Robert Freeman has died at age 82. He was the photographer of many Beatles album covers and other promotional photos.
The announcement of his death came through the official Beatles account on Twitter.
Robert Freeman, long time photographer of The Beatles, has passed away – he created some of the most iconic images of the band, featured on the album covers of With The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul. pic.twitter.com/W1upi05JCn
— The Beatles (@thebeatles) November 8, 2019
Freeman made his reputation for photographing over musicians prior to his time with The Beatles.
He began working with The Beatles in 1963 when the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, was looking for a photographer for the band’s newest album.
Freeman was already well-known in music circles for his photography work of jazz musicians, among others.
Working under a tight deadline, Freeman concocted a photo studio in hotel room with a lamp and a window for lighting.
The resulting photograph appeared on the cover of the album U.S. audiences know as “Meet The Beatles,” released in 1964.
In addition to Beatles five album sleeves, he also was behind many of the band’s posters and other promotional material. He designed the end credit sequences of the movies “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!”.
Paul McCartney offered a statement of remembrance and gratitude for Freeman.
Dear Robert Freeman has passed away. He was one of our favourite photographers during the Beatles years who came up with some of our most iconic album covers. Besides being a great professional he was imaginative and a true original thinker. People often think that the cover shot for Meet The Beatles of our foreheads in half shadow was a carefully arranged studio shot. In fact it was taken quite quickly by Robert in the corridor of a hotel we were staying in where natural light came from the windows at the end of the corridor. I think it took no more than half an hour to accomplish.
Bob also took the Rubber Soul cover; his normal practice was to use a slide projector and project the photos he’d taken onto a piece of white cardboard which was exactly album sized, thus giving us an accurate idea of how the finished product would look. During his viewing session the card which had been propped up on a small table fell backwards giving the photograph a ‘stretched’ look. Instead of simply putting the card upright again we became excited at the idea of this new version of his photograph. He assured us that it was possible to print it this way and because the album was titled Rubber Soul we felt that the image fitted perfectly.
I will miss this wonderful man but will always cherish the fond memories I have of him.
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