Thousands of Rare and Unseen Celebrity Shoot Contact Sheets Now Online

Have you ever wondered what alternates of iconic photos looked like? Iconic Licensing has acquired thousands of previously unseen contact sheets from some of the most celebrated photographers of modern times, including Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson, and Ted Williams.

Many of the images featured on Iconic Licensing will be immediately recognizable, but the organization recently added thousands of never-before-seen photographs and a broad selection of contact sheets and alternate shots. The collection carries images of some of the world’s most recognizable faces from the past 80 years, spanning the breadth of the music, film, and entertainment industries: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix are joined by Harrison Ford, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn. There are also iconic political figures in the collection such as images of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.

All the images are presented using SmartFrame, an image-streaming technology that displays images with both quality presentation and security. This also allows for the use of what the company calls “Hyper Zoom,” with which you can easily zoom into images and pan around which is ideal for contact sheets. The “security” aspect refers to the fact that SmartFrame images cannot be immediately easily downloaded even when viewing a web page’s source.

Viewing contact sheets like the ones here is likely an exercise in curiosity for most, but Iconic Licensing is a stock photography source, and all images on the site can be licensed. Iconic Images represent many of the world’s most renowned photographers, resourcing licensees, designers, creative directors, and picture editors with creative solutions for everything from merchandise and editorial content to museum exhibitions and hospitality interiors. The company publishes historical images from its collection regularly on its Instagram:

Looking at full contact sheets from successful photographers can provide insights into why the final published images were chosen over the other from the full set. For those looking to expand their knowledge of what made great, iconic photos as well-known and successful as they were, this is an excellent resource that can help fill in those gaps. For any photographer looking to improve their craft, this kind of research can only be helpful.

To peruse Iconic Licensing’s full library, visit the company’s website here.


Image credits: Header image by Terry O’Neill, courtesy of Iconic Licensing, and used with permission.