Photographer recalls the week he spent without photographing Steve Jobs for Apple

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was notorious for his impatience with photo shoots, and another 40-year anniversary of the Mac's launch includes history about how Apple hired a photographer for a week, flew him to Sweden, hired a helicopter – but he never got the photo because Steve changed his mind …

The work about Macworld begins with a photo that photographer Will Mosgrove managed to get: a photograph of Steve with the original Macintosh for the cover of the magazine.

He said it wasn't easy, but Steve at least gave them enough time to do it.

We took a couple of quick Polaroid pictures and made sure everything looked good from a lighting perspective. Shot for about five minutes or so and he said, are we done? And I said okay, I'd like to try a couple different things. And he said, well, I'd like to try something too.

So he started making really interesting, wacky symbols with his hands, and I kind of looked at them. to the people at Macworld and they just shook their heads – don't worry, we're not going to use them. [Laughs.] We played along with him and made some kind of film, and it was over literally in 15-20 minutes.

But the funnier story is when Apple tasked him with taking a promotional photo of Steve, they put a lot of effort into setting it up, but once they were in the helicopter, Steve decided he didn't need any photos.

There was a university consortium, and at the end of it – it was in Lund, Sweden – Steve was going to fly in from Stockholm, and they wanted to photograph him going into it a place with a castle, with a landscape in the background looking down on the castle and saying that he's going to this consortium of Macintosh users to kind of give him the appearance of a world leader. So he came to a European country to talk with university people […]

They said, okay, Steve is flying in from Stockholm. Let's go to the airport so you can take the helicopter there. We would like him to look out the window. If you manage to see the castle in the background, beautiful scenery. I said, of course, let's go […]

So, we take off, we have to go eight minutes before this dinner at the castle to close the consortium.

And as I take out my camera and get ready to go, he said, “You know, I don’t think I need any pictures.” And I said, well, okay, you know, I was flown from California to Sweden to take this picture, and you know, I'm here and ready to do it. Can we just think about it?

He grunted something, and I looked at the camera again and did it. He says: I don't think I really need any photos.

I said, what if we take some photos and you look at them? If you don't want to use them, that's fine by me, but you know, Tom Hughes (who was the art director) asked if you could take this shot and I said yes, and I need to come back with something. And he says, I don’t need any photographs.

30 seconds of awkward silence. And, you know, I kind of played around, I started to pick it up again. He says no damn photos. So I went, okay, put the camera away. And his assistant seemed to say: “No, don’t, that’s all.” We're done.

Luckily, Hughes heard about it and laughed it off.

  • Apple executives are taking a closer look at the Mac as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
  • Macintosh 40th Anniversary: ​​Remembering my love for the original Mac
  • Macintosh 40th Anniversary: ​​Watch live as key members of the original team look back.

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