photographer cecil beaton

KNOWN AS MUCH FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPHY as for his diaries that expressed those thoughts that couldn’t be captured in a photograph, Cecil Beaton was a vibrant personality. He would go to great lengths to capture the right shot—climbing ladders, hauling in props, laying his subjects in slightly uncomfortable positions. Yet, the final piece was always astounding, whether it was a portrait of the Queen, or a pastel coloured editorial for Vogue with Jean Shrimpton . .

. . . his diaries have been widely published, and feature witty illustrations next to equally witty captions, as well as photographs of his days with Andy Warhol, The Rolling Stones and Truman Capote. He managed to provide an intimate glance into the lives some of the most talented individuals of the twentieth century.

After the war, Beaton fulfilled his dream “to live in a scenery” and commenced his passion for stage and costume design, for which he won an Academy Award. The Ascot ball in My Fair Lady, for which he designed lavish monochrome costumes, would later become the inspiration for truman Capote’s infamous black and white ball, where Beaton was able to see all of the personalities he once photographed for the pages of Vogue in their natural element.


“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of PURPOSE and imaginative VISION against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

– Cecil Beaton.

Images: [1 – Fashionista, 2 – The French Sampler, 3 – Only Old Photography, 4, 6 – NPG, 5, 8 – Immortal Marilyn, 7 – Audrey 1, 9 – Shawn Levy, 10 – VAM, 11 – Vogue]