if you have nude images on your screen, more power to you. Most places of business do not have such an open policy.

0 upvotes
uuronl
By uuronl (11 months ago)

Howard Stern should be mentioned. He actually does lots of ad and cover work.

1 upvote
mike kobal
By mike kobal (11 months ago)

not to forget Dennis Hopper who also happened to be an amazing photographer, most actors/actresses I have photographed take photos and love photography in general

4 upvotes
Total comments: 66