Elio Sorci was a Trailblazer in Candid Celebrity Photography

Late Italian celebrity photographer Elio Sorci, left behind an incredible legacy- an archive containing over 14,000 images. Selecting just 300 of these iconic images to create a book on his life works was a mammoth task.

‘In the end, we curated the book that we would want to own, which of course has all the biggest stars,’ Maeve Convery, commissioner and managing editor of the project told us. ‘But it also has the art-house actors and writers, and that contrasts on-set photography with Sorci’s most strategically daring scoops.’

The book is a stunning collection of images from one of the world’s very first paparazzi-style photojournalists. He captured a truly unique period when all the biggest stars in the world descended on one of the world’s most fascinating cities, Rome. ‘The style and the attitudes of the stars began to transform over the 25 years that this book covers, ‘Maeve added. ‘It’s a fascinating document of the time, from a number of perspectives.’

Maeve told us a little more about the book:
The Plus:
What are some of the most noticeable differences between Sorci’s style and current paparazzi work?
Maeve Convery: As one of the very first paparazzi, Sorci could get very close to these celebrities and photograph them in a natural way. Of course today’s celebrities are known for tipping off the paparazzi and staging photo-ops so that they can control their image, and often make money on the resulting photographs. Sorci’s work, on the other hand, catches the celebrities with their guard down. There is a dynamism and excitement in his work that I don’t believe we see today.

TP: Why did you decide to make this book now?
Sadly, Elio Sorci passed away in August 2013. He has always been known in his native Italy, but his work deserves global recognition, so it is wonderful to be celebrating his legacy with this book.

TP: What is your favourite image from the collection and why?
It’s very difficult to pick just one. There is a photograph of Julie Christie that is incredibly elegant and interesting. Her body language is slightly guarded, but you can tell her mind is elsewhere, which is reflected in the hazy background. It’s so beautiful.

Paparazzo: The Elio Sorci Collection, published by Roads Publishing, is available to order from September 28.