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View Full Version : Life behind the lens - the man who shot Elvis:



mistymorning
01-12-2012, 01:42 PM
You've seen the iconic jumpsuits and heard the voice - many will have also watched the movies. But do you know the person responsible for capturing 'The King' on camera?


As a young man, Ed Bonja envisaged getting married, becoming a French teacher and coaching basketball, football and baseball. One phone call in 1970 changed all that.
For the next seven years, Ed would double as Elvis' tour manager and official photographer. Hear him reflect on those years; impressions of 'The King', the role his work played in created the star's image and why he walked away from it all.


http://www.tcb-world.com/image-files/edbonja.jpg






On his connection to Elvis: "It goes all the way back to 1948 when my Uncle Tom used to bring Colonel Parker, who was just known as Thomas Parker then, to our home in Chicago...they became partners, Colonel signed Elvis several years later and the Colonel became a family friend - we used to call him Uncle Tom and then later... Uncle Colonel. So it goes way, way back to then and it's lasted many, many years."
Meeting the music great for the first time in 1964: "I was working at MGM studios doing the filming of 'Girl Happy'. The Colonel said he had a position open for secretary that was in the contract for the movie, and if I wanted the job it payed $80 a week and it would last for 10 weeks and I grabbed it and I loved it."
On photographing 'The King': "You could shoot Elvis from any angle and he looked good! It was a piece of cake. If you had one subject in the whole world, it would be Elvis, and basically he was the only subject I ever shot because I didn't do anymore photography after."
The one question fans ask him the most: "They ask what he was really like, was he the same on stage? I'd tell them yeah, what you saw was what you got. He was a great guy. On stage he could get embarrassed by the adulation of the fans, he was just...one time in your life you'll ever meet someone like that type of person."
Ed is currently touring Australia with his 150-piece exhibition titled "Images of The King." (News, Source: Georgia Wilson, ABC)

Read EIN's review of Ed Bonja's great book, "Viva Elvis (http://www.tcb-world.com/bookreviews.html)

Joe Car
01-14-2012, 08:48 AM
Bonja took some classic shots of our boy!