These amazing color photographs show a 25-year-old Marilyn living the high life as she steps out of a helicopter. They were taken by Lani Carlson, who was working as a sound engineer at the launch party for the hit song “Marilyn,” written by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl.
Lani Carlson was a sound engineer working for Capitol Records and he did a lot of live events at the time. He and his business partner went to this event to set up the sound, and afterwards he left and came back with his camera and a press pass that his friend working for the Chicago Tribune gave him. He was able to get exclusive access to Monroe for a half hour by claiming he worked for the Chicago Tribune and needed to get the photos onto the AP wire, even though there were about 15 other well-known photographers waiting to take pictures of her.
Carlson developed the photos and then they sat in a shoe box until 2010. These photos was taken with a David White Stereo Realist Camera, a dual-lens point and shoot that creates a three-dimensional effect when seen through a special viewer.
(Photos by Lani Carlson)