Georges Dambier (b. 1925) discovered photography when he landed a job as assistant to Willy Rizzo, a portrait photographer for Paris Match. When WWII ended, Dambier was 20 and able to partake in the newly revived Paris nightlife, frequenting the cabarets and jazz clubs in Saint Germain des Prés, where famous artists and celebrities gathered. One night, he managed to take pictures of Rita Hayworth who had come incognito to a famous night club, Le Jimmy’s. He sold the exclusive images to France Dimanche, earning himself a job on the magazine as a photo-reporter, covering current events all over the world. His real passion and talent lay in fashion photography, however, and at the urging of many friends (who would become his models), such as Capucine, Suzy Parker, Jacques Fath, Bettina, Brigitte Bardot, and Jean Barthet, he began to pursue this path in earnest. He worked for Helene Lazareff, director of ELLE Magazine, developing a style that rejected the standards of fashion pictures at the time. Instead of stiff, indifferent models, he showed them in action, smiling and laughing. Dambier’s ability to put his subjects at ease allowed him to capture intimate and natural-seeming images that were also elegant and chic. Dambier eventually set up his own studio in Paris, Rue de la Bienfaisance, and contributed freelance work to ELLE, Vogue, Le Jardin des Modes, Marie France, and other magazines.
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