A Photographer Tipped to Madonna by Mom

The singer's first official photo shoot was sealed with a cup of coffee and three sticks of Bazooka bubblegum.

MadonnaAlbumIn support of an exclusive Madonna interview, Out magazine has republished a 2011 contribution written by photographer Richard Corman. It was all about meeting and photographing Madonna for the first time:

My mother was Cis Corman, a renowned casting director in New York City. In the summer of 1982 she was casting The Last Temptation of Christ for Martin Scorsese and called me to say they had just tested a girl for the part of the Virgin Mary. She said, “You must meet this girl — she’s an original.” I was 28 and had just finished an apprenticeship with Richard Avedon and was looking for interesting people to shoot. So I got this girl’s number and called. It was Madonna. At the time she was living in Alphabet City, and she suggested I go to her apartment and chat about what I wanted to do. I had to call her from a phone booth across the street, because the neighborhood was full of drug dealers, and they didn’t let people just walk in and out. There was a group of kids outside the building, on the stoop, in the hallways, and when I said I was there for Madonna the seas parted.

How great an opening paragraph is that? The April 2011 issue essay by Corman is brief, but the rest packs in several more choice details.

It’s a great time-capsule read, from the days before Madonna broke big and crossed over to an exclusive photo partnership with the late Herb Ritts. In the fall of 2013, Corman published Madonna NYC 83, a book about the Manhattan of that era.
[Album cover courtesy: Warner Bros. Records]