We all know James Dean as the legendary actor who lived fast and died young. He was the subject of almost every photographer of his era. But aside from acting and racing, one of his passions was the medium of photography.
I’ve known him for a long time because I’ve heard his name referenced in a song and in a movie line. I’ve also seen pictures of him almost everywhere. But recently, I started to get to know him more. I watched all 3 of his films and I instantly fell in love with him. He was a great Method actor. Then I started researching all about him and his work. I was surprised when I saw pictures of him with a camera. Photography was also one his hobbies! His teacher was photographer Roy Schatt who shot the famous Torn Sweater series of James Dean.
There was this particular picture (shown below) where he was holding a Rollei TLR. Roy Schatt took this picture and I’ve read that when James Dean saw that place, he immediately jumped in and took a picture of Roy Schatt and a colleague because he thought it was a great point of view that nobody will ever think of. Brilliant!
Unfortunately, the pictures that he took are scarce on the internet but I bet they’re great because he had a gifted mind. Anyway, Roy Schatt’s book, James Dean: A Portrait, has some photographs taken by James Dean.
His 55th death anniversary is coming up this September 30th and I think those who love him and have been inspired by him should celebrate him one way or another. And this article is my part on commemorating him.
Pictures are taken from the internet