What Is Fashion Photography?
Fashion photography combines marketing and art. How do you sell a garment but make it look artful and creative? That’s the fashion photographer’s job: understand the brand’s essence, bring it to life in their photos, and turn that beauty into something aspirational for customers around the world.
There are tons of different genres of fashion photography, from commercial to haute couture. The world’s top fashion photographers may produce work in every genre, or they may just focus on one. Whatever work they produce, one thing’s for sure – it will bear their own signature style.
The 15 Most Famous Fashion Photographers
Model: Berkley Johnson
Avedon is one of the world’s original fashion photographers. He started working in the ‘40s, and quickly rose to prominence thanks to his dynamic, emotional, and joyful photos. He was Vogue’s lead photographer from 1962 to 1988.
Model: Cindy Crawford
Ritts is most famous for his black and white portraits of some of the biggest names of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He worked with the original supermodels Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford. He also took photos of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie, and Madonna.
Model: HoYeon Jung
Nick Knight is a fan of interesting silhouettes, unusual garments, and bright colours. He’s also a music video director, having worked with the likes of Bjork, Lady Gaga, Massive Attack, and Kanye West.
Model: Sasha Pivarova
Steven Meisel started out as a fashion illustrator but soon showed an aptitude for photography. His work ‘popularised’ models such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Coco Rocha.
Ellen Von Unwerth
Model: Mosh & Liz Pinto e Melo
Ellen entered the fashion industry as a model but is now one of the most famous fashion photographers to date. She’s most known for her ‘feminist’ gaze that depicts women as strong, powerful, and sexy.
Model: Frankie Rayder
Davide (and his siblings Mario and Vanina) came from a family of famed fashion photographers. He is most famous for popularising the ‘heroin chic’ look of the ‘90s, featuring a grungier aesthetic and waif-like muses like Kate Moss.
Model: Angelina Jolie
Newton’s sensual and erotic photography made him a popular name in the fashion world from the ‘40s up to his death in 2004.
Model: Naomi Campbell
It seems that ‘90s supermodel Kate Moss was one of Day’s muses – she worked with the model for various campaigns and covers, including Levi’s, a controversial lingerie spread for Vogue, and a photo for the National Portrait Gallery.
Model: Anna De Rijk
Chris Colls is one of the biggest names in modern fashion photography. His biggest muse is Victoria’s Secret angel Miranda Kerr.
Model: Bella Hadid
British photog Glen Luchford was one of the first photographers to ever work with Kate Moss. His cinematic approach to fashion photography earned him collabs with Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and Calvin Klein.
Model: Lindsey Wixson
Terry Richardson is as talented as he is controversial. He is most known for his sharp, provocative imagery – and multiple allegations of sexual assault.
McDean was originally a car mechanic before picking up a camera for the first time. He’s come a long way since then, working with fashion houses such as Oscar de la Renta, Emporio Armani, and Gucci.
Model: Jerry Hall
Parkinson has had an impressive photography career, from court photography to taking official photos for the British Royal Family. He was famous for his dynamic and humorous fashion iconography.
Model: Cara Delevingne
Walker shot his first major editorial for Vogue at just 25 years old. He was mentored by Richard Avedon, whose influences are seen in his work.
Fashion photographers don’t just take a picture, they inject their own personal style into everything they do. They are true artists – capturing the essence of their subjects, making a statement, and creating a unique and powerful image that no one else can replicate.