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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Andrew Macpherson - Master Of Celebrity Imagemaking

Andrew Macpherson might be from the UK originally, but it’s Hollywood where he’s the king

andrew macpherson
Above: Lucy Liu
British-born celebrity photographer Andrew Macpherson creates engaging portraits of A-list actors and musicians, among them Charlize Theron, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Foxx, Bono and Lucy Liu. These portraits and a host of others convey an air of honesty and integrity, which is a rarity in the world of photographing Hollywood celebrities. As such, Macpherson is considered to be the master Hollywood imagemaker. With a talented eye, a fluid command of the latest digital-imaging technologies and a dedicated staff, Macpherson is forever searching for the “thing that defines them.”

Says Macpherson, “My approach is always defined by the final use of the image. If the brief is to capture the essence of the character that an actor is portraying, then I’ll read the script, study the dailies or watch the previous season if it’s a TV show. I always want to get the best understanding of the character and his or her arc through the story to find what defines that performance. Of course, this requires a willing participant, and many actors feign a hatred of having their picture taken. So it’s always a delicate dance that requires great sensitivity to your picture-making partner in front of the lens, as the picture will only be as good as they let it be.

“If the brief is to capture the actor, not the performance, I always search for that thing that defines them, that we all immediately recognize about them. When you think of your friends, there’s always an image that pops into your mind that defines them—their laugh, the way they cock their head when they listen, the look they have when they win at poker—that’s what I always look for and want to capture. It’s that little thing that really makes them who they are.”


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