He’s photographed everyone from Kate Moss to the Queen. Now as part of a new retrospective in London, Rankin wants to capture 1,000 real people from across the UK. VIEW OUR GALLERY.
Fashion photographer John Rankin Waddell, aka Rankin, has photographed some of the most fascinating faces in the world, from Madonna, Kate Moss and Britney Spears to Tony Blair and the Queen of England. A massive retrospective exhibition of his celebrated photographs, including editorial images of Robert Downey Jr., Deborah Harry, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, and Selma Blair, opened July 31 at the Truman Brewery in London.
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Coinciding with the show, Rankin is photographing 1,000 members of the public—chosen from thousands of applicants—for a fraction of his usual rate, with all the profits benefiting Oxfam. For his Shoot Me, Rankin! project, the photographer wants every participant to look like a superstar, so he’s supplying a make-up artist and hairstylist to lend the professional touch. After each 15-minute shoot, a final photograph gets posted to the website RankinLive.com.
Born in Glasgow in 1966, Rankin grew up in St. Albans and studied photography at the London College of Printing. At 25, he co-founded the hip-magazine Dazed & Confused. Since then, he’s photographed ads for Nike and Dove; shot charitable campaigns for Amnesty International, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Women’s Aid; photographed covers for Harpers Bazaar, German Vogue, and Arena; and co-directed music videos, commercials and feature films with Chris Cottam.
His monographs include TuuliTastiic: A Photographic Love Letter, which features a compilation of images of his wife and muse, the Finnish model Tuuli; Beautyfull, a collection of his images of the most photographed women in the world; and Visually Hungry, a 2006 retrospective catalogue, which reproduces two decades of work.
A magnificent photographer, who captures the essence of everyone that steps in front of his lens, Rankin truely “ranks’ with his heroes—Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, David Bailey, and Guy Bourdin—great photographic artists that inspired tribute images from him for the BBC documentary Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion, earlier this year.