At its best, fashion photography not only grabs your attention, but also evokes a feeling, an emotion. Only a select few photographers have the gift for creating art that captures the mood and essence of its subject, and that makes them very special.
Here are five of our favourite fashion photographers, along with some of their most iconic images.
Although he was born in Peru, Mario Testino found his greatest fame in London, where he’s best known for his shots of fashionistas like Kate Moss, as well as the Royal Family. Testino was personally chosen by Princess Diana to shoot her 1997 layout for Vanity Fair and more recently, he took the 2010 engagement photo of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Testino’s Vanity Fair photo of Princess Diana showed the warmth and personality that made the world love her, catching the “People’s Princess” at her most radiant just months before her tragic death.
You may not be familiar with the name Andrea Klarin, but you’re sure to have seen some of the Belgrade-born photographer’s iconic ads for clients like Christian Louboutin and Swarovski, plus fashion houses Valentino, Lanvin, and Guerlain.
Klarin’s playful photo of Christian Louboutin appeared in the 2012 issue of Grazia magazine in which the designer ruffled feathers by announcing that he did not care how much pain women suffered while wearing his shoes. Ouch!
Did you know British photographer and ex-America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker got his start as a model? After a decade of posing for photos in London, Milan, Paris and New York City, Barker moved to the other side of the camera. Since then, his long list of credits includes GQ, Interview, Town & Country, Nicole Miller, Lands’ End, Nine West, Lexus, Jordache and Beefeater.
Barker took this dramatic shot of model Coco Rocha as part of a layout for Senhoa Jewelry in 2011. The photographer’s use of contrast points up the texture of the pieces, as well as the beauty of Rocha (and her famous cheekbones!).
If you’ve admired the photos of acts like Oasis, U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their CD covers and in music publications like Rolling Stone, you’re familiar with the work of Australian Christopher Morris. This celebrity and fashion photographer, who lives in Sydney, has also shot ad campaigns for Levis, Ben Sherman and Myer. Morris took this ethereal shot for the 2011 Colour of the Wind collection by Australian jewelry designer Elke Kramer.
One of the most famous and admired fashion photographers ever was Helmut Newton, whose work in high fashion magazines like French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar showed his erotic, stylised approach to the art. During World War II, Newton moved to Australia, where he opened his studio in Melbourne, specializing in fashion and theatre photography. In the 50s, he came into his own as a fashion photographer with his work for British and Australian Vogue.
Newton achieved his greatest success in the 80s, with his signature blend of edgy style and gender-bending. Newton shot this iconic photo of pop star Madonna for her 1990 layout in Vanity Fair. His photos reveal the singer at her sexiest—and most powerful.
Who are your favourite fashion photographers? Tell us below!