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Fashion Photographers Through a Century

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Fashion Photographers Through a Century

Fashion photography appeared for the first in French magazines at the beginning of last century and it was slowly promoted as a “fine art” use of photography.

Jesse Alexander has said that about Edward Steichen´s work and Fashion Photography in general, that it was “…photographing the garments in such a way as to convey a sense of their physical quality as well as their formal appearance, as opposed to simply illustrating the object.”

At this time, special emphasis was placed on staging the shots, a process first developed by Baron Adolf de Meyer, who shot his models in natural environments and poses. During the 1920s and 1930s Vogue and its rival Harper’s Bazaar were the two companies’ leaders within the field of fashion photography.

At the dawn of WWII photographers explored more freedom of styles: Martin Munkacsi was the first one to photograph models in sporty poses on the beach. Style that was quickly adopted by the major fashion magazines.

After the war, photographers such John French introduced a new type of fashion photography involving e reflected natural light and low contrast which were able to be reproduced on newsprint.

1. Adolph de Meyer

Adolph de Meyer (1868 - 1946) was a German photographer who became famous for his sophisticated photographic portraits. Vogue America in 1913 appointed him as the first official fashion photographer.

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2. Edward Jean Steichen

Edward Jean Steichen (1879 –1973) was an American painter, photographer, and curator of art galleries and museums. Among his various works, he also became a photographer for the Condé Nast magazines, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

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3. John French

John French (1907–1966) was a British fashion and portrait photographer. He first worked with the Daily Express and initiated a new form of fashion photography more suitable for printing and reproduction thanks to the use of natural lights and low contrasts.

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4. Martin Munkácsi

Martin Munkácsi (1896- 1963) from Hungarian, extensively worked in Germany and the United States. Although he became a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar, he died in poverty and several museums refused to accept his archives.

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5. Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 –1980) was an English versatile artist within fashion, war photography, portrait, interior designer, costume designer for films and the theatre, diarist and painter. In 1970 he was also named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

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6. Helmut Newton 

Helmut Newton (1920 – 2004) was a German fashion photographer. Jessy McKinley has defined him as a "prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications."

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7. Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz 

Annie Leibovitz (born in 1949) is and American portrait and fashion photographer. She initially started working for the Rolling Stone magazine by shooting around 142 of its covers. She has been also working for Vanity Fair and Vogue, while at the same time creating many influential advertising campaigns for the American Express and the Gap as well as collaborating with organizations of the status of the American Ballet Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Mark Morris Dance Group and with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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8. David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle (born in 1963) is an American fashion photographer and director. He started his famous career in New York in the 80s and is nowadays a much appreciated photographer by artists of the caliber of Andy Warhol. His works are imprinted with relevant social meaning as a denounce of our multifaceted corrupted society.

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9. Mario Testino 

Mario Testino (born in 1954) is a Peruvian fashion photographer for important magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair. He became very famous in 1997 by choosing Princess Diana for a Vanity Fair photo shoot, which since then, granted him regular work collaborations with the British royal family ever since.

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10. Tim Walker

Timothy Walker (born in 1970) is an English fashion photographer who has extensively been working with Vogue England, America and Italy. He published his first fashion story photo shoot at the young age of twenty-five. His photographic style is quite extravagant but very romantic; he makes ample use of pastel colors which bring a dreamy atmosphere to the picture, carrying the viewer in a sweet fairy tale.

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Author Bio

Sara Coppola is a photography and fashion lover. When not blogging at Passion for Fashion you can find her snapping picture around the city with her beloved Nikon D90.

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