Photography Inspiration: Irving Penn

Irving Penn died October 7, 2009 in his New York apartment, and no cause was given. It was reported by his famous film director brother, Arthur Penn. Irving Penn can single-handedly be credited with morphing fashion photography into art photography – and he was still shooting up until recently, his pictures often appearing in the pages of Vogue.
Penn started contributing to Vogue in 1943, and if you look up his images, so many are iconic and carved into our image banks forever. This one is of his wife and favorite model, Lisa Fonssagrives, whom he photographed for many years, and who died in 1992.

Penn carved the way for the likes of Richard Avedon before him, and for Steven Meisel today, and Mario Testino and Annie Leibowitz. Penn practically invented fashion photography, and then turned it into an artform. His style was classic – and he was still always modern.

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