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She lived her life believing in the power of simplicity. Whether it had to do with fashion, work or relationships, she used to say, “Boil it all down to what counts the most: What is the essence of what you are trying to do, what is the most important thing? Things only get complicated when you are trying to address too many issues.

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Stills from the book: Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen in Contact Sheets, 1951–1997, by Karina Longworth.

In the pre-digital era, contact sheets offered a quick, visual summary of a photo shoot, and photographers, editors, and even subjects would make marks directly on the printed contact sheet pages to signify which images should be printed (and which absolutely shouldn’t), how they should be cropped, and whether or not more shooting was needed. Once a frame of film was exposed, it couldn’t be deleted, so contact sheets always include “mistakes”—moments which the photographer, or the subject, may not want anyone to see. Many of these contact sheets tell stories about how star personas are invented, while also exposing aspects of the individual celebrities’ personalities which the entire industry of celebrity myth-making usually tries to squeeze out. 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Paramount/The Kobal Collection/Howell Conant)
Raging Bull (Christine Loss)

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