Denis Piel is a photographer and film director. Piel started his career in Brisbane Australia in 1961 apprenticed to be a litho printer. In 1962 he started work as an assistant in commercial photography studio. In 1967 started his own studio shooting everything from portraits to industrial sites and then moved to Melbourne where he specialized in fashion shooting for magazines Pol and Vogue Australia before moving to Europe in the early seventies where he worked for Votre Beauté, Elle, Marie Claire and for the advertising division of French Vogue. He moved to America in the late 1970s when offered a contract by Alexander Liberman after seeing a shoot shot for the New York Times Magazine, to work primarily for Vogue and other Condé Nast publications. In addition to his fashion and beauty shoots he shot many portraits of actors/ actresses as well as artists, dancers for Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ as well as Rolling Stone. He has also worked as an advertising photographer with Revlon, Estée Lauder, Donna Karan and many other cosmetic and fashion houses. He won the Leica Medal of Excellence for Commercial Photography in 1987.
He was inspired to work as a film director after being asked to act as a technical advisor on the film Exposed by James Toback with Rudolf Nureyev and Nastassja Kinski with Ian McShane playing a fashion photographer. He subsequently enrolled at New York University where he undertook a two year part time course in writing and film directing. He opened his film company Jupiter Films in the mid 1980s and worked with Window Productions in Sydney Australia, Frog Film in France and PetersenNauman in Germany.
He produced and directed his first feature length documentary Love Is Blind in the early 1990s. Most recently he has concentrated on personal photography and film projects, Premier Oeil, PLATESCAPES, and nhis multi-faceted FACESCAPES which combine photography and film to look at the commonality between people.
Piel now lives in southwest France with his wife and son where he is an artist in residence at the PADIES Culture & Cultures Festival.