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R.I.P. Robert Freeman, Beatles photographer dies at 82

on November 08, 2019, 11:05pm

Robert Freeman, the British photographer who shot the covers for such Beatles albums as Help!, Beatles for Sale, Rubber Soul, With the Beatles, and A Hard Day’s Night, has died at the age of 82.

In a tribute posted his website, Paul McCartney described Freeman as “one of our favorite photographers.” He went to recount their memorable photo shoots for Meet The Beatles and Rubber Soul,

“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.”

Beyond his work with The Beatles, Freeman shot for The Sunday Times, capturing photos of John Coltrane, Mohammed Ali, Andy Warhol, and many other pop culture icons.