Helmut Newton's Famous Career in Fashion Photography

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

March 17, 2006

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Helmut Newton was one of the most notable fashion photographers, an artist who dispensed with the status quo and changed what it means to be a fashion photographer.

Helmut Newton came on the fashion scene in the 1960s, when he began to alter the fashion photography landscape with his risque, provocative, and controversial images of scantily-clad tall blonde women.

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From a young age Helmut expressed an interest in photography, nurturing his talent through an internship with a reputable German theatrical photographer. In those times, fashion photography schools didn't really exist. If you were interested in photography, you typically had to find someone to teach you by taking you on as an apprentice or protege.

Path to Celebrity

Helmut didn't become a fashion photography sensation overnight. Before he became famous as a leading photographer for Vogue, Helmut fled Nazi Germany in 1938 at the age of 18; soon after he found refuge in Singapore. He later moved to Australia where he served in its army for five years before opening his own photography shop.

He eventually made his way to the United States and France where he lived and began a freelance career with Vogue, first working for French and British Vogue before joining American Vogue in 1971. This is where his trademark style of tall blondes in broad-shouldered suits, often holding sexually explicit poses, began to catch on among the masses of fashion enthusiasts.

An Unconventional Career in Fashion

As far as careers in fashion go, Helmut's is one to model not only for his material success, but his ability to change the job of fashion photographer from one of a meek bystander primarily focusing on clothing, to an actor involved in telling a story and capturing an attitude.

Start pursuing your dream fashion job by plotting your career path; the sooner you get started, the quicker you'll be able to enjoy the rewards of a jet set career, flying the world and photographing gorgeous people, places, and clothes.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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