Oscar Worthy Photos

American Photo played host to a photo exhibit in L.A. with work by Forest Whitaker, Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, Michael Madsen and several other actors auctioned for charity.

Oscar week in Hollywood is usually a time when the movie industry indulges in some self-satisfied celebration of…movies. But last night it was the art of photography that was in the spotlight.

American Photo, Premiere and Elle magazines played host to an event in Beverly Hills on Wednesday featuring photographs made by several film stars, including Best Actor nominee Forest Whitaker. Other work featured in the star-studded exhibition at Haven House was made by Jessica Alba, Laura Harring, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, and Michael Madsen.

"I never thought of myself as a photographer in any way," said Madsen, while looking over his photograph of a house once owned by Frank Sinatra. The scene, striking in its everyday nature, underscored Madsen's insider view of Hollywood. "It's just the way I happened to see this on this particular day," said the actor, who was joined at the event by his Kill Bill costar, David Carradine.

For Harring, who starred in Mulholland Drive and other films, photography was a way to stretch her visual creativity. "It really forced me to look hard at what I was seeing," she said.

The celebrities all shot their images with the Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR. All the work was made under the auspices of the Signature International organization and its head, Rosalie Miller. The work will be seen again at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and will later be auctioned at Christie's in New York to benefit a variety of charities.