Not sure how new this is but it’s certainly unusual for a fashion photographer of this caliber to have a personal website this comprehensive (here).

This growing trend among top photographers I attribute to google searches that will turn up all kinds of strange and possibly unwanted results (and other steven klein’s of the world) if you don’t have a site dedicated to your work online. Also, growing the fan base is always a good idea.

From Steven’s artist statement: “Portraiture in the past has been regarded as a documentation of a person but for me it is a documentation of the encounter between myself and the subject. It is not meant to reveal them, nor is it meant to subject them to an X-ray; it is a departure from that.”

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  1. Given the site is flash, and exists on one page, not a single piece of the content on this site will be indexed. I believe Steven is representing his voice not indexing his work.

    You can confirm this with by putting ‘’ into Google’s search bar. 16 pages are indexed, none of them are content, all are administrative.

  2. WOW!!

    More gratuitous Homo Erotica.
    Just what the photo industry needs.

    As an art piece this is pretty good.
    I was only able to count 6 poorly reproduced Helmut Newton rip offs here.
    And he even threw in a few Robert Mapplethorpe for good measure.
    So this is almost kind of like the Wayne Maser Guess series of 70’s images with teens circa 1994
    with a smattering of Frat boy submission and implied forced fellatio.

    So I guess this if what they now call fashion?

  3. Sean I noticed you cleverly decided against putting any info about yourself in the comment..

    hmmm does one feel a little mediocre today?

  4. I always like SK work and i know that ppl may like different things as far as photography is concern but i think his work is fine art and beautiful and dark, he knows what he wants and it shows.
    Sometimes we lose touch with reality, i like his work, i think it’s deep dark and original, there’s a lot of photographers that copy styles out there but in my opinion he’s not one of them.
    This is just my taste, i am not saying that i am right but i like his work, and i think he’s much better than any other fashion photographers out there.
    sorry for the bad english…i’m still sleepy and i am italian

  5. Wow Sean.

    I bet you’re glad the only people who disagree with your point of view are the top people in the industry. There are gazillions of people with no influence whatsoever out there who do agree though so you have a following I’m sure…

    That line from the artist statement is very astute. The Annie NPR interview touches on a similar subject – it’s to always about revealing the essence of a person, but about what they present to you as a photographer.

    Avedon touched on this when he described his carrot-toast with Lartigue. In much of the best work, it’s more about the artist’s vision than the subject.

  6. My first thoughts were “it’s all fun and games until Mom and Dad come home!”. Don’t get me wrong I love SK and his evil erotica.

  7. Steven Klein also had a great section in the book “Face of Fashion” by Vince Aletti, which tries to link fashion and portraiture.

  8. He just seems like a Terry Richardson wannabe but gay instead of straight.

  9. Frank: There’s not one P&S shot on Steven’s site and Terry’s not always that “straight” either… if you saw his show at Deitch, you know what I mean.

    APE: Raymond Meier has a massive site,with an archive searchable by publication, fashion editor, etc.

    • @dude – I don’t think using a P&S or not makes you like Terry Richardson or not. It’s clear that composition and content are very similar to Richardson, no matter what camera was used.

      • @photoTristan

        The content is nothing like Terry.

        Look at both of their Stern portfolios (a good representational summary of their work and their POV) and you will easily see that. Steven’s vision is much darker, more poetic and much more produced, much more introverted, much more tightly composed (not that I agree that composition is the key factor) and much more overtly “fashion” than Terry’s (not in a judgmental sense, but Steven’s work shows much more attention styling and production while Terry’s obviously into the action in front of the lens).

        Comments like this betray a lack of familiarity about fashion photography, much less about the photography scene in general. I’d be much more prone to consider comments if the comparison were, say, between Terry vs. Kenneth Capello or Steven vs. Inez & Vinoodh or Mert & Marcus. However, the fact is that all of these people have a very individual voice, which is a large part of why each of them is prominent in their respective niche.

        A good gauge in a commercial context, however, would be considering who would be up for the same jobs. Somehow I doubt Terry and Steven would be competing very frequently (which is a very good thing for both of them).

  10. Brings new meaning to the word Comprehensive….

  11. What?…no bullwhip?


  12. I like SK’s commercial work, but in my opinion, these images rely entirely on shock value. The models are good looking and gay…so what!

    • Dear @Don Cudney, half of fashion advertising is based on sex sells hypothesis… all models are good looking and gay;-)

  13. Although fashion photography is not a genre I’m overly familiar with, having now seen SK’s website what I like most is how he has developed a very unique style.

    It’s edgy and contemporary and I can see why he is admired in his field. There’s much to learn from this even though many of us may be in entirely different fields or have different tastes

    What however drew me to this blog was the topic of showcasing such a comprehensive body of work online

    I was a bit late in getting my own site and as I am still learning how best to present my own work online – and still very much developing as a photographer – I am mostly interested in finding out how photo buyers in general respond to websites.

  14. 2 words: Scabrous, hermeneutical…..

  15. i’ve always really liked steven klein, but is he a little obsessed with brad pitt or what? not that its a bad thing to look at

    • @bettina, i like the most his photosessions with brad pitt and madonna (though i dislike with celebs in general).. he is obsessed with both of them;-) or maybe theyre obsessed with him.. madonna looks great on his photographs

  16. Balance? Puhleez.

    And “documentation of the encounter between myself and the subject” ?

    Come on. Not in these photographs, there’s no connection with the photographer.

    Those are just some tired old words half dressed up in black.

  17. I wonder what Koudelka would say about the work?

      • I’m with APE.
        If you called to ask, JK would probably hang up the phone on you.

  18. I have to agree with Mike. Either he is not aware that there is very little of his site that will be indexed, or he is using his site solely as a portfolio.

    I don’t think I am really qualified to judge the work though, however there is impact.

  19. Really nice and big site.

  20. He doesn’t shoot anymore really, which is probably why he has more work…more of an archive than anything. He’s pretty down to earth and friendly…you wouldn’t think it from the work he does (did?) though.

  21. Corey,

    A good mate of mine still assists with Steven and yes he’s still shooting frequently.


    • @James,

      About a month ago Steven told me himself that he doesn’t find much time to shoot anymore while we were chatting. He has a day job that he works quite a bit at.

      Perhaps a few times a month might be what your friend considers frequently, whereas Steven doesn’t consider that often. I’m not really sure.

      • @Corey Ward, Im sure Steven is under contract with Conde Nast or Hearst, and is DEFINITELY still shooting. And if your under contract by one of them and/or shooting one of the biggest campaigns in the world (Dolce’) then i think you are still shooting often.

  22. A look at the site shows he’s done editorials for W, Details, Interview, Dazed and V all in the current year. And that’s just the editorials, not the ad work, personal work or film/video work. Doesn’t sound much to me like someone who “doesn’t shoot anymore”.

  23. @dude
    Terry and …Kenneth Capello?
    Yes Capello shoots like Terry but there’ s no comparison, Capello is a joke at best, he knows the right ppl but is a mediocre photographer.
    I agree on everything else

    • @John,
      “Yes Capello shoots like Terry…”
      my point exactly.
      I agree with you too. I think Terry is a better photographer.

  24. i love love love stven kleins work..its just so much different and like max said original and deep then anyone else’s work..his photos make me think of what point he was trying to get across..and i like that

  25. and i find this website horribly slow and moreover not all links work always well (eg entering on one photosession it opens another).. but i even like with sk photographs.. his encounters with a subject;-) lachapelle has made himself a cool webpage – clear , esay to navigate and coherent with his style, a bit extravagant.. before he had a shitty webpage as well..

    i could not imagine that webpage presenting great photographs is so difficult to make (first, what to do to prevent anyone from stealing your work – thats why they choose flash etc. ) and really its a pity that other famous photographers tend not to have webpages presenting their work

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