André Carrara was a teenager when he came into contact with photography for the first time. As he accompanied his sister to the photographic laboratory where she was employed, he was given a camera and made his first shots in Paris. These first experiences fascinated him and decided on his future: he would be a photographer. At first an apprentice in different laboratories where he learned about development and printing while attending evening classes at the Louis Lumière School, he was hired as an assistant at the age of 20 by the advertising agency SNIP, a true hive of activity where photographers, designers and graphic designers worked in close collaboration. That was when he really discovered photography, frequenting Willy Rizzo, Fouli Elia, Guy Bourdin or Jean-Bernard Naudin. He learned the trade and rounded off his training with the latter. In 1963, he made his first photo session for the agency, a very recognized advertising campaign for Lacoste.André Carrara’s career as a photographer was launched. Antoine Kieffer, who was then Vogue France’s art director, amazed by the quality of his black and white photos, gave him his chance and commissioned his first photo reports. Things went faster when Hélène Lazareff, at the head of Elle, the magazine she had founded in 1945, called upon him. So he joined other prestigious photographers who used to collaborate regularly, like Helmut Newton or Hans Feurer. Roman Cieslewitz had just joined the magazine as the art director. His arrival marked the renewal of the magazine layout, which he transformed according to his own graphic vision, characterized by the clarity and simplicity of the plastic expression. His collaboration with the one considered amongst the greatest graphic designers of the second half of the XXth century was decisive for André Carrara: he perfected his style and then made a lot of very graphic reports with Cieslewitz. Their collaboration was interrupted by a three-year trip to the US where he made reports for Mademoiselle, Glamour... Back in France in the early 1970s, he resumed his collaboration to Elle and published his photos in many magazines like the British, German or Italian editions of Vogue, while becoming one of the main collaborators of the advertising agency MAFIA. In the 1990s, on the request of Anna Wintour, André Carrara worked regularly for the American magazine Allure and other great reviews. However, the years 1980-2000 were above all the days of Marie-Claire and Marie-Claire bis for which he made, in collaboration with Walter Rospert and then Fred Rawiler as art directors, his most beautiful subjects and most beautiful photos.
Isabelle-Cecile Le Mee, scientific director at the mission for photography, French Ministry of Culture