Avenaim's parents left Egypt and went to Paris, France, during the Suez Canal crisis in the 1950s and later emigrated to the United States where he was born. As a teenager, Avenaim got his first camera — an all-manual 35mm Exakta that his father had brought over from Paris. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois.
At age 19, Avenaim started his career as assistant to photographer Patrick Demarchelier in New York. When he began to work independently in 1985 his first assignment was a foreign edition Vogue cover of supermodel Cindy Crawford. Later he lived and worked out of Milan for Italian Vogue under the direction of Editor in Chief Franca Sozzani.
Avenaim resides in Los Angeles, California, and his work contains a focus on portrait photography of higher-end clientele. Avenaim has photographed fashion and celebrity for magazines including Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and Glamour. His work has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Newsweek, People, TV Guide, and Detour. Avenaim's celebrity portraits include Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, Jeff Bridges, Mel Gibson, Phil McGraw, Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, Brooke Shields, and Julia Roberts. Avenaim's photo of Halle Berry appeared on the cover of the People (magazine) Yearbook issue as Picture of the Year in January 2003.
In 2003 Avenaim produced a piece for ZugaPhoto.TV discussing "lighting techniques for photographing celebrities". Avenaim appeared on the ZugaPhoto.TV DVD How to Take Great Pictures which was released in 2004. In 2003, Avenaim was at work on a compilation book project of nude portraits titled Naked Truth. In 2004 Avenaim led a live photoshoot and workshop at the PhotoImaging & Design Expo (PIDE) in San Diego, California, and at the 2005 PIDE conference he gave a two-part seminar on his celebrity portrait work and lighting techniques.
J. Walter Thompson agency chose Avenaim to photograph country music singer Toby Keith for their 2005 advertising campaign for Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles. Avenaim's photograph of Donald Trump appears on the cover of the 2005 book Donald Trump: Master Apprentice by Gwenda Blair. Naked Truth was not yet published in 2006, and at the time Avenaim was also working on a book project titled LUMINOSITY: The Fine Art of Photographing Celebrities. Photographer Rolando Gomez cited a lighting technique he learned from Avenaim in his 2006 book Garage Glamour: Digital Nude and Beauty Photography Made Simple. Avenaim is sponsored as an "Elite Photographer" by Lexar Media. And a "Master Photographer" by Mamiya cameras and Profoto lighting.
Jerry Avenaim has appeared on numerous Reality television and Talk shows including Dr. Phil. More recently Avenaim has appeared as himself on America's Next Top Model, Germany's Next Topmodel, Kimora Lee Simmons on her show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane and on "America's Money Class with Suze Orman" which premiered on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in January 2012.
Recognition and awards
- Lapin, Mark (2006). "Jerry Avenaim – The Attraction of Heavenly Bodies: Jerry Avenaim, photographer to the stars, talks about the passions and techniques that have taken his career to the stratosphere and beyond". TakeGreatPictures.com. The Photoimaging Information Council. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
- "Jerry Avenaim". Photo Insider. www.photoinsider.com. 2009. p. Feature Story. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- The Daily Times staff (September 21, 2008). "Artist Spotlight: David Mark". The Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland). p. Section: Lifestyle.
- Bokun Jane (May 11, 2007). "Bossier City is now home for world-traveled stylist". The Times (Shreveport). p. 04J.
- Mamiya staff (2009). "Jerry Avenaim: The Fine Art of Shooting Stars". Mamiya Photography: Master's Showcase. Mamiya. pp. 1–13.
- Schneider, Jason (August 2005). "Power Lighting On Location!; Studio-Quality Lighting With Minimum Gear: Four Masters Reveal Their Secrets". Shutterbug. Interlink Media. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Miller, Alice B. (2009). "Absolutely Avenaim: Jerry Avenaim Delights and Disarms His Megastars – Winning the trust of some of the brightest stars, Avenaim has a client roster that reads like a "Who's Who of Hollywood."". imaginginfo.com. Cygnus Business Media. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- People magazine staff (January 2003). "Yearbook 2003". People. Time Inc. p. Cover.
- Bernstein, Gary (February 25, 2003). "ZugaPhoto.TV Launches Worldwide Photo Network". ZugaPhoto.TV. PR Newswire.
- Gary Bernstein, Gary Ignotofsky (directors) (January 19, 2004). "The Photography Network presents: How to Take Great Pictures". ZugaPhoto.TV. Bela Media.
- Record News Services (February 4, 2003). "Looking Snappy In The Buff". Waterloo Region Record. p. E8.
- Chang, Joyce (February 2, 2003). "A Sexy Gift, Dear Valentine, To Remember Me". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. Section 9; Column 1; Style Desk; Pg. 1.
- "PhotoImaging & Design Expo 2005 Gears Up, Builds on Success of Debut Show: Annual Photo and Imaging Expo Raises the Bar on Industry Conferences and Expositions". Business Wire. Business Wire, Inc. August 9, 2004.
- Studio Photography & Design staff (February 1, 2005). "Conference schedule: Calendar". Studio Photography & Design. Cygnus Business Media.
- VisionAge staff (2008). "Behind the Shot: Jerry Avenaim". VisionAge. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Blair, Gwenda (2005). Donald Trump: Master Apprentice. Simon & Schuster. pp. Cover, 307. ISBN 0-7432-7510-1.
- TGP staff (2006). "Out-takes and asides from TGP's interview with Avenaim". TakeGreatPictures.com. The Photoimaging Information Council. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Gomez, Rolando (2006). Garage Glamour: Digital Nude and Beauty Photography Made Simple. Amherst Media, Inc. p. 95. ISBN 1-58428-183-9.
- "Jerry Avenaim". Pro Photographer Corner. Lexar Media, Inc. 2007.
- "Master Showcase". The Fine Art of Shooting Stars. Mamiya America, Inc. 2007. Archived from the original on July 18, 2010.
- "Profoto Lighting Masters". Jerry Avenaim’s Evolution, Devolution, and Rebirth. Profoto USA. 2010.
- "New Faces 1988". American Photographer. February 1988. p. 31.
- "ProPass Magazine, Tri-X Anniversary edition". Kodak Icons: Hobnobbing with the "Who's Who" in Hollywood. Kodak Professional. Summer 2004.
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