Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon was born in May 1923 in New York City. He died in October 2004 and is known for his portrait and fashion photography [Reference 1 and Reference 4].

A foundation set up in his name houses his work and equipment. It is possible to visit but only by appointment [Reference 2].

Born to a Jewish family his mother encouraged his interest in fashion and art. His interest in photography began when he joined the Young Men’s Hebrew Association camera club at th eage of 12.

An article by Cathy Horyn in the New York Times provides additional analysis of Avedon and his work [Reference 3].

In 1942, Avedon joined the US Merchant Marine and served as a Photographer’s Mate. It was during his time taking identity photographs that he realised he was becoming a photographer.

In 1944 he left the Merchant Marine and found work as a photographer under the guidance of Alexey Brodovitch, the art director for Harper’s Bazaar.

Although famed for his fashion  work this allowed him to explore his cultural, political and personal interests. He is particulary remembered for his photographs of civil right activist and Vietnam War protesters.

Part 2 – Project 1: Activity, depth and distance

Exercise 2.2: People and Activity

Looking at Avedon’s work his images have a tendency to draw individuals out of the the background. At the Ploughing Championships I’m sure that there will be opportunities to capture images that draw individuals out of the background. Reducing the depth of field to blur backgrounds and highlight particular individuals will definitely be something that I could do.


  1. Wikipedia. Richard Avedon. Available at:  Accessed: 18th October 2017.
  2. The Richard Avedon Foundation. Available at: Accessed: 18th October 2017.
  3. Horyn, C. How Avedon Blurred His Own Image Available at: Accessed: 18th October 2017
  4. Richard Avedon – Photographer Available at: Accessed: 18th October 2017

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