Fashion photograph is the language of fashion. The designers talk to us using the fashion photograph. Without the help of the photographer, the fashion world will be silent, dead silent……. below are 30 photographers that are controlling the language of fashion todays.
1) Annie Leibovitz, USA
Annie Leibovitz’s powerful portrait photography has distinguished her above and beyond most of her peers for over thirty years. From 1970 to 1983, Leibovitz was the principal photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. She spearheaded the movement of music photography away from stage and studio portraiture to intimate, behind-the-scenes portrayals of musicians.
The first twenty years of her work has been collected in an extensive retrospective book and exhibition Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970-1990. Her recent book, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005, brings together her assignment and personal work, and is accompanied by an exhibition that opened at the Brooklyn Museum and is touring internationally. Her lifetime achievements have recently merited her a place in the acclaimed PBS documentary series American Masters, aired in January 2007.
2) Nick Knight, UK
Nick Knight is among the world’s most influential photographers as well as being Director & founder of SHOWstudio.com the fashion & art internet broadcasting channel. On the 24th October 2006 Nick Knight was awarded the prestigious Moet Chandon Fashion Tribute for 2006, which he celebrated by throwing a masked ball at Horace Walpoles Gothic revival treasure, Strawberry Hill.
Knight’s work has been exhibited at such institutions as the Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, the Photographers Gallery and Hayward Gallery and recently the Tate Modern. He has produced a permanent installation, Plant Power, for the Natural History Museum in London.
3) Sølve Sundsbø, Norwegian
Fashion photographer Solve Sundsbo started his career, for a while it seemed as though he would get no further than the dole queue. “People would say to me, ‘I’m not sure I can hire you, I’m not sure what you’re doing. What is your style?’ I was mortified and thought I was never going to make a living as a photographer.”
The designer Tom Ford cannot speak highly enough of him. “Solve is a great talent in the fashion industry,” he says. “His photographs speak for themselves. They are powerful, beautiful, always fresh, and I am lucky to have worked with him over the past decade.”
Sundsbo’s portfolio reads like a who’s who of luxury designers – Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, Bally and Armani. He has also branched out into short films, teaming up with Alexander McQueen to produce a piece for the Florence Biennale.
4) Michael Thompson,US
Michael Thompson was born and raised in Washington State, where he was first introduced to photography at his father’s small portrait studio.
An award-winning director of TV commercials, Michael has directed: Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker (a winner of the 2006 FiFi Award for Best National Advertising Campaign-Television), Tiffany’s Frank Gehry Collection and a PSA for The American Ballet Theatre.
His recent exhibition, MICHAEL THOMPSON: 50 CUTS debuted at the Parco Gallery in Tokyo featuring a selection of 50 images from his first 10 years as a photographer. He is currently working on a second book.
5) Alexi Lubomirski, UK
Alexi grew up in Paris and London. His serious interest in photography developed whilst traveling in Peru during a gap year at college.His interest later shifted from social commentary to narrative based/fashion photography whilst studying his degree at the University of Brighton, in the UK. Introduced to Mario Testino whilst making the rounds in London with his university portfolio, Lubomirski soon joined him in Paris as his assistant.
He was later introduced to Harper’s Bazaar, again by Katie. He has been shooting fashion stories and celebrity covers for the magazine ever since, working with such fashion industry stalwarts as Brana Wolf.
6) Ruven Afanador, Columbian
Rather than basking in the spotlight after winning the coveted Trophee de la Mode award for Best Photographer last year, Ruven Afanador has been quietly working in the dark room, putting the finishing touches on his debut book of photographs, Torero (Edition Stemmle). Deeply personal and at times pointedly homoerotic, the photographs—all in laconic black and white detail—have their roots in Afanador’s recollections of a growing up in a small town just north of Bogotá, Colombia. In an auspicious photo session arranged by Joan Juliet Buck, former Editor-in-Chief of Paris Vogue, the conversation between the two visionaries veered to bullfighting and inspired in Afanador a fascination for the secret society of men with tradition-soaked, embroidered suits and the adoration of everyone.
7) Bela Borsodi, Austrian
Bela Borsodi’s surreal fashion imagery brings clothes and accessories to life. Through combining aspects of art, design and craft his work offers us fashion in 3-dimensions; at once caricature and vanguard of today’s most extrovert fashion sensibilities. The New York based artist and photographer has worked for the likes of Vogue, Wallpaper and Another Magazine, and fashion brands Baume & Mercer Watches, Hermes and Selfridges.
An in-depth interview on Bela Borsodi in PingMag.
A creative unit of Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones started in 1998. They have a studio in the East end of London, just off Brick Lane. Mainly working for music and fashion industries, both Nick and Warren are involved in all of their projects collaboratively which has established a distinct style. They have been highly acclaimed for their free form of creative output which ranges from photography to graphics.
9) Melodie Mcdaniel, USA
Melodie McDaniel works as a still photographer and director. After extensive travel throughout Europe and Israel, including living on a Kibbutz, Melodie studied photography and was inspired to pursue documentary photography. She graduated in 1992 from the Art Center School of Design with a major in photography and a minor in fine art.
After a successful career with now defunct Satellite Films, Melodie signed with The Directors Bureau in 2002, heightening a roster of talent including Roman and Sofia Coppola. Since coming on board, Melodie has helmed spots for Chevy, Toyota, Vodafone, Zune and Nike.
10) Platon, USA
Platon attended St. Martin’s School of Art, and after receiving his BA with honors in Graphic Design, he was then awarded an MA in photography and fine art at the Royal College of Art, where one of his professors and mentors was the late John Hind, the creative director of British Vogue. While still a student, he received British Vogue’s “Best up-and-coming Photographer” award in 1992.
In 2007 Platon photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year Cover. This image was awarded the coveted 1 st prize at 2008 World Press Photo Contest.
11) Phil Poynter, USA
Phil Poynters sweeping photographic skills echo in the spontaneity of his Louis Vuitton men’s advertising campaign, the teenage freedom in his shots for Alexander McQueen and in the classic elegance of the Prada ad campaign. He can revolutionise a brand image with his photography which is already a point of reference. Phil is a regular contributor to Dazed & Confused.
12) Rankin, UK
Photographer, publisher, and most recently film director, Rankin established his reputation when he launched Dazed & Confused with his business partner Jefferson Hack in 1991.
From his iconic shot of Kylie lying naked and prostrate, to the Queen smiling enigmatically, Rankin’s iconic, intimate portraiture style, and his mischievous eye have gained him a reputation as one of the world’s leading photographers.
In September 2007, Rankin held his debut American solo show in Los Angeles at the Fahey/Klein gallery, entitled ‘Eye Candy’.
13) Norman Jean Roy, USA
Few photographers’ careers have ascended skyward as meteorically as that of editorial and advertising photographer Norman Jean Roy. Named by PDN magazine in 1999 as one of the 30 most promising photographers under 30 years old, the now 31-year-old New York-based shooter is certainly fulfilling that confidence.
Marked by a style that seems deceptively casual, even impromptu at times, Roy often works his subjects with the experimental temperament of a jazz musician: improvising ideas and themes on the fly.
14) Thomas Schenk, USA
Thomas earned his BFA at the Philadelphia College of Art where he studied ceramics and print-making. Before discovering photography at the age of 26, he worked odd jobs and competed with his show horses. A regular contributor to Dutch Magazine, Schenk’s work also appears in Vogue, New York Times Magazine, Surface and Interview He now lives in New York City.
His fashion photographs are characterized by their utter modernity and edgy introspection. Thomas originally came to prominence through his memorable photographs of model Angela Lindwall for Harper’s Bazaar. He has worked at the highest levels of fashion photography ever since.
15) Max Vadukul, UK
Max Vadukul is a self taught British photographer, born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in London, whose images are recognized for their distinctive signature and creative originality.
Discovered by Yohji Yamamoto in 1984 while living in Paris, Max quickly gained praise as a brilliant image maker.
Today Max continues to work in New York City and has refocused his energy into creating powerful, original images for a select clientele. He resides with his wife Nicoletta Santoro, fashion editor at Italian Vogue, and their two children.
16) Diego Uchitel, Argentinean
Argentinean born photographer Diego Uchitel moved from Buenos Aires to the United States after high school to attend film school and eventually found his true calling. He has been photographing the world’s most beautiful subjects for twenty years. Uchitel is renowned for his elegantly arresting photographs. His work is often described as less photographic and more painterly.
Uchitel’s subjects include David Bowie, Lou Reed, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Diane Von Furstenberg. He has also given a dose of elegance to his advertising clients, which include Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Warner Brothers, Nike, Levi’s and Microsoft.
17) Yelena Yemchuk, Ukranian
Yelena Yemchuk is a professional photographer, painter and film director, best known for her work with The Smashing Pumpkins. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, her family moved to Brooklyn, New York when Yelena was in her early teens.
Yemchuk handled art direction for the Adore album and its related singles. Her photographs also appear in the “Zero” EP, the The Aeroplane Flies High box set, and the Rotten Apples compilation.
Throughout 2004, Corgan mentioned her frequently in his blog, and she also provided the cover art for his book Blinking with Fists.
18) Richard Burbridge, UK
Richard Burbridge’s technically ambitious photography explores the alchemical medium of photography. Transforming his subjects — fashion, portraiture, beauty, and still life photography — Burbridge subverts the expected. His inventive editorial work appears in Another Magazine, Self-Service, Italian Vogue, i-D and V. His still life and beauty photography, which can be seen in campaigns for MAC, Chaumet, Givenchy, Hermes and Louis Vuitton Eyewear, is elegantly experimental and meticulous. Burbridge’s portraits of the leading cultural figures of art, literature, and entertainment also carry his distinct photographic style.
19) Sebastian Faena, USA
Photographer Sebastian Faena made his powerful editorial debut in V magazine with a twenty-page story early last year. He has since established himself in New York as a unique talent, distinctly capturing the top female faces in the industry today including Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, Natalia Vodianova, Linda Evangelista, Doutzen Kroes and Agyness Deyn, among others.
Faena received accolades for his feature film, La Mujer Rota (The Woman Turns), which was released to both controversy and acclaim in his native Buenos Aires in the Fall of 2007.
20) Nathaniel Goldberg, French
Goldberg was born and educated in France and undertook his photography apprenticeship in New York. His distinctive flair for fashion image-making gained recognition in the late 1990s, attracting a prestigious range of editorial and advertising clients, and a film project for Paco Rabanne. Goldberg is currently working on an independent project in Alaska which includes portraits and landscapes.
Nathaniel Goldberg’s sophisticated approach to fashion and beauty photography is regularly featured in Italian and Japanese Vogue, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar.
21) Jamie Isaia, USA
Jamie Isaia evokes mood and atmosphere in a color-saturated, expressive photographic style that suggests dream-like, otherworldly scenarios. Though her images are thoughtfully scripted, they also contain unexpected and spontaneous elements, resulting in a rich blend of performance and a painterly photographic style.
In 2008 Isaia was nominated for the Discovery Award at the Recontres d’Arles with guest curator Christian Lacroix by Caroline Issa and Masoud Golsorkhi of Tank Magazine. She traveled to Spain to teach a seminar at Madrid’s international photography festival, PHotoEspaña.
Most recently Jamie completed her second short film for Swarovski, which will be included in the Birds Eye View Film Festival in London this year.
22) Craig McDean, UK
Craig McDean is a photographer and filmmaker who is renowned for his striking fashion imagery and portraiture. Having discovered photography by taking pictures of his rocker friends in the North of England, McDean moved to London, where he assisted before striking out on his own with assignments for i-D and The Face. In 2004, his second book, Lifescapes, was published by Steidl/Dangin. McDean currently lives in New York, and has photographed campaigns for Dior, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani, Estee Lauder, and Calvin Klein. He regularly contributes to a range of international fashion publications including W, American, French, British and Italian Vogue, and Another Magazine. He is a 2008 recipient of the ICP Infinity Award.
23) Steven Meisel, USA
Steven Meisel is fashion’s pre-eminent image-maker — prolific and innovative — visualizing the trends of every fashion season since the 1980s.
Like all truly great image-makers in fashion’s pantheon, Meisel not only depicts fashion, he defines it, and gives it cultural resonance. His influences and inspirations are varied, culled from design, architecture, art, cinema, and literature. Meisel has also portrayed our leading actresses and entertainers, defining the relationships between celebrity and fashion in the process. Most notably, Meisel collaborated with Madonna to create their notorious book Sex (1992).
As the primary photographer for American and Italian Vogue, each season, he has also created some of fashion’s most memorable campaigns for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Mulberry, Lanvin, and Versace.
24) Perry Ogden, UK
Perry Ogden‘s lush imagery creates evocative, enduring narratives. Ogden’s sense of the rural and the remote is elegantly entwined with a deep appreciation of history and cultural heritage — particularly in his stunning photography in his homeland of Ireland. His photographs have been featured in Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, W, and Arena, and campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Chloé, Calvin Klein, and Bergdorf Goodman.
Ogden has also created long-term independent photo projects including Pony Kids (1999) — a portrayal of bareback horse riding culture among Irish youth. Ogden’s first feature film Pavee Lackeen (The Traveller Girl) was screened at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.
25) Carter Smith, USA
Carter Smith‘s fashion and portrait photography has a disarming charm. Smith has created campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, TSE, DKNY, Tiffany & Co., Levi’s, Clarins, and Lancôme. His editorials appear in American, British, Italian, and Teen Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Homme, Allure, GQ and The New York Times Magazine.
Smith has also developed a keen sense for filmmaking in projects for Tommy Hilfiger Fragrance, Lancôme, Lacoste, Kohl’s, and DKNY. He has directed music videos and his film projects are currently represented by Park Pictures. Smith recently completed his first feature length film, The Ruins, a story adapted from the Scott Smith novel of the same name.
26) Ellen von Unwerth, Germany
Ellen von Unwerth‘s work offers a distinctly sexual and playful version of fashion and beauty photography. In addition to her career as fashion photographer, filmmaker, and video director, her work has been collected in numerous books and two photo-novellas. Von Unwerth’s first book, Snaps, was published in 1994 followed by Wicked (1998), Couples (1999) and Omahyra &Boyd (2005).
After a decade as a fashion model, von Unwerth brought a first-hand knowledge of the kinetic energy of fashion photo shoots to the creation of her own photographs. Her sensual campaigns for Guess in the early 1990s launched von Unwerth’s commercial career, and subsequently she has created campaigns for Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, Baccarat, Bebe, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, H&M, Diesel, Chanel, Miu Miu and Blumarine as well as a series of publicity advertisements for HBO’s Sex and the City.
27) Grey Williams, UK
Williams began photo work as a photojournalist and has documented regions at the heights of their troubles in Burma, Sierra Leone, and Chechnya. His commitment to the role of photography in social change includes his ongoing work for the international aid agency OxFam.
Williams recently expanded his celebrity repertoire to include fashion editorial for Vogue Italia and fashion advertising for clients such as Dunhill, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger and Dior. Other advertising campaigns include Omega, Heineken, Sony Pictures and Disney. In 2008, Williams wrote and directed his first short film for the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.
28) David Vasiljevic, Australian
David Vasiljevic is a graduate of the Academie des Beaux Art in Brussels. From oil painting he later brought his vision to photography.
He spends his time between new york, london and paris, contributing to American and Chinese Vogue as well as I-D, just to name few.
He has collaborated with biggest names in styling and creative direction.
His advertising clients include some of the leading brands in the fashion industry such as Stella Mc Cartney, Swarovski, Paule Ka, Pantene, Givenchy Perfume, H&M, Armani jeans, Levi’s etc.
29) Ben Hassett, French
Ben is a photographer and filmmaker who lives and works in Paris. He studied Fine Art in England, and began his career in landscape and art photography. His life and work have recently been profiled in ‘The British Journal of Photography’ and in ‘Playboy’. A regular contributor to Vogue magazines worldwide, including French, German and Japanese, he is best known for his striking and sometimes disturbing images of beauty. German Vogue recently labeled him “the Penn of his generation.”
Clients include Dior, L’Oreal, Givenchy, Clarins and Rimmel. 2008 also saw his directorial debut for Chanel, creating his first commercial.
30) Jonathan Leder, USA
Jonathan Leder was born and raised in New York City during the 1970′s. He started his career by assisting superstar photographer Steven Klein.
As the digital camera revolutionized the photography world, Jonathan remained faithful to his 35mm and old-school Polaroid (remember those?). With a sharp eye and a distinct indie style, Jonathan is able to capture these absolutely amazing, dreamy shots.