While working in Jaipur recently, I came across an exhibiton of Norman Parkinsons photos, shot in India in the 70ties-stunning landscape photos, conveying the rich colors of India. Norman Parkinson traveled to India on several occasions, while working for Vogue and Elle- his photos always stood out, as he preferred to shoot outside instead of working in a studio with artificial lighting-and with that changed the world of fashion photography forever. He was responsible for the early success of Grace Coddington and Jerry Hall-
As Jerry Hall recalls:
“I loved him. He was an old-style gentleman photographer, very polite, very thoughtful – but he wanted the picture. He’d ask if you didn’t “mind doing this, please”, and it was “thank you so much” afterwards, and he had on his little eccentric fez that he thought made him lucky. I met him [in 1975] when I was 18. Our first photo shoot was at Versailles. I had on a bridal gown and was on Marie Antoinette’s bed and we did wonderful pictures down the Hall of Mirrors. He had a sense of “big” – you know, big spaces – he would choose panoramic views and had a great sense of movement across the page. He always enjoyed you moving, doing some kind of a shape, which I really enjoyed, too.”
A workaholic, Parkinson died on set while shooting for Town and Country in Singapore. His innovative work continues to influence many to this day!