Behind the Shot: David Bowie

Behind the Shot: David Bowie

Paul Natkin, Chicago’s foremost music photographer, shines a light on the stories behind some of his most famous shots for Trope’s Behind the Shot series.

It’s interesting because there isn’t really a great story behind it. It’s just matter of… you know, I’ve spoken a lot about the idea that people only allow photographers to shoot the first three songs, but I always work out a way to get around that.

(David Bowie) used to hold that skull every night, but there were never any photographers around because they had all gone. I had made arrangements to be able to shoot most of his show, and I was standing there in front of him while he was holding the skull. He looked down and saw me and obviously this is not a normal thing for him to see a photographer at that point in the show, so he put the rose in the skull’s mouth and posed for me.

All the good stuff happens at the end of the show. They always build to a climax and that’s when there aren't any photographers there anymore.

David Bowie holding a skull

Paul Natkin’s first book, Natkin: The Moment of Truth, is now available. This 288-page, casebound monograph, priced at $55 USD, contains work covering every music genre, from jazz and country to punk, blues, rock & hip hop.

Natkin: The Moment of Truth slipcases

Also available in five exclusive paperboard slipcases featuring some of our favorite images from the book. These limited-edition slipcases are only available on – grab your favorite before they're gone!