If a picture is worth a thousand words, Douglas Kirkland could tell you quite the story.
In fact, the 82-year-old photographer has countless stories to share, having shot many of Hollywood's elite over the last several decades. Among them: Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, Mick Jagger, Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Loren, Baz Luhrmann, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Judy Garland, Robert DeNiro and so, so many more.
"As cliche as this sounds, my last and my next subject are my favorites," Kirkland tells ET. "I love photography with a capital P and always will."
Kirkland's work will be featured in a star-studded exhibit at Mouche Gallery in Los Angeles, opening April 26. In celebration of the occasion, Kirkland is sharing behind-the-scenes stories about some of his most striking work, including a series of iconic aerial shots of Monroe curled up in bed covered only by white sheets.
"Marilyn arrived late, an apparition floating like a mirage," Kirkland recalls of the 1961 shoot. "She eventually said, 'I want to be alone with this boy, I find it usually works better that way.' The photos are a testament to this."
From that session came several stunning photographs, but there was one that really caught the actress' eye.
"Before Marilyn would even look at the images when I went to her place to show them to her, she sent me out to get a grease pencil, a loupe [small magnifying glass] and some scissors," Kirkland says. "She looked through the images quickly at first and then again, and started to fall in love with them. When she came to this image, she said, 'Now this girl, this girl is a girl that any man would want to be in that bed with.'"
Two decades later, Kirkland was with the Rolling Stones on the set of their "Undercover of the Night" music video in Mexico. "We worked long and late hours," he says of the memory, "and they were playful and completely cooperative."
Kirkland shares more stories behind his photos in ET's exclusive first look at the gallery, revealing how he owes his career to Elizabeth Taylor and how Audrey Hepburn helped him connect with his future wife. For more stories, click through the photos below.
Kirkland will be making in-gallery appearances at Mouche on Friday, April 28 from 6-8 pm; Saturday, April 29 from 1-4pm; and Sunday, April 30 from 1-4 pm. For more information: Beyond@MoucheGallery.com.