Fashion Photography

fashionThe success behind the portfolio of many models lies in the hands of a fashion photographer. This genre of photography is dedicated to showing fashion apparel and accessories in a way that enhances them. Over a period of time, fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic with beauty of clothes, models, and accessories, enhanced by the use of exotic locations, storylines and stylized photographic techniques.


This genre can be divided into 3 main styles; editorial, catalog and high fashion. A fourth style that is slowly gaining prominence is called street fashion photography. While catalog and street styles are easily distinguishable, it is quite difficult to distinguish between editorial and high fashion because they share a similar style.

1. Editorial fashion photography

Most fashion magazines feature this style of photography. Here, styling takes an obvious forefront. In most cases, there is a story running through the shoot; the models are often photographed through the course of the day, morning wardrobe, mid-day wardrobe and finally the evening attire. These shoots depict a theme and the models need to enact the role they are given and emote to convey their story. The whole image is shot so as to create a powerful statement.

2. High Fashion

fashionistaBig fashion brands and labels often advertise their products using this style of photography. The photographs generally feature supermodels, famous actors and actresses. The clothes and accessories featured are often styled in a way that is a complete departure from reality. The poses can be exaggerated and over-the-top. All elements of the model; the wardrobe, styling, hair/makeup, lighting and location work together to create a flawless image.

3. Catalog Photography

This style is used by companies that print to market their products to their consumers. This is basically an information image where the model is made to pose against a certain background and you see the clothes very clearly. Here, styling is hassle-free, background is normally white or gray and the photograph is in such a way that the details of the clothes are visible. Most of these photographs are shot in studios or another ideal location.

4. Street Fashion Photography

This style is all about people of the street. It’s about capturing the essence of what is fashionable amongst typical people, what they wear, how they perceive style and how they make a statement with their clothes. Photographers of this style would shoot fashionistas out and about on their daily chores, highlighting trends in the real world.

April 25, 2014 at 12:53 am | No comment

Alfred Eisenstaedt


Born: Dec 6, 1898 in Dirschau (Tczew), West Prussia, Imperial Germany
Died: Aug 24, 1995 (at age 96) in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
Nationality: German, American
Style: Photojournalism, candid photography

Alfred Eisenstaedt was an American photographer who was born in Germany. He is widely considered to be the “father of photojournalism.” He is best known for his work the LIFE magazine and for his iconic V-J Day Celebration photo.

Early Life of Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt was born on December 6, 1898, to a Jewish family in Dirschau, Poland. When he was eight years old, his entire family – parents Joseph and Regina and his two brothers – moved to Berlin. The family stayed there until the rise of Hitler’s Third Reich.

Alfred father was a merchant. At the age of 14, Alfred’s uncle gave him an Eastman Kodak No.3 folding camera. This helped create a passion and a lifelong love of photography for Alfred. If his uncle had not given him the camera, Alfred would have likely followed his father’s footsteps and became a merchant.

Alfred’s Military Service

Alfred entered the armed services at the age of 17, much like what many boys did at that time. During his military service, he suffered a shrapnel injury in both his legs. He was sent home to recuperate and to spend a year recovering before he could walk without using any aids.

But this gave him the time to indulge his interest in photography. He attended museums and learned the techniques of light and composition during this time..

Early Career

In 1922, Alfred started a temporary career as a belt-and-button salesman. With this job, he saved enough money to buy the necessary photographic equipment that he needed. He would take pictures with his camera and develop them in his bathroom.

In 1927, while on vacation with his parents in Czechoslovakia, Alfred photographed a woman playing tennis. The photo was taken from 50 yards away from a hillside, and the image perfectly captured the woman’s shadow that the sun had cast on the court. He later sold this picture for three marks to Der Weit Spiegel.

Eisenstaedt Builds His Career

Alfred immigrated to America in 1935 after he had acquired a Rolleiflex camera. After a year, he had mastered his photography skills and became one of the staff photographers for LIFE magazine.

While working at LIFE, Alfred was called “Elsie” by his peers and he did many high-profile assignments for the magazine. He was also assigned to do various celebrity cover photographs by the magazine because, as a non-U.S. citizen, he was not allowed to be sent overseas to cover the war efforts. In 1949, he married Kathy Kaye whom he met in New York City.

Photography Highlights

One of the most famous pictures taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt is the photo of a sailor kissing a nurse, which was entitled V-J Day, Times Square, 1945. In 1942, Alfred officially obtained U.S. citizenship and travelled overseas to capture photographs of the effects of the war. He even toured to Japan to see the effect the nuclear bombs had done to that country. His experience in Hiroshima, as explained by Alfred, stirred his soul.

During the 1950s, Alfred photographed poor people of Italy, American troops in England, and also took an image of Sir Winston Churchill. He has had features on more than 100 covers in LIFE magazine and he has taken more than 10,000 prints.

Eisenstaedt passed away in 1995, but his photographic works have set standards for many photojournalists who have followed him.

September 2, 2013 at 12:59 am | No comment

Allan Arbus


Born: Feb 15, 1918 in New York City, New York
Died: Apr 19, 2013 (at age 95) in Los Angeles, California
Nationality: American
Style: Commercial photography

Many people recognize the name Allan Arbus for his role in the popular TV program M*A*S*H. However, he had a previous career as a photographer for the United States Army. His photography career, along with Diane Arbus, his wife who was also a photographer, was modestly successful.

Early Life of Allan Arbus

Allan Arbus was born in New York City on February 15, 1918, to mother Rose Goldberg and his father, Harry Arbus, a stockbroker. Allan graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he first developed his love for acting when he appeared in a student play.

In 1937, Arbus met Diane Nemerov and married her after four years. They had two children, Amy and Doon. The couple separated in 1959 and stayed separated for 10 years before getting a divorce. In 1977, Allan married actress Mariclare Costello and had one daughter, Arin Arbus.

Allan’s Photography Career

During the 1940s, Allan Arbus became a photographer for the United States Army. After getting married to Diane, his father-in-law asked him to do an advertising campaign for a department store that he owned. His experience in taking photographs in the army gave him the confidence and the technical expertise in producing some attractive advertising photographs for his father-in-law’s store.

His wife, Diane also helped him in his photographic shoots and enjoyed it very much. Seeing the results and Alan’s craftsmanship, Diane asked Alan to teach her photography. He did so, and together they set up their own photographic studio. Diane took every opportunity to learn the trade from her husband as she was intrigued by Alan’s photographic techniques.

The Arbus’ Success

Apart from taking advertising photographs, the couple also took fashion photographs and soon found that their works were being published in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar. Many of the photographs that the two too were displayed in a photo exhibition – The Family of Man – organized by Edward Steichen. This display gained a lot of recognition for them and made them popular.

In 1956, Alan went in a different direction went on to develop her unique style of photography. Although Alan showed himself as a brilliant photographer, he gave up his career on photography and concentrated on acting in the year 1969.

Arbus’s Acting Career

Allan Arbus made his first role on-screen in a film named Hey, Let’s Twist in the year 1961. He also did roles in The Omen II, Putney Swope, WC Fields and Me, Cinderella Liberty and others.

Arbus moved on to television during the 1980s and appeared in various hit series like Starsky and Hutch, Hawaii 5-O, Wonder Woman, and The Rockford Files. He also appeared in the famous TV series M*A*S*H.

Final Years

Allan is survived by his actress wife, Mariclare Costello, and their daughter, Arin, as well as two kids from his first marriage. He died in Los Angeles on April 19, 2013, due to congestive heart failure.

September 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm | No comment

Andreas Gursky


Born: Jan 15, 1955 in Leipzig, Germany
Nationality: German
Style: large format architecture and landscape color photography
Education: Folkwangschule, Essen

Andreas Gursky is a German photographer whose work is characterized by tension between clarity and the formal-nature of his photographs and the ambiguous meaning they display.

His art has been compared to that of Thomas Struth and Hofer Candida, who were influenced by the documentary approach of Hill and Bernd Becher. Gursky’s work has increased globally since the early 1980s on a wide range of subjects. He is widely known for his large format architecture work and landscaping color photographs that employ a high point of view. He now lives and works in Dusseldorf Germany.

Gursky’s Early Life and Education

Andreas Gursky was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1955, but he was raised in Dusseldorf. His father was a successful commercial photographer and Andreas was his only child. Gursky was an intelligent young boy. He learned tricks of the photography trade from his father even before he completed his high school education. He went to Folkwang School in West Germany where he learned and trained as a professional photographer, even specializing in photojournalism.

Career Beginnings

After graduating from Folkwangschule in Essen, Andreas failed to secure a job as a photojournalist. Instead, he began working as a taxi driver. With the help of Thomas Struth, he entered Kunstakademie in 1980, and he studied photography there together with Hill Becher.

Gursky started working solely in colored photographs in 1981 despite Becher’s preference for the more common black-and-white photos of the day. In his first exhibition, which was presented at the Dusseldorf Airport in 1987, Gursky depicted a photograph of staff members in various German office buildings.

Increasing Success for Gursky

Gursky explored deeper into the Ruhr Valley in the mid-1980s where he made sharp and detailed photographs of people engaged in various activities in the landscape. He had his first solo photo gallery show in 1988 at Galerie Johan & Schottle in Cologne.

The rise in interest in photography in the international market and the growing popularity of Becher’s circle boosted Gursky’s commercial success. He began his infamous series My Day in the early 1990s.

He traveled to Tokyo, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Hong Kong among other cities to photograph masses when the economy and the stock market were considerably collapsing. He was also one of the first photographers to use the digital photo-editing technique on a large format photographs.

Achievements and Contributions

Andreas is best known for his large-scale color photographs that reflect and explore the effects of globalization on contemporary life and capitalism. His inspiration is derived from a wide range of sources that he reveals to the world through his photographs. He has presented his work on a variety of subjects since the 1980s.

Gursky’s work has been presented in several exhibitions. In 1998, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf presented Gursky’s mid-career retrospective work. Andreas’ work has also been seen in several international exhibitions and museums, including the Venice Biennale exhibition of 1990 and at the White Cube in London.

In addition to that, Gursky holds the record for the most expensive photograph ever auctioned off at Christie’s in New York. It was his Rhein II and it sold for more than $4 million in 2011. Gursky still lives in Dusseldorf where he owns a studio.

September 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm | No comment

Anne Geddes


Born: Sep 13, 1956
Nationality: Australian
Style: Portrait photography of children and babies

Anne Geddes is not only one of the world’s most renowned photographers, but she is also an author, clothing designer, and very successful businesswoman who was born in Australia. She is known for her unique photographs of babies. She usually portrays them as flowers, small animals, fairies or fairytale creatures.

Geddes’ Career in Photography

Anne Geddes is a self-taught photographer who began creating her unique style from the start. She first took photos professionally when she was living in Hong Kong with her husband. She started a very small portraiture business by photographing the babies and young children of her friends and neighbors.

A couple years later, Geddes and her husband left Hong Kong to return home to Australia. She started working at home and made her first holiday photographic card for her family. This led to making cards for her friends. Soon after, she launched her own customized greeting card business.

The family then relocated to Auckland, New Zealand. There, Geddes started a small studio and in 1988, her image of a little girl in a tutu became her very first published photo when it was printed in a local magazine. She received a great deal of attention for this photograph and that is when she decided on having a career in a unique style of children’s portraiture.

Expanding Her Career

As her portraiture business began to thrive, Geddes decided to explore different inspirations. This is when she created her “Cabbage Kids” stylized photos which are some of her most popular images around the world. She wanted to expand her calendar business, but she was unable to find a publisher. So she sold her calendars door-to-door out of her car and in some camera store shops.

By doing this, she was able to earn more than $20,000 for various child abuse prevention charitable organizations. Her charitable donation was the start of the Geddes Philanthropic Trust, a non-profit charity.

Soon after, she and her husband sold their home and used their life savings to publish 20,000 copies of her calendars in Australia. The calendars were a huge success and they sold out within a couple of weeks. She printed another 20,000 copies and those also sold out quickly.

Geddes and Her Books

Before long, Geddes was contacted by an interested publisher. Next, she created and designed Down in the Garden, a large gift book which was published in 1996. This lead to her appearance on the The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her book became very successful and it launched her career as an international best-selling author.

Anne Geddes’ books are published in more than 80 countries around the world and also translated into 25 different languages. As reported by the top online book seller, Amazon, Geddes has sold in excess of 19 million books and also 13 million calendars. Cedco Publishing sold nearly two million datebooks and calendars showing Geddes’ photography in 1997, the start of her international popularity.

Geddes’ Personal Life

In 1983, Anne married Kel Geddes. Their first daughter, Stephanie, was born in 1984. Kelly, their second daughter, was born in 1986. Today, the family lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

August 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm | No comment

Annie Leibovitz


Born: Oct 2, 1949 in Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality: American
Style: Portrait photographer
Education: San Francisco Art Institute

Annie Leibovitz is an American photographer who is best known for her portrait work,

Leibovitz’s Childhood and Early Years

Annie Leibovitz was born in Connecticut in 1949. She was interested in art, especially painting, from a young age. Her father was in the U.S. Air Force and the family moved around several as he was assigned to various bases. The family was even stationed in the Philippines for a time during the Vietnam War.

On finishing high school, Leibovitz studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, where the family was then living. She had displayed some interest in photography, but it was very much in second place compared to her interest in painting. However, during a vacation to Japan, she developed a greater interest in photography and eventually enrolled in photography classes when she returned to San Francisco.

Working for Rolling Stone

In 1969, Leibovitz, who was of Jewish heritage, spent several months in an Israeli kibbutz where she took numerous photographs. When she returned to the United States the following year, she contacted John Wenner, who had just launched Rolling Stone magazine, in hopes of getting a job with the magazine as a photographer.

Wenner liked her portfolio and gave her an assignment to do portraits of John Lennon. Her work was so striking that one of her portraits of Lennon was even featured on the cover of the January 1971 issue of the magazine. In 1973, Wenner elevated her to chief photographer.

Switching to Color Photography

All of Leibovitz’s training and work in photography had been in black-and-white. In 1974, Rolling Stone began publishing color images and Leibovitz faced the challenge of adjusting to that medium. She had to learn new skills, especially how to light subjects, and proved that she was well capable. She did not abandon black-and-white photography completely. In 1975, the magazine sent her on a world tour with The Rolling Stones. Many of the black-and-white images she took on the tour have achieved iconic status.

Photographing John Lennon

In December of 1980, Leibovitz was assigned to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The couple had just released the Double Fantasy album and Leibovitz tried to persuade both of them to pose nude. Lennon was willing, but Ono declined.

Leibovitz took a photo of Lennon nude embracing Ono, who was dressed in black. A few hours after the session, Lennon was fatally shot. Rolling Stone used the photo on the cover of the issue commemorating Lennon, and that photo was later voted the best magazine cover from the previous 40 years.

Working for Vanity Fair

Leibovitz was appointed chief contributing photographer of Vanity Fair in 1983 as her reputation as an imaginative photographer continued to grow. Among her most famous pictures for the magazine included a nude portrayal of Demi Moore when the actress was heavily pregnant and one of Whoopi Goldberg bathing in milk.

Leibovitz’s Honors and Awards

The Library of Congress awarded Annie Leibovitz with the “Living Legend” Award in April of 2000. The French government also made her a Commandeur des Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 1991, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington staged an exhibition of her work. This was just the second time this prestigious gallery featured the work of a living person.

August 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm | No comment

Ansel Adams


Born: Feb 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California
Died: Apr 22, 1984 (at age 82) in Monterey, California
Nationality: American
Style: Scenic, landscape photography
Education: Private schools, home school

Ansel Adams was a famous photographer and a lifelong conversationalist who encouraged respect for the natural environment. He has spent a large amount time of his career in commercial photography.

Ansel Adams’ Early Life

Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco, California, in 1902. He was the only child of Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray Adams, who originally hailed from New England and migrated from north of Ireland during the 18th century. Adams’ father was a very successful businessman who owned a chemical factory and an insurance company. Because of his wealth, Ansel attended both public and private schools during his academic career.

Adams had a badly broken nose due to the aftershock from the great earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco. His nose was never properly put back into place so it remained crooked throughout his life. This made him very self-conscious and was partly the cause for the problems he had in school. He received only an 8th grade education in school.

At a very young age, Adams was interested in the outdoors. He enjoyed taking long walks and exploring. The banking crisis in America in 1907 along with his grandfather’s death, created a great financial loss in his family. By 1912, his family lost their affluent style of living, and Adams who was a restless kid, was thrown from several private schools during his childhood. This affected his education.

Adams’ Adolescent Years

At the age of 12, Adams learned to play the piano by himself. Although he was serious about taking music as his career, he was also interested in learning about photography. He made his first amateur photos in 1916 during a family trip to Yosemite National Park. Photography became his hobby and he eventually took a job as a photo technician for a commercial film that helped him to learn more about it.

In 1919, Adams joined the Sierra Club and worked as a caretaker in Yosemite Valley, the organization’s headquarters. He presided over the Sierra Club in his later days from 1936 to 1970. While working with the Sierra Club, Adams spent time hiking, exploring, and taking many photographs.

Adam’s Career in Photography

Adams’ first photograph got published in 1921. The very next year, Best’s Studios started selling photographs that he had taken at Yosemite. Some of Adams’ works were published in limited edition collections, like Taos Pueblo and Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. In 1932, his first one-man-show was held in San Francisco.

Ansel Adams also taught, gave lectures, and worked on various assignments in the field of photography in the San Francisco area. He opened a gallery for the arts and during the 1930s, he published books on the extensive methods of photography, insisting on the importance of careful craftsmanship.

Adams’ Later Career

In 1935, Adams wrote his first instructional book entitled Making a Photograph: An Introduction to Photography. In 1936, Adams’ photographs were exhibited by Alfred Stieglitz, a well-respected artist, in his New York gallery.

Adams also published a series of books, including Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail (1938), Illustrated Guide to Yosemite Valley (1941), Yosemite and the High Sierra (1994), and My Camera in Yosemite Valley (1949).

Awards and Honors

Ansel Adams was one of the most distinguished photographers ever. He received several awards both during his lifetime and after he passed away. Some of those awards include the Hasselblad Award (1981), the Sierra Club John Muir Award (1963), and he was also entered into the California Hall of Fame in 2007.

Adams’ Death

Ansel Adams was confined to bed for about a month due to a surgery to remove cancer in September of 1983. He died in April of 1984 in a hospital in Monterey, California, however, as a result from cardiovascular disease.

August 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm | No comment

Berenice Abbott


Born: July 17, 1898 in Springfield, Ohio
Died: Dec 9, 1991 (at age 93) in Monson, Maine
Nationality: American
Style: Urban photography, NY architecture photography
Education: Ohio State University, left in 1918

Berenice Abbott was a well-known American photographer who was mainly popular for her black-and-white photography of the New York urban design and architecture during the 1930s.

Abbott’s Early Life

Berenice was born in 1898 in Ohio. She was brought up by a single mom because of divorce. Abbott went to Ohio State University for one year before moving to New York in 1918 to do sculpture.

While in New York, Berenice met Marcel and Man Ray who were the core founders of Dada Movement, which was an artistic intellectual movement which emerged as a protest to the merciless suffering resulting from World War I. The artists in the Dada Movement questioned the tradition and convention through nonsensical works that were presented in visual arts, literature, and performances.

Abbott’s Career

Berenice relocated to Europe in the 1920s and worked as a photographic assistant to May Ray from 1925 to 1929. Through her work in printing Man Ray’s photos, she discovered that she had a talent for photography. In 1926, Berenice had her very first solo showcase in the Parisian gallery featuring her portraits in which she captured personalities that were associated with the avant-garde art movements.

During the same time period, Berenice also became fascinated with the works of Eugene Atget, who was a leading photographer celebrated for his photos of the streets in Paris. She also established her own studio.

Photography to Documentary

Berenice shifted from portrait photography and concentrated on documentary photography, using the city as her main subject. This was akin to images from Atget. This was in 1929, after her return to New York. In the 1930s, she concentrated on campaigns to capture New York City’s transformation into the urban center that it was becoming. She was particularly enticed by the physical changes that the city had undergone, the changes in the neighborhoods, and the huge skyscrapers replacing older buildings.

Changing New York

Abbott started a photographic documentary series of New York City part of a Federal Works initiative which was done from 1935 to 1939. At the end this project, Berenice published her photos as a book entitled Changing New York. She used a straightforward but dynamic style which had strong dramatic angles and strong contrasts.

Abbott’s Other Works

In 1940, Abbott was appointed as the picture editor for Science Illustrate and continued in this role throughout the 1960s. During this time, she expanded her subject material to encompass scientific images. She later moved to Maine in 1966 and progressed there as a science photographer. She approached the world methodically just like she had done with the images and portraits of New York.

Berenice’s main subjects were individuals in the literary and artistic worlds, including French expatriates, nationals, and others who were just passing through the city. In addition to her visual arts work, she published poetry on an experimental literary journal. She also released a series of photos for a physics textbook for high schools together with the cover called “Bouncing ball in diminishing arcs.”

Berenice died in the year 1991 in Maine.

August 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm | No comment



Born: Sep 9, 1899 in Brassó, Transylvania, Austria-Hungary (now Romania)
Died: July 7, 1984 (at age 84) in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France
Nationality: Hungarian/French
Education: Berlin-Charlottenburg Academy of Fine Arts (Universität der Künste Berlin)

Gyula Halász, otherwise known as Brassai (his pseudonym), was a well-known Parisian photographer. He was born in September of 1899 in Brassó, which was then part of Hungary. When he was three years old, Brassai and his family moved so they could reside in Paris for a period of one year. His father was a literature professor who was based in the Sorbonne in Paris.

Brassai’s Early Years

In his youthful days, Gyula was interested in art, specifically in the study of sculpture and painting. He went to study these subjects at Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. He then joined a cavalry of the Austro-Hungarian army and served until the First World War ended.

In 1920, Brassai moved to Berlin and started work as a young journalist. During this time, he also pursed his talents at Berlin-Charlottenburg Academy of Arts.

Brassai’s Early Career in Photography

In 1924, Gyula moved back to Paris. He was interested in learning French and he did this by reading books written by Marcel Proust. Gyula got a position as a young journalist and he soon formed friendships with the likes of Leon Paul, the poet Jacques Prevert, and Henry Miller, all of whom added some positive influence on his life.

Brassai loved his job and had a passion for the city. He often wandered into the streets until late at night looking for something beautiful to capture. According to him, photography allowed him to be able to seize the beauty of Paris at night. He loved how the gardens and streets lit up the night. This was the point at which Gyula Halász changed his name to Brassai, which meant “from Brasso,” the place of his birth.

Brassai’s Later Career

Brassai loved the city and he captured its beauty and essence in all his photographs. In 1933, he published his first book entitled Paris after Dark. His book was very successful and Henry Miller gave him the nickname of “Paris’s eye.” Brassai also took popular photographs from the angle of life of the high society. He showed the city’s intellectuals, its ballets, and even the grand operas.

Gyula also took pictures of some of his artist friends, including Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, and Salvador Dali. Some of the writers of his time that he photographed included Henri Michaux and Jean Genet, among many others. His work brought him much fame both locally and internationally. This led to one-man shows in the United States at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, and the New York City Museum of Modern Arts, among other venues.

Awards and Achievements

In 1956, Brassai’s film entitled Tant qu’il aura’ de’s bêteswas recognized as the “most original” at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1974, he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and also named Legion of Honor in 1976. In 1978, Brassai also won the Grand Prix Nationa’l de’ la Photographie award in Paris.

Brassai as Author

Gyula was famous for other things besides photography, including such accomplishments like being the author of 17 books and numerous articles. In 1948, he produced a novel named Histoire’ de Marie, which was published alongside an introduction written by Henry Miller. Chicago Press University also translated and published his Conversations with Picasso and his article Letters to My Parents into English.

Sickness and Death

Brassai is generally considered one of the influential photographers of the 20th century. He passed away in July of 1984 in Eze, France. In 2000, an exhibition was held in recognition of his works. The exhibition was organized by his widow, Gilberte, and it featured 450 works by Brassai.

August 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm | No comment

Cecil Beaton


Born: Jan 4, 1904 in Hampstead, London, England
Died: Jan 18, 1980 (at age 76) in Reddish House, Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, England
Nationality: British
Style: Wartime, portrait, and fashion photography

One of Cecil Beaton’s most well-known photographs is that of a crowned and bejeweled young Queen Elizabeth II. But his credits include much more than that iconic photo.

Cecil Beaton’s Early Life

Beaton was born in Hampstead, England, on January 14, 1904. He was taught at an early age how to take and develop photographs by his nanny. He attended Harrow, an English school for boys, and then Cambridge. Once he left school, he went to work for his father who ran a successful timber business.

Beaton, however, was less successful as an office worker and began to concentrate on exhibiting his photographs. He began to find regular work in such high-end magazines as Vogue and Vanity Fair. He also opened his own studio where he specialized in taking photos of beautiful men and women. Eventually, he relocated to New York where he entered into a lucrative contract with Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Beaton Stirs Up Controversy

Beaton was fired from the American edition of Vogue after the editors noticed that he had inserted anti-Semitic words into an illustration. However, when he returned to England, the Queen Mother found him a job at the Ministry of Information just in time for World War II.

This time, Beaton photographed the destruction that was done by the German army’s Blitz instead of beautifully lit celebrities and royals. Indeed, his war photography was so moving that many at the time believed that it helped convince America to join the war effort.

Beaton and the Royal Photos

Beaton reveled in photographing high society, especially British high society. He not only photographed the Queen, starting when she was a child, but also her sister, Princess Margaret. He also photographed both Elizabeth and Margaret’s father, George VI, and Elizabeth’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in their military finery.

Beaton also took stylish photos of the Queen’s aunt and uncle, the Duke and Duchess of Kent. His photos of the Queen Mother are also famous. He was one of the Queen Mother’s favorite photographers because he had no trouble altering his photographs to emphasize her glamour while downplaying her plumpness. He also took photos of the newly married but banished Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Beaton and Celebrities

Beaton did not just photograph royalty and nobility. He was just as enamored by movie stars and celebrities and he enjoyed taking photos of them. Some of the movie stars he photographed include Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Mae West, Greta Garbo, and Lillian Gish.

Other celebrities who were photographed by Beaton include Jacqueline Kennedy, Georgia O’Keefe, Mick Jagger, Twiggy, Andy Warhol, Pablo and Paloma Picasso, Graham Green and Vita Sackville-West. Beaton was also known for his fashion photography.

Years Following the War

When the war was over, Beaton designed sets for the Broadway stage and Hollywood. He is most famous for his Academy Award winning costume and set designs for My Fair Lady and Gigi. He was knighted in 1972, but he had a stroke in 1974 that left him paralyzed on the right side.

As a result, he had his cameras adapted to cope with his disability, but he was still anxious about his financial situation. Because of this, he had many of his photographs put up for auction at Sotheby’s. The sale of his photographs guaranteed him an income.

Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) died on January 18 in Wiltshire, at his home, Reddish House.

August 21, 2013 at 12:28 am | No comment