Helmut Newton, born Helmut Neustädter (October 31, 1920, Berlin, Germany – January 23, 2004, West Hollywood, California, USA) was a German-Australian photographer. He was a “prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications.”
Newton’s growing reputation as a fashion photographer was rewarded when he secured a commission to illustrate fashions in a special Australian supplement for Vogue magazine, published in January 1956. He won a 12-month contract with British Vogue and left for London in February 1957, leaving Talbot to manage the business. Newton left the magazine before the end of his contract and went to Paris, where he worked for French and German magazines. He returned to Melbourne in March 1959 to a contract for Australian Vogue.
Newton settled in Paris in 1961 and continued work as a fashion photographer. His works appeared in magazines including, most significantly, French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He established a particular style marked by erotic, stylized scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts. A heart attack in 1970 slowed Newton’s output, but his notoriety continued to increase, most notably with his 1980 “Big Nudes” series, which marked the pinnacle of his erotic-urban style, underpinned with excellent technical skills. Newton also worked in portraiture and more fantastical studies.
In his later life, Newton lived in Monte Carlo and Los Angeles. He was killed when his car hit a wall in the driveway of the famous Chateau Marmont, a hotel on Sunset Boulevard which had for several years served as his residence in Southern California. His ashes are buried next to Marlene Dietrich at the Städtischer Friedhof III in Berlin.