An Alternative Perspective on Music’s GREATEST HITS

By Olivia Otsuki
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You’ve seen the iconic photos, now meet the man behind them: Chris Cuffaro


You’ve probably seen the famous photo of George Michael looking out a window, or the Jesus Christ pose photo with Perry Farell, the lead singer of Jane’s addiction. Maybe you’ve seen iconic portraits of Iggy Pop, Morrisey, Fiona Apple, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Gwen Stefani, Ice Cube, Elvis Costello; the list goes on and on.

Thank Chris Cuffaro, one the entertainment industry’s most respected photographers, and the man behind symbolic pictures of a variety of A-list actors, musicians, models, and athletes.

Many describe him as a photographer able to capture the “real” person behind the celebrity.

“I like to keep things simple, what’s in front of me … I want them to look relaxed, comfortable, and confident,” says Cuffaro.

Tonight, Cuffaro will be hosting his GREATEST HITS exhibition, featuring 100 of his most famous photographs from his decades-long career. From countless photographs he narrowed the GREATEST HITS collection down to a mere thousand; then, over another year, chose 100 for public viewing at the former Los Angeles Tower Records. He will have a 4×8 ft. light box with 100 proof sheets of film, so that guests can see the sequence of photos he took of celebrities.

“I’ve been doing this for 47 years – 47 years – and I love it more today than when I started,” Cuffaro explains. His photography career started at the age of 12.

“I was in the 6th grade, and I took my mom’s Brownie camera and the first picture I took was of trees or whatever,” he laughs.

Since that day, he dreamed it would be his life’s work. He moved to Los Angeles from San Jose, eager to pursue fashion photography, but quickly realized L.A. had an even bigger music scene.

Since, he has tirelessly produced in the realm of photography, film, and design. His creative energy and passion is infectious; currently, he mentors circa 50 young, creative people, who aspire to be creative musicians, writers, photographers, directors, and the like.

He says their have been a few key lessons along his journey as well.

“A) Have fun; B) Always be nice; C) Be passionate … and do it, you have to do it.”


The GREATEST HITS Exhibition will give back to the creative community. All funds raised from the exhibition will go to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund – a foundation that provides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing medical illness.

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