William “Bill” Helburn (1924-2020) was an American fashion and advertising photographer. After World War II, Helburn aspired to be a fashion photographer after Ted Croner, his then-partner, encountered model Lisa Fonssagrives posing nude in the snow in a test shoot for her husband Fernand. The pair soon enrolled in Harper’s Bazaar Art Director Alexey Brodovitch’s Design Laboratory; and by studying with Brodovitch, Helburn would later get to work a ten-page assignment for Junior Bazaar, which helped him launch his career.
Over the course of his career, Helburn shot for magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Life, Vogue, Town and Country, and Charm. “I think fashion photography is, singularly, the most creative form of photography there is,” said Helburn of his art. “The fashion photographer always has so much of his inner self, contributing. His taste. His inner being… I didn’t think of myself as other than that.”
Take a look at these 23 stunning shots of 1950s fashion by Helburn: