Dienstag, 9. März 2010

Elvis first (professional) promo shots

Photographer: William Speer

Location: William Speer Studios in Memphis

Date of the photos session:  1954/1955

William Speer of Memphis, Tennessee has been referred to as "the man who shot Elvis". In 1954, the young singer was trying to launch a singing career. His publicist, Bob Neal, called William Speer to take a few publicity photos. Speer was a well-known and established professional photographer. "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but what a place and what a time! I’d never heard of him to tell you the truth, but as soon as I sat him in front of the camera I knew he had it", recalls the now 86-year-old Speer.

Speer took eleven images and all of them turned out. Elvis didn’t bring a change of clothes, so Speer was going to stop after only four shots, but the photographers wife suggested Elvis take his shirt off. He was shy, but agreed. Elvis later brought his parents to be photographed.