Polaroids occupy a special place in the hearts of many photo enthusiasts who remember a time when “instant photography” meant one-of-a-kind prints that developed within minutes of clicking the shutter. What was once a crucial tool for photographers to test their shots before shooting on film has now become obsolete in the face of digital photography. Luckily for us, legendary photographer Helmut Newton saved his test Polaroids, allowing a privileged and rare chance to see the tests from a selection of his greatest shoots over a period of decades, including many from the TASCHEN titles SUMO, A Gun for Hire, and Work. Selected by his widow, June Newton, from over 300 photos featured at the 2011 exhibition “Helmut Newton Polaroids” at the Museum für Fotografie in Berlin, this collection captures the magic of Helmut Newton photo shoots as only Polaroids can.
Helmut Newton (1920–2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. He first achieved international fame in the 1970s while working principally for French Vogue, he became celebrated for his controversial scenarios. Most striking was his ability to make a throughly planned photograph seem fresh and dynamic. His many titles and awards included Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.