Photographer John Stember (British-American) is most known for his work as a fashion photographer, having frequently created work for Vogue, Bazaar, Marie Claire, Glamour magazines, and more recently for his fine art photography in Tahiti. He was born to an English family just outside London at the end of WWII It is reputed that Stember first became enamored with female beauty as a subject for his work in the 1960’s on meeting the stunning young supermodel Jean Shrimpton with David Bailey as a teenager, while working as an apprentice to fashion photographer John French in London. He subsequently opened his first photography studio in West Hampstead, London at age 19.
He soon began working with Queen, Harpers Bazaar magazines in London and shortly after was invited to go to Paris to work for Les Jardin des Modes, Elle, Marie Claire, and French Vogue. In 1968 he directed his first documentary film about Jean-Luc Godard (Voices) and he featured in Godard’s film with the Rolling Stones (One plus One or Sympathy for the Devil). In 1969 he moved to New York to work for Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Life and many other publications. In 1972 he made his second film ‘7254’ that was recognized and shown at the MoMa in NY, Bergamo Film Festival and Cinemateque in Paris.
During the 1970s to 1990s as his reputation grew, he frequently traveled throughout the world on assignments. However, at the height of his professional career he found himself becoming increasingly focused on his personal work more than on his fashion photography. As a result in 2001 he found himself sailing his boat from his home in New York City the 7,000 miles to Tahiti in French Polynesia. Desiring to immerse himself in primitive nature and concentrate on developing his personal work and passion for the beauty of woman and her sacred relationship to the Earth.
Stember’s first book in Tahiti ‘Te Hine Manea’ was published in French Polynesia (2004) paying homage to the mysterious beauty of the Tahitian Woman and the all powerful spiritual force of ancient Tahiti called the ‘Mana’.
His latest book ‘T A H I T I – Rai Fenua’ (2013). Is the result of an accumulation of dreams, visions and cognitions whilst living on his boat in a Tahitian lagoon for many years. He captures the beauty of the female form and her relationship with the earth during humanity’s infancy at the dawn of time.
Tahiti and her islands are Stember’s base and source of inspiration, although he frequently returns to New York for work and to visit family. Otherwise he’s traveling the world in continual pursuit of beauty developing his artistic vision and creativity.
TE HINE MANEA (Polynesian Woman) – John Stember – Amazon.com – 2004
T A H I T I (Ra’I Fenua) – John Stember – Amazon.com – 2014
G I A – (Super Model 1980’s) – John Stember – Amazon.com – 2014
John Stember is Officially sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.