Much of the reason that Kirkland has remained so successful through so many changes both in photography and in the fashion and celebrity worlds is his ability to surprise the viewer. "I'm a firm believer that if you know every time you turn the page in a magazine what's going to be on the next page, you're bored, you don't want to get that magazine again," he says. "Because there has to be freshness and newness all the time. And that's what photographers are pressed to do -- be new constantly. And when you stop being able to do that then you're not employable."
In this shot of Jack Nicholson, however, it was the notoriously sly actor himself who supplied the offbeat moment: "When I took this picture of Jack, he stuck the match in his mouth, he lit another match and he said, "I think I'm going to smoke a match. Let's see what your editors think about this."