He became the official photographer for the royal family at age 25. But his work goes far beyond bringing society a rather exclusive family album. He portrayed half a century of english society and fashion. Today we take a look at Snowdon. A life in View (Ed. Rizzoli), a recent book and exhibition that celebrates this photographer’s vast and influential career.
Snowdon driving a car with his wife, Princess Margaret.
He became the official photographer for the royal family at age 25. But his work goes far beyond bringing society a rather exclusive family album. His pieces are also testimony of the english society and fashion of the last half of the century. Today we take a look at Snowdon. A life in View (Ed. Rizzoli), a recent book and exhibition that celebrates this photographer’s vast and influential career.
He spent his life behind the camera, in spite of the numerous events across his lifetime that tried pushing him in front. In the ‘Swinging London’ 60s, he shook the foundations of the british monarchy when he became the first commoner in over 450 years to marry the daughter of a king.
With this strong connection to the high society, he was no stranger to elegance and style, working as the artistic advisor of the Sunday Times Magazine in England, and having his work published in Vogue and other fashion magazines on a regular basis. However, he confessed in several occasions he was not a fan of fashion, and that his pictures were all about the person, not the clothes. And it’s just this that made Snowdon’s portraits stand out: his ability to capture the subject’s true personality in a simple portrait.
Lord Snowdon was the ‘Irving Penn’ of Vogue UK. Fashion session in 1985 for Vogue UK, with stylist Grace Coddington. Photo: Snowdon
Christian Dior Portrait, 1957. Photo: Snowdon
John Galliano Portrait, 1994, for Vogue UK. Photo: Snowdon
Mitsuko Uchida, pianist and conductor. Photo: Snowdon, with thanks to Issey Miyake
Snowdon’s 1956 portrait of Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Photo: Snowdon
Yves Saint Laurent Portrait while doing a fitting. Photo: Snowdon
Family portrait: Snowdon’s first royal assignment in 1957
The exhibition Snowdon. A life in View will be in the National Portrait Gallery (London) until 21 June 2015.