Legends Online
After his success with shooting Elizabeth Taylor, Kirkland got a reputation for being the person to send in search of elusive celebrity pictures. Certainly none was more elusive -- or brought great fame to him as a photographer -- than his session with Marilyn Monroe. Assigned to photograph Monroe for the 25th anniversary of  Look, Kirkland was just 26 years old and Monroe was at the peak of her fame. What surprised him the most during their initial visit, he says, was her unexpected "girl-next door" quality. Kirkland describes the experience of asking her to pose nude:

"Upon meeting her to talk about taking pictures, I was totally disarmed. The girl sitting beside me...was more like a sister or something, a girl next-door. What I wanted was sensuality and sexuality, but I was almost embarrassed to tell her that I wanted her to get under that sheet with nothing on. But she was so nice. She made it easy for me. She said, you know what, you really, I suppose, want is you'd like me to be in the bed with nothing on. And It was easy to say yes to that. So you see she understood."

On the night of the shoot Kirkland was floored by her beauty and sensuality: "It was totally unbelievable. It was quite electrifying because I remember...it was like she floated in slow motion. I remember her as being very luminescent. Like an angel," he recalls.