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

http://photo.jeffvespa.com

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

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/

Verge Launches!

Ar Graynor Verge Jeff Vespa

Verge is a new web magazine focusing on emerging talent. I decided to launch the site to combine my film and photography in one place. Please check out all the articles, photos and videos at www.verge.is.

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