Thursday May 19, 2016

Celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland on constructing glamour

Since the 1960s, Douglas Kirkland has shot stunning portraits of Hollywood's biggest stars — like iconic film star Marilyn Monroe.

Since the 1960s, Douglas Kirkland has shot stunning portraits of Hollywood's biggest stars — like iconic film star Marilyn Monroe. (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)

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When you think of enchanting images of Hollywood stars — Marilyn Monroe wrapped up in silk sheets, Audrey Hepburn flashing a knowing grin — do you wonder about the person behind the camera? And how they possibly captured that delicate moment? 

For the past 50 years, Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland has found new angles on the world's most familiar faces. The Fort Erie transplant still surprises himself with stories from the field; like that time Elizabeth Taylor agreed to let him photograph her after a prolonged break from the public eye. 

Kirkland is back in his native Toronto for a new exhibit of his work at the Izzy Gallery. Today he joins Shad in studio q to talk about his luminous career, the nerves he sees even in seasoned stars, and the careful construction of glamour. 

WEB EXTRA | See a selection of images, posted here with permission from the photographer, below. 

Marilyn Monroe and Douglas Kirkland

Douglas Kirkland hangs suspended above Marilyn Monroe to photograph her tangled up in silk sheets. (1961) (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)


Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor in 1963, shot by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)


Douglas Kirkland

Brigitte Bardot in 1967, shot by Douglas Kirkland. (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)


Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret shot by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)


Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel in 1962, shot by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)


Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn in 1965, by Douglas Kirkland (Douglas Kirkland/Izzy Gallery)