Norman Parkinson (1913 - 1990) was a celebrated English portrait and fashion photographer.
In 1934, when he was still a burgeoning 21-year-old photographer shooting portraits of debutants for London society magazines, Norman Parkinson had one simple goal: “unlocking the model’s knees.” It seems strange now, but until then, as he later explained in The Telegraph, “all the girls had their knees bolted together. . . . I thought, I don’t know any girls who live like that.”
It was from this frustration that the candid style we know today as Parkinson’s signature was born. By bringing the model outside of the artificially lighted studio and giving her something to do other than sitting down and posing rigidly, he was able to exploit chance movements and gestures and, as a result, capture what had been missing from fashion photography during the postwar doldrums of the late 1940s: a sense of the unexpected.