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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Photographer Profile ~ Cecil Beaton

Sir Cecil Beaton (1904- 1980) was a English photographer known primarily for his portraits of celebrated persons, who also worked as an illustrator, a diarist, and an Academy Award-winning costume and set designer.

Beaton's interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use it and how to process negatives and prints. He costumed and posed his sisters in an attempt to re-create the popular portraits that he loved.
In the 1920s Beaton became a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines.

During World War II, Beaton served in the British Ministry of Information, covering the fighting in Africa and East Asia. His wartime photographs of the siege of Britain were published in the book Winged Squadrons (1942). After the war Beaton resumed portrait photography, but his style became much less flamboyant. He also broadened his activities, designing costumes and sets for theatre and film. He won Academy Awards for his costume design in Gigi (1958) and for both his costume design and his art direction in My Fair Lady (1964). Beaton was knighted in 1972.

(via Biography.com)

Mick Jagger

Cecil Beaton shooting Audrey Hepburn for My Fair Lady, for which he was also the costume designer.

Cecil Beaton photographing Keith Richards

Jean Shrimpton by Cecil Beaton, 1964

Mrs Charles James, 716 Madison Avenue, New York 1955

Liz Taylor

Greta Garbo 
Audrey Hepburn 1960

Marlon Brando

Gary Cooper

Marlene Dietrich, 1935

Writer Aldous Huxley

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
   ~ Cecil Beaton 


3 year old Air Raid Victom , 1940

Director/Actor Orson Welles

Opera singer Maria Callas

Ballerina Madame Danilova, 1935

Coco Chanel

Princess Ira Von Furstenberg 1955

Princess Elizabeth by Cecil Beaton, March 1945
Artist David Hockney

Artist Lucian Freud, 1956

Katherine Hepburn

1944 Vogue
Twiggy ~ 1967

Andy Warhol and Velvet Underground's transsexual muse Candy Darling 

Mick Jagger

Model Posing in front of Jackson Pollock painting

Beatons's Camera 

Photographer David Bailey's Documentary on Cecil Beaton

The Glass of Fashion

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