Often named one of the most successful fashion photographers of the later part of the 20th century, Patrick Demarchelier has made his mark on the international photography market by producing consistently beautiful images for more than 40 years.
Born in Paris in 1943, Demarchelier spent most of his early life in Le Harve alongside his four brothers. It was his stepfather who introduced him to photography, and at age 17 he received his first camera. From that point on, he began to develop his skills both in the darkroom and behind the camera.
In 1975, he moved to New York and began collaborating with other photographers. His early work drew attention from both major glossies and independent publications. His early work in magazines like GQ and Rolling Stone was often overshadowed by his more publicized work with British Vogue in the 1980s, and his collaborations with legendary editor Elizabeth Tilberis at Harper’s Bazaar.
His contract began in 1992, and Demarchelier has been shooting consistently for Bazaar ever since. He is known for his vibrant studio shoots, TV commercials, and thoughtful nudes.
His photographic ethos is based on a natural and graceful subject portrait. In his nudes, where he admits he works more freely, Demarchelier often focuses on the imperfections and eccentricities of the subject.
Averse to posing and manufactured grace, his shoots are either incredibly brief, so the subject has no time to over-think, or very slow, so that the subject becomes bored of posing. In his fashion photography, Demarchelier has remarked that it is much more difficult, because the photographic result is not only dependant on skill, but also the aesthetics of the clothes.
In addition to his work shooting covers and editorials for some of the most widely circulated magazines in the world, he is also renowned for shooting the late Princess Diana, and being the only non-Brit to be invited to photograph the Royal Family. He maintained a close working relationship with Diana until her death. He has published a number of fashion and fine art photography books, and is revered among his collaborators.