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In the earliest days of photography one of the key marketing tools of a photographer was to have a series of celebrity portraits that they had completed. When the carte-de-visite was patented in 1854 by André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri photographers competed with each other to take the notable personalities of the age, the aristocracy, politicians and actors were all highly sought after. Sets of photographs of the celebrities of the age were widely produced and sold. Some photographers, who saw themselves as amateurs, had the contacts to seek out the famous amongst their friends and preserve them for a chemical posterity. When Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 - 1879) photographed the leading men of Victorian British society - Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, Sir John Frederick William Herschel and William Holman Hunt it was for this reason.
There have been many famous photographers who have made celebrity portraiture their speciality:
Celebrity photographers
Yousuf Karsh
Karsh: A Biography In Images 
Yousuf Karsh (Photographer); & Malcolm Rogers
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Annie Leibovitz
Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970-1990 
Annie Leibovitz
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American royalty
JFK - John Kennedy
Remembering Jack: Intimate and Unseen Photographs of the Kennedys 
Jacques Lowe (Photographer)
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Jacqueline Kennedy
Jackie: A Life in Pictures 
Yann-Brice Dherbier (Editor); & Pierre-Henri Verlhac (Editor)
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The celebrity photographer 
One intriguing facet of photographing celebrities is that the photographers themselves can become celebrities by association. Within decades there are photographers who become celebrities in specific geographical regions on this basis.
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