Getting dozens of Hollywood's boldest and brightest to pose for you might be difficult for some, but we doubt it was hard for Jeff Vespa. As the original co-founder of WireImage, the photographer's pretty much shot everyone and their mom — so it was just a matter of time until he gathered his contacts and made his debut offline.
Published by Rizzoli, The Art of Discovery is a joint effort by Vespa and the Creative Coalition, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the nonprofit arts advocacy group. The book features strong, bright, beautiful portraits of celebrities like James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amber Heard, Jared Leto, Jaime King, Camilla Belle, and Shailene Woodley looking, well, beautiful and bright.
Each celebrity is asked to recount their first big aha moment of discovery that inspired them to be who they are today. Most are charming, a handful are surprising, and a few actually delve pretty deep. In particular, Jaime King opens up about dealing with the death of her boyfriend as a teenager.
"My first real loss in life was when my boyfriend passed away. I was a teenager — a kid," says King. "I remember standing on the corner of St. Marks and Third Avenue in New York City really early in the morning... Time stood still, and I realized I had two choices. I could go home and and feel like I wanted to die, or make this mean something." She continues on to explain how his death allowed her to for the first time understand "the truth of life and death... and how ultimately that's what unites us all." And, in King's own case, it was that very loss that she believes pushed her forward."It was that sharp pain of the awareness of mortality that brought me my life, my child, my family, and my career. Every day that I go to set, I know that it all stemmed from that moment."
Aside from showing wisdom beyond her teenage years, King's openness about the topic is refreshing. In fact, you'd be surprised by just how honest and open most of the celebrities are in the text; apparently, having an old friend take your picture makes all the difference.
Edited by Robin Bronk; Photography by Jeff Vespa; Art directed and designed by Nancy Rouemy / We Live Type Ltd. / Published by Rizzoli New York.