Hiro Biography


Hiro (Yasuhiro Wakabayashi), is a Japanese-American fashion photographer, born in China to Japanese parents who later returned to Japan. He moved to New York in 1954 and in 1956-7 assisted Richard Avedon. The years 1958-60 brought him to Alexey Broditch, whose personal assistant he became, and from whom he received both influence and encouragement. Combining simple but elegant design with sophisticated technique and striking colour, he opened his own New York studio in 1958, receiving commissions from Harper's and other fashion magazines.

Within only a few years, Hiro became a star fashion photographer in his own right. He made significant contributions as a staff photographer to Harper's Bazaar from 1956 to 1975, and was named Photographer of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Photographers in 1969. One of his early celebrated photographs is a 1963 image of a Harry Winston diamond necklace placed on a bovine hoof. Surreal and unique, Hiro's photographs are noted for their elegance and clean appearance. These qualities are established by the use of uncommon lighting, the juxtaposition of unexpected elements, and his signature use of color. Hiro is well known for his unique aesthetic, extreme originality, and the precision of execution of his vision. The trade magazine American Photographer devoted an entire issue to him in 1982. His work extends beyond fashion and advertising to personal explorations, including portraits, children, and landscapes.