name: Norman Parkinson
original name: Ronald William Parkinson Smith
birth place: London, Englan
birth date: 21 April 1913
zodiac sign: Taurus
death place: Singapore
death date: 15 February 1990
Norman Parkinson is one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. He was born in London, and educated at Westminster School. He began his career in 1931 as an apprentice to the court photographers, Speaight and Sons Ltd. In 1934 he opened his own studio together with Norman Kibblewhite, at 1,Dover Street off London's Piccadilly. From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper's Bazaar and Bystander magazines.
Once referring to himself as “The world’s most famous unknown photographer”, Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) left an indelible mark on the world of fashion photography.
Full of spirited wit, his "still, moving pictures" set the fashion world ablaze in the post-war years, where previously, according to Parkinson, “all the girls had their knees bolted together.”
His technique of "action realism", conjuring images out of the unexpected, was seen as a breath of fresh air to a world of fashion photography, and humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself.
During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force.
From 1945 to 1960 he was employed as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue. From 1960 to 1964 he was an Associate Contributing Editor of Queen magazine. In 1963 he moved to Tobago, although frequently returned to London, and from 1964 until his death he worked as a freelance photographer.
As well as magazine work he also created celebrated calendars featuring glamorous young women. His years as an official Royal Photographer began in 1969 when he took official photographs for Princess Anne’s 19th birthday and an Official photograph of Prince Charles investiture as Prince Of Wales. When previous royal photographer, Cecil Beaton, died in 1980, Parkinson took over. In 1981, Norman Parkinson was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1990, Norman Parkinson died whist on location in Singapore shooting for Town & Country.