Hatami (1928-2017) was a prolific photojournalist who started his sixty-year long career as a writer in the 1950s for a newspaper in Tehran. Due to short staffing, the Editor required he also use his journalistic skills to photograph unfolding political events. From there forward, Hatami constantly traveled across the world, capturing decades of historic photographs of political, cultural, and social events.
In addition to his photographic contribution for hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, his work graced the covers of LIFE magazine, LOOK, Newsweek, Paris-Match, Jours de France, Vogue and fourteen covers of ELLE. Hatami’s photographic work is recognized worldwide for its true commitment to photojournalism and is registered with the Library of Congress.
Hatami’s keen eye and assertive nature allowed him to document and photograph thousands of subjects from the Middle East to Europe and Hollywood to New York City. His early photojournalism included covering Israel as a new state, the coronation of King Hussein of Jordan in 1952, President Nassar and the Egyptian Revolution, the Suez crisis in 1956 and later the exile of the Shah of Iran. Other subjects have included the beginning of The Beatles career, Johnny Hallyday, Woody Allen, Françoise Sagan, Catherine Deneuve, Faye Dunaway, Marlene Dietrich, Gina Lollobrigida, Romy Schneider, Jean-Luc Godard and many others. Hatami was also a personal friend of Mlle Coco Chanel, whom he photographed extensively in her private apartment, while she entertained or created fashion, between 1962 and 1969. In 1979, Hatami documented the Iranian revolution from the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini to the hostage crisis.
COCO CHANEL, HOUSE OF CHANEL, PARIS, 1962-69
THE BEATLES, 1962-63
The famous photographs of the Beatles in Liverpool are taken during a visit to their dressing room before a performance in a local club. There, the photographer was allowed backstage where he documented the Fab Four as they casually chatted and practiced, and also shot their iconic portraits. Several other images of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show document their onstage performance and a filming break in tête à tête with their manager Brian Epstein, as well as Beatlemania. Within this series of photographs from the Liverpool Cavern are the earliest color images of the group. The 2012 issue of Newsweek magazine was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Beatles and Hatami's color photos are highlighted. They include John holding his black Rickenbacker guiter, Paul his Hofner bass and George his Country Gentleman Guitar.
In the late 60s Hatami was invited by directors on to movie sets to document films and photograph well known actors, such as Mia Farrow, Steve McQueen, Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, Sharon Tate, Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Woody Allen, Jacqueline Bisset, Faye Dunaway and many others. Sharon Tate was a personal friend and after her death Hatami testified at the trial against Charles Manson. He worked with movie directors such as Jean-Luc Goddard, François Truffaut, David Lean, Roman Polanski and Charlie Chaplin. In addition to photography, Hatami explored film documentation and used cinematography to create “The Making of Rosemary’s Baby”, which can be seen on the current DVD.