Bryan Adams has been a photographer for years, and now he’s collected his best work into a retrospective book called Exposed, which hits stores this past week. The lavish book features portraits of famous musicians, actors, actresses and artists, including Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Sting, Ronnie Wood, Billy Idol, Tommy Lee, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Dustin Hoffman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Lindsay Lohan, Dame Judi Dench and more.
While the book is somewhat of a “greatest hits” of his photography work, the Canadian singer says it was much more difficult than compiling a greatest-hits album. “It was probably way more intense than that because to go through the mountain of different pictures that have been taken over the last 12 years was a huge job,” Bryan tells ABC News Radio. “It wasn’t like I know [that] there are 10 songs that need to be put on a record. This was literally a huge editing job. It took two years!”
Elton John, a noted collector of photography, wrote the forward for the book, and he’s also featured in one of the photos. “Elton’s always been very kind to me over the years,” Adams explains. “And when I asked him to do that, right away he said yes. What’s nice to have is that I have a colleague who is interested in photography, but also a musician as well.”
One of the more arresting photos in the book is an image of pop star Pink topless. Bryan says he didn’t even know the singer before he photographed her that day, for the now-defunct magazine Jane, but after a while, she seemed game for anything. “I said to her at the end of the day, ‘The light’s really beautiful. Let’s go upstairs in the sunlight and do some pictures outside’ [and] boom! [her shirt came off],” he recalls. Did she like the photo? “She asked for a copy of it,” he says.
But despite Pink’s willingness to get naked, he says it was the actors he photographed that were the most willing to, as he puts it, “take it to another level.” He highlights one photo of Dustin Hoffman in the book, where he says things took an unexpected turn. “We were doing a tuxedo fashion story down by the beach,” Adams recalls. “Next thing you know, he’s standing in the water, with the tuxedo, with a fishing rod. It’s a great picture.”
Asked to name his favorite photo in the book, Bryan says it’s impossible to choose. Well, which ones does he have hanging on his walls at home? Adams says, laughing, “If you saw my house, you’d be so surprised. There’s nothing on the walls…I leave my windows to be the picture frames of what’s going on. So you know, the ever-changing outside world are my pictures.”
The photos in Exposed have also been traveling the world as an art exhibit. After being exhibited in Moscow and Hamburg, Germany, they’ll be coming to the U.S. in December, where they’ll be on display in Dallas, Texas at the Goss-Michael Foundation Gallery. Bryan will show up in person for the opening; other stops in the U.S. are planned.
(You can see photos from the book here)
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