See Early Head Shots of 16 Stars-to-Be

Photo: Andrew Brucker

Andrew Brucker was a young, New York–based fashion photographer in 1982 when he got a call that would change his career: A manager asked if he would do some head shots for one of her clients. “I said no, it wasn’t my thing,” says Brucker. “A lot of people looked at head shots as the poor cousin of glamour photography.” So she challenged him to make them better. Which Brucker did, transforming the head shot into something as rich and lush as the old-school, black-and-white portraits of Hollywood masters like George Hurrell. Before long, every serious young actor in New York wanted the Brucker treatment, including Robert Downey Jr., Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Will Arnett, Kerry Washington, and Marisa Tomei. He still takes head shots, though he misses the early days, when actors were a little less business and a lot more punk. Winona Ryder was just 14 when she showed up, alone, without an entourage: “Nowadays I have mothers making arrangements for their 20-year-olds. Everyone was a little looser back then.” Andrew Brucker has published his best before-they-were-stars photographs in his new book 8X10 (FVW; $39.00). You can find sixteen of them here.

(8x10 is available at Rizzoli, Dashwood Books, McNally Jackson, 192 Books, St. Mark’s Books, Crawford Doyle Booksellers, the Strand, and Spoonbill and Sugartown in New York City, and at Diesel Books in L.A.)

Early Head Shots of Downey Jr, Will Arnett, More