Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton

Fashion photography began in the 19th century.

In 1856 photographer Adolphe Braun published a book with 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini (a Tuscan noblewoman at the court of Napoleon III) in her official court garb, making her the first Fashion Model .

In the first decade of 20th century we can see fashion photographs in magazines. First fashion magazine La mode practique began in France . Then in 1909, Condé Nast took over Vogue magazine and also contributed to the beginnings of fashion photography .
In 1911, The publisher of Jardin des Modes and La Gazette du Bon Ton Lucien Vogel promoted fashion as a fine art with photographs by photographer Edward Steichen. Under Jesse Alexander’s words, This is ” …now considered to be the first ever modern photography shoot” .

Vogue and his rivals, Harpers Bazaar and two more were leaders of fashion photography throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Famous Photographers such as Edward Steichen, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst and Cecil Beaton have changed Fashion Photography into outstanding art form. Europe, and especially Germany, was for a short time the leader in fashion photography.

In the middle of 1940’s, fashion magazine companies started be open to United States, where Vogue and Harpers Bazaar continued their old rivalry. Top Fashion photographers Irving Penn, Martin Munkacsi, Richard Avedon, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe began changing the shape the look of fashion photography for the following decades .

Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography and redefined the role of the fashion photographer with his imaginative images of the modern woman .

After the deaths of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, some of today’s most famous fashion photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Shaun Alexander and Annie Leibovitz.