Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Albert studied graphic design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, and film and television at the Royal College of Art in London. Though blind in one eye since birth, Albert studied photography as part of his curriculum. In 1970, he moved to the United States where Albert began shooting photos, mostly as a hobby. Later that year, Albert met an art director at Max Factor, who offered him his first test session. Albert’s distinctive style eventually caught the attention of American and European fashion magazines such as Mademoiselle, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar, which booked him for a shoot with Alfred Hitchcock, the first celebrity Albert ever photographed. In 1976, Albert landed his first job for Vogue, and with his move to New York that same year, his career took off.
Albert Watson has since made his mark as one of the world’s most successful and prolific photographers since he began his career in 1970, blending art, fashion and commercial photography into some of the most iconic images ever seen. From portraits of Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Jobs, beauty shots of Kate Moss, to Las Vegas landscapes and still-life photographs of King Tutankhamen artifacts, Albert’s diversity and body of work are unparalleled. His striking photographs and stunning hand-made prints are featured in galleries and museums around the globe. The photo industry bible, Photo District News, named Albert one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time, along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, among others.
His immense career has won him numerous honors, including a Lucie Award, a Grammy Award, three Andys, a Der Steiger Award, a Hasselblad Masters Award; and the Centenary Medal, a lifetime achievement award from the Royal Photographic Society. Queen Elizabeth II awarded the Scotsman an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2015 for his lifetime contribution to the art of photography.