Kim Gottlieb-Walker (b. 1947 Philadelphia, PA) is an American photographer living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Over the past 45 years, she has built a distinctive portfolio that includes some of the most notable musicians and personalities of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Her mother, an assistant to a portrait photographer, gave Kim her first 35mm camera and taught Kim the basics of light and photography from early on.
A graduate of UCLA with honors in Motion Picture Production, Kim worked as a teaching assistant in the film department and began photographing at concerts while her professor, Bill Kerby, conducted interviews. This led to her classic portrait of Jimi Hendrix during Kerby’s 1967 interview with him, a photo Kim took when she was only twenty years old.
Kim worked as a photo editor in the LA underground scene of the early ‘70s, accompanying journalists on assignments and often shooting at the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge where she photographed Andy Warhol and author Howard Fast.
She moved to London for a year, perfecting her skill of shooting live performances on stage during 1970’s Isle of Wight music festival. She then returned to Los Angeles and photographed recording artists including Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell and Gram Parsons before his untimely death in 1973.
Kim’s ability to photograph candidly in natural light has produced some of her most iconic photographs in Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae, her first book which documents many never-before-seen photographs of reggae legends including Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Peter Tosh with commentary from Cameron Crowe, Roger Steffens and former Island Records head of Publicity, Jeff Walker. She went on to shoot film stills for John Carpenter’s Halloween, The Fog, Christine and Escape from New York and also worked at Paramount as unit photographer for Cheers and Family Ties.
In 1980, Kim was one of the first women admitted to the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600 and has served as an elected representative for still photographers on their National Executive Board for nearly three decades. Currently, she devotes much of her time to assisting photographers in the Guild by organizing seminars in new digital technologies.
Kim Gottlieb Walker’s work has been exhibited at the Jamaican Consulate in New York, Proud Gallery in Camden and The Cinematographers’ Guild exhibit at PHOTO LA. She has been published in MOJO, Rolling Stone, Time, People, The Free Press, LA Weekly, Time Out, Feature Magazine, Music World and Crawdaddy. Her photos have appeared in several books including "Classic Hendrix" published by Genesis Press. Kim’s High Times cover photo of Bob Marley remains the magazine’s most popular cover to date.
I and Eye: The Photos of Kim Gottlieb-Walker, 1975-1976 is Kim’s first solo exhibition at KM Fine Arts in Los Angeles, CA.