In our new series, Contact High: The Stories Behind Hip Hop’s Most Iconic Photographs, writer Vikki Tobak talks with the photographers who have played critical roles in shaping hip hop imagery and bringing it into the global spotlight. They share their stories and offer a rare glimpse of the creative process that went into the making of each photo. Getting access to the original and unedited contact sheets from high-profile photo shoots, we see the ‘big picture’ being created; contact sheets let you look directly through the photographer’s lens and observe all of the other shots taken during these legendary moments. Photographers typically don’t show their contact sheets. It’s their visual diary. Not every shot worked, in fact most didn’t. Back when they were shooting with analog film, the negatives on a roll of film would be contact printed on photographic paper, allowing them (and now us) to see the full set of images that would eventually develop into the “money shot.”
For our latest installment, photographer Jonathan Mannion tells us what it was like to shoot a young Hov for the rapper’s debut album Reasonable Doubt… MORE at Mass Appeal
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