Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923 – October 1, 2004) was an American photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that „his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century.”
In 1944, Avedon began working as an advertising photographer for a department store, but was quickly discovered by Alexey Brodovitch, the art director for the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Lillian Bassman also promoted Avedon’s career at Harper’s. In 1945 his photographs began appearing in Junior Bazaar and, a year later, in Bazaar itself.
In 1946, Avedon had set up his own studio and began providing images for magazines including Vogue and Life. He soon became the chief photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. From 1950 he also contributed photographs to Life, Look and Graphis and in 1952 became Staff Editor and photographer for Theatre Arts Magazine. Avedon did not conform to the standard technique of taking fashion photographs, where models stood emotionless and seemingly indifferent to the camera. Instead, Avedon showed models full of emotion, smiling, laughing, and, many times, in action. Towards the end of the 1950s he became dissatisfied with daylight photography and open air locations and so turned to studio photography, using strobe lighting.