I am a portrait photographer currently residing in New York City. My first photographs were photographs that talked - "audiographs" - which were photographs that had looped cassettes behind a framed image, and photographs that moved - "kinetographs" - which were photographs that were attached to moving motors.

I photographed a documentary on Studio 54, the New York disco, in 1978, and they were included in an exhibition at the International Center of Photography, "Fleeting Gestures: Treasures of Dance Photography." I seriously became involved with formal studio portraiture in 1979, and since have photographed many of the world's indigenous people - referred to as my "Social Studies" series - including Haitians, Austrailian Aboriginals, Native Americans, Scandinavian Lapplanders, Israeli Druzim, Moroccan Berbers, Peruvian Quechua, The Traditional Dutch, Mexican Tarahumara, Lacandon, and Huichol, Alaskan Eskimos, Malaysian Penan, African Pygmy, Turkish Kurds, Panamanian Cuna and Chocoe, Brasilian Caraja, and Spanish Gypsies. In addition to these backdrop portraits, I have photographed in 2 1/4 black and white reportage style, which stand on their own, but are companions to the more formal work.

In 1992, I was invited to photograph the world's tribal leaders at Earth Summit, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, so many other tribes are represented in addition to the "Social Studies" series. I was asked by the United Nations and United States Congress in November of 1994 to exhibit this work in the United States Senate Rotunda, as part of the UN's Year of the Indigenous People. I prefer to exhibit IRIS prints with my images.

In addition to this personal work, I have worked extensively in commercial the photography. I have photographed 15 Time Magazine covers including portaits of all the living Presidents, as well as Clinton's Man of the Year Cover. I have photographed Michael Ovitz and Jerry Garcia for Newsweek covers.

I have photographed several world leaders, including Yassir Arafat, Benezir Bhutto, and Prince Phillip. I have won several awards through assignments for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Washington andPost Magazine, and Rolling Stone Magazine. I have completed major advertising campaigns for Nike, Federal Express, Tranamerica, Japan Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I have done major corporate campaigns for MerrillLynch, The Washington Post, The Ford Motor Company, McDonnell Douglas, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and The Robin Hood Foundation.

I recently photographed the 1997 Annual Report for the New York Times Company, and a special brochure for the Harvard Business School. I have an extensive catalog of environmental portrait color images, the collection including numerous celebrities and politicians.

I have directed European television commercials for Danone Yogurt, the first of which was filmed over the course of two months around the
world, and the latest, a series of four commercials from the south of France. I have begun to film when I now undertake an ethnographic still portait project. I have worked for 8 years with the fashion designer Issey Miyake of Japan, doing men's fashion portraits for the Japanese market. I have photographed numerous album covers, including Bette Midler, Wynton Marsalis, and Yo-Yo-Ma. I have produced several book images, most recently the covers of the Abbie Hoffman and Keith Haring books.

I am currently working on completing a book of my personal ethnographic work. I have an extensive doll collection and through their graciousness, have been allowed to photograph them with state-of-the-art 4x5 digital equipment. I had a major exhibition in 1995 at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Ethnographic Pictures. In addition to the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, my work can also be viewed at the Fahey-Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, California, and the Baudoin Lebon Gallery in Paris, France.

An extensive website has been developed under http://www.williamcoupon.com which shows the classic portrait and environmental work, along with the "dolls".


© 1998 William Coupon