Sunday, April 21, 2013

Google Doodle Honours Photographer Sir Norman Parkinson

Today Google UK homepage honoured photographer Sir Norman Parkinson with a special logo, on his 100th birthday. The second 'O' in the word 'Google' has been replaced by a drawing of the snapper, with his camera around his neck, framing up a photograph.

Born in London in 1913, Parkinson was a celebrated English portrait and fashion photographer. He began his career in 1931 as an apprentice to the court photographers, Speaight and Sons Ltd. In 1934 he opened his own studio together with Norman Kibblewhite, in London's Piccadilly.

From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper's Bazaar and Bystander magazines. During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force. In 1947 he married the actress and model Wenda Rogerson.

From 1945 to 1960 he was employed as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue. From 1960 to 1964 he was an Associate Contributing Editor of Queen magazine. In 1963 he moved to Tobago, although frequently returned to London, and from 1964 until his death he worked as a freelance photographer.

Parkinson is credited with changing the world of fashion and portrait photography by taking shots of models outside of the studio and would often make personal appearances in some of his photographs. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1981 New Year Honours. He died in February 1990 at the age of 76.

(Photos by Sir Norman Parkinson, courtesy of Chris Beetles Fine Photographs)

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