As 2020 begins to draw to a close, we look back on a selection of our favourite photographers, from classics such as Brett Weston and Lotte Meitner-Graf to contemporary favourites such as Carolina Mizrahi and Keith Bernstein.
The American photographer Brett Weston (16th December 1911 – 22nd January 1993), was the son of another great photographer Edward Weston and seemed destined from birth to follow in his father’s footsteps. Brett was just 14 years old when he started taking pictures while living with Tina Mondotti and his father in Mexico, exhibiting his work alongside his father’s a couple of years later. He had his first one-man retrospective show at the De Young Museum in San Francisco aged just 21, prompting him to be described as the “child genius of American photography” by fellow photographer Van Deren Coke.
Lotte Meitner-Graf (1899 – May 1973) was an Austrian portrait photographer, who moved with her family to London in 1937. Lotte ran the Meyer studio, and in 1953 opened a new Studio on Bond Street. She was a prolific photographer, and during her career, she photographed a number of well-known people in all fields, from the world of science to Hollywood stars. Famous sitters included Danny Kaye, John Gielgud, William Lawrence Bragg, Dorothy Hodgkin, and Max Perutz. Her images are powerful and imbued with a sense of the sitter’s character.
Nat Herz (August 1920 – November 1964) was an American photographer, poet, writer, and dedicated civil rights activist. He was a disciple of the Aesthetic Realist movement which celebrated the reality and beauty of being human, which had a lot of influence on his photographic work as well as his writing. His activism meant that a large body of his work is dedicated to the great civil rights protests, such as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that took place in 1963. He was friends with many of the great photographers and artists of the day, including Andre Kertesz, Dorothea Lange, Wynn Bullock, Lou Bernstein, Norman Rothschild, Leonora Carrington, Kurt Seligmann, and Chaim Koppelman.
Bridgeman Copyright photographer Keith Bernstein was born in South Africa and has been a photographer since leaving school at the age of 18. He produces creative photographs as well as having a great body of reportage photography. In 1994 he spent a month with Nelson Mandela as his photographer during the weeks leading up to his election for the presidency. He was also one of a small group of photographers in Mogadishu, Somalia when an American military operation went very wrong; Ridley Scott’s film Blackhawk Down is based on the events that took place during those 48 hours. He has won many awards so far during his career, including Nikon Press Photographer of the Year twice in successive years, and three World Press awards.
Bridgeman Images photographer Alain Le Garsmeur’s photographs cover many aspects of life during the Troubles, from the murals that appeared all over Belfast and Derry, to the presence of the British Army on the streets and the life of everyday people. They are often deeply moving, and provide a thorough record of life in Northern Ireland during this time.
Bridgeman Copyright artist, the renowned lifestyle and fashion photographer Tony Vaccaro (born December 1922) has lived an amazing life. He has travelled the world, photographing the most prominent personalities of the 20th century, including Picasso, Duchamp, Muhammad Ali and Sofia Lauren while working for Flair, Look and Life magazines.
His photography career started however in less glamorous circumstances. In 1943 he joined the Allies in World War II taking a newly bought camera with him. Tony Vaccaro was sent to fight on the front lines as a combat infantryman in 1943 (aged 21) – but secretly used his Argus Cs 35mm camera to record the warfare.
The ‘Windrush Generation’ is the name given to people who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from the Caribbean – an important time in British history. Bridgeman Copyright photographer Howard Grey (born 1942) was at Waterloo station photographing the arrival of some of the 1960s wave of immigrants. In his powerful series of photographs, Howard Grey casts a sympathetic eye on those who arrived at London Waterloo Station in the hope of making a new life for themselves and their family.
Bridgeman Copyright photographer John Haynes (born 1937) started taking photographs in 1963 after seeing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book ‘The Europeans’ (Les Européens), teaching himself photography with the aid of the American photographer Andreas Feininger’s book ‘Manual of Advanced Photography’ whose focus was on the thought behind the taking of a picture, rather than on any technical aspect. After working for two years with The Sunday Times he decided to specialise in Theatre Photography. He was the in-house photographer for The Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, and Michael Codron Ltd, from 1970 – 1994. During that time he also worked regularly for Cheek by Jowl, Joint Stock /Out of Joint. LAMDA, Robert Fox Ltd, RSC, The Tricycle Theatre, and Shakespeare’s Globe. He has photographed over 200 productions for The National Theatre under the artistic direction of Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall, Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.
Contemporary photographer Ana Carolina Tavares Mizrahi was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. She was educated at the London College of Fashion and is currently living and working in London in the fields of set design, photography and art direction. Mizrahi is also now one of our most recent Bridgeman Contemporary artists. Mizrahi has worked with many prestigious clients including Vogue Italy, Vogue Brazil, Vogue Portugal, Elle UK, Time Out Magazine and Swarovski.
John Deakin (8 May 1912 – 25 May 1972), the great chronicler of 1950s and 1960s Soho, was a photographer who never received recognition during his lifetime. He was one of the great portrait photographers, taking pictures of the most talented artists, writers, and cultural figures in the UK at that time, as well as the well known characters who used to frequent the bars and pubs in Soho.
Sheila Rock was born in the United States and has lived and worked in London since 1970. Since 1979, she has had a successful career photographing the entertainment and music industry. Subjects include artists such as Sting, Paul Weller, Enya, Yossou N’Dour, Sinead O’Connor, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Sir Simon Rattle and institutions such the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet in London. The FACE magazine in the 1980s launched her career. Her editorial work has since appeared in German Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Architectural Digest, The London Sunday Times, French Spoon, The Telegraph Magazine, Irish Tatler, Brides magazines. Her work is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.