People of Twitter, I invite you to help solve a mystery.

Help figure out who took this photograph of Leonard Nimoy:

1/9
It is one of the most widely reproduced images of Leonard Nimoy, one of the most famous people of the last 50 years.

It has been used in magazines, on websites, in films, and on television.

And no one knows who took it, or when. 2/9
Lest you think I'm exaggerating, for the past month more than a dozen people, including me and members of the Nimoy family, have tried in vain to identify the source of this photograph. 3/9
Here's what we DO know about it:

1. It was taken between 1995 and 2009.

2. Its earliest known use online is April 27, 2009.

3. It is NOT owned by any of the big stock-photo agencies.

4. It is NOT a CBS Television publicity photo. 4/9
4. Leonard Nimoy likely commissioned it.

5. His family's store, shopLLAP, sells unsigned prints of it.

6. Though he allegedly once gave permission for its editorial use, we can't prove he or his estate own its copyright. 5/9
7. This photo has been used for documentaries about Leonard Nimoy, his obituary on Star Trek dot com, and a vanity card on THE BIG BANG THEORY.

All of those usages should've required legal clearance, but there's no record it was ever done. 6/9
8. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been sued for the photo's use online, in print, in film, or on television. But unlike trademarks and patents, copyright does not require active defense to remain in force. 7/9
9. Though photographers sometimes create head shots as "work-for-hire" or accept payment to transfer ownership of the copyright on a set of photos to its subject or a third party, we have no record of any such contract. 8/9
10. If the person who took this photograph of Leonard Nimoy is alive and still owns its rights, they're entitled to credit & payment for its commercial use.

If you don't know who took the photo, please RT.
If you have useful info, please reply. Thank you. /end
Already a couple of new details. Minor, but every clue helps — an earlier usage online was found: Jan. 1, 2007.

That puts the creation of the image sometime between 1995 and 2007.
Because this keeps coming up: No, it was NOT a self-portrait. That was the first question we asked. Leonard's galleryist, Richard Michelson, confirmed that this is NOT a photo taken by Leonard. If it were, our task would have been much simpler.
ADDENDUM: One person we spoke to during our search said the photo was taken by Teresa E. Victor, Leonard Nimoy's longtime personal assistant. She passed away in Santa Monica in Dec. 2005, so we can't ask her directly, but if she has an estate, they might be worth contacting.
Follow-up: This lead didn't pan out, either. The source on this tip turned out to be unreliable. So we're back to the drawing board.

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