Style File: ‘Exposing’ Celeb Photog Mark Liddell

Nov. 3 2009, Published 11:48 a.m. ET

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What does it take to get a famed photographer to make a book these days? Apparently Jessica Alba and Barack Obama. That’s how fashion and celeb snapper Mark Liddell got the fever to publish his ten-year Hollywood retrospect Exposed.

“Jessica Alba rang me a year ago to do the Declare Yourself campaign to get kids to vote. That made me, as an Englishman, aware of American politics, which I was blissfully unaware of.”

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Alba then turned him on to a then-fledgling politician Obama, whose platform was change.

“From there, I actually wanted to do something with a purpose.”

Exposed was born, culminating countless star photographs from the likes of John Travolta, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Beyonce and Matthew McConaughey.

Liddell began shooting for houses like Versace and Fendi, and upon moving to Los Angeles (on the recommendation of Nicole Kidman), started playing with the lines between stars and style.

Nicole Richie

“I just shot Leighton Meester’s album artwork,” Liddell tells us, “she’s someone incredible at mixing fashion and a sex into a picture. There's a total different edge of something else going on.”

He's also gotten a taste of Twilight fever, having just shot Eclipse's Noot Seear for Italian Vanity Fair.

"Lots of the time, working with brand new actresses, they really get it and they don't have a preconceived image of themselves. They're really happy to work on something new," Liddell says.

And so far as legends go, Madonna is still one he hasn't gotten his hands on.

"Madonna booked me but I herniated a disc. I really had to think about that one. I rang the surgeon and he was like, 'Do you want to walk again?' So I'll sit by the phone, six years later and I'm still sitting by the phone."

With two events scheduled for New York and LA in November to promote Xposed, plus proceeds from the glossy book going to The Trevor Project and Women's Domestic Abuse center Jenesse, we think she might just take notice.



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