Bruce Weber (born March 29, 1946, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania) is an American fashion photographer and occasional filmmaker. He is most widely known for his ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pirelli, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revlon, andGianni Versace, as well as his work for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Life, Interview, and Rolling Stone magazines.
Life and work
Weber’s fashion photography first appeared in the late 1970s in GQ magazine, where he had frequent cover photos. Nan Bush, his longtime companion and agent, was able to secure a contract with Federated Department Stores to shoot the 1978 Bloomingdales mail catalog. He came to the attention of the general public in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his advertising images for Calvin Klein, and his portrait of the then young actor Richard Gere. His straightforward black and white shots, featuring an unclothed heterosexual couple on a swing facing each other, two clothed men in bed, and model Marcus Schenkenberg barely holding jeans in front of himself in a shower, catapulted him into the national spotlight. His photograph for Calvin Klein of Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus in white briefs is an iconic image.[vague] He photographed the winter 2006 Ralph Lauren Collection.
Some of Weber’s other earliest fashion photography appeared in the SoHo Weekly News and featured a spread of men wearing only their underwear. The photos became the center of controversy and Weber was told by some that he would never find work as a fashion photographer again. This reputation stuck with him, as he says: “I don’t really work editorially in a large number of magazines because a lot of magazines don’t want my kind of photographs. It’s too risky for them.”.
After doing photo shoots for and of famous people (many of whom were featured in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine), Weber made short films of teenage boxers (Broken Noses), his beloved pet dogs, and later, a longer film entitled Chop Suey. He directed Let’s Get Lost, a 1988 documentary about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker.
Weber’s photographs are occasionally in color; however, most are in black and white or toned shades. They are gathered in limited edition books, including A House is Not a Home and Bear Pond, an early work that shows, among other models, Eric Nies from MTV’s The Real World series.
Weber began collaborating with crooner Chris Isaak in the mid-1980s, photographing Isaak in 1986 for his second album, Chris Isaak. In 1988, Weber photographed a shirtlessIsaak in bed for a fashion spread in Rolling Stone. Isaak appeared in Let’s Get Lost and Weber has directed a music video for Isaak.
Weber photographed Harry Connick, Jr. for his 1991 album Blue Light, Red Light.
In 1993, Weber photographed singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for his 1993 album I’m Alive.
Weber is married to Nan Bush, with whom he sometimes collaborates. He has lived in Miami since 1998.