Arthur Elgort was born in 1940 and raised in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School and then Hunter College where he studied painting. Finding painting to be too lonely an art form, he moved on to photography which he took to naturally. He began his career working as a photo assistant to Gus Peterson whose natural shooting style greatly contributed to the lively and casual style Mr. Elgort is so well known for today. He also attributes much of his style to a lifelong love of music and dance, particularly jazz and ballet.
Elgort’s 1971 debut in British Vogue created a sensation in the Fashion Photography world where his soon-to-be iconic “snapshot” style and emphasis on movement and natural light liberated the idea of fashion photography. In September 2008, he told Teen Vogue that he credited Mademoiselle for his big break: “They were really brave and gave me a chance. It was the first time I was shooting a cover instead of a half-page here or there.” From there, he rose to fame working for such elite magazines as International and American Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Teen Vogue among others and shooting advertising campaigns with numerous international fashion labels such as Chanel, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. Elgort quickly became one of the most well-known and emulated photographers in the world. His early body of work from the 70′s and 80′s is often considered representative of the fashion industry at the time.
Arthur Elgort published his first of several books, Personal Fashion Photographs, in 1983 and later his world wide best seller Models Manual during the super model boom in 1994. His other two books, Camera Crazy (2004) and Camera Ready (1997), focus on his love of cameras and taking pictures. In addition to his still photographs Mr. Elgort is also recognized for his work as a filmmaker. He has made three films including Texas Tenor: The Illinois Jacquet Story and the documentary film Colorado Cowboy that follows legendary cowboy, Bruce Ford, which won the award for Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994.
Today Mr. Elgort continues shooting for American Vogue and many other Conde Nast publications, as well as working on his most recent in 2009 advertising campaigns with Via Spiga and Liz Claiborne with Isaac Mizrahi. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Arthur Elgort’s works are exhibited in the permanent collection of the International Center of Photography in New York, in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as well as in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. His work is also represented by galleries around the world including Staley Wise Gallery in New York City.