Photo Friday: Richard Avedon

December 5th, 2008 by Ross

So for this week I would like to start with a special shout out to one of my best friends, Alex Liebold. I have known Alex for a good bit now and the one thing I know is that this is one of his most favorite times of the year. Perfect example, his Last Christmas dedication website. For those of you who don’t know, Last Christmas was a song done back in the 80′s by Wham!. Alex just started it up again and his current count is up to 331 different versions of the song. Either way I am looking forward to seeing what kind of awesome versions Alex comes up with this year and if there is anyone out there that has a version that he doesn’t have send it to him and add to the list!

Now its on to the photo showcase. This week were gonna take a look at Richard Avedon. Most people out there will be familiar with his work but it is always worth taking a second look at. Avedon started his career as a photographer for the Merchant Marines back in 1942 by taking identification photos of the crewmen. A few years later he was working as an advertising photographer for a department store where he was picked up by Harper’s Bazaar which led to a staff photographer position at Vogue up until the late 80′s. He was most notable for his portraits taken with a large format camera on a white background. Avedon was the best at capturing the most revealing aspects of his subjects weather it was celebrities or the working class in the American west.

I recently came across an article on NPR about the responsibility of a portrait photographer to portray their subject in the right way. It was something that made me think about Avedon and his work and some of the complaints that people have had about him over the years. If anyone wants to hear the article you can find it here. Personally I think that the responsibility lies in the editors hands that chooses to run the photo. The photographer is simply doing what he is hired to do and that is take a photograph. Either way Avedon is a legend no matter what way you look at it.

Check out more of Avedon’s work after the jump.

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Avedon’s earlier fashion work

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Marilyn Monroe

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Andy Warhol

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The Beatles

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Avedon’s father

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Lee Friedlander

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Sandra Bennett from Avedon’s series In the American West

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George H. W. Bush

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Barack Obama

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