7 Unknown Stories Hiding Behind Famous Photos


Time flies irrevocably, yet photos taken years and years ago last forever. And what stories hide behind the shots that have long since become iconic? We at Bright Side learned a lot for ourselves. And we have a bonus pic! See if we can surprise you.

7. Albert Einstein’s portrait

Just a second before the legendary shot.

That evening, a satisfied Einstein got into a car after his 72nd birthday party. Photographer Arthur Sasse went to an open door and asked for a picture. Einstein turned and stuck out his tongue — and the photographer managed to catch the moment.

The original picture is larger and only then was cut to a portrait — the physicist was captured with his companions. By the way, Einstein himself adored this photo and put it into all his greeting cards.

6. Lunch atop a skyscraper

The iconic shot depicts eleven builders relaxing during their lunch at a tremendous height. And although these people were real workers, the shot was staged: the picture was created to promote the Rockefeller Center, where the photograph was taken.

5. The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover

The cover picture for the band’s 12th album was taken right next to the recording studio: the road was closed for a few minutes just for this event. At the same time, an American tourist was walking nearby: he talked to a policeman in a car parked on the right. The man was surprised when he saw the guys walking along the road back and forth but soon forgot about them. A year later, he found himself on the cover of the legendary group’s album.

4. V-J Day in Times Square

The girl in the photo, Edith Shain, told the following story: she was working as a nurse and hurried to Times Square, where people were celebrating the ending of World War II and Japan’s capitulation. She got out of the subway, and she was suddenly grabbed by a sailor who kissed her. Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who was taking pictures of the celebrating crowd, managed to capture the couple in a photograph.

3. Afghan Girl

In 1984, photographer Steve McCurry traveled around Afghanistan collecting material about the war. In one of the refugee camps, a 12-year-old girl attracted his attention. Her village had just been under fire, and many members of her family were killed. Steve took some pictures of the girl, but only back at home did he realize how powerful his work was. In 2002, the girl from the photo was found: her name is Sharbat Gula, she’s married, and still lives in Afghanistan.

2. Dali Atomicus

This photograph, which can now be easily created in Photoshop in half an hour, required as much as six hours for its creation in distant 1948. Photographer Philippe Halsman was a good friend of Salvador Dali and supported the creative idea of his friend with pleasure. The easel and picture were suspended on a line to the ceiling, the chair was held by an assistant, Dali was jumping, the cats were jumping, water was splashing around and wiped — and so on for 28 times.

1. Marilyn Monroe’s “flying” dress

Shots from The Seven Year Itch are famous even among those who have never seen the movie. And it’s no wonder because it’s here we find the legendary scene with Marilyn Monroe’s “flying” dress. It took a lot of takes before the actress could play the scene well: her jealous husband, Joe DiMaggio, kept an eye on her and was terribly angry that his wife was showing her body. By the way, they soon broke up, but every frame of this scene became truly iconic.

Bonus: Did you think this photo was real?

“If you’re one of the most prominent scientists in history, be sure you’ll be mentioned whether it fits or not,” Albert Einstein said in 1911.

Just kidding. He didn’t. Just as he didn’t ride a bicycle anywhere near the nuclear explosion in Nevada in 1962. Mainly because he had died 7 years prior.

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