Helmut Newton was was a German-Australian fashion photographer.  His style is widely recognized and often imitated.  His life began with many challenges and turmoil.

He was born Helmut Neustädter to Jewish parents in Berlin.   He became interested in photography at age 12 when he bought his first camera and worked he German photographer Yva (de) (Elsie Neulander Simon). As Germany began to enact more and more restrictions on Jews with Nuremberg laws, his family fled the country.  He intended to travel to China, but arrived in Singapore where he worked briefly for a local newspaper and as a portrait photographer.

The British authorities interned him and sent him on to Australia.  He was briefly imprisoned and then released into Australia where he eventually enlisted with the Australian Army and worked as a truck driver.  When the war ended he became a British citizen and changed his name to Helmut Newton.

He set up a studio in Melbourne where he worked on fashion and theatre photography.  As his reputation grew, so did the opportunities.  He was commissioned to photograph a special Australian supplement for Vogue magazine in 1956.  This led to a a 12-month contract with British Vogue and then to work in Paris shooting for French and German magazines.

Newton’s style was considered highly erotic.  He often created very stylized scenes (sometimes with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts).  he continued to shoot both traditional fashion as well as a number of pictorials for Playboy magazine.

Here is a glimpse at the man and his work.

Note: Helmut Newton’s work contains nudity and intense sexuality.  Do not watch the video if this bothers you.


This Post Sponsored by:

Viewbug  Stick With Viewbug & Photofocus throughout 2014 – because we’re announcing the biggest contest in Photofocus history — coming soon!

Adobe  Photoshop CC and Lightroom for US$9.99/mo. Limited-time offer for Photoshop CS3 and later customers. Get it here. Be sure to also check out the Video for Photographers learning center to get new ideas on how to work with Adobe software.

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDRsoft.

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs. Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try free for 10 days by visiting Photofocus.

The Topaz Labs Image Enhancement bundle. Open up a world of creative possibilities with a seamless, integrated workflow. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to look like one. Click here and use the code photofocus to get a 15% discount.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi, there is an extra documentary regarding Helmut Newton’s life and work that is entitled Helmut by June which is, basically, footage recorded by his wife.


Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


A Photographer You Should Know, Inspiration