Rankin (English, b.1966), also known as John Rankin Waddell, was raised in St. Albans in the county of Hertfordshire in England. He studied accounting at the Brighton Polytechnic Institute, but he dropped out to study photography at the London College of Printing; Rankin graduated from the latter school. During his studies, he met and befriended Jefferson Hack (Uruguayan, b.1971), and the two men decided to found a magazine called Dazed & Confused after graduation. The name Dazed was extended into television in 1999, when both Rankin and Hack founded a production company. Rankin has extended his magazine collection with the launching of RANK, Another Magazine, Another Man, and his most recent, HUNGER.
Rankin is a portrait and fashion photographer and has shot the Spice Girls, Kate Moss, Madonna, Juliette Binoche, Kevin Spacey, Vivienne Westwood, Queen Elizabeth II, and Britney Spears. His subjects are quite varied, and the publicity campaigns he has shot are even more so; he has worked on campaigns for Rimmel, Nike, Dove, H&M, BMW, and Coca Cola. Rank was married to actress Kate Hardie from 1995 to 1998, and the two had a son, Lyle. The photographer is currently married to Tuuli Shipster, a fashion model. Some of his most famous works, along with his popular publicity campaign,s are his Female Nudes from 1999, Rankin Male Nudes from 2000, Breeding: A Study of Sexual Ambiguity from 2004, and Beautiful from 2007, which have all been published as books.
In January 2009, Britain's BBC 4 TV channel broadcasted a one-hour documentary that Rankin created, a tribute to the images of Erwin Blumenfeld, Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Guy Bourdin, and David Bailey. This homage could be assumed as a tip of the hat to his greatest influences in photography. In the same year, he started the largest project of his career Rankin Live, an interactive spectacle and exhibition. It was the pinnacle of the accessibility and speed that is present in modern photography. He photographed people off the street for seven straight weeks, photographing one person every 15 minutes, and retouching, printing, and hanging the finished image within 30 minutes. This was repeated with more than 1600 Londoners before the exhibition was taken on tour in Mexico and New York. Rankin currently lives in London.