ENTERTAINMENT

This Photographer Captured The High Life Of the Rich And Famous

100 years of Slim Aarons.

28/10/2016 3:43 PM AEDT | Updated 29/10/2016 6:28 AM AEDT
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For the late photographer Slim Aarons, lying poolside next to Hollywood glamour girl Lita Baron afront a 1970's Californian desert house was not an uncommon occurrence. It was his day job.

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1970's pool gossip.

"It would start with a conversation over a drink," Stuart Hannagan, Vice President of Editorial Content at Getty Images Australia, told the Huffington Post Australia.

"Slim knew these people. He was part of their circles."

Aarons began his career as a war photographer for US military magazine Yank. After developing a deep distaste for war, he turned his lens to the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous.

He called them 'attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places'. And, at a time when celebrity glimpses were only spied in cinemas, it was seen as a pioneering move.

"Part of his legacy was that he could get where no one else could," Hannagan said. "He had the ability to go behind the scenes -- in to the bedrooms and on to the luxurious boats of those select few who had this kind of lifestyle -- and he almost took the piss out of them."

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Swedish actress Britt Ekland in Porto Ercole, Italy, 1969

Working for Holiday, LIFE, Venture and Town Country, among other high-society publications, Aarons traipsed the world, bringing out its most sumptuous and colourful subjects through the lens of a simple Kodacolor. And this was a fresh diversion from the black and white photography favoured by his predecessors.

"There was this move to always keep things dark and sinister, yet the way that Slim used colour -- both in his scene setters and portraits -- was new and stunning.

"He didn't like his subjects doing their hair or putting on makeup, but he did always ask them to wear something colourful."

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Greek fashion designer Dimitris Kritsas poses with four models against a backdrop of the ancient Doric temple to Poseidon at Sounion, July 1967.

On Saturday, on what would have been the late photographer's 100th birthday, Hannagan marks him as one of the art form's all time greats.

"What he did was quite simple. It was never about him -- he just moved gently through scenes and around his subjects.

"He encompassed everything that we are trying to do with photography today. And he was the first one to do it."

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Journalist Lucius Beebe in the glass roofed Garden Court of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco.

On November 11, MADE Sydney will be hosting the world premiere of The High Life: Slim Aarons, a film produced in partnership with Getty Images. For tickets, visit the website.

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