Irving Penn was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Penn's career included work at Vogue magazine, and independent advertising work for clients including Issey Miyake and Clinique. He was born June 16, 1917, Plainfield, NJ. He died on October 7, 2009, New York City, NY.
Irving Penn did fashion and still life photography. Most of his work was in black and white and were portraits.
Penn founded his own business in New York in the 1950's.
He used a variety of equipment - Leica and Nikon cameras, 4" x 5" or 8" x 10" Deardoff view cameras, or Rolleiflex or Hasselblad cameras.
He also used three different printing techniques to create glossy 'vintage' silver photographs, Platinum/ Palladium works, and Dye Transfer prints.
Some of Irving Penn's early influences were Alexey Brodovitch. He was Penn's graphics, painting and industrial arts teacher. He was the first to publish any of Penn's drawings. Alexander Liberman influenced Irving to start photograpy because he saw talent.
In 1950 he married model Lisa Fonssagrives, whom he photographed for much of his best work. His austere fashion images communicated elegance and luxury through compositional refinement and clarity of line rather than through the use of elaborate props and backdrops.
I like how all of his work is black and white, it really added a serious factor to the portraits he took.