Albert Watson Relates the Story of His Iconic Image of Steve Jobs

“That’s maybe the best picture ever taken of me” is what Steve Jobs told Albert Watson.

Photographer Albert Watson has photographed many celebrities and important people; but his image of Steve Jobs is one that really, truly stands out to lots of folks. Albert shot it with large format film and Steve was questioning why. With all honesty, Albert said that he didn’t believe that digital was there yet–and amazingly Steve agreed! But this was pretty difficult for Albert as Steve Jobs apparently hated photographers.

Of course, you can immediately see what kind of difficulty this must’ve been.

In their recent video, Profoto interviewed and related the story from Albert. What Albert did was a little bit of mind-trickery. You see, many people get intimidated by being in front of a camera. But when you trick their minds into not thinking about the camera, you tend to get more candid and real approaches. It’s a tactic used by many headshot photographers and one that the best portrait photographers tend to do. Because of this, Steve Jobs was out of the session within 20 minutes despite an hour being allocated to take the photo.

When Steve passed away, Tim Cook called Albert personally and demanded that this photo be sent to him. Albert told an audience at a Phase One event a while back about this, and Tim didn’t care what it cost. They just needed that photo. Why? Apparently, it was Steve’s favorite photo of himself.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.