A set of 12 black-and-white images of Elvis Presley and his parents by Memphis photographer William Speer is entering the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum will be exhibiting the eleven black and white images from this famous photo shoot as well as the one of Gladys and Vernon Presley July 12 - August 31.
The pictures, taken in 1956, include several shirtless poses of the young Elvis and one of his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, in which Gladys cracked a rare smile for the photographer. Speer took eleven images and all of them turned out. Elvis didn't bring a change of clothes, so Speer was going to stop after only four shots, but the photographers wife suggested Elvis take his shirt off. He was shy, but agreed. Elvis later brought his parents to be photographed.
William Speer now is negotiating with a New York collector who has offered an undisclosed sum in what Speer calls "the high six-figure range" for his original negatives. Two of the photos have appeared in Time magazine through the years. A second set of the same 12 prints will be put up for Internet bids on E-bay Aug. 1-August 16 with minimum bids of $500 a print. Proceeds of the auction will go to the hall of fame and museum, he said.
(Images (c) William Speer)