Édith Piaf personal photographer, Vassal's 60's
Creation of Gamma photo-agency.
he beginnings . Meeting Édith Piaf
In 1953, Hugues Vassal is a junior model in Paris, when he discovers Photography. By 1955 he has become a junior reporter at the weekly France Dimanche and one of his assignment is a story on the famous artist, Edith Piaf. The singer quickly makes him a part of her inner circle, offering hospitality, but more importantly, her friendship. She undertakes to teach him the fundamentals of a simple, natural style of Photography. From now on, and for the length of his career, Hugues Vassal will produce numerous creations dedicated to Edith Piaf, his muse.
Photographer to the stars & cofounder of Gamma Photo Agency
Following Edith Piaf's death, in 1963 it is only natural for Hugues Vassal to become The photographer of France's other celebrities: Charles Aznavour, Maurice Chevalier, Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, Mireille Matthieu... all happy to pose for Vassal's lens. Having learned the tricks of his trade the hard way, in 1967 Hugues Vassal together with three partners (Gilles Caron among them), creates Gamma Photo Agency.
The first, totally independent photo agency.
In 1969, Hugues travels to South Africa and produces a famously poignant illustration of the Apartheid. One year later, he is the first European reporter allowed to photograph the crucial events recording China's Culturel Revolution. During the next ten years, Hugues Vassal will be hailed for his exceptional shots showing the private and public lives of the Shah (Mohamad Reza Pahlavi) and Shahbanu (Farah Pahlavi) of Iran.
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