With social media and the mainstream news outlets still falling over themselves to celebrate Meryl Streep's bold and oddly subtle defamation of the incoming US president (he who shall not be names) at the Golden Globes, Hollywood is once again in the spotlight of the media in a capacity that has nothing to do with cinema. This is something that has become more commonplace in a global media landscape that is constantly expanding and finding new ways to push our buttons. These are people who might enjoy a greater level of fame than us and probably earn a lot more money than us, but they are held to a greater level of scrutiny, a level that many, myself included, often deem completely unfair. Take, for example, the amount of abuse levelled at the aforementioned Miss Streep, simply for expressing a valid opinion. Granted Hollywood is the ultimate echo chamber, especially when it comes to liberal and leftist ideologies, but these are, at the end of the day, people. Human beings. Us, and they deserve to be treated as such, now more than ever. These portraits then, from Shutterstock staff photographer Andrew H. Walker, arrive at an incredibly opportune time.
“I think the project spoke to actors in general. For them it’s a constant struggle to figure out how they live their life outwardly and inwardly at the same time – and how they rectify those two places” Andrew H. Walker
With these intimate portraits, Walker set out to illustrate exactly how much some of our favourite celebrities alter their behaviour in the public eye, and in doing so, he's managed to illustrate exactly how human they really are. Warts and all, as they say. Setting up his studio for a series of literally double-faced portraits at the Toronto Film Festival, the photographer captured a plethora of performers from Ewan McGregor to Anne Hathaway. Andrew’s series does not fully reveal the many facets actors are able to portray, Instead, it aims to adjust how they behave in front of the camera. First, he asked his models to pose as they usually would for this type of occasion before suggesting that they change pose in order to express a different feeling or another aspect of who they are. Of course, there's still an element of gloss to these snaps (how could there not be), but the concept is inspired. It's also interesting how, in many cases, it's genuinely difficult to guess which is the 'public' face and which is the 'private' one. What do you think?
Gael Garcia Bernal
Taraji P. Henson
Bryce Dallas Howard
In related news, Shutterstock recently announced an expanded multi-year deal with The Associated Press, with the media provider now licensed to distribute the AP's daily global photo output for license to customers in the UK. This means that Shutterstock's enterprise customers in the UK will now have access to over 30 million photos from AP Images. Ben Pfeifer, SVP of business development at Shutterstock, said: “Following our successful collaboration in the US, this extended deal with AP allows us to reach new parts of the market we haven't yet been able to access and acknowledges the strong demand for Shutterstock's editorial content world-wide. Having worked with AP for over nine months now, we're looking forward to our continued relationship with the world's most prominent provider of news content.”
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK.