Portraits of Fame in Black and White


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – “I bring music to every shoot,” writes celebrity photographer Jesse Dittmar in the opening pages of two, his extraordinary debut book. As we at ReviewLoft browsed the 62 black-and-white portraits—all taken between 2013 and 2015—in this impressive, oversized volume, we felt the music as well: the rhythms of Dittmar’s keen photographic talents and the silent melodies of the famous people who grace its pages.

What makes these portraits so special is how intimate they seem: as these familiar faces stared back at us, we felt we were in the same room, sitting just a few feet away, all distance between us erased. Little wonder that in his young career, Dittmar has already racked up a slew of awards and had his talents recognized everywhere from The Washington Post to Business Insider.

Gazing at these portraits, we couldn’t help but wonder: is Sting thinking about his next studio session? Are Courtney Love, Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl dreaming of musical triumphs past and future? How about John Oliver: is that grin on his face a premonition of a monologue for tonight’s broadcast? That’s the fun of this book—filling in the ideas suggested by the expressive photography.

Tom Hanks and Patti Smith—who adorn these pages as well as its front and back covers—evince the grace of having reached the summit of their professions. James Earl Jones might be savoring an upcoming role, Lily Tomlin could be thinking about her next performance as well. Here’s Neil deGrasse Tyson, perhaps envisioning some profound scientific truth about the cosmos; here as well are Gloria Estefan and Jennifer Hudson, possibly pondering their next performances. The Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, stares pensively at the camera in one shot; in another, Mike Myers—that famous funny man—appears uncharacteristically serious.

Serena Williams looks radiant as always, and Judy Blume is positively beaming. From Ed Sheeran to Shane Smith, from Lupita Nyong’o to Cuba Gooding Jr.—and many others—this volume presents a cavalcade of celebrity in front of the lens, one well worth picking up and prizing.

ReviewLoft purchased its own copy of two. It is available on Amazon as well as from Jesse Dittmar’s personal website.

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