Albert Watson

Albert Watson has a new website (here) at least I think it’s fairly new, last time I checked was a year ago when I tried to hire him and felt like a fool for leaving urgent messages for a very last minute cover, then of course when I finally got his wife on the phone he’s in Europe for a month and booked on jobs as far as the eye can see. Nevertheless Jodi @ RS told me he’s an incredible sweet-heart and still works harder then an art school grad on their first assignment so I thought what the hell I’ll see if he’s up for it. The first portfolio on the website has 186 images in it. Not recommended that any art school grads try and pull that off.

There Are 33 Comments On This Article.

  1. I worked for Albert when I first moved to New York. He was/is one of my heroes and I felt very fortunate to meet him. He runs a VERY tight ship, but was also a kind person in a one on one situation. I was lucky enough to be included in a crew he took to Morocco. It was an experience I’ll never forget as I had only just seen the ocean for the first time in my life a few months prior and had never flown before (midwestern boy from the sticks)!

    my 2¢

  2. It’s interesting to me that you don’t discuss the number of photos as a bad thing, nor do you mention that there is music that automatically plays. If this wasn’t a portfolio for a big-time photographer, it would piss me off, and I think it would bother you as well.

    His work is obviously unquestionable, but I don’t like the site.

  3. Brett has it right I feel. The site is poor and while the content is exemplary, I know some art school grads who can do a much better job of site design than that. A lot of the “cardinal sins” of site design are present – but if you are so booked up you don’t need to sell I suppose that’s a choice.

  4. Do you have one hand free? Good. Now you can count the number of photographers who’ve seen Albert’s work and haven’t been influenced.

  5. Really? The only influence it had on me was to turn the page. I respect his accomplishments as a business man, but really, if we’re talking about photographs, let’s call it what it is. The work is the pure pop (read: product) (really read: anonymous) bs. no offense to the man or his fan, intended.

  6. I was surprised that he bothered to updated the site at all or even include so many images but I guess since his wife is his agent it’s necessary. All the legendary photographers seem to be exempt from the rules of great website design and usability. I think that’s partially “I don’t care” and partially a generational thing.

    He’s a legendary editorial and commercial photographer who shot for everyone in the 80’s and 90’s so I would expect plenty of pop and plenty of business.

  7. Kristina

    It is so satisfying to see Albert’s images again. I actually forgot about him although I did a shoot with him years ago. His work holds up. If I could count the many times I tell photographers that their work is “all over the place” I would need many, many hands. Albert’s work is all over the place, and it still works. Amazing that he is still around, and that his wife/agent still is going at it. Good for him.

  8. matthew pace

    Really now….

    criticizing his website…it’s length..the music… how shallow can you be?

    When something is great, you never can get enough.Too many images..look at the various techniques he masters and shows.
    No one has to write an novel to try to explain to me the side of his images that I don’t ” seem to get” .. it is pure photography at a high level… commercial, pop, or whatever label you want.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone but in my book, he is one beyond reach and to say that after all his time, he can turn work away and hang in Galleries rather than at shows is way past a website design..his work could be in a shoe box and still bowl you over.

    matthew pace

  9. One of the things that interested me about that interview was what seems to be the movement of photo business from LA to New York in a small space of time – 1974 to 1976. Had me wondering how that came about.

  10. scott Rex Ely

    Rob you should have a show “30 over 30”. All work by living photographers where the work is at least 30 years old. Now there is a call for entries I’d like to see. CK, thanks for the u-tube stuff, I just love his voice.

  11. What are you guy’s crazy? Turn up the speakers, turn out the lights and get a one hour or so art history lesson.
    It’s like a Jim Jarmusch film.

  12. Cyclops was a huge influence on me. Watson, avedon, penn those are the guys who showed me commercial work could be art. Normally I hate music on sites, but in this case I like his tunes sometimes I’ll just have it running in the background as I work.

  13. john mcd.

    I’m not crazy about the design and functionality of the site either, but Albert has earned the right to do it however he wants. He probably doesn’t really even need a website, but I’m glad he has one so we can look at his work easily. It continues to be inspirational. If you don’t want to hear the music, turn it off.

  14. I saw Albert Watson speak at two different events in NY and was surprised how long he made himself available and tried to answer all the questions thrown at him, he was very accessible and signed books up to the last minute,posed with unknown people for photographs. He even would tell you his “secrets”, which he says there is no such thing.
    I was surprised how few people showed up at Strands though.
    Mr. Watson is quiet an inspiration and hearing about his Vegas project, just makes you dream to have the resources he has. We should appreciate his website as a public service, who else has so much work out on the web to look at?

  15. The design of the site is a bit confusing. The question is, does anyone care about the web design or is it all about the photos? Do, photo buyers look at the website and think, WOW what a cool site. Or, look at this one and go, I can’t wait for ever to get to see the photos?

  16. I think it’s about entertainment and raising awareness with consumers not getting jobs. Albert has all the jobs he needs but he may be looking to start turning his oeuvre into more books.

  17. I have to echo the common sentiment here – love the work, hate the site. Does anyone know of any software that blocks sound from Flash sites?

  18. never, NEVER build a site that resizes the current window… one of my biggest peeves and will make me (not that my opinion matters an ounce) have a bad taste for the site and work from the get go. also, there’s absolutely no reason to make it resize the current window. have it open a new one if you must resize.

  19. a fashion shooter

    I agree that Watson does not belong in the same category as Penn, Avedon, etc.
    Although he is obviously a commercial success, I find his work dull and obvious.

    As for people who have influenced my photography and whose work I aspire to (aside from Penn and Avedon): Peter Lindbergh, Alistair Taylor-Young (!), Diego Uchitel, Paolo Roversi, Steven Meisel, Carter Smith, Christopher Griffith, Robert Maxwell, Richard Phibbs, Max Vadukul…

    (Albert Watson is not on my list…and I could not get his web site to run properly either)

  20. Wow… So many complaints about his site and the amount of work. I am the site designer and developer. I was taking offense at some comments above, but once I started looking at the site of the people making comments, I felt no need to get upset. Then on top of that these are “photographers” that are making judgement calls on what Albert wanted in his site.

    I recommend that you should focus more on your work and your business and not try to “fit” into what you think the market wants.

    I figured that most of the photogs would be using “blandbooks” but they are not even that savvy. Oh well, good luck trying to make it guys.

  21. ombretta

    please, i’m getting crazy! looking for the music from the albert watson web site.some one can help me?

    • Debra Weiss


      Why don’t you just call or e-mail him? HIs contact info is on his website.

      • @Debra Weiss,
        thank’s Debra, already done but no answer from him I guess he is so busy for me…
        Thanks anyway
        Best regard

        • Debra Weiss


          Just called his studio. I was told this is a compilation of several different composers.

  22. Thank’s Debra, you are delicius when i need a full of this fantastic music i know that the only way is enter in albert’s site…

    • @ombretta, I’m the web guy…. It is a compilation of tracks. I have an MP3 of it but not the track listing….I know there is some Future Sounds of London in it….shoot me an email.