December 18, 2012 - Updated on January 25, 2016

100 photos of Sam Shaw for press freedom

The New York photographer Sam Shaw called it “the photo that went round the world”. One of the 20th century’s most famous images, it shows Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway ventilation grate, wearing a white dress gracefully lifted by an up-draught. Buy yours now!

A close friend of Monroe’s, Shaw had been invited by Billy Wilder to take stills of the shooting of the Seven Year Itch, and he caught this unique moment like no one else. Her friend from when they met during the shooting of Viva Zapata! in 1951 until her death 11 years later, Shaw never stopped taking photos of the woman who had become Hollywood’s supreme icon.

Shaw’s photos appeared on the covers of Life and Look for years. He immortalized all of Hollywood’s stars during the 1950s and 1960s, including Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, John Cassavetes, Anthony Quinn and Woody Allen. Preferring improvised shots, without makeup or posing, he managed to take the reader behind the scenes of Hollywood’s movie sets.

Sam Shaw’s heirs generously offered 100 of his finest photos for this latest book in the series of collections of photos published by Reporters Without Borders. This collection constitutes a retrospective of the career of a photographer who helped turn the greatest Hollywood stars into legends.

This latest book also includes a look at Ed Ou, winner of the 2012 Bayeux Calvados War Correspondents Prize in the “young photo-reporter” category; an interview with the young Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda; and a close-up of photo that Laurent Van der Stockt took in the inferno of the Syrian city of Aleppo, accompanied by a text by Jean-Philippe Rémy, a reporter who was with him.
The proceeds from the books of photographs that Reporters Without Borders has been publishing three times a year since 1992 revert entirely to the organization and are used to fund its activities. They represent more than 50 per cent of its resources.

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