Overview

Ellen von Unwerth is one of the most prolific and renowned contemporary fashion photographers and a pioneer of the "Supermodel" era. She was a model herself for ten years before deciding to flip the script and pick a camera herself, so she knows what it feels to be both in front of and behind the camera.

 

Her cinematic, sexy and feminine style empowers women by presenting them as strong, free and independent. She said: "When I was modeling, I was always told that I couldn’t move and I should look to the left and the right." As photographer, she encourages her models to free themselves and give her "those moments where they show emotion and not just their physical beauty."

Works
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Diane Kruger, Paris , 2017
    Diane Kruger, Paris , 2017
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Diane Kruger, Paris, 2017
    Diane Kruger, Paris, 2017
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Kiss me Quick, Paris, 2015
    Kiss me Quick, Paris, 2015
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Kiss me Quick, Paris, 2015
    Kiss me Quick, Paris, 2015
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Lindsey Wixson For Vogue, Russia, 2015
    Lindsey Wixson For Vogue, Russia, 2015
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Lindsey Wixson For Vogue, Russia, 2015
    Lindsey Wixson For Vogue, Russia, 2015
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Mission Accomplished, 2014
    Mission Accomplished, 2014
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Rhianna Shower, 2014
    Rhianna Shower, 2014
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Rhianna Shower, 2014
    Rhianna Shower, 2014
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Lana Del Ray, 2012
    Lana Del Ray, 2012
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Lana Del Ray, 2012
    Lana Del Ray, 2012
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Halskrause, 2010
    Halskrause, 2010
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Baccarat, Paris, 2007
    Baccarat, Paris, 2007
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Baccarat, Paris (Colour), 2007
    Baccarat, Paris (Colour), 2007
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Bye, Bye Paris, 2006
    Bye, Bye Paris, 2006
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Bienvenue, 2004
    Bienvenue, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Bienvenue, 2004
    Bienvenue, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Crash, New York, 2004
    Crash, New York, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Elle McPherson, New York, 2004
    Elle McPherson, New York, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Naomi's Rollers, 2004
    Naomi's Rollers, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Naomi's Rollers, 2004
    Naomi's Rollers, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Rich Bitch, Paris, 2004
    Rich Bitch, Paris, 2004
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Kate And David, New York, 2003
    Kate And David, New York, 2003
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
    Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
    Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
    Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Fraulein Cover, Rouilly Le Bas, 2002
    Fraulein Cover, Rouilly Le Bas, 2002
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Bathtub, Naomi Campbell And Kate Moss For Vogue US, 1996
    Bathtub, Naomi Campbell And Kate Moss For Vogue US, 1996
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Milk, Paris, 1995
    Milk, Paris, 1995
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Playboy Bunnies, 1995
    Playboy Bunnies, 1995
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Smoking In Bed, Eva, 1994
    Smoking In Bed, Eva, 1994
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, The Tramp, Paris, 1993
    The Tramp, Paris, 1993
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, The Mask, Paris, 1991
    The Mask, Paris, 1991
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Christy & Linda, Cannes, 1990
    Christy & Linda, Cannes, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Christy And Linda, Legs Crossed, 1990
    Christy And Linda, Legs Crossed, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Christy And Linda, Legs Crossed, 1990
    Christy And Linda, Legs Crossed, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Dog Walkers, Cannes, 1990
    Dog Walkers, Cannes, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Naomi With Ears, 1990
    Naomi With Ears, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Naomi With Ears, 1990
    Naomi With Ears, 1990
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Camera Shy
    Camera Shy
  • Ellen Von Unwerth, Camera Shy
    Camera Shy
Biography

Ellen von Unwerth is a German photographer best known for her playfully erotic images of female pop musicians and models. Over the course of her career, the artist has photographed Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Adriana Lima, and Rihanna, among many others. “Technique undoubtedly helps make photography magical, but I prefer to work with atmosphere,” she has said. “I think that the obsession with technique is a male thing. I would rather search for a new model or location.” Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1954, she was raised in various foster homes in Bavaria.

 

Discovered by a model-scout in Munich at 20 years old, she relocated to Paris, where she earned a living as a model for the next 10 years before turning to photography. In 1989, she shot Claudia Schiffer for a Guess fashion campaign, a commission which effectively launched her career. Since then, von Unwerth’s images have appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview, and other publications, she has also shot campaigns for brands such as Dior, John Galliano, Ralph Lauren, and Uniqlo.

 

In 1991, the artist won first prize at the International Festival of Fashion Photography, and American Photo Magazine named her as one of the most important people in photography in 1998. In 2017, the artist was the subject of the exhibition “Ellen von Unwerth Heimat,” at TASCHEN Gallery in Los Angeles, coinciding with a book launch of the same name. She currently lives and works in Paris, France.

Exhibitions
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