In 2005 photographer Steven Klein was given access to the Brangelina household to take a series of photos for W magazine’s November issue. Three years later W magazine’s creative director contacted Brad Pitt with the idea for a new shoot, this time Brad would be the photographer.
Brad has always been a keen photographer but his work rarely gets released to the public. Knowing his stuff Brad requested rolls of Kodak Tech Pan – a film that had been discontinued back in 2004. Tech Pan was popular with photographers in the fashion industry for it’s high contrast black and white results. The magazine’s photo editor however located 40 rolls of the film on eBay and had them couriered to the Pitt mansion in France to use as requested. A week later Brad called back asking for more film. The original seller on eBay had none left and so a worldwide search was conducted for more rolls. Eventually another 40 rolls were found in Israel and a courier was paid to collect the film in Tel Aviv and jump on the next plane for France the same day!
The resulting images have a very stylised feel to them, the high contrast and grain reminds me of the the work of Moriyama. Tech Pan film was famous for its smoothness and ability to pick out details in the red spectrum and so Brad would have had to make conscious choices with his settings to achieve the results. The images have a level of intimacy that a ‘professional’ photographer would have struggled to achieve. The series as a whole has a real stillness to it and seems a world away from the chaos and colour that typically follows Angelina wherever she goes.
If you want to replicate the style of these images It is still possible to find Tech pan film, a search on eBay came up with one seller who had a roll of 150ft for sale! In addition you can still find copies of W Magazine from November 2008 for sale but the price is sure to rocket as internet interest in these pictures has spiked again. I’m not sure finding an “international superstar / one of the most beautiful women in the world” as your model will be easy though.