Fashion photographer Sir Cecil Beaton launched his career as a 'society' photographer in 1926 with an exhibition in London that won him an immediate contract with Vogue, where he worked for the next 30 years.
Beaton's fascination with glamour and high society prevailed throughout his life and in 1937 he became court photographer to the British Royal Family. He also became a successful set and costume designer for stage and film productions.
Cecil Beaton began to pursue photography at a very early age. As a teenager he spent many hours attempting to recreate the look of glamorous society portraits using his sisters models. Candid snapshots and studio portraits of Beaton by his contemporaries display his sense of style, his charm, vanity and vivacious personality.
His career took off in the mid 1920s, when he began to contribute photographs and illustrations to Vogue magazine. His first solo exhibition in London in 1927 established him as one of the leading fashion photographers and portraitists of his generation.
Beaton became sought-after on both sides of the Atlantic, photographing famous faces from Hollywood, the theatre world, society and the British royal family.