Helmut Newton- Fashion Photographer
Helmut Newton was born on October 31st 1920. His real name was Helmut Neustädter. He was an Australian-German photographer who took the art of fashion photography to a new level altogether. Born in Berlin, Helmut Newton was the son of Max Neustädter, who was an owner of a button factory. His mother’s name was Karla. Helmut Newton started showing interest in photography from a very early age and his father gifted him a camera when he was 12 years old. He belonged to a Jewish family and during the reign of Hitler, his entire family fled from Germany and settled in Australia. Newton served in the Australian army for 5 years.
Insight Into His Career
In the year 1948, Newton got married to June Brunell, who was a famous actress. Later on she became Newton’s partner and assistant. They together opened a studio in Melbourne. In the year 1950, Newton was hired by the Australian Vogue, then he was hired by the British Vogue in 1957 and in the year 1961, the French Vogue hired him. It was the Vogue magazine, which published his photographs for more than a couple of decades. While he was working for Vogue, Newton was also associated with other magazines; Queen, Nova, Playboy, Elle, Marie-Claire were some of them. Besides, he was actively working for the Italian, American and German versions of Vogue.
In the year 1971, Newton had a severe heart attack. After he recovered, he started focusing on sexual photography. The sexually practiced, women and cool statuesque in his personal and fashion photographs are said to be some of his controversial creations. His photographs were marked by fraught moments which had a pronounced tone of voyeurism, lesbianism, fetishism. His creations were appreciated by a section of people; however, they were strongly criticized and condemned by the conservatives. It is said, that his photographs were just short of being pornography. His monochrome photographs are considered to be masterpieces in the domain of fashion photography. In his photography career, Newton worked on three different segments. They are portraits, nude and fashion. He also crated fusions by mixing these three categories.
Newton Was A Special Photographer
Newton wanted to establish a new trend in the field of photography. Right from the early days of his career, he has challenged conventions. He created an aspirate model which had the elements of fashion, portrait, erotica, and hybrid photography. Newton played an instrumental role towards the popularity of the Playboy magazine. His style of photography, later on became the guideline for the aspiring fashion photographers.
Though, for most part of his life, Newton worked in nude photography, what makes him such a great photographer is the fact that most of his creations reflects his artistic and creative skills rather than being vulgar.
Helmut Newton is known for his black and white creations. Black and white was the only option when he started his career as a photographer. Color was introduced until the mid 70s. Even then, he continued with his monochrome works. Some of his black and white photographs are considered to be the landmarks in the domain of fashion photography. Newton was the one who showed that glamour, sex appeal can be portrayed through black and white photographs.
Helmut Newton As Inspiration
Helmut Newton passed away in the year 2004. His career as a photographer has been full of controversies. However, his talent as a photographer has never been questioned. He is considered to be one of the greats in this filed. His black and white photographs have been the source of inspiration for aspiring photographers. His “high-tone” and “low-tone” photographs are the signature of his talent. Newton was an expert when it came to using light. During his days, there were no photo editing applications available, yet he ended up snapping some of the incredible photographs. The way he combined different concepts together to form a fusion speaks volumes for his talent.
Helmut Newton has been the source of inspiration for many professional photographers who followed him. Today’s photographers who are equipped with the most up-to-date and modern cameras struggle to achieve the level of perfection which Newton attained with his limited resource.
Even to this day, 11 years after his death, the works of Helmut Newton are being used to coach, train and inspire aspiring photographers