Marilyn August 1953: The Lost Look Photos


John Vachon was a documentary photographer who had worked for Look Magazine for 5 years when he was given the assignment to go to Canada because three movies were being filmed at the same time in Banff, Alberta.

Vachon spent 2 weeks in Canada and a couple of days shooting Marilyn while she filmed River of No Return.  He took over 100 photos of her in black and white and colour.  The books also includes personal letters than Vachon wrote to this wife back home which detail daily activities.

The photos Vachon was the most excited about were some of the first shots of Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio together.  They had been dating for over a year and were yet to marry.  Unfortunately, Vachon's hard work did not land him a cover story.  In fact, Marilyn was bumped from the cover because they wanted to use her in their holiday issue in November.  The Vachon story was reduced to a couple of pages buried at the back and it featured only 3 of the photos he took of Marilyn.  It appeared in the October 20, 1953 issue.  Look brought in a new fashion photographer to handle the Monroe assignment for the next issue, his name was Milton Greene. 

Finally, these lost photos taken by Vachon are available to fans in this great book.  There is 23 pages of text describing the circumstances of how Vachon came to shoot Marilyn.  This is followed on pages 25-97 by photos.  All of them are in black in white which is disappointing since the book mentions colour photos exist too.  The book reminds me a bit of the complete last sitting since many shots are included with just slight variations.  The book finishes with 10 pages of letters by Vachon.  Unfortunately, they have no insight into what it was really like shooting her as most of them take place before his sitting with her. 

In summary, I think this is a great book for those who enjoy rare photos.  Most of the photos in this book I had not seen before. 

P.S. Be sure to look behind the dust jacket to see the gorgeous book cover shown.

You can order this book below through Amazon...


Author John Vachon
Publisher Calla Editions
Cover Type Hardcover
Dimensions 9.1 x 11 inches
Publish Date October 1, 2010
ISBN 13-978-1-60660-001-5
Signed No
Number of Pages 120

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