Photographer Lillian Bassman Lived the Top Photographer Dream Life

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Today for my photography dreamers I’d like to showcase the work of Lillian Bassman.

One of the last great woman photographers in the world of fashion, Lillian Bassman, who worked as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar from 1950 to 1965, died Monday at the age of 94 at her home in Manhattan — still working right up until the end.

The Times writes that, “Lillian Bassman’s fashion images are considered to be among the greatest of the 20th century, an inspiration to such designers as John Galliano and the subject of exhibitions around the globe.”

Her images are contrasts between dark and light using camera angles to bring out a particular look for her subjects.

In honor of her work, here’s “The Dressing Room, c.1950’s” —

Untitiled by Lillian Bassman - Buy at

Disillusioned with the idea of super models in the early 70’s she decided to let go of her fashion photography and destroyed 40 years’ worth of negatives and prints. She moved on to shooting still lifes and nudes.

Her goal — as she was quoted as telling The Times in 1997 — was “to take the hardness out of photography,” which she accomplished through various darkroom manipulations. (The Times)

In the 1990’s, she came upon a forgotten trash bag in the coal room of her Upper East Side home containing hundreds of her fashion images, which led to a renewed interest in her photography.

Her works are on display at

Lillian Bassman Then and Now

You can also view her photography at:

She left behind a body of work reflective of a full and rich dreamers life.  She will be missed by all who were inspired by her amazing work.

Who is your favorite top photographer? Why?  And what will people say about your work after you are gone?


For more about Lillian Bassman see: Lillian Bassman dies at 94; renowned fashion photographer