Our combined skills and expertise make the Celebrity Archaeology collective a unique team dedicated to the art and craft of celebrity photography from years past. We work tirelessly on an ever-growing project list, each and every podcast is given the utmost attention for enjoyment and clarity to the listener. We deliver our podcasts with you in mind.
Every single second of audio that passes through our production process matters to us, and most importantly – to you.
Adam & John are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
My background as a journalist combined with my innate creativity allows me to capture priceless moments through the art of photography.
During my early years, I spent 25 years as a staff photographer for a major newspaper and made a name for myself in the industry as one who could always get the front page money shot.
Now, I’m looking to revitalize over 1 million images from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that encompass celebrity lifestyles with CelebrityArchaeology.com, preserving the art and cultural heritage of celebrity photography from decades past for the historical benefit of future generations. It’s truly a natural extension of me. All images are for sale to private owners and collectors.
I tell stories through my pictures. My camera and lens become my x-ray vision; I see, capture and liberate the essence of the moment.
With the lens focused on my subject, I create my license to be curious. I can reach in and discover their soul which they cannot hide. I can clearly see their innermost feelings and capture what they project, their intensity, their joy, their life experience or their sadness.
It’s candid photography with a paparazzi touch!
I’m readily available for hire to capture photos at:
✓ Red Carpet Events
✓ Fashion Premiers
✓ Galas / Formal Dinners
✓ Social Events / Parties
Contact me at: CelebrityArchaeology@gmail.com
John, along with Adam Scull, is sharing his priceless images with our viewers. John seemed much more up close and personal with the celebs than the average paparazzi shots. I asked him if he was ever one of the paparazzi hiding in the bushes or shadows.
“Sure, there were plenty of times when I had to do that because in those days, you were only as good as your last photo,” he said.
“I used to make a lot of money in the old days. The National Enquirer, for one, was throwing lots of money around when it had 5 million readers a week. Now they are down to 500,000 because of the internet. The internet was one reason it all ended; another reason was 9/11,” he said.
John explained that security used to be minimal with only one or two security people at an event. “Now you’ll find more security than celebs at these events!,” he said.
The man with the camera said he had it all figured out. “I just knew how to fit in. I kept a tuxedo in the back of my car-just in case I needed a quick change of clothes to fit in,” he said. John said he had to check the papers every day for celebrity happenings because, at the time, there wasn’t a Celebrity Bulletin or Daily Calendar to list the daily events around town.
“Everything was word of mouth for the latest stuff because we didn’t have cell phones back then.”
John Barrett started out as a banker on Wall Street. He was married for five years and then found himself single and going out to bars.
“One night I learned that ‘Tommy’ (the rock opera created by The Who) was having its premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 54th Street, so I decided to check it out with a friend. There was no red carpet photography in those days. I noticed guys standing around with a star pin and I asked what it was. They said it was for the after-party.” They asked if John and his friend wanted the stars because they weren’t going to the party.
“We took the stars and pinned them to our shirts and off we went to the party. I found myself standing next to Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry of The Who, Elton John and Tina Turner!”
That was the start of his career.
“Boy, did it get me right away! I was addicted! And I sold the photos!”
John said while Adam Scull was snapping photos at Studio 54 at the time, he used to frequent a different club. Regine’s, on Park Avenue, a small but very upscale club.
“I used to go to places where other photographers didn’t go – out of the way spots. I caught Joan Mondale-who was the wife of Vice President Walter Mondale at the time- dancing with New York conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was a known heavy drinker and loved to party, “ he remembers.
Snap! Snap! Snap!
“Three photos of them dancing hit all the papers!” John explains how different it was in the early days.
“You had to get in to the party. And I could do that-with ease. I was like a chameleon” he said. “Today? Geez, I’ll give you an example, there was a red carpet at a golf event!
“I didn’t go for it. I looked for other angles, other shots-like golfers swinging their clubs,” he said. John instinctively knew he didn’t want to get the same photo everyone else was getting.
“And that’s what this crop of photographers is doing. I like to get out from behind the red carpet, walk around, have a drink and keep an eye out, all without being spotted!”
Barrett was the paparazzo of choice to call for celebrity weddings because he could sneak in better than anyone. He said Eddie Murphy’s wedding was a breeze because he knew the Plaza Hotel in and out.
“Never try to get into an event at the beginning. That’s when you’ll find all the security ready to jump on you. Wait a little while, after everyone’s had a few drinks and then drop in.
“I ended up with the greatest images when I used my camera right; when their wedding photographer started taking their photos. “It’s called ‘flash on site.’ “
He got the Murphys cutting the cake and a shot of their first dance.
“A good one was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s wedding to Kerry Kennedy. I met a couple on the plane en route that was headed to the wedding.
“When I showed up to sneak in to get some photos, the couple recognized me. We started chatting and I walked right in!” John walked around and got images of a young John Kennedy and Jackie O!
“But I made sure I disappeared before they all sat down because there wouldn’t be a place setting for me,” he added.
When asked who his favorite celebrities of all time are he answered without hesitation.
“That’s easy! Jack Nicholson and Liz Taylor!”
John remembers Jack as a great guy with funny stories to tell.
“Liz Taylor! Wherever she went it was like the parting of the Red Sea. People made room for her. She was so classy and had been doing the publicity thing for so long. She knew how to deal with it. For me, there was nothing like Liz Taylor.
In comparison, John mentions a young Al Pacino and a young Robert De Niro. “They were very skittish; very photo-shy at first and didn’t know how to handle the press.
“One night Pacino saw me and started running. I said, ‘Al, slow down! I’m not even chasing you!'”
“There is way too much control now. We used to get some great spontaneous moments because there weren’t so many photographers trying for the same shot.”
“I didn’t have an agency representing my work and I’ve collected so many images through the years that I’ve forgotten what I have! I’m so happy Adam Scull came up with the idea of Celebrity Archaeology to recirculate and showcase our photos for everyone to enjoy!
Contact me at: Barret2003@Yahoo.com