Internationally acclaimed English photographer Gered Mankowitz, is probably best known for his candid portraits of The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, alongside creating iconic music imagery over the past 50 years. He was born in London in 1946, to Wolf Mankowitz, a leading film writer, playwright and author.
He left school at 15 without qualifications, but having displayed a natural ‘eye’ for photography, whilst on a school trip to Holland and was encouraged to take up photography the legendary actor Peter Sellers. Gered’s photographs were then seen by the photographer Tom Blau, who offered him an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press in London.
Within a few months Mankowitz had already begun to make a name for himself and was approached to photograph a young and beautiful Marianne Faithfull. This was to lead onto him creating legendary and iconic images, of the likes of The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Free, The Yardbirds and The Small Faces.
“This photograph of Marianne Faithfull in the Salisbury Pub in London’s St. Martins Lane, is probably one of the most important photographs I have taken. I had known Marianne for a few months having met her when she was promoting her first single … (in) 1964, and had immediately fallen under her spell. She was gorgeous, bright & funny…”
“After a few months of taking photographs and hanging out I suggested that we shoot a session in the Salisbury with my eye on producing an image for an album cover … This shot was one of my favourites – the composition, those socks – it just looked gorgeous, but Decca Records rejected it … They ended up using a far less interesting image from the same session and this shot lounged in my archive, unseen until the 80s.”
“However, her manager … loved the session and as a result asked me to shoot with his other band – The Rolling Stones. I shot my first session with the band in early 65 and continued to work with them regularly until 1967. So, because of my shoot with Marianne I came to the attention of one of the most exciting bands of the time and my career as a music photographer was established”! – Gered Mankowitz
In the Seventies, Mankowitz photographed the likes of Kate Bush and Elton John, and continued making iconic photographs of Eurythmics, ABC, Duran Duran, The Jam, Wham! and Kim Wilde in the Eighties.