John French

Born: Edmonton, England, 1907
Died: London, England, 1966

John Leonard French was born in March 1907 in Edmonton, London.

He studied painting at Georges Braque in Paris before moving back to London in 1937 where he started working as a commercial artist in an advertising studio as photographic editor.

During the Second World War he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards.

In 1948 he set up his own photographic studio where he worked on a new form of fashion photography suited to reproduction in newsprint, and also undertook portrait photography.

French worked with many famous top models from the “Swingin Sixties”.

He enjoyed working on the sets and backgrounds, and posing the model but left the trigger of the shutter to his assistants – Terence Donovan & David Bailey.

In 1942 he married the fashion journalist Vere Denning.

When he died of Lymphoma in the Royal Marsden Hospital in 1966, she gave his archive to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

John French 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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