The Glamorous World of Paul Hesse

The Glamorous World of Paul Hesse
Four of my favorite actresses photographed by Paul Hesse
Top: Gene Tierney and Elizabeth Taylor
Bottom: Bette Davis and Ava Gardner

Like most film buffs, I absolutely love old Hollywood glamor photography. I’m an amateur photographer myself so I own a lot of photography books and some of my favorites are jam-packed with beautiful photos of classic Hollywood film stars. In the ’70s the practice of taking glamorous head-shots of the stars and hiring photographers to shoot on sets seemed to quietly fade away. Studios didn’t want to spend money on it and the public became more interested in fashion photography, rock stars and realistic portraits. But from roughly the ’30s to the ’60s movie magazines around the world were overflowing with glamorous photographs of movie stars. One of the most interesting photographers working during this period was Paul Hesse who helped pioneer the use of color film in commercial art. His colorful and hyper-realistic portraits of celebrities still grab my attention every time I come across one. Hesse had a very distinct style that is still noticeable today. If you’d like to learn more about Paul Hesse or just enjoy some of his other photos you can read my brief write-up about the man and his work at TCM’s Movie Morlocks Blog.