Patrick Demarchelier is one of the world’s foremost fashion photographers. He has created iconic portraits and photographed covers and campaigns for many influential publications and fashion houses.
Born in 1943, he was raised in the small town of Le Havre, in France, by his mother. His love of photography began at the age of 17 when his step-father gave him a gift that would change his life: a camera. And he began to take pictures.
Aged 20 he moved to Paris and began working for a photography lab, printing newspaper photographs. Later, he got his foot in the door to the fashion world when he became an assistant to the photographer Hans Feurer, whose work appeared often in British and French Vogue in the sixties and seventies. Patrick’s photographic style caught the eye of Alexander Liberman, the creative director at Vogue.
By 1974 Patrick was working for American Vogue and a year later he moved to New York where he has lived ever since. He has no formal qualifications, instead he claims he has learned from his mistakes: “I learned most by just taking pictures; a lot of pictures. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but it’s often from your mistakes that you learn most. Being a photographer is like being an athlete. You must practice every day.”
Patrick has photographed stories for the world’s top fashion publications including American Vogue, French Vogue, British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair.
Known internationally for his fluid, informal fashion shots, Patrick Demarchelier emerges… as a master photographer whose images capture an often surprising and spontaneous vitality in even the most powerful icons of beauty and culture. Perhaps his best-known photographs are his portraits of Diana, taken with her sons, which helped to establish her as “the people’s Princess.”
Still residing in New York, with his wife and three sons, Patrick Demarchelier continues to create images that keep him positioned at the very top of his field. Over the decades, he has become an internationally renowned fashion and portrait artist who has taken images of almost any celebrity or supermodel you could think of.
Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor, wrote this of her longtime colleague: “Every woman looks more beautiful, and more like herself, through Demarchelier’s lens. He never lets the picture trump its subject. This is why even the most particular of celebrities are only too happy to sit for him—this and Patrick’s legendary kindness and patience.”
Described by Alexander Liberman as a “gentle pioneer” and by the writer Glenn O’Brien as a “worshipper of beauty,” the artist may be best characterized by his own statement: “I like real laughter in my pictures. Patrick’s career in the fashion sphere of photography is with no doubt legendary.