Fashion photography is not just a medium for models and clothing designers; it's a fine art form that requires a keen eye for detail and distinctive style. Fashion photographers are responsible for bringing us closer to the wonderful world of fashion by showcasing beautiful clothing and accessories in eye-catching ways. In order to stand out in this rule-breaking industry, fashion photographers have to push the envelope and go against the grain to create memorable images that will generate sales. Out of all the talented fashion photographers who've come and gone or are still around, these are the 8 greatest of all time:
Richard Avedon is touted as one of the greatest fashion photographers in the world because of his individual style and unconventional technique. Avedon took his own spin on fashion photography and broke the mold when he showcased models in action and conveying emotions. Avedon got his start in the fashion industry as a staff photographer and later a chief photographer for Harper's BAZAAR. He moved on to photograph for Vogue and became the lead photographer for the fashion publication, shooting famous campaign ads for Versace and Calvin Klein Jeans. Avedon's iconic and glamorous images changed the way the world saw fashion photography and helped lead the way for other innovative and risk-taking photographers.
Helmut Newton was an innovative fashion photographer whose provocative black and white images became a staple in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR and other iconic fashion magazines worldwide. Newton's erotic nude photos changed the way women were photographed and viewed in the 20th century. His eye-opening work was known to push the envelope, while conveying a message of female sexual empowerment. Although Newton is praised as being one of the best in the industry, the international icon had to overcome many adversities before becoming a distinguished photographer. Newton survived the Holocaust in Germany and imprisonment in Singapore before settling in Australia, where he began his photography career.
Patrick Demarchelier is a famous French fashion photographer whose work has appeared in virtually every major fashion magazine in the United States and many abroad. In addition to shooting some of the most beautiful models and celebrities in the world, Demarchelier is also famously known for being the official photographer of Princess Diana of Wales and the first non-Brit to photograph the British Royal Family. Demarchelier's iconic images and advertising campaigns have helped propel the careers of makeup artists and fashion designers alike. Demarchelier's beautiful high-end fashion and commercial photography continues to grace the covers and pages of Vogue and other fashion publications worldwide.
Steven Meisel is a prominent American fashion photographer who's best known for his work in American and Italian Vogue, as well as photographing pop icon Madonna for her 1992 book Sex. Meisel has shot campaigns for many high-end luxury brands, such as Versace, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Calvin Klein. He has also photographed every cover of Italian Vogue for two straight decades. Not only is Meisel one of the most recognized photographers in the fashion industry, but he is also credited for catapulting the careers of some of the most famous models in the world like Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.
Cecil Beaton was a renowned English fashion and portrait photographer, who was known for his work in Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as being an official photographer to the British Royal Family. Beaton's iconic images of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood starlets have made a lasting impression on today's fashion photographers. Beaton's elegant style and sophisticated approach to fashion photography and society portraits set him apart from his peers, and earned him a spot as one of the most influential photographers of all time.
Mario Testino is a famous Peruvian fashion photographer who has shot a wide variety of advertising campaigns, fashion spreads and celebrity portraits. Testino has also been a contributing photographer to the British Royal Family, and was invited to take the engagement photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2010. Testino is widely known for his work with Burberry, Zara, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Estee Lauder, Valentino and Versace and the controversial ads for Gucci. Testino's eye-catchingly bright and highly polished images have been featured in several fashion publications worldwide.
Peter Lindbergh is one of the most successful fashion photographers in the world. The German artist is best known for his striking black and white photography that often features sensitive portraits of beautiful women from around the world. Lindbergh has also shot ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Armani and Donna Karan, and his work is often featured in Harper's BAZAAR, Vogue and Stern. Lindbergh's keen attention to detail and perception of femininity has strongly influenced the field of fashion photography and helped promote the careers of many famous supermodels.
David LaChapelle is a renowned American photographer and director who's known for his colorful and sexualized style. LaChapelle got his big break when he was picked up byInterview magazine and caught the attention of his hero Andy Warhol in New York. It wasn't long before LaChapelle began photographing dozens of celebrities and started gracing the covers of Italian Vogue,French Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and several other major magazines. This award-winning, contemporary photographer has taken fashion photography to another level with his imaginative style and shocking, but humorous tone. LaChapelle's work has and continues to make a major impact on the fashion and celebrity scene.
Annie Leibovitz (American, b.1949) is best known for her engaging portraits—particularly of celebrities—which often feature subjects in intimate settings and poses. Leibovitz took painting classes at the San Francisco Art Institute as an undergraduate, but found herself deeply attracted to photography after taking pictures on a family vacation. She switched her studies to photography, and began working on commission for Rolling Stone while still in school in the early 1970s, when the magazine was in its first years of publication. Her work was the subject of a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; she was the first woman to receive a solo exhibition at the museum. Leibovitz currently lives and works in New York.