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From Brad Pitt to Elijah Wood: 8 Surprising Celebrity Photographers

by Hanna Brooks Olsen
photo & video

Celebrities: They’re just like us, in that they also have fun hobbies. Maybe actors, musicians, and models dabble in other media,like art or whatever discipline they didn’t start in. But there are quite a few celebrities who are also photographers — and pretty decent ones, at that.

Brad Pitt: With his intimate images of Angelina Jolie for W Magazine, Brad Pitt somehow managed to endeared the world to himself even further.

Leonard Nimoy: So much more than just Spock, Leonard Nimoy is also a producer, director, and photographer. His photography book, The Full Body Project, which focused on plus-sized women and the impact of cultural beauty expectations, got him quite a bit of attention when it was released in 2007. Of the book, Nimoy said “It was my first introduction of that kind of work…And it led me to a new consciousness about the fact that so many people live in body types that are not the type that’s being sold by fashion models.”

Drew Carey: Combining his love of soccer and photography, Drew Carey is both a minority owner of the Seattle Sounders and has also worked as a photographer at several U.S. National Team soccer matches. However, when he sells his images — which he often does to wire services — he uses a pseudonym, Brooks Parkenridge.

Ben Folds: Musician Ben Folds has had a long career as a recording artist, but he’s also a part-time photographer. He even had a National Geographic live event in 2010 in Washington, D.C., wherein his images were displayed as part of a sold-put multi-media event.

Helena Christensen: More than a few models (including Tyra Banks) have stepped behind the camera, but Helena Christensen is one of the few who has actually shown her work and has even landed some major fashion magazine covers. You can check out her Tumblr, where she posts a lot of her work.

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Elijah Wood: The world caught on to Elijah Wood’s interest in photography after he did an interview with Lomography, wherein he admitted he’d been “shooting with Lomo cameras for about eight years.” His advice to fellow LC-A photographers? “Don’t think too much. The camera kind of has a mind of it’s own and it’s happy accidents are often the best results. What’s great about the camera is how you can often be quite flippant with how you shoot and have surprising results.”

Jeff Bridges: Another multi-talented guy, musician, actor, director, painter, and activist Jeff Bridges is also an avid photographer. “I’ve been taking pictures and making movies for most of my life,” he says on his website, which features many of his photographs and information about his book, Pictures.

“In 1984, when I was doing Starman, Karen Allen saw some of my Wide-Lux shots and suggested that we combine them with Sid Baldwin’s (the unit photographer) to make a book for the cast and crew. Karen’s brainstorm marked the beginning of a series of privately published albums. These were given, in appreciation, to the cast and crew of 16 of the films I’ve worked on since. Each album celebrates the work we did together. The book, Pictures, is a collection of some of my favorite shots from those smaller albums,” his site explains. See his photos here.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.