Became legendary and having the title of the best-selling photo – “Tennis Player” by Martin Elliott turned out quite by accident.
Martin, 30, a photography student, convinced his 18-year-old girlfriend Fiona Butler to take part in the shoot. The guy dreamed of doing a pin-up photo shoot.
For shooting, Fiona asked her friend for a racket and a tennis dress, which she sewed by hand. The father gave the girl tennis shoes, and the dog of the family kindly provided tennis balls, which served as her toys. This is how the image of a sexy tennis player girl developed, even though Fiona herself, as she later admitted, did not play tennis at all due to poor coordination. The photo session turned out to be quite short. Elliott managed to shoot only one film, but he hoped that among the finished shots there would be “the one.” And so it happened.
The further fates of all the participants of the photo session are interesting.
Posters with the image of a tennis player were sold for 2 pounds apiece, which was not so little for that time. Not surprisingly, Martin Elliott earned £250,000 from Tennis Player. He soon became a well-respected style photographer that made him popular and wealthy. Fiona didn’t get a dime, as she initially decided not to advertise her name and refused a share of the profits. The girl married multimillionaire Ian Walker, in marriage with whom she had a son and two daughters and leads a rather closed lifestyle. Only in 2011, 35 years after the photograph was taken, did a woman appear at an event dedicated to tennis, which was held at the Birmingham Institute of Fine Arts. Naturally, one of the exhibits of the exhibition was the same poster, because, according to experts, it is with it that the image of modern tennis players is most often associated. But Martin could not attend this event, he died in 2010 from cancer, forever securing the fame of the author of the legendary photography.