One of the first fashion photographers to take models out of the studio and into the streets, Georges Dambier captured the most beautiful women of his time, including Brigitte Bardot, Marie-Hélène Arnaud, Dorian Leigh and Suzy Parker.
Rejecting the standard technique of capturing emotionless models, french photographer Georges Dambier captured his models in the fifties looking ambivalent towards their clothing and the camera, instead laughing, enjoying exotic locations like Marrakesh, Corsica, Sicily, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and riding in cars and boats. In his 20 years of greatest productivity the photographer was hired by Helene Lazareff director at Elle magazine and started two significant publications, Twenty and V.S.D.
His friend Robert Capa asked also him to lead a fashion department at Magnum. Unfortunately this never happened: several days later Capa died unexpectedly while working in Vietnam. He then formed his own photo studio Street of Kindness and continues his career as a freelance photographer. Additionally he worked in advertising with big brands like L’Oreal, Dessange and photographed the most important celebrities of the moment.
Born in 1925 in Paris, Georges Dambier was one of the most important photographers of his era, a contemporary of Helmut Newton, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. He first went to work for famous artist Paul Colin. Colin was responsible for introducing his budding young apprentice to the world of fashion, interiors, antiques and, most of all, to beautiful Parisian women. Then Georges landed a job as assistant to Willy Rizzo, a famous portraitist photographer (Harcourt’s Studio, Paris Match). There, he discovered photography and was taught the fundamentals of this art, especially lighting.The pictures of Georges Dambier speak to us about style, spontaneity, class and elegance, although they took live in the ‘50. The pictures you will see below remain a symbol of fashion photography, and are still a source of inspiration to this day.
The Bonn Bernubi Gallery in New York paid tribute to Georges Dambier, showcasing how the artist captured the essence of feminine chic and glamour in his images, in an exhibition called: Who's That Girl? – Fashioning the Fifties. Peter Fetterman Gallery showcased Dambier's mastery in fashion photography, with an new set of never seen photographs. The style of his models Bettina, Lucinda, Capucine in his pictures is defined by classic framing, tailored cuts, chic hats and ladylike groves. These pictures represent case studies for the fashion designers of today.
In his late eighties, George Dambier retired to a quieter live in the countryside in Perigord, France. The master passed away in May 2011.