He started working in his father’s shop, and started photographing soon afterwards. A few years later he was getting jobs from Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
Avedon revolutionized fashion photography, introducing movement in his images, contrasting from the very static look pictures had before his time.
In portraiture he became famous for his all white backgrounds, and for capturing the true essence of his models. He would take his time, and would only click the shutter when he felt the time was right.
During his long career he photographed countless models and celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe to Charles Chaplin, from Elisabeth Taylor to Nastassia Kinsky, to Björk.
In the 1980s he conducted a project that resulted in the widely acclaimed book “In the American West”, where he portrayed “real people” from the West coast of the United States.
He kept working almost up until his death in 2004.
Below is the first part of a great (nine part) documentary on Richard Avedon, where you can learn more about his life and career.