Albert Watson: Archive revisits striking celebrity portraits

Whether capturing a president, a supermodel or an actor, noted photographer Albert Watson maintains the same philosophy: keep it simple and treat everyone the same.

Celebrated photographer Albert Watson

10 years ago
Duration 5:12
In Toronto recently for his first Canadian show, award-winning photographer Albert Watson talks to CBC News about his career, his favourite shot and why simple is best.

Whether capturing a U.S. president, a willowy supermodel for a fashion magazine or a costumed actor destined to grace a movie poster, noted photographer Albert Watson maintains the same philosophy.

"I treat everybody the same. It doesn't matter who is in front of the camera," he told CBC News, during a recent Toronto visit to unveil Albert Watson: Archive, his first photography show in Canada.

"I can usually find something there.The human race is very interesting."

The award-winning Scottish-born photographer and director is known for his evocative art, fashion and commercial imagery as well as his striking portraits of icons and celebrities. He has travelled the world and his work appears in galleries and museums around the globe.

He's particularly adept at shooting cover images: from the more than 100 magazine covers he's shot for Vogue (as well titles like Rolling Stone and Time) to the posters for movies such as Kill Bill and Memoirs of a Geisha. His lens captured the iconic portrait of Steve Jobs that fronted the recent Jobs biography and which Apple also displayed on its website the week its innovative founder died.

Watson talked to CBC about his favourite shot, how his training in graphic design and film shaped his career and why simple is best.

Albert Watson: Archive, filled with images of celebrities shot on traditional film stock, runs at Toronto's Izzy Gallery until December 27.