Capturing David Bowie

Photographer Steve Schapiro was invited to photograph David Bowie one afternoon in 1974. The musician showed up at 4 p.m., Schapiro recalled, and the two men worked until dawn. “From the moment Bowie arrived, we seemed to hit it off. Incredibly intelligent, calm, and filled with ideas,” Schapiro said. Bowie came prepared with several costumes, testing out new personas for the camera. “He talked a lot about Aleister Crowley, whose esoteric writings he was heavily into at the time,” Schapiro said. “When David heard that I had photographed Buster Keaton, one of his greatest heroes, we instantly became friends.” The images taken that night went on to appear on the albums Station to Station and Low, as well as on the cover of People. One outfit, a diagonally striped navy number, even appears in Bowie’s video for Lazarus. But many of the images were never published—until now. Schapiro’s photographs of the late artist, taken that night and over the course of their friendship, have been collected in a new book, Bowie, published by PowerHouse Books. A selection can be found below.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent