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May 12, 2021

30 Extraordinary Black and White Portraits of Katharine Hepburn Taken by Ernest Bachrach in 1935–1937

Ernest Bachrach was one of the most influential and admired of all the Hollywood portrait photographers. He headed the photographic department at Radio Keith Orpheum (RKO) from its inception in 1929 until his retirement in the late 1950s.


While there he controlled every aspect of the department, from publicity and advertising to hiring and training upcoming still and portrait photographers like Alex Kahle, Gaston Longet, and Robert Coburn as his assistants.

He also shot and custom printed most of the portraits of the stars employed by RKO during these decades, among them Dolores Del Rio, Fred Astaire, and Katharine Hepburn.
“Portraiture is very closely akin to cinematography. The cinematographer has very little need for accessories in the making of close-ups; all he needs is a face and some lights and shadows. And that is all the portrait artist needs. Occasionally – but only occasionally – minor props are useful.” – Ernest Bachrach
Here, various Katharine Hepburn portraits taken by Ernest Bachrach from 1935–1937:


































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