Who is Helmut Newton? | The Sun

Helmut Newton is still renowned within the fashion industry as a cutting-edge photographer.

His style is often imitated by others and his work celebrated within photography and used to teach people venturing into the field.

Who is Helmut Newton?

Born in Germany in 1920, he was originally named Helmut Neustädter.

He was born to Jewish parents, he took an interest in photography from a very early age, buying his first camera at the age of 12-years-old.

His father, Max Neustädter, lost control of his factory when the Nuremburg laws were put into practice, briefly spending time in a concentration camp.

As the country began tightening its control on the Jewish population, it spurred his parents to flee the country.


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They relocated in Argentina, while their son relocated to Singapore, where he briefly found work as a photographer with the Strait Times.

In 1940, he was sent to Australia by the British government and two years later he enlisted in the Australian army as a truck driver.

After the war he became a British citizen, and changed his name to Newton in 1946.

What is Helmut Newton known for?

Newton is known for his provocative style of black and white photography which often branched into the erotically charged.

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He became an iconic fashion photographer due to his unique style which still makes him relevant to this day.

Inspired by film noir, expressionist cinema, S&M and surrealism he made the world take note of his work.

When did Helmut Newton become famous?

As his work began to gain fame due to his ever increasing reputation in the 1950s, Newton was to start working for Vogue magazine in 1956.

He preferred to work outside of the studio and constantly looked to utilise buildings with elaborate décor to capture images of his models.

As he pushed the boundaries of fashion photography, his style was completely unique and drew more attention.

Newton quickly became one of the most talented and influential photographers at Vogue.

He and his wife relocated to Paris in 1961, where he continued his work, often doing shoots for the French edition of Vogue along with Harper's Bizarre.

His wife June Browne, was the biggest publicist of his work, who herself was a photographer under the pseudonym "Alice Springs".

Suffering a heart attack in 1970 seriously affected his output but he continued to do what he loved nonetheless.

His erotic-urban style led to him doing some work for Playboy and prints from this time sold in the early 2000s for in excess of £20,000 each.

More recently, some of his best known work "Sie Kommon" sold for $670,000, while a rare version of his book "Sumo" fetched $430,000.

He photographed a host of stars including David Lynch, Madonna, Margaret Thatcher and Leonardo Di Caprio.

What camera did Helmut Newton use?

The majority of his work was shot using a Nikon 35mm camera, but in the studio he used a Hasselblad and Rolleiflex with electronic flash.

When asked about the risqué nature to much of his work, he said  “My job is to seduce, amuse and entertain.” 

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Over the course of his career he used a host of other cameras such as: 4×5 Graflex Super D, Plaubel Makina 67,  Instamatic, Fuji 645, Olympus OM1, Olympus OM2, Nikon FM2, Konica, Pentax-ME, Polaroid, Canon EOS 5, Canon EOS 100 and the Olympus Stylus Epic ‘MJU II’.

Still to this day, Helmut Newton is known as "The King of Photography".

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