I recently came across some of these shots of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran and quickly dismissed them as posed, kitschy and generally unappealing. Turns out I was rather wrong.
Elizabeth Taylor visited Iran once, in 1976. She traveled with the then young, freshly graduated, Iranian photographer Firooz Zahedi. Although Iranian, Zahedi had left the country as a child and had hardly returned to the country before his trip with Taylor.
This is evident in his photos, which were at times extremely touristy in feel, and at others, beautifully executed by the hands of a man who would eventually grow up to be a pro.
My favorite photo from this series is probably the one of Taylor standing in full traditional garb in front of the entrance to a mosque. I simply find it alluring and a little fascinating. Would have loved to see it in real life while it was exhibited at the LACMA. But unfortunately, I didn’t and now have to settle to the digital online version.