Bailey, David

David Royston Bailey is a British photographer born in east London in 1938.

As a child he suffered a lot in school due to an undiagnosed dyslexia.

At 15, he left school to start working on his first job, as a copy boy for the newspaper “Yorkshire Post”.

David Bailey Self-Portrait David Bailey1957
David Bailey, Self-Portrait, 1957.

In 1957, he was summoned by the Royal Air Force (RAF) to serve in Singapore.

During his short time in the RAF he bought a Rolleiflex camera and started to practice taking pictures.

In 1958, he was dismissed from the RAF and then decided to pursue photography.

He bought a Canon Rangefinder camera and tried to enroll at the London College of Printing, but wasn’t accepted to it due to his bad school record.

Later, he got a job as a second assistant of David Ollins, but was not able to work with photography. He then was called for an interview to work with photographer John French.

In 1959, he started to work with John French as one of his assistants.

In 1960, he started to work in John Cole’s Studio Five.

David Bailey, taken at Studio Five, for Daily Express, 1960
David Bailey at Studio Five, for Daily Express, 1960.

Right after that, in the same year, Bailey was hired by the British Vogue.

Soon he became one of the most famous photographers in the world.

In the beginning of his career, he discovered model Jean Shrimpton, and together both gained a lot of success. During this time, the 1960s, they became a couple and lived a romance that would later become a TV movie on the BBC called “We’ll Take Manhattan” in 2012.

Jean Shrimpton, photo by David Bailey, New York City, 1962
Jean Shrimpton by David Bailey, New York City, 1962.

Soon he and two other photographer colleagues, Terence Donovan and Brian Duff, became known as the Black Trinity, and were credited as the ones responsible for the movement known as ‘Swinging London’.

Photographers (David Bailey; Brian Duffy; Terence Donovan) by Arnold Newman bromide print, 1978?
Photographers David Bailey; Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan by Arnold Newman bromide print, around 1978.
Bailey’s work isn’t only focused on fashion, he’s also worldly famous for his portraits and original photos.
MICK JAGGER, FUR HOOD, 1964 david Bailey
MICK JAGGER, FUR HOOD, 1964 by David Bailey

Although he’s more known for his well explored black and white photos, he also works a lot with colors.

Other than photography, Bailey also dedicated himself in directing TV commercials and documentaries.

In 1976, he started to adventure himself in the world of publishing by making the magazine “Ritz Newspaper”, that was initially supposed to be a mix of Andy Warhol’s magazine “Interview” and the magazine “Rolling Stone”.

“Ritz Newspaper” was published until 1991 and was responsible for introducing the paparazzi type of photograph to the United Kingdom.

Andy Warhol, Ritz Newspaper David Bailey1980
Andy Warhol, Ritz Newspaper by David Bailey, 1980.
His love life also gained a lot of attention. He was known as a conquerer, having gotten involved  with a lot of models.

He got married four times: The first in 1960 to Rosemary Bramble; later in 1965 to french actress Catherine Deneuve; in 1975 to the model Marie Helvin; and lastly to the model Catherine Dyer, his current wife, in 1986.

Penelope Tree by David Bailey for Vogue UK, October 1968.
Penelope Tree by David Bailey for Vogue UK, October 1968.

David Bailey was one of the main celebrities of his youth time (the 1960s) and is a renowned photographer to this day.

Cara Delevingne with Pharrell Williams Vogue September 2013 Photo David Bailey
Cara Delevingne with Pharrell Williams for Vogue, September 2013. Photo David Bailey.

Some of the names that he was able to work with are: Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Terence Stamp, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones (including Brian Jones), Peter Sellers, PJ Proby, Cecil Beaton, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol and the gangsters The Kray Twins; the models Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Penelope Tree, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevigne; the designers Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen e Tom Ford; the brands Balanciaga, Dior, Chanel e Versace; the companies Volkswagen, Olympus e Nº7; and even the organization Greenpeace.

Check out:

The Post’s Pinterest Board:

The Post’s Brazilian Portuguese version:

Bibliography: Callan, Georgina O’Hara; Enciclopédia da moda de 1840 à década de 90 / Georgina O’Hara Callan ; verbetes brasileiros Cynthia Garcia : tradução Glória Maria de Mello Carvalho, Maria Ignez França – São Paulo : Companhia das Letras, 2007.

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