Photographers

Norman Parkinson

The only thing that gets in the way of a really good photograph, is the camera" – Norman Parkinson.

Norman Parkinson was born in London on April 21st, 1913. He started his career as an apprentice in the studios of a staid court photographer. By the end of the decade he had revolutionized the look of fashion pictures.

In 1934 he opened his own studio together with Norman Kibblewhite. From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper's Bazaar and The Bystander magazines. During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force. In 1947 he married the actress and model Wenda Rogerson. From 1945 to 1960 he was employed as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue. From 1960 to 1964 he was an Associate Contributing Editor of Queen magazine. In 1963 he moved to Tobago, although frequently returned to London, and from 1964 until his death he worked as a freelance photographer.

Parkinson always maintained he was a craftsman and not an artist. From his early days as a photographer up to his death he remained one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. His work, following the lead of Munkacsi at Harper's Bazaar, revolutionized the world of British fashion photography in the '40s by bringing his models from the rigid studio environment into a far more dynamic outdoor setting. Humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself. As well as magazine work he also created celebrated calendars featuring glamourous young women.