Ever since I saw a restrospective exhibition of Cecil Beaton's photographic works, I've always been fascinated by the photographer. He had an amazing ability to perfectly capture the personalities of his subjects in his photos and photographed some of the biggest personalities of his era.
""Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary" - Cecil Beaton
Cecil Beaton was born in London in 1904 and lived a very decadent lifestyle in the 1920s and 1930s caught up in the worlds of high society, movies, theatre and glamour. He travelled the world photographing the rich, famous and fashionable and established himself as one of the greatest fashion and portrait photographers.
In the 1920s, he was hired as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue, where he developed a unique style of posing sitters with unusual backgrounds. He was also a diarist, interior designer and Oscar-winning stage and costume designer. He died in 1980.
His photographs personified elegance and grace and have since influenced photographers around the world. Everybody loved him despite his arrogant, false persona and outrageous remarks and bitchiness. He loved to shock. He deliberately had his clothes made one size too small to flatter his slim figure.
His photographs ranged from perfectly poised photos of high society women who resembled porcelain dolls to more natural, raw images of rock stars such as Mick Jagger. And he had a knack for making everyone look beautiful.
See some of his best works below:
Cecil Beaton photograhing Audrey Hepburn for My Fair Lady, for which he was also the costume designer.
Some of my favorite photos are the iconic ones he took of Marilyn Monroe
Paula Gellibrand, The Marquesa de Casa Maury, 1928
He even succeeded in making the Queen of England look fashionable
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