Photographer shares story behind ‘iconic’ photoshoot.

Posted May 30, 2023 by: Admin #News

Jenny Joseph, an ordinary woman with a captivating charm, found herself in an extraordinary role that would forever etch her image in the annals of film history. Although she had no prior experience as a model or actress, a stroke of serendipity placed her at the heart of one of the most recognizable symbols in contemporary cinema—the Columbia Pictures logo.


Renowned photographer Kathy Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, had the honor of capturing the reference photos for artist Michael Deas. Deas, renowned for his paintings of iconic figures like Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe, was commissioned to update the studio’s emblem in 1992. Little did they know that their collaboration would give birth to an enduring masterpiece.

The origins of the Columbia Pictures logo can be traced back to the vibrant, jazz-filled streets of New Orleans in the early 1990s. The studio’s emblem, featuring a draped woman holding a torch aloft reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty, had adorned the beginning of every Columbia Pictures film since 1924. However, it underwent various transformations over the years, drawing inspiration from actresses Evelyn Venable and Jane Bartholomew.


When Deas embarked on the task of painting a modern rendition of Miss Liberty, he understood the importance of capturing the perfect reference images. That’s when he enlisted the talents of Anderson, a photographer renowned for her ability to bring out the best in her subjects.


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Une publication partagée par New Orleans Photographer (@kathyandersonphotography)

At the time, Anderson was working for The Times-Picayune, and it was through a colleague’s suggestion that Joseph, a 28-year-old graphic artist at the publication, came into the picture. Seizing the opportunity during an impromptu lunch break, Joseph agreed to be the model for the shoot.


Transforming her New Orleans home into a makeshift studio, Anderson worked her magic. With meticulous attention to detail, she created the perfect backdrop—a mottled gray surface adorned with carefully arranged sheets and fabric. Employing her signature softbox lighting technique, Anderson accentuated every fold in the material, capturing Joseph’s beauty with grace and elegance.

During the shoot, Joseph’s warmth and laughter filled the room. In a delightful twist, she revealed that she had just discovered her pregnancy, adding an unexpected joy to the proceedings. Little did she know that her daughter would one day cherish the fact that she was present during the creation of such an iconic image.

When the logo made its debut on the silver screen, Anderson was astounded. The surreal experience of witnessing her work come to life before her eyes left her speechless. Decades later, the logo continues to captivate audiences, surpassing all expectations.


Anderson and Joseph, who remain close friends, fondly reflect on their remarkable contribution to film history. The unexpected notoriety of the logo has brought laughter and joy to their lives. Joseph even shares amusing GIFs inspired by the logo with Anderson from time to time.

For Anderson, the logo holds a special place in her heart. It not only represents a professional achievement but has also become a cherished memory shared with her children. Knowing that her kids consider her “cool” for her involvement in creating such an iconic image is a priceless reward.



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