A Trick of the Light
Maxim|September - October 2021
An interview with master of fashion and portraiture Vincent Peters on the occasion of his new book
By Jared Paul Stern

Nudes, Paris.

At 52 years old, German-born photographer Vincent Peters is quite young in relation to the great lensmen with whom he is often compared. Peters, whose portraits and fashion editorials have graced the pages of major magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, GQ and many others over the past 25 years, prefers to shoot on film, and favors black-and-white for most of his work; his photographs have a classical, timeless quality.

This elegant approach to his chosen medium is evident in an alluring new book from German luxury publisher teNeues, Vincent Peters: Selected Works, brought out in conjunction with a major solo exhibition titled Light Within, at Fotografiska museum in Stockholm. The book features over 200 images selected by Peters, including some of his most iconic celebrity portraits of Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron, Laetitia Casta, John Malkovich, and Mickey Rourke, among others.

Peters strives to “convey human contact, without the need of being provocatively shocking to make an impact,” as Fotografiska puts it. “He feels that we’re losing the value of human contact, and that increasingly more of our digital age is about eliciting a reaction rather than establishing communication.” We spoke to Peters about this and other subjects:

Charlize Theron, New York

Was your work considered a bit too artistic initially? What drew you to fashion and portrait photography?

I actually came from gallery work—but when I started in fashion photography that was a certain opening of painting, fashion and conceptual ideas blending together. Magazines like The Face and Dazed and Confused were mainly searching for photographers with ideas rather than an established status. Authorship was very important.

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