Rare shot of Steve Jobs in Groucho glasses unearthed – and you can get the poster (with photo)

“I guess I’ve got a nose for portraits. As a pro photographer shooting movie posters, magazine covers, and ad campaigns back in the day, I was lucky to get face time with lots of famous people,” writes via Kickstarter. “On photo assignments, after I got the shot for my client, I’d often ask my subject to wear The Nose. It was not only good fun, it became a successful public relations campaign for my photo studio. It was called WHO NOSE TOM ZIMBEROFF! I mailed a series of postcards depicting celebrities wearing The Nose to potential clients who might hire me. It was pretty obvious whose famous face was hiding behind the goofy disguise, but that was the joke, of course.”

“The negatives for these photographs were lost in storage for years. More of them are turning up from my archives all the time. All of the film (b+w negatives and color transparencies) has to be scanned to make digital files,” Zimberoff writes. “That’s why I’m asking for your support. Other than the self-promo postcards, these portraits have remained unpublished. With your backing, and your enjoyment of these posters, we can scan them all and, perhaps, turn the restored collection into a book, so a whole new audience can share in the fun—and the history.”

“I shot Steve Jobs on a magazine assignment, in 1989, at NeXT Computer in Palo Alto, California,” Zimberoff writes. “I arrived on location early to look around for props. I found a replica of the Rosetta Stone hanging on his office wall. Perfect! Consider it the original tablet computer. I took it to the lobby, where I had more room to set up lights and cameras, and I wouldn’t have to drive Jobs out of his own workspace while making Polaroid test shots with a stand-in.”

Zimberoff writes, “But there were several huge windows in the lobby. I sent my assistant out to bring back yards and yards of opaque, black velvet drapes to block the daylight, so I could control my lighting effects. It took a few hours to seal out the sun and turn the lobby into a makeshift studio. Everything was ready to make this photo shoot as convenient as possible for Jobs.”

“He arrived accompanied by an entourage that included musician Stephen Stills (of Crosby Stills Nash & Young), whom I already knew from an album cover shoot we did in 1977. Jobs brushed right past me, took a perfunctory look at my set and said, right In front of everyone, ‘Who’s stupid f%∞&@¢# idea was this?’ I said it was my stupid f%∞&@¢# idea, and if he didn’t like it he could go f%∞& himself because I went to a lot of trouble just to make him look good — for me to look good for my client, too,” Zimberoff writes. “I don’t remember the details, but while some huffing and puffing went on among Jobs’s acolytes, I went over to say hello to Stephen Stills. I was prepared to pack up and leave without a picture. But Jobs came over, all smiles, and apologized.”

Zimberoff writes, “Only recently, after reading his posthumously-published biography, I discovered that such startling outbursts of invective were not reserved for visiting photographers, like me. Apparently, they were pretty common. Jobs used shock and awe to separate the meek from those with more mettle. Anyway, we got down to work. Several different setups and wardrobe changes later, we finished with The Nose.”

Steve Jobs "Nose Jobs" portrait by Tom Zimberoff
Steve Jobs “Nose Jobs” portrait by Tom Zimberoff

Read more – and reserve your own Steve Jobs poster(s) in the full article, which also includes info and shots of George Lucas, Yoda, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, and more here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re getting the posters for the office! Currently, the Kickstarter project has 75 backers, $2,633 pledged of $10,000 goal. This project will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Sunday February 24th. More info here.


  1. Nice. I can relate to film archives that have yet to be transferred to digital. It’s a daunting task. I have many cool pictures taken over the years in the film industry and only very slowly am I able to transfer and share these. There’s a lot of neat stuff yet to be digitized out there.

  2. Steve Jobs was overheard saying…

    “See that Rosetta stone behind me? I found that in my pajamas.”

    “How it got in my pajamas, I’ll never know!”

    bada – dahhhh… Rim-Shot on the snare drum…

  3. If tApple fanbois think that this photo is necessary and important to Apple’s success as a company or to decorate their shrine then they are pathetically hopeless.

    1. MacFreek,
      Boy, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

      And since on one has commented on how this portrait is important to Apples success, I would suggest that you are getting an early start on hating (“to decorate their shrine then they are pathetically hopeless”.) of posters to this site. Maybe its time to call it a night and go to bed. /s

      Just a thought,

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