Hiro (photographer)

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Yasuhiro Wakabayashi, professionally known as Hiro, is an American commercial photographer. He is known for his fashion and still life photography from the mid-1960s onward.

He was born in Shanghai in 1930 to Japanese parents.

Biography[edit]

Hiro's family returned to Japan from China at the end of the Second World War. In 1954, he went to America, and briefly enrolled in the School of Modern Photography in New York. He was dissatisfied with the school, however, and apprenticed himself to the studio of Lester Bookbinder and Reuben Samberg. At the end of 1956, he began working for the fashion photographer Richard Avedon. Around the same time, Hiro encountered Alexey Brodovitch, the art director at Harper's Bazaar, and worked as his assistant for a time, during Brodovitch's Design Laboratory at the New School.

By the end of 1957, Hiro was no longer Avedon’s assistant, and had launched his own career. Within only a few years, Hiro became a fashion photographer in his own right. He contributed as a staff photographer to Harper's Bazaar from 1956 to 1975, and was named Photographer of the Year by the American Society of Media Photographers in 1969. One of his early celebrated photographs is a 1963 image of a Harry Winston diamond necklace placed on a bovine hoof. Surreal and unique, Hiro's photographs are noted for their elegance and clean appearance. He uses uncommon lighting, the juxtaposition of unexpected elements, and his particular use of color.

The trade magazine American Photographer devoted an issue to him in 1982.

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