Celebrity photography falls within the fields of portrait photography, fashion photography, and photojournalism. The focus is on the chosen subjects, who are famous personalities from different fields. Since the second half of the 20th century, the world has produced many talented celebrity photographers. Many among them are skilled in different genres of photography.
The photographs that these individuals have shot greatly influenced the perception of the general public. These photographs have also changed public perceptions about certain celebrities. Such photos also serve as a collective memory. After all, they’re iconic pictures of the leading personalities in art, fashion, music, sports, and politics. Here are the three most talented celebrity photographers:
1. Annie Leibovitz
Leibovitz entered the hall of fame of the celebrity photographers, when she clicked the last photograph of John Lennon. She was the first woman to exhibit photographs in the National Portrait Gallery. Her active participation in raising awareness about the war in Bosnia is also commendable.
Leibovitz was the first among the game-changing photographers in the long history of Pirelli Calendar. In 2016, she made the calendar socially engaging by projecting a more positive image of the body. She refused to make it a calendar that was all about nude female models. Leibovitz was in favor of dressed women, serving as role models. They were women with outstanding professional, cultural, and social accomplishment.
The career of Leibovitz began with music portrait photography in the 1970s under the Rolling Stone magazine. Many describe her style as personal reportage, which created a visual narrative through portraits.
2. Douglas Kirkland
Over the years, Douglas Kirkland had the opportunity to work on the sets of more than a hundred films. The most notable among them were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Sound of Music, Titanic, and Moulin Rouge. His famous books include the best selling James Cameron’s Titanic.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Kirkland joined Look magazine when he was in his early twenties. He later joined Life magazine when photojournalism was at its peak. Kirkland was sent on assignments in Greece, Japan, and Lebanon. During his career, he has photographed many globally renowned celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.
He is well-known for his exhibition of Freeze Frame. It is now a part of the permanent collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Besides this, his works are also in the permanent collections of Smithsonian and Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery.
3. Richard Avendon
In his minimalistic compositions, Richard Avendon focuses on vulnerability and hypersensitivity of the subject and the photographer. He has worked with many famous celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Ezra Pound, and Andy Warhol. He has also done supermodel campaigns for Calvin Klein, Versace, and Christian Dior in the 1980s and 1990s.
This American photographer was raised in the tradition of fashion magazines. He has worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar for over two decades. Avendon pushed the boundaries of motionless editorial photography and thus built a unique artistic expression.
He is especially famous for photographs that offer close insights into the personality of his subjects. Many of his photographs taken during the late 20th century are now a part of his photography classics.