The final name on my list of the top five photographers of the 20th century is......

Of course, it's Arnold Newman. While there were a large number of great portrait photographers working over the course of the century Arnold Newman was prolific and strong willed. He kept recreating styles over and over again. I like the work of Phillipe Halsman and, of course, Yousuf Karsh, Newman's work is more modern and even post modern while maintaining the sense of a privileged point of view.

His image of Igor Stravinski is both compelling and beautifully designed. His work encompassed so many famous and unfamous people for a span of over 50 years. He would be my choice for the 5th person on my list because of both his rigorous seeing and his ability to present his sitters.

Sadly, I've had to leave out several of my favorite fashion and advertising photographers, like Bert Stern (caution: music on website!!!), Chris Van Wagennheim, Arthur Elgort, and Albert Watson.

My tiny list also left out Susan Meiseles (brilliant multi-media documentarian) and Mary Ellen Mark.  And so many more.  I guess over the next month or so I need to compile a list of the top 100 influences, from my point of view. A list of driven, amazing people. And that's probably the one commonality that intersects within all of these people. They are or were driven to photograph and they did it relentlessly, not just for a lark on a sunny saturday afternoon....

Here's a link to a group of great books about Arnold Newman

Here's a link to an archive of his photographs:


And here is a link to my all time favorite Arnold Newman portrait:

My Favorite Arnold Newman Portrait.

Go see my own portraits on my 500 px gallery: