Babies have dominated the entertainment imagery business for the past year. Portfolios show glowing mothers embracing pregnancy, happy power couples anticipating the new arrival to their family and the money shot itself – the newborn child.
The biggest selling entertainment pictures for the period were of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s baby, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, born on May 27, 2006 in Namibia. Her parents donated all money from the sale of the images to charity.
In second and third place, respectively, were shots of Brooke Shields’s and Gwen Stefani’s babies. The daughter of Shields and Chris Henchy, Grier Hammond Henchy, was born on April 18. Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, the son of Stefani and rock frontman Gavin Rossdale, was born on May 26, the day before baby Shiloh arrived in the world.
Images that generate high revenue are a good litmus test for the level of celebrity. In 2005, photographs of Beyonce Knowles, Keira Knightley, Will Ferrell and Jack Black were more popular than pictures of Brad Pitt. And Shields, Stefani and Jolie were nowhere near the top ranking for image sales.
But the baby business is good for the profile. If more evidence of this was needed, there’s the compelling case of Tom Cruise, his fiancée Katie Holmes and their daughter Suri.
Little Suri was born on April 18, the same day as Grier Henchy. But three months later, no pictures of her had been made available. And since the public hasn’t seen her, Cruise and Holmes aren’t topping the entertainment photo sales table.
But everything in entertainment hasn’t been about babies. David Levenson’s shot of England’s Queen Elizabeth, who turned 80 on April 21, 2006, and celebrated her official birthday on June 17, 2006, was a high-ranking photograph of age and proved a welcome alternative to the dominance of baby power.
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