A set of images shot by photographer Norman Seeff for Steve Jobs' Rolling Stone feature is now available to the public for the very first time since 1984.
The famous photo of the young Steve Jobs sitting in a lotus position holding a Macintosh in his lap is just one of the numerous images taken at his home and in the office in a lengthy photo shoot for the Rolling Stone magazine three decades ago.
Photographer Norman Seeff
released some of these images to Retronaut
exclusively, accompanied by a lengthy recollection
of his experience with the iconic Apple co-founder.
He told the site, “I was aware of the character flaws that people have described about Steve. For me however, my interaction with him revealed none of these views, although I don’t doubt the anecdotal stories about his impatience and qualities of dictatorial control.”
“What I did discover, and this is true with other artists, that once they trust you, that level of control tends to fall away,” he wrote.
Seeff went on to describe the photo shoot as a spontaneous one. But it wasn’t a frantic spontaneity. It was a relaxed one.
“I began the session by shooting the Mac team at the Apple offices and I could see Steve lurking in the background. It was clear that he was checking out how things were going. We were having tremendous fun and I was getting a lot of spontaneous and joyful shots. I guess Steve was feeling really good about this, otherwise he would not have invited me to his home.”
Seeff would never fixate on a shot because, as he had discovered earlier, “if I aimed for a particular outcome or goal, the emotional authenticity was lost.”
“As I was working with Steve, I was watching him become more and more comfortable until I felt as though I’m hanging out with a big adolescent in his pad,” Seeff added.
“Every shot is a one-time moment and then the next one happens spontaneously so I ended up with hundreds of shots that document a chronological sequence of events from the time I arrived to when I was able to say “we got it, we’re done.”
The photographer concluded with a few heartwarming words about Steve himself, calling him a true visionary, and defending his mercurial temper highlighting the benefits that came out of it.