Joan Didion - Platinum Print

Commissioned by TIME Magazine, this portrait of author Joan Didion was taken by Julian Wasser at her rented home on Franklin Avenue in the Hollywood Hills after her book “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” was published to critical acclaim.


Of all the pictures he took during those years, Wasser says, speaking by phone from Los Angeles, the ones of Didion were “a big event in my life.” “I’d read her fiction,” he says. “It was very L.A. She didn’t miss a thing. She was such a heavyweight person.” Wasser shot Didion on the Strip and at her rented house on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, where she lived with her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and their daughter, Quintana Roo. “It was a very nice, cozy house,” Wasser remembers. “And she was a very easy person to talk to. It was like a dream. Quite nice and relaxed. No Hollywood phoniness.” Vogue asked Didion, too, for her memories of the shoot.

Was this the first time you met Julian Wasser? Were you familiar with his work?

I was very familiar with his work because I was writing for magazines then and he was at the Time bureau. Any time anyone was shooting in L.A. for Time and Life, they were shooting with Julian. He was just somebody I knew very well.

What details do you remember about that day? Does anything in particular stand out to you now?

I can’t remember anything specific that stands out about the day. I don’t know how we decided to include the Corvette. It must have been some whim of Julian’s.

He said it was not his whim. He said, “You don’t tell a woman like that what to do.”

[Laughs] Oh, really?

Had you thought about what you were going to wear, or were the long dress and sandals just what you happened to have on?

I remember the long dress. I remember being out on the Strip in a long dress. Why, I can’t imagine.

Do you remember buying the Stingray?

I very definitely remember buying the Stingray because it was a crazy thing to do. I bought it in Hollywood.

What color was the Stingray?

The Stingray was Daytona yellow. Which was a yellow so bright, you could never mistake it for anything other than Daytona yellow.

Did you like these photographs of you?

Anybody who had their picture taken by Julian felt blessed.

How did you feel about the article?

I don’t remember the article. I remember the pictures.

Available size options with and without framing are below;

​Silver Gelatin Print

  • 18” x 24” in (45.72 cm x 60.96 cm)

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