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BERT STERN
[b. 1929] American fashion and celebrity portrait photographer
Women especially ask me to take their pictures, because they think I’ll make them beatuful. - Bert Stern, Great Themes : LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life (Editor) , Page: 102
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When a portrait evokes a feeling, then you’ve got something. Technique isn’t really important. What I want is a believeable moment. - Bert Stern, Great Themes : LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life (Editor) , Page: 102
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You know, the Chinese don’t like to be photographed because they believe that a part of their life is being taken away by the photographer. And in a way, they’re right. The photographer is trying to get the prettiest moment of a life in his camera. - Bert Stern, Great Themes : LIFE Library of Photography by Time-Life (Editor) , Page: 102
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I went down to the Bowery, photographed people sleeping under doorways, women with hair growing out of their noses. I made these beautiful big prints and I looked at them and I thought they were so ugly. I ripped them all up. What's the point? Why should I have to make beautiful pictures out of basically ugly things? I get no joy out of taking pictures of the tragedies of life. I'd rather show the beauty. That's the only fun. - Bert Stern

I’d photographed a lot of women, and Marilyn was the best. She’d move into an idea, I’d see it, quickly lock it in, click it, and my strobes would go off like a lightning flash—PKCHEWW!!—and get it with a zillionth of a second. - Bert Stern - On photographing the actress six weeks before her death.

Women like to take their clothes off. I noticed that. Especially in front of a camera. Or a mirror. - Bert Stern

I was preparing for Marilyn’s arrival like a lover, and yet I was here to take photographs. Not to take her in my arms, but to turn her into tones, and planes, and shapes, and ultimately into an image for the printed page. - Bert Stern - On photographing the actress six weeks before her death.

I think all my pictures are ideas, and they’re ideas made into images. - Bert Stern

... her arm was up, like waving farewell. I saw what I wanted, I pressed the button, and she was mine. It was the last picture. - Bert Stern - On photographing Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her death.

She was so beautiful at that time. I didn’t say, “Pose nude.” It was more one thing leading to another: You take clothes off and off and off and off and off. - Bert Stern - On his June 1962 photo shoot with Marilyn Monroe.

What makes a great model is her need, her desire; and it’s exciting to photograph desire. - Bert Stern

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