October 13, 2014 Pedro Vila

Pau Leal photo Session. Our very own Jim Morrison Young Lion kid.

Pau Leal photo Session. Our very own Jim Morrison Young Lion kid.

Sometime in 1967 a young photographer who worked for Elektra Records in NY city called Joel Brodsky  did a photo session for the world famous singer of the band The Doors. This pictures later became the most widely and well known photos from the bare chested iconic singer.

The first photo shoot produced the Grammy nominated back cover photograph that is used on the band’s self titled debut album. The second gave birth to the Lizard King. In this second session its well known the fact that Morrison was highly inebriated (Why he doesn’t looks to me?). The famous photos are known as ‘The Young Lion’.

young lion

Morrison The Young Lion

Its funny because being a massive Doors fan as I am, I always thought that this photos never portrayed the real Jim Morrison. I mean, on his short career with the band (barely 4-5 years) he quickly changed his appearance and physical features and I personally think he never looked again like he did in that day anymore. He went through different periods with his image: short and long hair, with and without a beard, the leather trousers years, and also due to his well known drinking habits he did gain more and more weight over the years. But like I said he never had the same look again like he did on The Young Lion photo session. That was not Jim Morrison. Funnily enough it became the most iconic photo from the lead singer.

A few years ago while I was living in Madrid, me and my good friend Pedro Leal and his wife Laura Beatriz Suela, we had together the idea to do a kind of Young Lion photo Session but this time we will do it to their eldest son Pau Leal. The idea was basically to replicate the original Morrison’s ‘Young Lion’ photo session and Pau would be our best model.

Just for fun! and, who Knows? give something original to remember when the lad grows old.

Joel Brodsky Young lion photo session 1967

Joel Brodsky Young lion photo session 1967

It was a project we had in mind for a little while so we waited a few months for when the kid’s hair had a similar length like the legendary Doors singer.
I also supplied a necklace I bought in Venice Beach on my first trip to Los Angeles in the early 90s to try and make Pau look even more like Jim Morrison in the original poster.

We were unsure what the outcome was going to be like…but we had to give it a go!

At first it was not easy (It is never easy when you do this kind of things with kids) but I have to say Pau acted like a real professional Model. Nice one lad.
Our photo session lasted almost a whole day and we took loads and loads of photos in order to be able to choose only the best ones for our poster. I also thought It would be the best to let the parents choose the photos they thought that would be the best ones so we could all have our share in the project.

The second stage was to edit the photos and make them look as much as possible as if they were original from the 60s. We had a great fun and also a good laugh mainly because the kid didn’t know what the hell we were doing. But I have to say Pau seemed that he was enjoying it too.

At the end of the day we were pretty pleased with the results and Im honoured to say that the poster hangs framed in the lad’s bedroom.

The first photo above is obviously the original Jim Morrison photo session and the second our very own ‘Young Lion’ replica.

I hope you like it.


Pau Leal The young lion

Pau Leal-The Young Lion Madrid 2009  © by Pedro Vila


Thank you Pau! and also thank you to my friends Pedrote Leal and Beatriz Suela for their collaboration.

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