Capturing Beautiful Audrey Hepburn – Bob Willoughby

Though we often post on modern photographers, I thought I would take a look back this week at some photographers who broke new ground. The ones who took photography to daring new heights.

If you enjoy looking at Hollywood behind-the-scenes, where the director carefully directs his leading actress, where the actress lets out a hearty laugh or where the crew nervously awaits a cue, you have photographer Bob Willoughby to thank. Popular Photography called him “The man who virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still”. Willoughby devised a number of technical innovations to get the photographs he wanted. He financed the first successful sound blimp of a still-camera, which is now common on most movie sets. He was the only photographer working on films at the time, to use radio-controlled cameras, allowing him unprecedented access for certain shots. He had made special brackets that held his still camera on or over the Panavision cameras. Willoughby worked on innumerable early film sets such as My Fair Lady, The Graduate and Catch-22, developing close relationships with actors and actresses like the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn. Here’s an interesting side fact: Did you know that Hepburn, often been called one of the most beautiful women of all time, never considered herself to be very attractive? She said in a 1959 interview, “you can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly… you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn’t conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive.”

See more of Bob Willoughby’s iconic Audrey Hepburn shots over at Flickr.

Bob Willoughby



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