There are a lot of adjectives people assign to Steve Jobs: genius, visionary, game changer and the like. But Naomi Campbell-level photo shoot diva? That’s one we’d never think we’d hear associated with the recently departed Apple CEO.
And yet, it turns out the man who gave us the iPhone also gave photographers some serious lip when it came to taking his pictures. PDN Pulse, the blog run by Photo District News, a monthly magazine for professional photographers, spoke with some of the people who took photos of Jobs over the course of his career at Apple. And instead of talking about how meaningful the photos they took of him were, especially in light of how sad his death made the world, what the photographers remembered most was how hard it was to get him to sit still. Jobs was known to walk onto a set, start changing complicated lighting setups, complaining about the concept and calling people’s bosses to have it changed. He also yelled a fair bit.
The revelation might be shocking to some, considering how calm and collected Jobs was during most of his Apple keynote addresses and product launches. But like runway shows, those events were highly produced and took a lot of prep work to achieve. Consider this anecdote from photographer Doug Menuez‘s shoot for a 1988 cover of Fortune magazine:
Menuez wanted to photograph him in the NeXT offices, on a staircase that Jobs had commissioned architect I.M. Pei to design. Jobs arrived for the shoot, looked at what Menuez had in mind, “then [he] leaned in and says, ‘This is the stupidest fucking idea that I’ve ever seen.’ Right in my face, like 5 or 6 inches away,” Menuez says. “I felt like I was 10 years old. He went off on a tirade. He said, ‘You just want to sell magazines. ‘And I said, ‘And you want to sell computers.’ And at that he said, ‘OK,’ and sat down.
Damn. Who knew? Take in a few other examples of Jobs’ diva tactics here.