Melvin Sokolsky

Melvin Sokolsky

2003 Honoree: Achievement in Fashion Photography


Heri Cartier-BressonMelvin Sokolsky joined the prestigious staff at Harper’s Bazaar at the age of twenty-one, beginning what would become one of the most influential careers in the world of photography.

In the early 1960’s, the time of his initiation into the halls of Harper’s Bazaar, Sokolsky photographed celebrities and fashion stars including Lauren Hutton, Chet Baker, Dustin Hoffman, Zero Mostel, Ali MacGraw (who worked for Sokolsky as his stylist and producer for seven years) Twiggy, Jane Fonda, Nancy Allen, Racquel Welch, and Julie Christy. All found their way into Sokolsky’s East 39th street studio.

By 1969, Melvin became fascinated with the world of television commercials and began a career as a commercial director /cameraman. He went on to receive 25 Clio Awards as well every major TV commercial award, including the distinguished Directors Guild nomination.

In 1972, Sokolsky was charged with photographing the entire editorial content of McCall’s Magazine, a first in the world of photography.

In 1973, Melvin received an Academy Award nomination for a computerized zoom lens which he designed.
Sokolsky’s foray into commercials did not completely remove Sokolsky from the world of fashion photography and he continues to photograph for the major glossies today. He is frequently asked to shoot for fashion magazines such as GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Italian Vogue, Flaunt, and Wallpaper to name a few.

Additional honors which he has been bestowed with include being named as an honorary Professor of Photography by the Japanese Graphic Society. The Victoria and Albert Museum also has placed many of his photographs in their permanent collection, and in 1995 Canon USA named Sokolsky as one of their ambassadors of photography known as “The Explorers of Light.” Recently the Louvre has added Melvin’s images to it’s permanent collection. He has always been a photographer’s photographer allowing his photographs to speak for themselves rather than the route of self-promotion. He feels a great honor in receiving this award from so many of his peers and colleagues.

Purchase an iconic image by Melvin Sokolsky through Lucie Editions here.