Celebrity photographer Tom Munro has published a new book of fabulous, classy pictures of various A-list celebrities including Christian Bale (above), Lady Gaga, The Queen Madonna, and Johnny Depp. Along with every picture is text written by Munro about the subjects and his experience photographing them. Munro offers very interesting perspectives on all of the celebrities featured and my favorite was what he had to say about Gaga as he pretty much hits the nail on the head.
To see more pictures and quotes come inside….
On Christian Bale:
“I shot him 10 years ago in my apartment against a white wall,” Munro says. “I think that’s all I could afford at the time. Budgetary decision! I remember being quite nervous. As a photographer, you are exposed to different situations, and over time you become more comfortable with them.”
In contrast to the oversized personalities he captures, “I’m an introvert,” says the reserved Brit. “I’m studious in the way that I work. Madonna always teases me, calls me a bit of a nerd, which I confess to being.”
Munro began his career as an assistant to renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel. When he ventured out on his own two years later, he had a book full of images and knew the right people to show them to. In less than a year, he was shooting top models like Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen.
The first major star he shot was Johnny Depp in 2001. “I was pretty nervous, yeah,” admits Munro, 45. “Now I feel very comfortable and enjoy shooting celebrities. Initially, I was out of my comfort zone. You have to be more graceful and accommodating [with celebs].”
He must be doing something right, because now the stars request him for their shoots. “I’m there to do a job, not necessarily trying to befriend everyone. I think celebrities find that comforting . . . I try to respect their privacy,” he says.
On Leonardo DiCaprio:
This photo of Leonardo DiCaprio in 2006 caught mid-conversation, forefinger raised, over lunch at the terrace of the Chateau Marmont, looks like a candid shot. But, in fact, it’s completely posed. “That was fake,” Munro admits. “The idea was to create a candid portrait. I don’t think he was actually talking to anyone. I wanted to create some type of animation, so the gesturing with the hand, the fake lunch/breakfast — all props. He seems pretty comfortable [in front of] the camera — I’ve been fortunate that most people I’ve shot are.”
On Johnny Depp:
“He was the first celeb I shot, in 2001 in Montreal,’’ Munro says. “He walked in looking like that. The shoot was for Details, and the editor said, ‘Let’s just shoot him like he is.’ So we shot him as he came, and that’s 100 percent Johnny.”
On Lady Gaga:
“Obviously she’s very image-conscious. She understands pictures, and who she is, and who she wants to be. I would say that she’s quite an eccentric character and very smart. I think that’s really who she is, I don’t think it’s something she’s manufacturing.
“She was quite quiet [at the shoot]. I think she was pretty tired, her schedule is probably hectic. She was focused on what we were doing.
“What we tried to do [for these photos] was take her out of character, but she’s so connected to it that that didn’t work out.
“It’s refreshing to see someone exploring that side and not doing it in a calculated way for shock factor. I think she’s very comfortable in her role.”
“She does look relaxed here… I think that’s a function of how I approach subjects. I’m quite reserved, so the pictures that I take are often more studies, and less spontaneous.
“We shot in a studio in New York. She was pretty quiet. Not the Beyonce that you see as a performer that we all know. Very beautiful and friendly, though.”
On Dustin Hoffman:
“This was the first time we’d met, in 2007, and one of the most memorable shoots I’d done,” Munro says. “We just really clicked. It was really about his sense of humor. There was a point when he thought it would be a fun competition to see who had the biggest nose. Who won? I think it might have been a draw . . . It was Dustin’s idea to hang from the hoop — there was a ladder we pulled away. Those are his dogs. They weren’t sure what was going on.”
When Munro first met Madonna, as a lowly photo assistant, he didn’t even speak to her. Now pals, she asked him to direct two videos for her — “a huge leap of faith . . . because I hadn’t done it before,” says Munro. Madonna returns the love: “To have your picture taken by Munro is kind of like smoking a bubblegum cigarette,” she says in the book’s intro. This 2008 photo is on the cover.
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