Getty Images entertainment photographers capture the world’s most famous faces at the biggest events and have been doing so for decades.
In this series, some of our best known photographers and contributors recall a favourite photo of theirs and the celebrity story behind it.
A teenage Joan Jett was my greatest subject. Hands down. She was so cool and stylish back in 1977. Both of us were a bit on the shy side, so we got along just fine. I was around fairly close to the inception of The Runaways and there was becoming a big demand for their photos, especially in Japan. I was hooked on to Music Life and Rock Show magazines in Tokyo so I would airmail my color slides and handmade prints to them moments after getting my film developed. They liked this photo very much because it is so candid.
I call the photo "Joan On The Phone With Lisa".
The photo was taken during a period when Joan had moved out of her San Fernando Valley family home and checked into the iconic & dumpy Tropicana Motel in West Hollywood. All of the rockers loved this joint and Tom Waits was living there. I hung out with Joan there more than once and we would go next door and dine at Dukes, the tiny coffee shop on the property. It was massive hamburgers and then frozen Snickers bars for dessert. This photo was taken after one of those feedings. I think I just caught a cool moment with her. This photo was not necessarily ground breaking for me as a young photographer, but it is with the young bands who I am photographing today. They love the candidness of the shot and I try to recapture these kinds of moments today.
About Brad Elterman
Brad Elterman’s career in photography started with a borrowed camera at the age of 16. His first photo, of Bob Dylan performing onstage, was published in 1974.
Elterman rose to fame shortly after by pioneering backstage and behind-the scenes photography. That lead to endless nights of covering the rock scene in Hollywood encompassing pop, punk and rock bands including Joan Jett and The Runaways, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, Kiss, Queen, Blondie, the Ramones, the Bay City Rollers, Abba, Boney M, Kenny Rogers, The Who, Leif Garrett, Michael Jackson, etc.
Then, for almost over two decades, he gave up taking pictures and stowed his cameras and the iconic photos away.
In 1980 Brad formed one of the first Los Angeles-based photo agencies, California Features International, Inc. which specialized in providing celebrity coverage to magazines and newspapers worldwide. Brad covered Award Shows including The Oscars, Awards, American Music and Grammy Awards countless times.
In 1992 Brad co-founded Online USA, Inc. one of the first Digital Photo Agencies employing some of the finest American and British photo-journalists, again specializing in photos of celebrities. Online USA was subsequently purchased by Getty Images in 2000.
In recent years, driven by the popularity of his Tumblr, Elterman has returned to photography and has begun to exhibit these pictures in art venues, in print and online.
He is a regular contributor to Purple Diary in Paris and Dazed & Confused in London.
View Brad Elterman’s images on Getty Images here.
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