On the recent passing of the one of the most highly respected photographers Bert Stern; I thought it fitting to compile a list of influential photographers and their equally as powerful images. Here are 10 of my personal favourites:
1. Bert Stern (1929-2013) The film-maker and photographer responsible for taking some of the last photos of Marilyn Monroe. The photos were published after her death in a book called ‘The Last Sitting’.
2. Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) I discovered Parkinson’s work only last year in a book that my mother gave me called ‘Would You Let Your Daughter’. It is only after having a flick through that I did some more research and discovered his long-lived careers with Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
The camera can be the most deadly weapon since the assassin’s bullet…
3. Charles Clyde Ebbets (1905-1978) After getting his first camera from a drugstore aged 8 he dabbled both in front of the camera as an actor and behind it as a photographer. There is some controversy surrounding ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ (below) on whether Ebbets actually produced the photo by himself but it is now widely accepted that the photo was part of a publicity stunt. Nevertheless, it is one of the most iconic photographs of New York in the 20’s.
4. Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) Brilliant American photojournalist. She is one of the few women who were involved in this industry at the time, despite this she has still produced some of the most famous images of the Post-Depression era. Below: ‘Damaged Child, Shacktown, Elm Grove, Oklahoma & Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California’
Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. (Lange)
5. Neil Leifer (Born 1942) An influential photographer in the sports world who became the youngest person to land a cover for Sports Illustrated. Below is his famous shot of Muhammad Ali when he fought Sonny Liston in 1965.
6. Sally Mann (Born 1951) Photographing the American South in black and white, Sally Mann is best known for her portraiture work featuring still life and children. Below is the understandably controversial but beautiful ‘Candy Cigarette’.
…photographs open doors into the past but they also allow a look into the future.
7. Annie Leibovitz (Born 1949) The amazing lady responsible for Demi Moore’s much-debated nude and pregnant Vanity Fair cover. Again one of the few valued female photographers.
8. Mario Testino (Born 1954) Prolific and highly talented man who is known for his work for Vogue and also more recently the official portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
My pictures are my eyes… I photograph what I see—and what I want to see. (Testino)
9. Tim Burton (Born 1958) I have already featured this genius in a previous blog post. Such an inspiring photographer!
10. Grace Coddington (Born 1941) She is the creative director of American Vogue and used to be a model herself. Grace sparked a falling out with some of her co-workers including editor-in-chief Anna Wintour when she flat out refused to have the stomach of the jumping camera man airbrushed (below).