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He's Photographed Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor & more: An interview with Douglas Kirkland

He’s Photographed Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor & more: An interview with Douglas Kirkland RAWtalk 226

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Douglas and his wife Françoise at their home in Hollywood for an intimate interview.

At 83 he’s still out and about shooting and doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. You may not be familiar with him but you’ve definitely seen his work. He’s photographed everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Elizabeth Taylor to the famous photos from the movie Titanic.

Freeze Frame Second Cut Kirkland Photo Book
With Marilyn: An Evening 1961
Coco Chanel: Three Weeks 1962

03:45 – How did you get started and who was your mentor?
05:20 – Printing color early on
05:48 – How Douglas and Francoise met
06:26 – the Kirkland Ménage à trois
06:45 – Why Francoise got into photography
08:52 – What was it like traveling around the world in the 60’s?
10:23 – How was it photographing on movie sets?
11:24 – How did you maintain the rights to all of the negatives?
12:52 – Did you need model releases for celebs?
13:23 – “Never throw anything away!”
14:23 – “There’s still images left to discover…”
15:22 – How the Freeze Frame book came about
17:37 – How the Coco Chanel book was made
20:13 – Relationships are key!
20:45 – Never put out any negative work – “the kills”
22:31 – How Douglas got to photograph Marilyn Monroe
23:30 – How Douglas got to photograph Elizabeth Taylor
27:16 – How difficult was it to shoot with no light back in the day?
28:13 – The jump to digital early on
29:17 – Was there a “rat pack” of photographers you hung out with?
31:16 – The story behind photographing Andy Warhol
32:30 – Staying updated with technology along the way
33:37 – Photography is “a blessing and a curse”
34:32 – What’s photography all about in the end?