Inspirations

Brad Pitt’s Portraits of Angelina Jolie Are Charmingly Affectionate

Considering how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are two of the most photographed celebrities in the world, constantly under the surveillance of paparazzi and the watchful eye of the public, it does come as a slight surprise to hear that Brad Pitt himself is quite the avid amateur.

But then again, it really shouldn’t. What’s wonderful about photography is how universal and intimate it can be; gone are the days where your local photo lab technician has access to your family’s most precious snapshots, or how you used to need to go to a professional studio for any lasting images of your loved ones.

In 2008, W Magazine commissioned Pitt to shoot a series of images of his family together, revealing some lovingly photographed portraits that aren’t the most technically accomplished, but that nonetheless manage to capture the tenderness of the moments. While old, these images recently resurfaced online and still serve as a reminder of what portraiture is all about—the emotion of the subjects rather than neccesarily the perfect execution of the image.

Pitt completed the series just weeks after Jolie gave birth to her twins Knox and Vivienne, which didn’t affect her mood at all.

“I’m with a man who’s evolved enough to look at my body and see it as more beautiful, because of the journey it has taken and what it has created. He genuinely sees it that way. So I genuinely feel even sexier.”

And unlike this most recent case in Taiwan, where a couple divorced after the wife accused her husband of taking too many photographs (including right after she gave birth), Jolie actively encourages Pitt’s hobby, and even bought him a large-format Littman 45 that year.

In fact, it seems like Pitt was quite the film nerd; he requested the black and white film Kodak Tech Pan (which had already been discontinued in 2004) for his series, explaining the high contrast and graininess of his photographs.

Seeing as it’s been 7 years since these pictures were shot, Pitt has undoubtedly become a better photographer. Unfortunately for us though, apparently he’s also become more private about his work, which is fair enough considering how many images already exist online of his family.

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W’s November cover / By Brad Pitt

“I love his photography. Some people have a hobby, and they find the quickest way to it and are very pleased with the outcome right away. But he’s someone who will really study the camera—he’ll get the most complicated one and really understand the science behind it”.
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“And he’s very critical of his own work. I’ll see a photograph and think it’s amazing, but he’ll see all the different reasons why it can be better, and he’ll work very, very hard to improve it.”
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“For a hobbyist, Pitt certainly knew what he wanted. He was determined to shoot Jolie with *Kodak* Tech Pan film, which hasn’t been manufactured for four years.” – W Magazine
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“Photo Editor Nadia Vellam located 40 rolls of the stuff on eBay, which a courier then hand-carried to Pitt in France, where the couple have been hiding out since June. A week later Pitt called; he needed more film.” – W Magazine
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Vellam’s first source was tapped out. “She finally tracked down a guy who offered her 30 rolls—in Israel. She then had mere hours to find someone in Tel Aviv who could get on a plane to France with the film that very day.” – W Magazine
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