“Dog Friday”, Praslin Island, Seychelles for British Vogue, 1971, Norman Parkinson (1913-1990).
Grace Coddington, former model and the creative director of American Vogue magazine, wrote: “Parks taught me such a lot … he and I were on a shoot in the Seychelles in 1971 with the model Apollonia van Ravenstein, standing on miles and miles of virgin white sand. Suddenly a dog appeared out of nowhere. Apollonia stretched out her arms to call it, and at that moment, the picture sprang to life.”
Norman Parkinson 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.
Parkinson always maintained he was a craftsman and not an artist. From his early days as a photographer up to his death he remained one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. His work, following the lead of Martin Munkacsi at Harper’s Bazaar, revolutionized the world of British fashion photography in the ’40s by bringing his models from the rigid studio environment into a far more dynamic outdoor setting. Humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself. As well as magazine work he also created celebrated calendars featuring glamorous young women.