Candid Camera

Shahrokh Hatami paved the way for Iranian photojournalists

by Jahanshah Javid
25-Jan-2012 "Shahrokh Hatami has covered a broad range of high profile subjects as a photographer for nearly half a century, from celebrities, film and fashion, to politics, war, and social change. Hatami – known primarily by this single professional byline – started as a writer for a major newspaper in Tehran, switching to photography in 1950. Life magazine published his coverage of the overthrow of democratically elected PM Mohammed Mossadegh and the restoration to power of the Shah in 1953. Twenty-five years later, Hatami shot dramatic images of street fighting during the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79, which overthrew the Shah. During the late 1950’s through the 60s, Hatami was a freelancer in Europe and the Middle East, with many of his pictures appearing in Paris-Match and other leading magazines. He won the confidence of the notoriously inaccessible Grande Dame of couture, Coco Chanel, and as a close personal friend, produced some unique behind-the-scenes images. During the 1960s and ’70s, Hatami captured many classic fashion magazine covers and celebrity portraits, including intimate shots of Elizabeth Taylor, Ursula Andress, Julie Christie, Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and innumerable other American and European personalities..." >>>

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maziar 58


by maziar 58 on


PENDAR jaan pass me the roll.

I  want to try what you're smoking.


shahireh sharif

Thanks for the info

by shahireh sharif on

Loved the photos

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

Thank you very much Dear Jahanshah for the information added. I suppose that only Darius and I are in love with movies and everything that has anything to do with this world. :)


.....Le choc des photos !

by Shemirani on

What a life , he met all the legends of his time!!!,Very talented Man, great Artist !

I just remembered Khomeyni on cover ParisMatch !! as a child, i was scared just by seeing the picture, i will never understand how come this generation followed this evil !!!!

Ursulla la bomba ....she remains A goddess out of the sea :)) & mademoiselle Coco so classy !!

I hope collectionners will buy his art, if we had a normal country his work would be in a museum with retrospectives events !

Did he ever wrote his memoirs ?!! if not he should do it ....many people will love to read it !

Merci :))

Esfand Aashena

Very nice. Hope he gets well soon & sell his stuff as he wishes

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred

Jeesh Daram


by Jeesh Daram on

Great photo article JJ. He is a legend and I like his B&W photos. A fashion photographer as well as a photojournalist, a rare talent. 

Khomeini looking through the airplane window is an amazing lookback of how a nation was ruined.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The foundation of modern Iran was built by Reza Shah. It was derailed in 1979 as has been in a ditch since. After IRI is gone Iran may get back on its feet. 

If IRI is so modern why are people lining up to escape to anywhere possible.

Darius Kadivar

Just Wondering if he is Related to Leila Hatami too ?

by Darius Kadivar on

Darius Kadivar

Truly an Ali Baba Cave

by Darius Kadivar on

Amazing Find JJ,

Thanks so much for sharing.

Being a Big Movie Buff, and collector of all historical material This is all the more incredible that I have seen many of these photos and know some by heart thanks to the collection of Paris Match and Life Magazines I have collected over the years and yet never, I mean NEVER did I have a clue that the man who took these amazing photos particularly in Hollywood and of France's Fashion Icon Coco Chanel was a fellow compatriot.

MON CINEMA: Coco Before Chanel (2009)

This is truly an Ali Baba Cave !

So "Open Sesame" Indeed !

Wishing this gentleman a prompt recovery nevertheless !

Thanks So much for Sharing !

Recommended Blogs:

EMINENT PERSIANS: Abbas Veteran Photographer for MAGNUM (Interview June 2009)

EMINENT PERSIANS: Henry Dallal Official photographer of Queen Elizabeth II 

LACMA remembers Elizabeth Taylor's trip to Iran with photographer Firooz Zahedi in exhibit

Recommended Reading:

Tony Nourmand's Golden Eye by Darius KADIVAR   


Of bullet and blood

by پندارنیک on

Not in your wildest dream will you see what the numbers 11 and 12 represent, to start rolling back. The Great Revolution of 79 was and is the foundation of modern Iran, upon which the reforms, led by the Green Movement, will spearhead the national effort for peaceful global integration, prosperity, and justice....................

Jahanshah Javid

We meet again

by Jahanshah Javid on

I met Hatami in 1980 in the elevator at the Ershad Ministry where journalists and photographers had to get a license to work. He looked like Santa Claus. He gave me a book: a collection of his photographs of the 1979 revolution [see ""Looking back"].

I was only 18-19 and playing around with photography. He was a master and his work left a lasting impression and I always regarded him as one of the very best. Seeing his earlier work, I'm now more in awe at what he achieved.

After our brief meeting, I never saw or heard of him again. Until today. I got a message from a friend that Hatami, 84, is living in poor health in New York. He has put his vast and phenomenal catalog on sale. It's a unique opportunity. Contact him here: //

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

One of my favorite forever. All these pictures, posters are deeply artistic and each has a hidden message for those who feel the art in its under skin.

Ursula Andress and Faye Dunaway are my favorites... so many feeling ...

Thank you dear Jahanshah .