Time to get your camera out! It’s World Photography Day today, an annual, worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science and history of photography. To celebrate, here are five British photographers whose work, creativity and passion has significantly contributed to the UK creative industry and continues to inspire many budding photographers.
Bailey developed a love of natural history which led him into photography. Aged 21 in 1959, he became a photographic assistant at the John French studio, before being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine in 1960. Self-taught, Bailey is widely considered as one of the pioneers of contemporary photography. He’s well known for his fashion photography and portraiture, and role in shaping the image of the Swinging Sixties. He has photographed The Queen, Andy Warhol, Twiggy, The Rolling Stones and many more iconic figures.
Hardy completed an MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in 2000, having graduated from Cheltenham School of Art in 1993 with a degree in painting. Her practice spans photography, sculptural installation and audio. Hardy is best known for her large-scale photographic work of quite unusual interior spaces. Her photographs feature empty rooms invoking a sense of surreal fiction, with interiors that she meticulously creates from hundreds of found objects.
Known as one of the most significant documentary photographers of post war Britain, Parr is a British documentary photographer, known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world. His photographs are often intriguing, being very realistic and candid. They really force us to question and to pay attention to the ordinary in life.
Cecil Beaton was a British fashion, portrait and war photographer. Beaton often photographed the Royal Family for official publication, and he was awarded a CBE in 1956. His work has been presented in major exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Museum of the City of New York, USA; and the Imperial War Museum, London. Famous work includes his portrait of Andy Warhol and Candy Darling and her Majesty The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, with Prince Charles, her then newborn son.
John Rankin is a British photographer and director, known as Rankin, who has photographed the likes of Kate Moss, Madonna, David Bowie and The Queen. The London Evening Standard described Rankin’s fashion and portrait photography style as high-gloss, highly sexed and hyper-perfect. Rankin has a real talent for connecting with his subjects and has turned his hand to a range of styles, showing strong versatility. In Rankin Live, his 2009 Brick Lane exhibition, he set out to photograph 1000 ordinary people, completing one shoot every 15 minutes.
For more information on World Photography Day visit the website.
Vicky Chilton is