Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — A. L. “Whitey” Schafer Simplifies Portraits

Whitey Schafer "Thou Shalt Not" “Thou Shalt Not,” “Whitey” Schafer’s most famous image.


Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

In the very early days of the motion picture industry, stills photographers meant nothing to the moving picture companies. They asked their feature cameramen to work double duty, shooting scene stills after completing filming that very same scene. These companies also hired local photographic studios to shoot portraits of their stars, or allowed the stars themselves to hire photographers to shoot images that could be employed in advertising.

When stars’ names and faces became important tools to sell product, stillsmen became integral in shaping a motion picture company’s or star’s brand that could be sold to consumers. Studios hired their own photographers to shoot scene, production, off-camera and reference stills that could be employed in advertising, while major stars Mary Pickford and William S. Hart signed their own personal cameramen like K. O. Rahmn…

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