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The Most Iconic Fashion Photographs

Updated: Apr 19

“What I find interesting is working in a society with certain taboos. Fashion photography is about that kind of society. To have taboos, then to get around them that is interesting” - Helmut Newton

Fashion photography goes as far back as the 1850s. It started somewhere in the Napoleon III court. Fashion photography has now become accessible to a wide range of audiences.


As a specialized fashion production company we pride ourselves in studying fashion. We believe it is essential to know the history of fashion and fashion photography. Understanding the history of fashion photography will always help you build the best shoots.


Below is our pick for the most iconic photographs of all times.


1. Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen (1924)

This beautiful portrait of Gloria Swanson is a work of Edward Steichen in 1924. Photography has grown to be one of the most iconic photographs over time. Edward was able to capture the true essence of Gloria Swanson.


2. Dovima with elephants by Richard Avedon (1955)

Richard Avedon and Dovima were both big names in the fashion photography industry. The two icons met for an editorial in 1955. The editorial photograph was for Harper’s Bazaar. This photograph captured one of the transitional moments in the fashion industry. The picture features the first dress from Dior.


3. Charles Jourdan by Guy Bourdin (1979) Guy Bourdin is well known for his unmatched originality. He always believed in achieving the impossible with every photograph he took. He was famous for creating unimaginable scenarios using optical illusion. Guy Bourdin’s Photographs stands out thanks to his preference for landscape format. His understanding of color remains unmatched in the world of fashion photography.



4. Jean Patchett by Irving Penn (1948)

Irving Penn took this picture of Jean Patchett in the year 1948. Jean Patchett, a 20th-century model got her big breakthrough in the year 1948. Her breakthrough came after she completed the Flying down, a project with Irving Penn. Irving Penn is well skilled in portraiture and fashion photography.



5. Young Pink Kate by Juergen Teller (1998)

Juergen Teller’s Photographs are quite the same as the noughties and nineties. Juergen Teller’s Photographs focus on the raw nature of his models. Telle’s images are often said to be overexposing Magazines like Confused and Dazed have featured some of his edgy images.




6. Le Smoking by Helmut Newton (1975)

Helmut Newton used monochrome simplicity to create this iconic photograph. This photograph by Helmut brought the YSL tuxedo into the limelight. This photograph speaks volumes about feminism and sexuality. Infusing sexuality into every image is one of Helmut’s unique abilities.




7. Doe Eye by Erwin Blumenfeld (1950)

This intriguing Vogue cover was created by Erwin Blumenfeld. Erwin used his mastery of colorization and photoengraving to create this image. This technique is obtained originally from the white and black negative. The model used in this picture is Jean Patchett. The picture has been widely imitated ever since.





8. Givenchy Hat by Frank Horvat (1958)

Frank Horvat was one of the major pioneers of fashion photography. He tried as much as possible to move his photography outside of the studio. Horvat has a unique sense of composition and scenario. This photograph showcases Frank’s mastery of contrast, texture, and tone.




9. Lily Cole by Tim Walker (2005)

Tim Walker has always featured on Vogue with his eccentric and wonderful photographs. Tim Walker has been a regular on Vogue since he was 25 years old. This photograph of Lily Cole, a British model shows you how prolific Tim Walker is. Presently Tim Walker remains one of the best-known Vogue photographers in the world.




10.Birth of the supermodels by Peter Lindbergh (1988)

Peter Lindbergh presented this simple photograph of upcoming supermodels to Grace Mirabella. Grace Mirabella was the editor in chief of Vogue at that time. She was unimpressed with Peter’s photographs with the models. Six months later, Anna Wintour took over the position of the editor in chief of Vogue. She applauded Peter for his creative photograph which paved way for fashion photos.




As said earlier, understanding the history of fashion and fashion photography is essential. We understand that history, making us a great choice for your fashion shoots. Get in touch and let’s create history together.

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