One might say that to be at the top of one’s game is a wonderfully safe place to be. After all, once you’ve made it, all you have to do is maintain it. And maintaining it is easy – access to the best models (new and established), stylists and hair & makeup teams, guarantees beautiful, current, inspirational editorials, time after time. So when a photographer goes out of their way to tackle controversial subjects to make statements and change opinions, we have to respect them for this.

Steven Meisel is one such photographer:

He used his influence among the fashion elite to create an issue of Vogue that would show only black models. The issue was released in July 2008 with the purpose of addressing the racism seen lately in fashion magazines, runways, and advertising campaigns.

Italian Vogue All Black issue

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He shot Madonna’s 1992 book ‘Sex’, featuring images that were very graphic, but equally beautiful and some even tender.

Madonna's 'Sex' book, 1992

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And recently he tackled the very timely issue of oil spills with a no-holds-barred editorial for Italian Vogue, with Kristen Mcmenamy looking like a bird swept ashore, laden down by thick oil.

Italian Vogue Water & Oil

And that’s why Steven Meisel is the revered photographer that he is.