Written by Stefanie Kilts

The Photographer

The Photographer by Stefanie Kilts

'It's a bit of a fantasy story...' - Norm Clasen, Marlboro photographer

Little did Norm Clasen know that when he moved to Aspen in 1962, he would soon be part of one of the biggest ad campaigns of all time. For more than 12 years, Norm shot the Marlboro ads all over the West, in the mountains and in the desert, during dusty summers and in the middle of snowstorms, and with all types of scenarios, from stampeding horses and cattle to intimate portraits of the Marlboro Men.

During his time with Marlboro, Clasen worked with four main cowboys cast as the Marlboro Man.

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Photo by Norm Clasen

Clasen estimates he photographed between 20 and 25 big Marlboro shoots (these shoots averaged 5-7 days) in addition to numerous smaller shoots for Marlboro. Clasen referred to the art directors, producers, wranglers and cowboys on set as a “family” that had to work together seamlessly to create the timeless images of the Marlboro ad campaigns.