This Is What Hollywood Looked Like Pre-Instagram

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Los Angeles photographer Randall Slavin has been, and remains, a fixture on the local scene. Over the last fifteen+ years, he has made a name for himself as a celebrity portrait photographer, capturing the brightest stars of the screen and stage for publications like GQ, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. But before that, he was just a kid in Hollywood struggling like everyone else. And, as it turns out, the friends he struggled alongside over the course of the 1990s, went on to become quite famous. Slavin, out at night armed with plenty of charm and an Olympus Stylus, shot candids of Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron.

The collection of images shot during this time, which Slavin has turned into a coffee table book titled We All Want Something Beautiful, is remarkable not just for the volume of bold-faced names included therein, but for its happenstance cataloguing of a bygone era—a time, pre-Instagram, when celebrities went out in public and could still let their hair down. There is a guileless and unguarded quality to Slavin’s photos that will make you long for the days of under-exposure, where the best parts of life remained ephemeral and rarely documented. We All Want Something Beautiful is available for pre-order now.

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