Arthur Elgort was born and raised in New York City (b.1940). He studied painting at Hunter College but quickly transitioned to photography. He attributes much of his spontaneous and liberated style to his lifelong love of music and dance, especially jazz and ballet.
Originally trained as a painter, Elgort made his photographic debut in British Vogue in 1971 and rapidly established his reputation as an innovative fashion photographer. His relaxed and easy snapshot aesthetic was a clear break from the staid studio photo sessions that had come before. His choice of models – most notably Kate Moss and Christy Turlington – contributed to his lively, personality-led style and sense of narrative. Moving in and out of the frame, his models were often placed in the real world and shot in natural light and, in contrast to the harshly lit studio shots fashionable at the time, Elgort showed the potential of what fashion photography could be.
In his long career he has worked on many major advertising campaigns with fashion labels such as Chanel, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent as well as shooting many fashion spreads for American, French, British and Italian Vogue. Elgort’s work has appeared regularly on the covers of and inside Vogue and he has also worked for Glamour, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Teen Vogue. Arthur Elgort’s work is held in collections at the International Center of Photography, New York; the V&A Museum, London, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and at The Sir Elton John Photographic Collection in London amongst others.