Famous Favourites

Someone recently asked: Who is your favourite famous photographer?

That is a tough question – in fact one that is impossible to answer, a bit like asking “what is your favourite piece of music”. You are likely to have many. But I will mention just three of my many inspirations here.

Richard Avedon – fashion and portrait photographer who photographed everything from celebrities to ordinary people with a style that is recognizable and great.

Helmut Newton – German Australian fashion photographer, who shot a lot beautiful black and white (of course) of art nudes. Page here.

Nan Goldin – famous for “the ballad of sexual dependency” and other work, her work is in more museums than I have visited. Rough. New York. Not technical – she ois the least technical of all photographers here, shooting simple, in automatic mode much of the time I suspect. No matter: the images are great.

In deference to those of you in the USA and other places where the human body is considered bad and NSFW, it is after you click that I will show you a few sample images made by these greats.

Here’s a few samples:

Richard Avedon Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent (14 June 1981)

Richard Avedon: "In The American West" cover

Richard Avedon: Carmen, homage to Munkacsi

Helmut Newton - June 1981

Helmut Newton: Gia in the "turning women into men" series

Nan Goldin: Patrick and Teri on their wedding night - NYC, 1987

Nan Goldin: Simon and Jessica kissing in my shower

If you like these, or want to study any other photographer’s work, then Google Images is your friend.

As I see these again, I realize how my own work is shaped by people like this and their amazing images. An image that moves you, surprises you, does something to you, leaves a permanent impression or makes you think is an image that served its purpose.

Who are your favourites?

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