Absolute Beginners Contact Sheet 1986
David Bowie is one if the easiest people to work with, he's so good in front of the camera that you can do a record cover in a single roll of film. When you are on a film shoot nothing endears you to the Director more than the ability to shoot fast.
Everything was pre-lit and tested beforehand, all it needed was for David to step into the frame and pose for three minutes.
Contact sheets can tell you a lot about both photographer and sitter, the twelve frames on a roll is now a thing of the past but back then it was the order of the day.
When you have to hand over the sheets to the publicist you never know what you will get back from the artist, sometimes with Rock Stars only a single frame from a dozen rolls is marked, sometimes they approve three or four, but that is not the case here.
In the right hand strip you can see a small X, this was the choice of David's management, safe as houses, but also kind of boring.
On the whole page you can see exactly the way David marked it up, excluding only two frames as a bad photo, ignoring seven more frames as they were OK but not great.
Then he has circled three of the frames including 4C, the one where he is smiling. The Art Director then marked a square around that same photo. I was very happy David and the AD chose it, but this surprised everyone who worked for him as he has never, before or since, smiled on a record cover.