Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Shooting Illustration Reference Photos

Reference photo of Steve Holland

In the 1970s and '80s, many paperback covers were painted with reference to black and white photographs. Typically those photos were taken by professional photographers such as Robert Osonitsch using models like Steve Holland, who posed in a torn shirt for the "Doc Savage" covers.

The publishing client generally would pay for these sessions. Modeling sessions were expensive, so the team had to make the best use of the time. The illustration photographers had busy schedules with back-to-back appointments.

Paperback illustrator Bob Larkin recalled, "I had only an hour to shoot. Steve [Holland] first posed for what I wanted, and then what Bob [Osonitsch] suggested, then Steve did what he thought would work. Everything is going smoothly until Bob's camera shot counter tells him to put in a new roll of film. Bob opens the back of the camera to put a new roll in—and no first roll was put in! This is early in the morning. He's still not awake yet. We had a good laugh, Bob apologized, and we started all over again from the beginning with minutes to spare before the next artist had to shoot Steve. He was booked all day anyway."


Doc Savage cover by Bob Larkin

Read More:

Magazine: The quote comes from the new issue of Illustration #73, which includes features on Peter Driben, Art Fitzpatrick / Van Kaufman, Zoë Mozert, Steve Holland, and Robert Osonitsch  


Steve Holland: The Torn Shirt Sessions and Steve Holland: The World's Greatest Illustration Art Model

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