Patrick Demarchelier's career began on his seventeenth birthday when his step-father gave him a gift that would change his life: a camera. Three years later at the age of twenty Patrick moved from a French Port called Le Havre to Paris. Patrick's photographic style caught the eye of Alexander Liberman, the creative director at Vogue. By 1974 Patrick was working for American Vogue and a year later he moved to New York where he has lived ever since.
Patrick has photographed stories for the world's top fashion publications including American Vogue, French Vogue, British Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. He has covers to his credit that number in the thousands and recently completed a contract with Hearst Publications which lasted just over a decade. He is currently under contract with Conde Nast. When this contract was signed in May 2004, Patrick was very excited to be back at Conde Nast and remarked "It feels like coming home."
While Patrick's career in the fashion sphere of photography is certainly legendary, his fine art photographs have also gained him immense success and prestige. He held his first one-man show in 1996 at the famed SoHo gallery of Tony Shafrazi. He then went on to exhibit in another single-artist show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterey Mexico in 1998, followed by another solo exhibition at the Italian Museum of Modern Art (PAC) in Milan in 2000. In 2001, he again exhibited at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, and in 2005 held an exhibition at the Young Gallery in Belguim. Plans for future exhibitions are in the works for Moscow, Paris, London, and Brazil.
In 1989 Patrick Demarchelier became, by request, Her Royal Highness Princess Diana's official photographer. This was historic, as Patrick was the first non-Brit to photograph the royal family. This relationship lasted until her untimely death in 1997.
In addition to fashion and fine art, Patrick has shot some of the world's most memorable fashion and beauty campaigns, as well as commercials for clients such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Revlon, Maybelline, Ann Taylor, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Elizabeth Arden, Lancome, Tommy Hilfiger, BCBG, and Guerlain.
He has additionally been commissioned to shoot publicity campaigns and posters for many of Hollywood's best known titles, " James Bond: Die Another Day ", " Coyote Ugly ", " Sex and the City ", " Bullworth ", " Extreme Measures ", " A Love Affair ", " Serving Sara ", " Far & Away ", " Mad Dog and Glory ", " Bugsy ", " Dick Tracy ", " Love Field ", " She Devil ", " Lemon Sisters ", " Listen Up Now ", " Mystic Pizza ", " Baby Boom ", " Something Wild ", " Ishtar ", " Roll-Over ", " The Believers ", " Reds ", " Wet Gold ", " Staying Alive ", " Blow Out ", " Endless Love ", " Blue Lagoon ", and the classic documentary biography of Quincy Jones.
Several of the world's top musical performers have also trusted Patrick to create the images seen on the covers of their albums. The exclusive list includes Elton John, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson's "Janet", and Mariah Carey for both "Butterfly" and "Emotions". Billy Joel also sought Patrick to shoot the cover of "River of Dreams" and his "Greatest Hits." He also created the memorable covers for Madonna's "Bedtime Stories" and "I'm Breathless." Patrick also shot, for the legendary Quincy Jones, the cover for "Listen Up Now."
Still residing in New York, with his wife and three sons, Patrick Demarchelier continues to create images that keep him positioned at the very top of his field.
Known internationally for his fluid, informal fashion shots, Patrick Demarchelier emerges... as a master photographer whose images capture an often surprising and spontaneous vitality in even the most powerful icons of beauty and culture. Perhaps his best-known photographs are his portraits of Diana, taken with her sons, which helped to establish her as "the people's Princess." Yet the same light touch illuminates his images of subjects as diverse as giraffes in Tanzania, Johnny Depp, Egyptian pyramids, Patrick Ewing, sumo wrestlers, Cindy Crawford, and Versailles.
Demarchelier's careful respect for his subjects and equal empathy for the space around them is seen in the context of what Harrison calls "the blurring of the boundaries between commercial and 'non-commercial' photography." Described by Alexander Liberman as a "gentle pioneer" and by the writer Glenn O'Brien as a "worshipper of beauty," the artist may be best characterized by his own statement: "I like real laughter in my pictures.