Richard Avedon

679 Words3 Pages
From a young age, Richard Avedon was exposed to fashion. But little did the small boy sitting in his father’s 5th Avenue womens’ clothing store know, that he would later become the worlds’ biggest fashion photographer. He was born in New York City in 1923 to Jacob Avedon a Russian immigrant who worked his way up in the city to finally own his own clothing store. Avedon’s mother, Anna, was a musical and artsy woman who was his artistic muse. His sister, Louise, was also an inspiration to him. As a child, he constantly took pictures of his beautiful sister, his first model. His interest in photography began after joining a photography club at his local Young Men's Hebrew Association. After graduating high school in 1941, Richard attended Columbia University to study philosophy and poetry, but after just one year, he dropped out to enlist in the military marines. In the marines,he was a photographer in World War Two, taking pictures for identification cards. After the war, Avedon went back to school, at the New School for Social Research, to pursue photography and learn from Alexey Brodovitch, a well known photographer and designer at the Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Brodovitch influenced Avedon to take high caliber photos and eventually hired him as a staff photographer at the magazine. It was at Harper’s Bazaar where Richard’s career really took off. He was sent to France in the late 1940’s to take a fashion photo shoot. From then on Avedon was renowned as an extremely talented photographer, who captured everyone’s attention with his pictures of flowing dresses and unposed fashion portraits. Richard Avedon changed the images of fashion photography. Avedon loved the idea of movement. He was one of the first fashion photographers to p... ... middle of paper ... ...ised and famous photos ever taken. Despite being critically acclaimed all over the world, another lesson his first editors taught him was to not believe in compliments. Avedon never accepted compliments showing a modest side to a world of greedy celebrities. Sadly on October 1, 2004, Avedon died while on site for a photoshoot of cerebral hemorrhage in San Antonio, Texas. He will be remembered by his creation of controversy, invasive photos, and being able to bring up the humility and personality in a subject. He was a daring and bold individual who let the world see inside of his head. He let them see the crazy, the beautiful, and most importantly the truth in what he saw. He was an artist first, a friend to his subjects second, and a photographer third. He didn’t care what the world thought of him, he just wanted to make his mark. And, Richard Avedon certainly did.
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