New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Meet Douglas Kirkland

From: Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Editorial Assignment

Video: Meet Douglas Kirkland

I grew up in a small town in Canada. Only 7000 people. The first picture I ever took was taken with a box camera, a Brownie box camera, and I remember pushing it into my chest, 10 years of age at the time, and pushing that device down and it went clunk. I got the buzz right then and it's never stopped since. Speed Graphic was the camera of the time and if you had this in your hand as a young man, I have to tell you, you really felt you were hot.

Meet Douglas Kirkland

I grew up in a small town in Canada. Only 7000 people. The first picture I ever took was taken with a box camera, a Brownie box camera, and I remember pushing it into my chest, 10 years of age at the time, and pushing that device down and it went clunk. I got the buzz right then and it's never stopped since. Speed Graphic was the camera of the time and if you had this in your hand as a young man, I have to tell you, you really felt you were hot.

Turn this way, that way. I mean, that was a charge of like nothing else. I got a call from Look magazine. I was basically hired to shoot fashion and I was the new generation. I was in my mid 20s. The year was 1960. And then my boss in New York called me and he said, "We'd like you to go to Las Vegas with our movie editor because Elizabeth Taylor, who hasn't been photographed or had a story done on her in about 2 or 3 years now, has said she'll give us an interview." I sat quietly in the back of the room as the journalists interviewed her and I went up to her at the end and I took her hand and said, "Elizabeth, I'm new with this magazine," looking her straight in the eye just like I am you.

"Could you imagine what it would mean to me if you'd give me an opportunity to photograph you?" I was holding her hand still. Pause. She probably thought she was never going to be released. And then she said, "Okay... Come tomorrow night at 8:30." To make a long story short, I did. And I got pictures that ended up really starting my career photographing celebrities. I had the cover of Look magazine, my first cover, and from then it was like an explosion of possibilities.

This camera is the one that I actually used to photograph Marilyn Monroe, this very camera, this 500C. We went to visit her in her Hollywood home. It was this camera, myself, Marilyn. A wonderful photo session that went on for about three or four hours. And I feel a great attachment to this. I've been very careful to hold onto my images. Ever since I was always able to keep my pictures, so that's why I have all these books. 15 in all at the moment I believe.

I'm best known for my work around entertainment and these are work from the movies. You know they're different times, different places. I've worked on 160 films in all by our last count. For me, one the most significant and important areas of working with people is to know your subject, feel sympathetic toward them. You have to feel that I care about you, and I do. Boy do I ever! Because I know that what you have in you is going to make a great image.

And honestly, you can have any lens in the world or any type of camera, but if you do not have a subject who is connecting with you, your chances are substantially reduced of getting a good image. I learned from a lot of different sources and resources certainly, in photography in the early days and later on with computers. I asked a lot of people a lot of questions. And I had a lot of wonderful people help me. And frankly, years ago, somebody gave me a lesson I've really held onto and I feel this this way very strongly.

Do the same for somebody else. Wen you receive something good just pass it along. And I hope that you get out of this something special. And I'm trying to pass it along to you. I care about it. I hope you do.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Editorial Assignment
 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.