Photos © Bette Marshall


Photo by Michel Delsol

Bette Marshall, currently a resident of  South Florida, has been a portrait photographer with a studio in New York for over 25 years. Her portraits of actors, musicians, artists and corporate leaders have appeared in many international publications, as well as CD Covers and Annual Reports.

Born in Chicago, photography is Bette’s second career. She first pursued acting and has two Broadway shows to her credit, as well as a brief tenure on the soap opera The Secret Storm.

“When asked why I became a photographer, the short answer is that my husband gave me a camera!  I started making pictures of my children, and soon wanted a camera that could change lenses, shoot faster and capture them in motion. However, I also grew up around images. My Father, Jack Lieb, had been a newsreel cameraman with Hearst Movietone News (The Eyes and Ears of the World) before he became an industrial and TV commercial film-maker. His newsreels ranged from Lindberg’s takeoff to the D Day invasion. My older brother, Warren is also a filmmaker and photographer, and my son Robert, a documentary filmmaker and playwright.  Photography and theater seem to run in the family!”

Bette’s interest in Chess combined with photography of her children and their friends led her to co-author and take pictures for a book, Chess For Children, Step by Step, Little, Brown and Company. This award winning book was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Children’s Shop for several years. In addition, the German issue, published by Bertelsmann was nominated for the Children’s Book prize of the Republic of Germany.

“A friend told me about a class in Portraiture at The New School in New York, taught by the great  photographer, Philippe Halsman. I feel like a  poster child for the New School. It changed my life. That was 1978.  By 1980 I found myself covering the violent elections in Jamaica. This led to a relationship with the Photo Agency, Gamma/Liaison International and over the next 10 years with Gamma I evolved from photojournalism to photographing musicians, actors, artists, executives and CD covers, which is what I have concentrated on ever since. ”

Bette’s photography has been exhibited in group shows at Nikon House and the Neikrug Gallery in New York and is represented in the Permanent Collection  of the Brooklyn Museum.

She recently presented her images in a lecture, “Portrait of a Photographer” at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, and is now teaching photography at Fat Village Center for the Arts.

Currently, Bette’s photography is represented for editorial use by Getty Images. 


Click box for 2004 Access Hollywood interview of Bette about her photographs of Whitney Houston: