L’oeil de la Photographie: Portraits by Jeff Vespa

Robert Pattinson © Jeff Vespa

Jeff Vespa is one of the most renowned celebrity and portrait photographers. Former editor-at-large for LIFE.com, founder of Verge magazine and co-founder of the photo news agency, WireImage, his lens comes with unprecedented access. He is one of just two photographers allowed to shoot and distribute images from within Vanity Fair’s prestigious Oscar party, and has maintained the title of official photographer of both the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival for more than a decade.

Recently Vespa launched the Instagram account @portraits where he will post exclusive outtakes and selects of Hollywood’s most famous faces. Here he shares with us a selection of his most Iconic images.

Follow him at www.instagram.com/portraits


Article: http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/2016/01/04/article/159884181/portraits-by-jeff-vespa/

Daily Beast: How Jeff Vespa Takes Such Intimate Celebrity Portraits

Jeff Vespa's celeb portraits

by Tim Teeman

 Jeff Vespa doesn’t ask his famous sitters—like Daniel Radcliffe and Keira Knightley—to do anything outrageous, but they still teasingly reveal themselves under his gaze.

As a child, Jeff Vespa wanted to be a fine artist, but “really needed instant gratification,” as he puts it. So, he put down the paintbrushes and picked up his mother’s camera.“I didn’t have to sit and draw for hours to get photo-realistic drawings,” he says. “Now, I could just take a picture and be done with it.”

Vespa, 45, is well-known today as the co-founder of WireImage, the largest entertainment photograph agency in the world, and as a celebrity photographer—The Daily Beast today carries a series of portraits he has taken of stars, including Sir Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain.

GALLERY: How Jeff Vespa Takes Such Intimate Celebrity Portraits (PHOTOS)

Jeff Vespa

But Vespa’s first big project, undertaken when he was around 14, was to take photographs of his friends in the punk scene of Baltimore, where he grew up.

“I really wanted to capture that moment of time, living in it,” Vespa says. “I was the only person who was photographing them in this beautiful, artful way.”

Vespa grew up appreciating the pictures of Life magazine (and later became an editor-at-large of its online incarnation). Inspired by photographers, such as Alfred Eisenstaedt and Phil Stern, he says he likes photography that captures people in “natural moments.” Thus, there is no elaborate staging or decoration in his pictures.

Many of the images are black and white. If there is color, it’s dark or muted. Often his subjects’ profiles emerge from shadows. Vespa takes many of the pictures at film festivals, where—as he is in Toronto—he is the event’s official photographer.

You can see many of Vespa’s images at his Instagram page, @portraits, where he posts outtakes, and behind the scenes images of Hollywood’s most famous faces.

Vespa laughs that he once photographed the actor Sir Ben Kingsley and called him Ben all day, rather than his preferred “Sir Ben” (which Vespa was clueless about).

Vespa’s favorite subject has been Tilda Swinton, because working with her “is like creating a work of art together.”

He has toured with Miley Cyrus, Tom Cruise, and the cast of Avatar and says the only celebrity he has ever had to win over was the film’s star Sam Worthington: the charm offensive wasn’t over-the-top, says Vespa, but by the end of it, the Australian actor had thawed.

“I know if someone asked me to do something I would think it would be lame or stupid or corny.”

Shooting Will Smith remains on his wish list, as does photographing Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as a couple.

Vespa is friendly with many celebrities, but says he doesn’t treat them differently than anyone else, nor does he over-direct them. He sees both the celebrities and himself as “fellow artists,” and so—in his own quiet and quick way—he takes their portraits, themselves little flashes of revelation and surprise.

The trick, Vespa says, is not to over-conceive or get the celebrity to do something outlandish. The most he asks his sitters to do is move left or right. “I know if someone asked me to do something I would think it would be lame or stupid or corny. I’d rather observe people, than direct them to do things.”

 Article: http://thebea.st/1Oe6Snv

Variety: Photographer Jeff Vespa Celebrates With Jena Malone, Camilla Belle at ‘The Art of Discovery’ Book Party

Jeff Vespa Jena Malone Camilla Belle The Art of Discovery


Photographer Jeff Vespa held a private viewing for his first coffee table book, “The Art of Discovery,” at a cocktail party Thursday at Brooks Brothers in Beverly Hills, hosted by “Hunger Games” actress Jena Malone and “Sin City” actress Jaime King.

Guests including Jeremy Renner, Evan Rachel Wood and Joel Edgerton enjoyed food and drinks as they took in portraits, including looks at Shailene Woodley (who graces the cover of the book), Kristen Stewart, William H. Macy, Elijah Wood, Naomi Watts, Jared Leto, Laura Dern, Seth Rogen and Justin Theroux.

Click here to see the full article: http://variety.com/2014/scene/news/photographer-jeff-vespa-celebrates-with-jena-malone-camilla-belle-at-the-art-of-discovery-book-party-1201338463/

Pret-a-Reporter: Jena Malone: Self Discovery is a Constant Journey for an Actor

Jeff Vespa Jena Malone The Art of Discovery


Inspiration was the subject du jour at Jeff Vespa’s Brooks Brothers book party.

As a celebrity photographer, Jeff Vespa is typically focused on his famous subjects but on Thursday night a few of those bold-faced names turned the tables and flashed the spotlight on him for a change.

Brooks Brothers opened the doors to its expansive, two-story Beverly Hills flagship to host Vespa and his Hollywood friends in celebration of the shutterbug’s first book — “The Art of Discovery” — a collaboration with art director Nancy Rouemy, The Creative Coalition, Renaissance Hotels and publisher Rizzoli. But Brooks Brothers also went one step further: The window displays were transformed using oversized images from Vespa’s book, including shots of Justin TherouxLaura DernJared LetoTilda Swinton and Kate Mara.

Click here to see the full article: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jena-malone-discovery-is-a-743739

The Hollywood Reporter: Celebrity Photographer Jeff Vespa Debuts First Coffee Table Book ‘The Art of Discovery’

Jeff Vespa The Art of Discovery10/15/2014 by Chris Gardner

The always-busy snapper dishes on what makes his first book so special — and what eggs have to do with it.

Jeff Vespa is a man of many talents. The celeb photographer — known for VIP access at red-carpet events all over the world — now has his first-ever coffee table book. (This comes after co-founding Wireimage, producing features, directing a short film and opening a restaurant). The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the shutterbug to discuss The Art of Discovery, a gorgeous tome featuring intimate pics and inspirational moments from big stars. The project is a collaboration with art director Nancy Rouemy, Rizzoli, Reniassance Hotels and the Creative Coalition.

See the full article here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/celebrity-photographer-jeff-vespa-debuts-741073

Vanity Fair: Naomi Watts, Tilda Swinton, and Zoe Saldana Reveal the Moments, Sometimes Painful, That Inspired Them to Act

Naomi Watts The Art of DiscoveryOCTOBER 14, 2014 by Alex Beggs

In a lavish new coffee-table book, The Art of Discovery, glamorous photographs of glittering stars are matched with beautiful typography by spelling out a moment of discovery or inspiration. These are the type of stars who need no background check: Tilda Swinton, Nicole Kidman, Forest Whitaker, Kristen Stewart, Ethan Hawke, Kurt Russell, Shailene Woodley, and the list goes on. Jeff Vespa was the photographer behind the lens, and the typography was crafted by Nancy Rouemy. It’s an easy book to get lost in; you can flip to any page and find something interesting, like Jason Alexander with a dove on his head, accompanied by a story about wanting to be a magician. And fittingly, Tilda Swinton’s sleek page is accompanied by a single sentence, which begs for follow-up questions: “The moment I realized that the bullies are scared, too.”

Click here to see the full story: http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/2014/10/art-of-discovery-book

L.A. Times: The stars open up in Jeff Vespa’s ‘The Art of Discovery’

Seth Rogen The Art of DiscoveryOctober 11, 2014 by Jessica Gelt

Celebrity photography is all about access, and few people have more than Jeff Vespa.

Vespa co-founded the photo agency website WireImage.com in 2001. He also is the official photographer of the Sundance and Toronto International film festivals.

After more than 15 years of building relationships with many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Vespa is releasing the coffee-table book “The Art of Discovery” (Rizzoli, $45) featuring portraits of more than 100 celebrities along with quotes from each about revelatory moments in their lives.

Click here to see the full article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-ca-jeff-vespa-20141012-story.html

The Hollywood Reporter: Adam Driver, Jessica Biel Get Cozy With Two Cute Pooches

Adam Driver - Art of DiscoveryThe Hollywood Reporter, 8/5/2014:

Talk about social climbers. Hollywood photographer Jeff Vespa’s dogs Max and Harry, both long-haired chihuahuas, have become best friends with some of the stars he shot for his new book “The Art of Discovery: Hollywood Stars Reveal Their Inspirations.”

See the full article here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/adam-driver-jessica-biel-get-722058

VERGE TIFF PREVIEW featuring Mackenzie Davis, Logan Huffman, Zoe Levin and Tye Sheridan

Mackenzie Davis Verge Cover Photo by Jeff Vespa

The Toronto International Film Festival doesn’t start for a week but we already have a preview of four of the hottest young stars that are poised to breakout from this year’s fest. Check their interviews and photos on Verge (www.verge.is).

Melonie Diaz Verge Cannes Cover Girl

Melonie Diaz Verge Jeff Vespa

This isn’t Melonie Diaz’s first time at the Next Big Thing rodeo. She was the Sundance It-Girl of 2008 with four films screening simultaneously at the film festival. Now the veteran of indie gems such as Be Kind Rewind and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is set to make her first trip to Cannes—and take the French Riviera by storm—with her critically acclaimed new movie, Fruitvale Station. The award show season buzz begins in three…two….

Check out the full article on here: http://www.verge.is/melonie-diaz-2013-cannes-preview/

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