Chet Baker, Before the World Weighed Him Down

“In person, Chet Baker was quiet, and seemed rather shy. At least that’s what I felt when I covered one of his first recording sessions. His playing then was coming from somewhere inside of him, and his music stopped me short. I found it very hard to concentrate with the plaintive sound of his trumpet in my ear. Looking around the recording studio, it seemed to also touch everyone there. It was the only recording session that I’ve photographed where the other musicians applauded after a take. It was on My Funny Valentine.

As I was leaving I saw him sitting alone after the session was over. Most of the other musicians had left, and I had put away my cameras and was about to leave. The image of him sitting there like a lost child seemed to sum up my first impression about this talented young man from Oklahoma… alone within himself.

Chet’s life was one self-inflicted wound after another, and to see that haunted face in his later years was tragic. Here is the way I like to remember him, before the world weighed him down.”

 

 

 

Hello Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn photographed in the Portrait Gallery of Paramount by Bud Fraker, 1953.

Audrey Hepburn photographed in the Portrait Gallery of Paramount by Bud Fraker, 1953.

“Charlie Block at Globe Photos called me at home and told me that I was to go over to Paramount Studios to photograph another new actress. She had just finished a film in Italy calledĀ Roman Holiday, and would be at the studio to do publicity shots. Young actresses were an everyday thing, and this assignment didn’t especially thrill me. After all, I was now working forĀ Harper’s Bazaar.

When I arrived at the studio, the still session with the Paramount portrait photographer Bud Fraker was already underway. When there was a moment and I was finally introduced to this new young lady, I was completely disarmed. I had anticipated she would be pretty, but she was really something else. She had poise and self-confidence.

A beauty, yes, maybe a forest elf would be more apt? I thought, ‘well, here is someone special!’ I wasn’t the only one that felt this. I could see the way the crew working there that day treated her; not like the new kid on the block, but as if she were a known star.

It was Audrey Hepburn. I didn’t know it then, but fate would happily bring us together many times over the coming years.”