Born 1907 in Edmonton, London, English fashion and portrait photographer John French originally trained and worked as a commercial artist, becoming a photographic director in an advertising studio just before World War II, during which he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards.
Fashion photography by John French in the 1950s
In 1948, French set up his own photographic studio. Working originally with the Daily Express, he pioneered a new form of fashion photography suited to reproduction in newsprint, involving where possible reflected natural light and low contrast.
French also undertook portrait photography. He himself devoted much attention to the set and posing of his models, but left the actual triggering of the shutter to assistants, amongst whom were Terence Donovan and David Bailey.
French died of lymphoma in 1966 at the age of 59.
These stunning black and white portrait photos of classic beauties are part of his work that French took in the 1950s.
Strapless evening gown, photo John French, London, 1950
Barbara Goalen in a Lily Schroter day-dress, photo by John French for Vogue, London, 1951
Barbara Goalen, photo by John French, 1951-52
Bettina in fur coat and hat by Jacques Fath, photo by John French, 1951
Fiona Campbell-Walter, photo by John French for an advert in The Tatler and Bystander, London, 1951