The Helmut Effect

INSPIRATION • FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY


One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Helmut Newton.

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Helmut Newton is one of the most important and influential photographers of the 20th century. When it comes to fashion photography, Helmut Newton is one of the top sources to go for visual reference. He is a very distinctive photographer with his bold, seductive and controversial style, and his direct influence can be spotted on many brands, photographers or ad campaigns. Fashion photography, he says, has to look like anything but fashion photography.

Below, we have compiled a selection of examples of his direct influence.  

Left: ARIZONA MUSE for VOGUE US, photographed by DAVID SIMS © Condé Nast Publications  Right: VOGUE UK editorial, photographed by HELMUT NEWTON, 1967 ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: ARIZONA MUSE for VOGUE US, photographed by DAVID SIMS © Condé Nast Publications

Right: VOGUE UK editorial, photographed by HELMUT NEWTON, 1967 ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: EVA GREEN for TATLER Magazine, photographed by RICARDO TINELLI, December 2009  Right: CHARLOTTE RAMPLING photographed by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: EVA GREEN for TATLER Magazine, photographed by RICARDO TINELLI, December 2009

Right: CHARLOTTE RAMPLING photographed by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: ©Guy Bourdin  Right: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: ©Guy Bourdin

Right: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: CAROLINE TRENTINI for VOGUE US September 2007 in ‘Brights!, Camera!, Action!’ editorial, photographed by PATRICK DEMARCHELIER ©Condé Nast Publications  Right: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: CAROLINE TRENTINI for VOGUE US September 2007 in ‘Brights!, Camera!, Action!’ editorial, photographed by PATRICK DEMARCHELIER ©Condé Nast Publications

Right: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: ENIKO MIHALIK for HARPER’S BAZAAR, photographed by TERRY RICHARDSON. © HEARST Publications

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: ENIKO MIHALIK for HARPER’S BAZAAR, photographed by TERRY RICHARDSON. © HEARST Publications

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: IRINA SHAYK for GQ SPAIN, photographed by VINCENT PETERS, December 2010 © Condé Nast Publications

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: IRINA SHAYK for GQ SPAIN, photographed by VINCENT PETERS, December 2010 © Condé Nast Publications

Left: MILLA JOVOVICH for VOGUE ITALIA, photographed by PETER LINDBERGH, 1996 © Peter Lindbergh  Right: SIGOURNEY WEAVER photographed by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: MILLA JOVOVICH for VOGUE ITALIA, photographed by PETER LINDBERGH, 1996 © Peter Lindbergh

Right: SIGOURNEY WEAVER photographed by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Top Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Other photos: ANGELA LINDHALL for CESATE PACIOTTI Fall 2011 Campaign, photographed by Sebastian Faena ©Cesare Paciotti

Top Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Other photos: ANGELA LINDHALL for CESATE PACIOTTI Fall 2011 Campaign, photographed by Sebastian Faena ©Cesare Paciotti

Top pictures: Big Nudes by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Bottom Pictures: ‘Fashion Icons’ for LOVE Magazine, photographed by Mert & Marcus © Condé Nast Publications

Top pictures: Big Nudes by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Bottom Pictures: ‘Fashion Icons’ for LOVE Magazine, photographed by Mert & Marcus © Condé Nast Publications

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: VALERIE VAN DER GRAAF for FLAUNT Magazine, photographed by GRANT THOMAS © Flaunt

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: VALERIE VAN DER GRAAF for FLAUNT Magazine, photographed by GRANT THOMAS © Flaunt

Top: ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Bottom: MIU MIU SS 2011 Advertising Campaign photographed by MERT & MARCUS © Miu Miu

Top: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Bottom: MIU MIU SS 2011 Advertising Campaign photographed by MERT & MARCUS © Miu Miu

Here are some interesting facts about Helmut Newton.

1 . The master himself was inspired by the photographer Yva throughout his career.

Newton’s early studies were at the American School in Berlin, but he didn’t finish school to pursue his dream to become a photographer, and therefore decided to work with renowned photographer Elsie Simon, also known as Yva, who was celebrated for her elegant fashion, theatre and nude photographs.

2 . He had a nearly fatal heart attack in 1971, and after this incident, with the support of his wife June, he began to photograph highly erotic, bold and provocative nudes, portraits or fashion photography, which he is known best known for. The photographs featured what his own foundation describes as “overtones of voyeurism, fetishism, lesbianism and sado-masochism, outraging some feminist viewers, while satisfying others.”


3 . He was colour-blind, and apparently was unable to differentiate between greens and blues.

4 . His wife June is also a photographer and has written and directed a documentary about Helmut, called Helmut by June. They were together for over 55 years until his death.

Top: CATHERINE DENEUVE by HELMUT NEWTON, 1976 ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Middle: Kate Winslet, photographed for VANITY FAIR DECEMBER 2018 issue by STEVEN MEISEL © Condé Nast Publications  Bottom: CHARLOTTE RAMPLING by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Top: CATHERINE DENEUVE by HELMUT NEWTON, 1976 ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Middle: Kate Winslet, photographed for VANITY FAIR DECEMBER 2018 issue by STEVEN MEISEL © Condé Nast Publications

Bottom: CHARLOTTE RAMPLING by HELMUT NEWTON ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: ANNA DE RIJK for TAR Magazine, photographed by SOFIA SANCHEZ & MAURO MONGIELLO © Tar

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: ANNA DE RIJK for TAR Magazine, photographed by SOFIA SANCHEZ & MAURO MONGIELLO © Tar

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: KATE MOSS for VOGUE HOMMES INTERNATIONAL, photographed by MARIO SORRENTI, Spring 2010. ©Condé Nast Publications

Left: © Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: KATE MOSS for VOGUE HOMMES INTERNATIONAL, photographed by MARIO SORRENTI, Spring 2010. ©Condé Nast Publications

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Bottom: MIU MIU SS 2011 Advertising Campaign photographed by MERT & MARCUS © Miu Miu

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Bottom: MIU MIU SS 2011 Advertising Campaign photographed by MERT & MARCUS © Miu Miu

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation  Right: ANAIS POULIOT for NUMERO Magazine, photographed by SEAN & SENG, May 2011. © Sean & Seng , © Numero Magazine

Left: ©Helmut Newton Foundation

Right: ANAIS POULIOT for NUMERO Magazine, photographed by SEAN & SENG, May 2011. © Sean & Seng , © Numero Magazine