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Style Blog: Greatest Fashion Photographers Of All Time

Fashion is made by the photographers who record it. Throughout time there have been many iconic images of fashion, taken by the likes of Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier and Annie Leibovitz for the publishing houses of VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine and Rolling Stones. These images become memorable for a reason, be it the way it was shot, who the model was or the way in which it was styled. They stand the test of time as a result of the visionary that took it. 

Mario Testino (OBE) has become one of the world’s most famous photographers. His work is used worldwide by fashion magazines and luxury fashion houses such as Burberry, Versace, Michael Kors and Dolce and Gabbana. Alongside publishing seven books, he is the photographer of choice for the royal family, photographing Princess Diana and, more recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Testino’s images are instantly recognisable and unlike any other, which is why a number of exhibitions have held his work worldwide, such as his Portraits Exhibition in London which drew record breaking crowds. Mario Testino has even become a brand in himself, working with global models like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour. 

David Bailey is the most famous photographer from the sixties. He famously shot 800 pages of Vogue editorial in one year, while his relationship with his model and muse Jean Shrimpton is iconic. Bailey was a huge part of the swinging sixties scene and recorded the look on the streets and in the studios. His black and white fashion photography was revolutionary at the time, and his style remains hugely recognisable to this day. 

French photographer Patrick Demarchelier has shot international advertising campaigns for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. He has shot for nearly every major fashion magazine worldwide including American, British and Paris VOGUE. Demarchelier’s images are romantic, beautiful and creative. The images have a storyline and a creative vision that take the viewer on a journey through the photographs. It is this ability that makes him not only a photographer but a modern day artist. 

Steven Meisel is an American photographer who began as an illustrator and lecturer. Admiring models and photographers, he never actually aimed to become one himself. He rose to fame after shooting Madonna for numerous album covers and books. More recently he has shot for W magazine and become the “go to” for fashion editorials. Meisel has since launched careers of numerous models, including Karen Elson, and has developed strong relationships with his designers, which include the likes of Anna Sui. Meisel has become a protégé of both Franca Sozzani and Anna Wintour, editors-in-chief of Italian and American Vogue, respectively. For the former, he photographs the cover of every issue, something generally unheard of in the ever changing fashion industry.

Peter Lindbergh is the original supermodel photographer. His portraits are highly crafted and absolutely stunning. Known for shooting in black and white and in a simplistic subtle manner, Lindbergh is a master of developing images that make you want to see every photograph from the entire shoot.  In 1988, Anna Wintour arrived at American Vogue and signed Lindbergh for the magazine. He shot Miss Wintour’s first American Vogue; the revolutionary November 1988 cover. Lindbergh also photographed the “iconic” January 1990 Vogue cover that featured Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington.  He boasts portraits of  Mick Jagger, Charlotte Rampling, Tina Turner, John Travolta and Madonna, amongst countless others.

The final iconic photographer I want to draw to your attention is Annie Leibovitz. Annie is the most creative storyteller of our age. She speaks of fairy tales, myths and legends through images, transforming them into beautiful portraits of stunning models. Alongside these vast creative projects Leibovitz has shot legends like John Lennon and The Rolling Stones, and she has worked for the Rolling Stone’s magazine. Her images are distinctive and unique, taking you on an incredibly beautiful journey.


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