Creative Voices

Breadth and Depth—The Photography of Albert Watson

By Dan Cowles

Albert Watson’s iconic fashion photography and portraits of famous people like Steve Jobs, David Bowie, Alfred Hitchcock, Kate Moss, Sade, and Tupac Shakur have become part of our culture’s visual language—Watson has taken some of the most instantly recognizable portraits of the last 45 years. But those photos make up just a small part of his vast body of work.

Watson is more than a fashion photographer and celebrity portraitist, which might explain why he hasn’t become quite as well known as some of his peers—household names like Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz. He also shoots landscapes, conceptual art, still lifes, and much more. Watson knows that his interest in a broad swath of genres has probably hurt him in terms of name recognition, but he doesn’t seem to care too much. “The good news was, I was interested in everything. The bad news is, I was interested in everything,” he says. “I mean, that’s what I’m stuck with. In other words, I like doing all the things that I do. It was interesting for me to go to Paris to do the haute couture collections for Vogue and then get on a plane and fly to Cairo to do personal effects of Tutankhamun…. I’ve just found that interesting.”

Watch our video profile to see Watson at work and hear some of the wisdom he’s gained during his long career behind the lens.

Albert Watson will speak at Adobe MAX 2018, October 15–17 in Los Angeles. Learn more and register. Use promo code M18CA to save $400 off of the registration price!

September 25, 2018

Director: Pete Sillen, C41 Media

Senior creative director: Dan Cowles, Adobe

Executive producer: Brendan Doyle, C41 Media

Producer: Tara Kutz, C41 Media

Editor: Matthew Charof

Assistant editor: Daeshan Buseck, C41 Media

Sound: Kevin Hastings and Benjamin Nimkin

Sound mix: Brian Crimmins

Color: Gene Curly, Nice Shoes