Craig McDean was born in Middlewich near Manchester in 1964. He first started working as a car mechanic but quickly changed his mind and attended the Mid Cheshire College where he studied photography instead, a medium he first used when he started taking pictures of his rocker friends in his home town.
He then decided to move to London and became Nick Knight’s assistant. He first caught people’s attention when he began shooting for the magazines i-D and The Face. Soon after, he started working with many other high profile magazines, amongst which, the British, French and Italian editions of Vogue, W, Harpers’ Bazaar and Another Magazine.
He published his first book “I Love Fast Cars” in 1999, and his second one “Lifescapes” six years later.
McDean’s work is truly appreciated amongst celebrities and he has been working with many of them, including Madonna, Scarlett Johanson, Natalie Portman, Björk, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoenix, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, Gael Garcia Bernal and Hilary Swank.
He has also been working on many different advertising campaigns for Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Estée Lauder, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci to only name a few.
The International Center of Photography awarded him the ICP Infinity Award for Applied, Fashion and Advertising Photography in 2008.
McDean is today based in New York where he is represented by Art + Commerce. He lives with his wife, the stylist Tabitha Simmons.