William Klein the master of street and fashion photography

A true New Yorker self-taught photographer William Klein has become famous for his rebellious techniques. Born in New York City in 1928 in a Jewish family, Klein mostly lived in Paris since 1948. Living and working in Paris didn’t help Klein become recognizable at the beginning. Having no luck in Paris, Klein decides to come back to his birthplace, New York City, where he works mainly on streets. Street photography made Klein famous. The most famous Klein’s technique is in-your-face, where photographer was placing his camera too close to the individual’s face, to take him or her out of the comfort zone, that’s how the final results were turning so realistic. The most famous photo series made by using this “breaking the rule” technique is “The Gun”.


  1. http://patricechesse.deviantart.com/journal/William-Klein-and-the-motion-blur-358180751
  2. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/533746993310443983/

Blurry, weirdly framed pictures depict the awkwardness and absurd of the composition of the pictures and making them look live, sometimes disturbing, realistic, and at the same time funny.William-Klein-Gun-2-New-York-1955-painting-artwork-print

  1. http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/03/26/10-lessons-william-klein-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/

William Klein was has also a very interesting and rebellious technique that in the world of photography will sound outrageous – taking pictures without looking in the viewfinder or focusing at all. The results of this technique turn out unbelievably live and genius. This technique has become a distinctive feature of Klein’s works.

  1. http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/03/26/10-lessons-william-klein-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/
  2. http://www.photoforager.com/archives/william-klein
  3. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/533746993310443983/

After becoming famous in New York City, Klein’s disturbing, rebellious and awkwardly sophisticated style captures attention in the fashion world. William Klein returns to Paris where he works for VOGUE as a fashion photographer and being what he does best- breaking the rules, and he does it like no one else at that time.

  1. http://www.photoforager.com/archives/william-klein
  2. http://www.faheykleingallery.com/photographers/klein/personal/klein_pp_frames.htm
  3. https://ehehr1955.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/william-klein-fashion-photography/

Every time I look at William Klein’s pictures I have a feeling that I should take my camera go on the street and shoot-shoot-shoot as much as I can. William Klein proves that vision for photographer is everything, and breaking the rules can bring photography to a new level – level of simplicity and art.


  1. http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/03/26/10-lessons-william-klein-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/
  2. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/apr/28/william-klein-interview-sony-photography
  3. http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/05/30/a-lion-in-winter-the-revolutionary-photography-of-william-klein

by Hanna Dimitrova



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