Film Feature: The Top 10 Celebrity Photos of 2014, By Joe Arce

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CHICAGO – In a year where shoots with perpetual photo fashionistas like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker still failed to crack the Top Ten list of biggest celebrity photo-ops, you know 2014 was a very good year for and myself, Joe Arce, as Senior Staff Photographer.

Narrowing down the 182 celebrity subjects that posed for my lens last year to a mere ten favorite portraits is not an easy task. Nonetheless, here are my Top Ten picks for biggest celebrity shoots of 2014. I based this on a combination of star power wattage of the subjects, the artistic results and the degree of difficulty in landing the quarry – for those iPhone carrying budding celebrity stalkers who may wish to play along at home.

Star10. Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston
Backstage at the Chicago Humanities Festival, November 14th, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

Not only an Oscar winner, but the daughter of Oscar-winning director John Huston and granddaughter of Oscar-winning actor Walter Huston, the actress-turned-director is the definition of Hollywood royalty. Her 2nd best selling memoir “Watch Me,” detailing her 17 year relationship with Jack Nicholson, had tongues wagging on both talk shows and news programs across the dial. Hearing her say “direct me”– immediately after shaking my hand – I was almost certain I had somehow stumbled like a mark into a scene from her film “The Grifters”.

Star9.Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson

Cassandra Peterson
Wizard World Chicago, August 22nd, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

While Cassandra Peterson might not be a household name, her character Elvira surely is. Peterson’s “Mistress of the Dark,” over the past 30 years, has become a cultural Halloween icon whose image has appeared on over 400 products – running the gamut from key chains to pinball machines. I had dreamed of photographing the stunning red headed actress – who bewitched both Elvis and Tom Jones – out of character for years, but she rarely does professional shoots sans costume. While in town appearing at Wizard World in August, she graciously granted my wish with this “spooktacular” portrait. How much can she get for my used soul on E-bay anyway?

Star8. John Cleese

John Cleese
Anderson’s Bookshop Sponsored Event, The Tivoli Theater (Downers Grove, Illinois), November 11th, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

The legendary Monty Python comedic genius only permitted half of his own face on the cover of his 2014 biography “So,Anyway.”.This perfectly sums up his current unwillingness to waste his golden years prancing around before silly twits pointing cameras. It practically took the Spanish Inquisition to get my portraits of him – but luckily for our readers as the famous Python catchphrase goes “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Thankfully not even John Cleese himself.

Star7. Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons
Anderson’s Bookshop Sponsored Event, The Tivoli Theater (Downers Grove, Illinois), October 29th, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

Anyone who has worked with Gene Simmons will tell you he frequently lives up to his rock and roll moniker, “The God of Thunder,” and just like Zeus he doesn’t take direction well. Fair enough. While I’ve photographed him before – and fellow KISS founder Paul Stanley this year as well – having Simmons bless me with a trademark tongue portrait the same year KISS was enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had both KISS fans and our readers willing to “Lick it Up.”

Star6. Tardar Sauce AKA “Grumpy Cat”

Grumpy Cat
Old Orchard Barnes & Noble (Skokie, Illinois) August 14, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

Ironically, the cat was easier to work with than either John Cleese or Gene Simmons. The feline “Great White Nope,” who went from an internet meme to two New York Times best sellers, a Lifetime Channel Christmas movie and a reported 100 million plus in earnings. bestowed upon our readers a portrait that some said was simply “purrrrfect.” She remained completely underwhelmed.

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