Yesterday, fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh had just passed away at the age of 75. He was best known for taking photos of the generation of top models and changing fashion photo stereotypes in the 1990s.
Self-portrait © Peter Lindbergh
Lindbergh had refused many times when Vogue asked him to take photos of fashion models because he did not like the type of women who were modeled for fashion houses at the time. However, when Vogue changed the editor to Anna Wintour, he tried collaborating, he wanted fashion photography to change the inherent style. He wanted to approach the inner character of a woman more than merely showing perfect states and symbols.
The German photographer started photographing young models with no makeup, wearing simple clothes – a white shirt. This image became a symbol in the 1990s. They are smart women with outstanding personalities, they know exactly what they want. They want to overcome what is old according to social standards, this is the aspect to grasp for change.
White Shirts: Estelle Léfebure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz & Christy Turlington, Malibu, 1988 © Peter Lindbergh
Peter Lindbergh grew up in a family completely unrelated to art. He went to Berlin to study abstract art himself. Vincent Van Gogh is his idol. At 73, he summed up and shared that one should not be seduced or tempted by the situation nor try to impress others. All we need to do is to do what we want, with our own "elegance."
He shared that artists are never completely free because they are always limited by money to the work assigned. Even if you are a famous photographer, the director or editor will ask you to do as they wish. In the old days, photographers needed to have an idea, not merely stand by. The advantage of the photographer lies in knowing the balance and combination. They need to meet customer needs but at the same time, they need to convey the message that they are professional. That means the director or the editor should trust the photographer's ability.
Nowadays, everyone is full of ideas. The result is that the most admirable thing an artist can do is keep working without losing her own style.
Michaela Bercu, Linda Evangelista & Kirsten Owen, Nancy, 1988. Comme des Garçons advertising campaign, S / S 1988 © Peter Lindbergh
There are many things in life that inspire him, not just fashion photos, but everything. Lindbergh revealed that he didn't really know why he was doing these things. He felt an urge to create images, just why not. In the end, we will take and do what we feel good to improve ourselves, not necessarily giving it an identity.
Peter Lindbergh always refused to handle post-face and body model in his photos. It was his aesthetic choice. Signs of age and experience are what photographers want to keep. True beauty comes only when one accepts himself, from the realization of who he truly is.
Invite you to see some great photos that Peter Lindbergh has taken.