David Bailey – An icon among photographers

“David Bailey has had only two love affairs in his life, one with photography and one with beautiful women. It is difficult to say which of these two affairs has taken up most of his energy, but I have noticed that – while I have often seen him with only one beautiful woman – I have never seen him with less than two cameras.” 

Brian Clarke as an introduction to “Trouble and strife”,
David Bailey’s very personal book of photographs of his wife Marie Helvin.


I have never been much into heroes and idols, but David Bailey makes somehow an exception.
An icon among photographers. 

David Bailey – Click the image if you want to know more about him

In the middle of the 70-ties I bought my first 35 mm SLR camera, a Ricoh Singlex, and soon after I was photographing everything around me. And when I say everything I really mean it! 

I built my first darkroom and of course I read everything I came across, concerning cameras and development of film. 

I was totally lost! 

My wife in those days were into clothes and wanted to become a fashion designer (which she eventually did, and many of my pictures started with photographing her models). She bought fashion magazines, especially British “Vogue”, and at that time David Bailey (and Helmut Newton), was the leading photographer’s. 

It is amazing that he is working after all these years and still are reckoned as one of the worlds leading photographers. He has always inspired me, and still, does! 

A book you don’t forget!


This book review is more about how the book is written than what the story is about. If you are more interested in what than how I would advise you to just buy the book and read what’s written on the back cover.

This is this book’s strength and that’s why you should buy and read it!

I don’t think that you would regret it.

More than half of the book is basically a prologue describing Kacey Kells’s upbringing; her childhood and the steps into the teenage world. Both everyday events and serious family crises is very thoroughly described. She has a liberating easy way to tell her story and imperceptibly you get dragged into her world.

I am normally a very fast reader, but when I read this story my thoughts constantly wandered to my own childhood and youth, to my son and to two little girls and a boy that I was the stepfather for in nearly a decade.

Slowly, without noticing,
I became a part of the book myself …

Kacey Kells’s «Warning to the reader», an unique way of expressing herself, is the start of the really ugly and mean part of the book!

This part is not an unusual story; I have friends who have had the same experiences, so it came totally as a chock to me when I became filled with rage and anger!
So angry that I couldn’t read more for a long time …

A lot of thoughts, and they were not pleasant, flew through my brain.

In many ways Kacey Kells makes her story to everyone’s story.

This is this book’s strength
and that’s why you should buy and read it!

Let me add, and this stands out as my personal opinion; It is the time after the rape that is the worst, not the rape itself …

We can be heroes, forever and ever

«I had a friend back in the 70-ties who came back after a trip to London where he had bought some LP’s, one of them was «The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars». No one had ever heard of the singer «David Bowie».
He put the record on though and after the first three bars of «Five Years» I had become a «Bowie fan» and have been it since.
I have used his lyrics as a title for many of my pictures and I will certainly be doing it in the future.

David Bowie on stage in Gothenburg 1983

On last Friday, on «David Bowie’s» birthday he gave out his last album, «Blackstar», and in the evening we sat listening to it and watch the video which came with it.
«Blackstar» is full of understatements and full of symbolism’s which gives another meaning today when I hear that he had died, than it did on Friday.
I have only been to one live concert with «Bowie», in Gøteborg, Sweden, in 1983. That was both a birthday and divorce present to myself as I turned 30 that year.
It was a great gig, a part of the «Serious Moonlight Tour». It was illegal to photograph but after I was stopped by the guards my girlfriend at «that time» managed to smuggle the camera in. Unfortunately, we were too far away to get a good shot.
I had never thought that this picture would be used but I prefer one of my own pictures, even if it’s bad, above stealing someone else’s.
David Bowie, you will be deeply missed. May you rest in peace …»

I wrote this three years ago and if you are wondering why it is on this blog then it is because the image used here is included in the book «The Man Outside the Window».