When it comes to Fashion photography, some may argue that the genre is more frivolous than others. But when we look at the type of work the best fashion photographers have created over the years, it’s clear that not only did the work they do inspire and revolutionize photography, but that they also documented the change of the times.
Whether it was changes in society or a war, these sentiments were often echoed in the fashion of the times so not only do the great fashion photographs reflect past trends, they also represent history.
1. Herb Ritts
Herb Ritts was an American born photographer who specialized in fashion and portraits. He worked heavily with celebrities, such as Madonna, Janet Jackson and Richard Gere (a personal friend) as well as all the top supermodels on the 90s – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and so on. His work was usually black and white with a highly stylized, but clean feel.
Herb Ritts Africa by Herb Ritts
Notorious by Herb Ritts
Herb Ritts Stern Portfolio by Herb Ritts
2. Mario Testino
Mario Testino is a Peruvian born fashion photographer who is based in London but has worked around the world for the top fashion magazines around the world – Vogue, V, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair and so on.
He has also worked for many of the high end fashion labels, such as Chanel, Gucci, Versace as well as a number of cosmetics brands. Unsurprisingly he has worked with a number of celebrities – his most famous portrait perhaps, is of the late Princess of Wales, showing her wearing her tiara and a large smile.
His style is clean and elegant, always making his subjects look the best that they possibly can.
Portraits by Mario Testino and Patrick Kinmonth
Mario Testino Stern Portfolio by Mario Testino
Let Me In by Nicole Kidman, Michael Roberts and Mario Testino
Rio De Janeiro by Gisele Bundchen, Caetano Veloso, Regina Case and Mario Testino
Diana, Princess of Wales by Meredith Etherington-Smith, Patrick Kinmonth, Mario Testino
3. Irving Penn
Irving Penn is an American Photographer who specialized in fashion and portraiture. He worked for Vogue magazine for many years where he adopted a simplistic, clean affair to all his photographs. His subjects included superstars and artists such as Igor Stravinsky, Marlene Dietrich, Pablo Picasso and Martha Graham.
Irving Penn also enjoyed shooting till life – his images highly clear and detailed. He died in October 2009 in New York.
A Notebook at Random by Irving Penn
Irving Penn Portraits by Sandy Nairne and Magdalene Keaney
Irving Penn, Eine Retrospecktive by Irving Penn, Colin Westerbeck, Robert V. Sharp
Still Life by Irving Penn
A Career in Photography by Rosamond Bernier, Colin Eisler, and Colin Westerbeck
Don’t forget that these short biographies are just for a taster – you can always investigate the works of these photographers for free online as well as find their detailed biographies and current projects and if you want to see the images on paper, head to the local library.