Arthur Elgort is an American fashion photographer best known for his work with Vogue magazine. Elgort was born in Brooklyn, the son of Sophie (Didimamoff) and Harry Elgort, who owned a restaurant. He is of Russian-Jewish heritage. He was raised in New York City. He attended Stuyvesant High School and then Hunter College, where he studied painting. Today, he lives in New York City with his wife, Grethe Barrett Holby, who is a producer, stage director, choreographer, and dramaturge, and three children; his son is actor Ansel Elgort.
Elgort began his career working as a photo assistant to Gus Peterson, whose natural shooting style greatly contributed to the lively and casual style Elgort is known for. He also attributes much of his style to a lifelong love of music and dance, particularly jazz and ballet.
Elgort’s 1971 debut in British Vogue created a sensation in the Fashion Photography world where his soon-to-be iconic “snapshot” style and emphasis on movement and natural light liberated the idea of fashion photography. In September 2008, he told Teen Vogue that he credited Mademoiselle for his big break: “They were really brave and gave me a chance. It was the first time I was shooting a cover instead of a half-page here or there.” From there, he rose to fame working for such elite magazines as International and American Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Teen Vogue and shooting advertising campaigns with fashion labels Chanel, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. Elgort became one of the most well-known and emulated photographers in the world. His early body of work from the 1970s and 1980s is often considered representative of the fashion industry at the time.
Elgort still works for fashion publications, as well as working on his most recent 2009 advertising campaigns with Via Spiga and Liz Claiborne with Isaac Mizrahi.