Being a fashion model in the late 80's and 90's, I had the opportunity to work with some of the best photographers out there. There are not many people who can say that they have worked with Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Albert Watson, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino. But there was one photographer who I considered the best over and above all the others. Irving Penn. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to work with him. He passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
He was known for being a perfectionist and it shows in his photos. The lighting, the aesthetic, the poses, were all just so amazing. I remember seeing his still lifes in Vogue and was always in awe at the simplicity of the image, but with the knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes to get the shot(remember, this was before Photoshop and onsite editing). Everyone has seen at least one of his adverts for Clinique.
There will never be another Irving Penn. The New York Times did a wonderful story on his life and his work.
He will continue to set the standard for photographers and art directors for years to come.But there will never be another Penn.