Who Was Helmut Newton?

Nobody can dispute what an extraordinary photographer Helmut Newton was, and he was quite an interesting man as well. Do you know everything there is to know about him? Check your knowledge against these intriguing facts, and you may learn a titbit or two!

While we don’t know if he enjoyed gambling, and he passed away before the wonderful online pokies NZ has to offer became so widely available, but here are a few interesting items of information.

He Preferred Faces

Despite the fact that he is most famous for his incredible photographs of nude women, Newton stated that he far preferred shooting faces. He said that he found a woman’s face far more erotic than he did her body, but the woman he claimed he wanted to photograph may come as a surprise. It’s Ann Widdecombe, a British former Conservative Party member!

His Real Surname Was Neustaedter

Newton was born into a very wealthy Jewish family based in Berlin in 1920, and his original surname was Neustaedter. After being warned that he was on the brink of being arrested by the Nazis, he fled the city with just the handful of cash that he’d managed to grab and a razor.

He and his family later left the country altogether, albeit headed in different directions. They went to South America, and he boarded a ship bound for China in 1938, along with 200 other Jews fleeing the Nazis. He never actually made it all the way to China, landing instead in Singapore, where he managed to get a job as a photographer with the Straits Times. When the war ended and he acquired British citizenship he changed his surname to the one we all know him by.

He Loathed Studio Work and Was Colour-Blind

Newton detested working in the studio. He worked at night very often, and tried as far as was possible to make use of natural light when he could. He was also colour-blind, and could not tell the difference between green and blue.

David Bowie, 1982

He Had Some Very Famous Friends

Newton was very good friends with Karl Lagerfeld, for one, who sat for a portrait by him in 1973. At that time the designer was creating pioneering collections for Chloé, and it was here that the two creative geniuses met and formed a friendship that would last for the rest of their lives, bonding over their shared passion for photography.

Lagerfeld admired his friends work hugely, and collected much of it. He mentioned this in an interview, stating that he had many great photographs in his possession, and aimed to add more as he could. He spoke of them being very beautiful, and very big, and said that the last one that he had received was one of Isabella Rossellini and David Lynch.

He and David Bowie also formed a strong bond, with the musician collecting works as well. They shared a mutual respect for each other, and Bowie ended up posing for Newton a number of times, with photographs appearing in Playboy and Vogue, to name just two.