EN – John French (1 March 1907-21 July 1966) was one of the most important fashion photographers during the decades of the 50 and 60. Born in Edmonton, near London, French initially worked as a director of photography in a advertising studio just before the Second world War, during which he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards.
In 1948 he founded his own photography studio.
Working for the Daily Express has pioneered a new form of fashion photography suited for playback of newsprint, which is based on natural light and low contrast. Franch died of lymphoma in the Royal Marsden Hospital in 1966.
In 1942 he married Vere Denning (1910-1991), a fashion journalist, who donated his photographic archive for the Victoria and Albert Museum. Through photography of French, fashion is free of static poses, imposed by the clichés of the time dictated by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, to focus on freedom of expression and on the naturalness of the shots.
French plays with natural light to “paint” artwork. His images are characterized by a compositional research tending to perfection, with an obvious care and attention to detail and the poses of the models within the structure. §
Using a black and white sweet, the British photographer invents an innovative style and fresh that exploits the natural lights to create structured lines essential that emphasize the contrasts and chiaroscuro.