Famous Fashion Photographers

How fashion photography started and the world's most famous fashion photographers

The first signs of fashion photography could be seen in French magazines, such as La Mode practique, as early as the start of the 20th century. In 1909, Condé Nast took over Vogue magazine and made huge contributions to the beginnings of fashion photography as we know it today.

Vogue was followed by its rival, Harper's Bazaar, and throughout the 1920s and 1930s the two companies were the leaders in the field and they were considered the most famous fashion magazines for fashion photography. From there onwards, fashion photography became a much more common phenomenon, with many fashion photographers rising to fame primarily in Europe and soon after in other parts of the world.

The house photographers of the 1940s, such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Martin Munkacsi transformed the look of fashion photography during the following decades. Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography and redefined the role of fashion photographers with his imaginative images of the 'modern woman'. What followed was a small group of talented photographers who all became famous fashion photographers of that era, and who are still referred to as the most famous fashion photographers the world has ever seen.

After the deaths of some of the most famous fashion photographers of the mid 20th century, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, there was an emergence of a new wave of fashion photographers. Some of today's most famous fashion photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Peter Lindbergh and Annie Leibovitz, to name a few. Today, world-renowned fashion photography has dominated hugely the fashion scene, with famous fashion photographers rising above many other key players in the world of fashion.

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