About

David Bailey shot to fame in the 60s, becoming one of the first photographers to gain the same notoriety as the celebrities he photographed.

Born in London’s East End in 1938, David bought his first Rollieflex during his National Service in Malaysia; after demobbing, London fashion photographer John French hired him as an assistant in 1959.

In May 1960, he was a photographer for John Cole's Studio Five before being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine later that year. He also undertook a large amount of freelance work.

Along with Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy, Bailey captured and helped create the 'Swinging London' of the 1960s: a culture of fashion and celebrity chic. The three photographers socialised with actors, musicians and royalty, and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Together, they were the first real celebrity photographers, named by Norman Parkinson "the Black Trinity".

In 1964, he released a collection of half toned prints called Box of Pin Ups featuring photographs of celebrities including The Beatles, notorious East London gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray.

Bailey's ascent at Vogue was meteoric. Within months he was shooting covers and at the height of his productivity he shot 800 pages of Vogue editorial in one year.

Since 1966, Bailey has also directed several television commercials and documentaries. From 1968 to 1971 he directed and produced TV documentaries titled Beaton, Warhol and Visconti.

As well as fashion photography, Bailey has been photographed for album sleeve art for musicians including The Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithfull.

In 2001, he was made a CBE for his services to photography.

He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2005.

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