Masters of photography Norman Parkinson
Up until the time of his death in 1990 Norman Parkinson was considered one of the foremost British fashion photographers, whose original and charismatic style invigorated the stale fashion photography of the 40’s by taking the models out of the studio and placing them into vibrant outdoor locations.
Parkinson’s photographs of celebrities, and in particular the British Royal Family, have become world renowned for their free spirit and casual elegance. He is also credited with the discovery of a number of famous models including Jerry Hall and Celia Hammond.
From humble beginnings working as a court photographer, and later a reconnaissance photographer during the second world war, Norman Parkinson built his reputation working for Harper’s Bazaar and Bystander magazine, before moving on to Vogue and eventually Queen. From 1964 however he worked entirely as a freelance photographer, giving him the freedom to create some wonderfully creative images.
If you would like to see some of Parkinson’s effortlessly stylish work for yourself there is currently a free exhibition called Lifework running at the National Theatre. Their website has this to say about it: “Regarded as the father of modern fashion photography, 2013 marks the centenary of Norman Parkinson’s birth. Many of the tropes that are now commonplace in print and online images – exotic locations, unexpected props and weird juxtapositions – were introduced in the extraordinary photographs he took before and after the Second World War. Beyond the glamour that for many defines his work, he was also an incisive and skilful portrait photographer. This National Theatre exhibition will cover all aspects of his long career until his death in 1990”
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