you’re probably familiar with the work of fashion & celebrity photographer Mark Shaw, who was especially well known for his collection of photographs of the Kennedys. he shot over 100 stories in his 16 year career with LIFE magazine in the 1950s & 60s, and was one of the first photographers who documented backstage fashion at couture shows like Balmain and Balenciaga. if you’re feeling flush you can buy limited edition original prints of his work from the Andrew Wilder gallery. Here are some of my favourite stories he covered.

Audrey Hepburn

Portraits for LIFE Magazine of Hepburn while filming Sabrina. This entire shoot had lingered forgotten for more than fifty years in a box at the home of Mark’s first wife and were rediscovered in 2008. Initially Audrey Hepburn did all she could to avoid Mark Shaw’s cameras. When she realized they shared intense devotion to their work, she began to treat him like a member of the family.

Jackie Kennedy & family

These images were taken for an assignment from LIFE magazine about Jackie Kennedy which ran in 1959 while JFK was making his White House run. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Mark Shaw worked extensively as the “unoffical” family photographer to Jackie and John F. Kennedy.

Coco Chanel

Chanel was quoted at the time as saying that “Shaw had crept as close to her as anyone is likely to get with their LEICA on”. Shaw’s informal, grainy, black and white images of Chanel were captured using an unobtrusive 35 mm camera and film processing methods that enabled him to eliminate all other photographic equipment. The result is a highly personal and intimate look into a day in the life of this iconic woman.

Various artists – PicassoChagall, Fernand Leger & Miro

backstage at Balmain, 1954

various fashion editorials photographed in St. Tropez, Paris, Portofino


  1. Pingback: Backstage at Balmain, 1954 « The Licentiate

  2. What an amazing life, and an amazing eye. Those ones of Audrey have just stolen my heart!


  4. Mark Shaw was a great artist, such a talent for capturing the subject’s personality. I’m not the biggest fan of his coloured works, but the B&W photos are amazing. Especially the Hepburn series, they mirror her so well – her laid-back, funny and honest attitude, and her love for beauty and fashion.

  5. Wow, these are great photos! I absolutely loved this post, it just made my day!

  6. amazing collection of photos! thanks for gathering… i could look at these all day. especially audrey, what a dear!

  7. Pingback: O trabalho maravilhoso do fotógrafo Mark Shaw: – Blog da Marcela Souza

  8. Aubrey’s eyebows… amazing. mine are really thick too. these pics give me confidence to rock mine and not over tweeze.

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