06
Oct
09

The photography of Ellen von Unwerth – A Study

Ellen von Unwerth is one of the most important fashion photographers of her time. If you have yet to discover the provocative tastes and fantastic talents of this circus performer / fashion model-turned photographer, I really recommend you do. I have been a fan of hers for quite some time (I used to buy The Face a lot in the 90’s) and I was reunited with her talents when I came across this shoot of Emma Watson for VS magazine’s SS10 issue, earlier this year.

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 5

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 2

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 3

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 4

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 6 lo

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 10

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 11

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 12

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 7

emma watson by ellen von unwerth vs magazine 1

Ellen von Unwerth has one of the most prolific careers of any fashion photographer. She was born in Germany in the mid ’50’s and has photographed some of the most beautiful and stylish women in the world for magazines like, Arena, The Face, I-D, Vanity Fair and Vogue. She took to the other side of the camera in the 80’s photographing her model friends, but it was the Guess Jeans campaign that made her and subject, Claudia Schiffer, fashion forces to be reckoned with.

Claudia Schiffer for Guess by Ellen von Unwerth 1989

Throughout her astounding career, using images of powerful femininity, she has pushed the boundaries in fashion photography. Think cigarette smoking, Betty Paige lookalikes wearing top hats, stockings and smudged red lipstick. To get more of an insight into how this fantastic artist creates her iconic images read this interview here. Otherwise, simply scroll through the images here representing a small collection of some of her work.

Chronologically.

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth “Charming Lolita” Shoot Vogue Italia, 1992.

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth 1992 Vogue Italia Charming Lolita

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth 1992 Vogue Italia Charming Lolita 2

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth 1992 Vogue Italia Charming Lolita 3

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth “Charme!” Shoot for Vogue Italia, 1992.

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia 2

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia 3

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia 4

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia 5

Kate Moss by Ellen von Unwerth Charme! 1992 Vogue Italia 6

Winona Ryder by Ellen von Unwerth, 1994.

Winona Ryder by Ellen Von Unwerth 1994

Juliette Lewis by Ellen von Unwerth for The Face, 1994.

Juliette Lewis by Ellen von Unwerth 1994 2

Juliette Lewis by Ellen von Unwerth 1994

Liv Tyler by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Italia, circa 1995.

Liv Tyler by Ellen Von Unwerth for Vogue Italia circa 1995

Nadja Auermann by Ellen von Unwerth, 1996.

nadja auermann by Ellen von Unwerth 1996

Milla Jovovich by Ellen von Unwerth, 1997.

Milla Jovovich by Ellen von Unwerth 1997

Chloe Sevigny by Ellen von Unwerth, 1999.

Chloe Sevigny by Ellen von Unwerth 1999

Vanessa Paradis by Ellen von Unwerth, 2002.

Vanessa Paradis by Ellen von Unwerth 2002 2

Vanessa Paradis by Ellen von Unwerth 2002

Britney Spears by Ellen von Unwerth, 2003.

Britney Spears by Ellen von Unwerth 2003

Charlotte Gainsbourg by Ellen von Unwerth, 2006.

charlotte gainsbourg by Ellen von Unwerth 2006

Marion Cotillard by Ellen von Unwerth, 2006.

Marion Cotillard by Ellen von Unwerth 2006 3 (2)

Marion Cotillard by Ellen von Unwerth 2006 3

John Galliano and Eva Green by Ellen von Unwerth, for Madame Figaro magazine, 2007.

Eva Green by Ellen Von Unwerth 2007

John Galliano and Eva Green by Ellen von Unwerth 2007 2

John Galliano and Eva Green by Ellen von Unwerth 2007 3

John Galliano and Eva Green by Ellen von Unwerth 2007

All images compiled by William McFadden at home.frognet.net

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11 Responses to “The photography of Ellen von Unwerth – A Study”


  1. October 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Only one word-amazing!

    • 2 whisty
      October 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm

      Amazing is right Eimear, I know I put loads of pics up, but I just couldn’t resist! Every photo is amazing, that last shoot with John Galliana and Eva Green… I mean… I’m speechless.

  2. October 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Beautiful! I love her photography but I hadn’t seen that Emma Watson shoot before its gorgeous! 🙂

    • 4 whisty
      October 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm

      That shoot is beautiful isn’t it. I love the way she included the magician’s assistant vibe too, but it’s still all about he circus rather than Harry Potter! Perfection.

  3. October 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    wow! Emma Wtson looks amazing- Ellen von Unwerth always snaps her subjects in such an intriguing and alluring lights, they never seem posed, more like the viewer has stumbled in on a private moment

    • 6 whisty
      October 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm

      Yeah, totally, apparently she lets whoever she’s shooting move in which ever way they want all the time. When she was a model it used to drive her crazy having to stand still and pose so she just lets her subjects, as you put it, do whatever they want. She is Incredible, with this latest shoot it’s like I’ve discovered her all over again. It’s great, it’s like finding out there really is a Santa Claus after all! So glad you love her too Blau. x

  4. October 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for posting these fantastic pictures, they really are stunning.

  5. October 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    She’s such an amazing talent
    I’ve been following her for quite sometime now and love her vision
    Truely some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve seen
    Great post 🙂


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