top of page
  • Writer's pictureHeather Pepe


1907-1988... Toni Frissell, one of the first female fashion photographers. She was also known for her World War II photographs, and portraits of famous Americans, Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.

At the beginning of her career, she worked briefly for Vogue, making captions and writing a bit for the magazine. She was fired because of her poor spelling, but was encouraged by Vogue’s fashion editor Carmel Snow to take up photography. Her first published picture was in #TownandCountry , After this, she advocated for herself and got a contract with #Vogue

She worked with many other famous photographers of the day & apprenticed with Cecil Beaton. Her first photography JOB, as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931.

In 1941, Frissell volunteered her photographic services to the American Red Cross. Later she worked for the Eighth Army Air Force and became the official photographer of the Women's Army Corps. On their behalf, she took thousands of images of nurses, front-line soldiers, WACs, African-American airmen, and orphaned children.

She traveled to the European front twice. Her first picture to be published in Life magazine was of bombed out London in 1942.

Her moving photographs of military women and African American fighter pilots in the elite 332d Fighter Group (the "Tuskegee Airmen")were used to encourage public support for women and African Americans in the military.

Her fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women. She was one of the first photographers to move outside of the studio for fashion photography, setting a trend in the field. She did not shoot indoors primarily because “I don't know how to photograph in a studio. I never did know about technical points and still don't”. Her style continued in this ‘plein air’ way throughout her career. For this kind of innovation and experimentation she was well known.* #BeautyBefore #ToniFrissell #femalefashionphotoghrapher

All text from Wiki

168 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page