Inside the Life of Slim Aarons

Self-described as a journalist with a camera, Slim Aarons turned photographing the rich and famous into an art form.

Via Homes to Love 


Barbados, 1976 | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images

Before social media, there was Slim Aarons. A New Yorker armed with charisma and a camera, Slim spent the mid-20th century documenting the never-before-seen lives of celebrities and socialites in their Mediterranean holiday homes and behind the scenes of Beverly Hills afterparties. His famous subjects and friends – it’s impossible to list them without name-dropping: Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe – granted him access to their rarefied social circles and posed in front of his lens without make-up artists, artificial lights or airbrushing.


Bahamas, 1957 | Acabo Islander, 1986

Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images


Laguna Beach, 1970 | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images

But Slim’s day to day wasn’t always châteaus and Champagne. Born George Allen Aarons, Slim trained as a photographer in the army. His time on the battlefield gave him the opportunity to work with well-known photojournalists and a taste of life abroad, but having witnessed the horrors of war he vowed to only take pictures of “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places”. So, at the end of WWII, a young Slim headed to Rome where he worked for Life magazine, which was known for the quality of its photography.


Buzios, Brazil, 1983. | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images


Mr and Mrs Donald Leas, Palm Beach, 1968| Palm Beach, 1959

Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images


Desert House Party, 1970 | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images

It was Hollywood’s Golden Age, the economy was booming, and his large-format colour portraits soon appeared in the most prestigious publications. Snapping the likes of Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy meant summers were spent in Capri, winters in the Swiss Alps. The combination of great genes and glamorous locations made for iconic images that still inspire photographers and fashion magazines today, and unsurprisingly, continue to trend on social media feeds.



Catherine Wilke, Capri, 1980 | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images


Saint-Tropez, on the French Riviera, August 1971 | Cannes, 1958

Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images



Hotel Du Cap Eden-roc, 1976 | Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images




Slim Aarons Women | Poolside with Slim Aarons 


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