It is a little known fact that Brad Pitt can hold his own behind a camera. Not just any camera, mind you, but an old school film model. A November 2008 issue of W magazine originally published a photo spread of Pitt’s work shooting his lovely wife, Angelina Jolie, and the photographs have resurfaced recently on Reddit. Lomography.com says that at the time, W’s Creative Director Dennis Freedman was looking fro a fresh and different perspective of one of the most photographed women in the world for the November 2008 issue. The answer to that couldn’t come closer to home, Angelina’s home that is. “I was surprised that Brad accepted the challenge,” remembers Freedman as Brad Pitt enthusiastically volunteered for the assignment.
One Week, as it came to be called was Brad’s portfolio of private, intimate moments from the Jolie-Pitt home in Provence, France at the time. Brad had a special request for the project, which was to shoot using a discontinued Kodak Tech Pan film. Thankfully, the magazine’s photo editor Nadia Vellam located 40 rolls on eBay.
Freedman recalls sourcing the film rolls,
“For a hobbyist, Pitt certainly knew what he wanted. He was determined to shoot Jolie with Kodak Tech Pan film, which hasn’t been manufactured for four years. Photo Editor Nadia Vellam located 40 rolls of the stuff on eBay, which a courier then hand-carried to Pitt in France, where the couple have been hiding out since June. A week later Pitt called; he needed more film. Vellam’s first source was tapped out. She finally tracked down a guy who offered her 30 rolls—in Israel. She then had mere hours to find someone in Tel Aviv who could get on a plane to France with the film that very day. “
The pictures speak for themselves. The drama of black and white film and maybe the most beautiful, if not interesting and enigmatic woman in the world could only produce images of this quality. While Jolie’s beauty comes as no surprise, what is revealed is the sublime connection that exists between photographer and subject. Pitts is also very much at home in vintage black and white film, using the vanishing medium with all its inherent weaknesses and imperfections that defined its classic character. Those from the ASA film speed generation will know what that means.
More photos of the Jolie-Pitt collaboration from 2008 can be seen here.