Ellen Von Unwerth

Born: Frankfurt, Germany, 1954

Ellen von Unwerth was born in 1954 in Frankfurt, Germany. She started working in the industry as a model, posing for over ten years before moving behind the camera and working as a fashion photographer. She caught people’s attention when she worked with Claudia Schiffer on her very first shoot.

Since, she has worked with many magazines, amongst which Vogue Magazine, The Face, Arena, Vanity Fair, L’Uomo Vogue, i-D and Interview.

In 1991 she was awarded the first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography.

She has published several photography books amongst which the very popular “Fräulen”, a mix of Cabaret and Baroque pictures based on the theme of erotic femininity featuring Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese, Eva Mendes and Carla Bruni to only name a few. She said when she worked on the book that she was very inspired by Diane Arbus’ “freaks”.

In 1990 Von Unwerth met the pop rock band Duran Duran and worked on their album “Liberty”. Three years later she started working as a promotional photographer for them, a job she kept until 1997 when she did some photography for “Medazzaland”s album cover.

She has also worked with Bananaram, Janet Jackson, All Saints, Cathy Dennis, Dido, Britney Spears, and more recently with Christina Aguilera and Rihanna.

She has worked for many different brands including Revlon, Equinox, Clinique, but this time as a director working on commercials and web films.

In 2011 she filmed “I found my love in Portofino” with model Monika Jagaciak.

Ellen Von Unwerth Biography

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Written by Marine Lazarus

Marine Lazarus, an Anglo-French photographer who moved to UK 3 years ago to study journalism at Brunel University in London. Marine is responsible for our Photographers Biographies section.

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