Brad Elterman tells us the stories behind six of his favorite contemporary shoots

Growing up in Los Angeles, photographer Brad Elterman spent much of his youth capturing 70's legends through his lens. His archives hold photos of some of the coolest names of the era- Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Ramones, The Runaways, Debbie Harry and Michael Jackson. In Us of America's first issue, we take a retrospective look at these works and where it all started. The full feature will be on newsstands December 12th.

After a chosen hiatus from shooting between the 1980's and 2007, Brad returned to his first love- working behind the lens. Here, he talks about some of his favorite contemporary shoots and subjects.

Jack Kilmer

I really wanted Jack Kilmer to be in my Los Angeles story I recently shot for Esquire magazine in Spain. Jack is so unassuming with a child-like quality about him, but at the same time he has an incredible magnetic charisma. Jokingly, I threw out the idea of taking the photos of Hollywood Blvd and Jack loved the idea. All the tourists on that street looking for movie stars and there we were right in the middle of it all. 

I really wanted Jack Kilmer to be in my Los Angeles story I recently shot for Esquire magazine in Spain. Jack is so unassuming with a child-like quality about him, but at the same time he has an incredible magnetic charisma. Jokingly, I threw out the idea of taking the photos of Hollywood Blvd and Jack loved the idea. All the tourists on that street looking for movie stars and there we were right in the middle of it all. 

Eddie Petterrson

Every photographer needs a muse. I had Joan Jett when I was a kid. We'd hang out and I would take photos and mail them to magazines in Japan. Recently HUF asked me to shoot a muse for them and I chose Eddie Pettersson. Here she is in my living room. I showed her how to hold the microphone. At one point during the photo shoot, she tossed the mic around the room just like Roger Daltrey of The Who! You really had to be there to appreciate it. 

Every photographer needs a muse. I had Joan Jett when I was a kid. We'd hang out and I would take photos and mail them to magazines in Japan.

Recently HUF asked me to shoot a muse for them and I chose Eddie Pettersson. Here she is in my living room. I showed her how to hold the microphone. At one point during the photo shoot, she tossed the mic around the room just like Roger Daltrey of The Who! You really had to be there to appreciate it. 

Jeremy Scott

I must admit that it was all a bit surreal to have Jeremy Scott swimming around my pool with his leather jacket on and holding those lovely roses. It was a shoot for Dazed and at one point during the session around my house, Jeremy came up with the idea of taking a swim. After the shoot, we sat around the dinner table speaking about pop culture and life. It was very memorable. 

I must admit that it was all a bit surreal to have Jeremy Scott swimming around my pool with his leather jacket on and holding those lovely roses. It was a shoot for Dazed and at one point during the session around my house, Jeremy came up with the idea of taking a swim. After the shoot, we sat around the dinner table speaking about pop culture and life. It was very memorable. 

Sunflower Bean

My favorite young band today is Sunflower Bean. So young and full of promise. They make cool records, put on a great show and are so photogenic. Nick looks just like a young Bob Dylan! We first met a couple of years ago in lower Manhattan. I showed them the financial district and the New York Stock Exchange. Eventually we headed over to City Hall and then to the Brooklyn Bridge. We stood on the bridge, in the center of the earth, and I took this photograph. I have shot them numerous times since and we always reflect on this moment. 

My favorite young band today is Sunflower Bean. So young and full of promise. They make cool records, put on a great show and are so photogenic. Nick looks just like a young Bob Dylan!

We first met a couple of years ago in lower Manhattan. I showed them the financial district and the New York Stock Exchange. Eventually we headed over to City Hall and then to the Brooklyn Bridge. We stood on the bridge, in the center of the earth, and I took this photograph. I have shot them numerous times since and we always reflect on this moment. 

Selma Blair

CR Fashion Book asked me to photograph Selma Blair. We went all over town dressed in incredible fashions and jewels. People stopped and stared and Selma and I discussed which was the best deli in New York. 

CR Fashion Book asked me to photograph Selma Blair. We went all over town dressed in incredible fashions and jewels. People stopped and stared and Selma and I discussed which was the best deli in New York. 

Brooke Candy

One of my favorite photoshoots; Brooke Candy for Interview DE. Brooke showed up with about 20 people to my tiny bungalow. We decided that she would play a modern day Norma Desmond from Sunset Blvd. Brooke would play queen diva of the villa and there would be a pool boy too. This is Brooke on my bed! We are friends today and stay in touch.

One of my favorite photoshoots; Brooke Candy for Interview DE. Brooke showed up with about 20 people to my tiny bungalow. We decided that she would play a modern day Norma Desmond from Sunset Blvd. Brooke would play queen diva of the villa and there would be a pool boy too. This is Brooke on my bed! We are friends today and stay in touch.