Bob Willoughby
American, 1927-2009
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Selected exhibitions
2016
Staley-Wise Gallery at The Photography Show 2016 | presented by AIPAD,
Staley-Wise Gallery
2015
Beetles + Huxley at Photo Shanghai 2015,
Huxley-Parlour
2014
Bob Willoughby,
Huxley-Parlour

In 1954, Warner Brothers Studios asked Bob Willoughby to photograph Judy Garland on the set of A Star is Born. LIFE magazine ran Willoughby’s images, and he was solidified as the first film set photographer. Having previously apprenticed for celebrity photographers such as Wallace Seawell and Paul Hesse, Willoughby went on to revolutionize Hollywood photography, his career coinciding with the Golden Age of film. From the frenetic onstage and calm backstage of California’s jazz scene, to Dustin Hoffman on the set of The Graduate and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, his spontaneous, documentary-style photographs revealed a previously unseen side of celebrities—vulnerable and emotional, yet still glamorous. Willoughby sought to make himself invisible by blending in with the camera crews, and he created remote control cameras to shoot silently while on set.