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3 August 1946
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3 August 1946
Gered Mankowitz (Born 3 August 1946) is an English photographer who focused his career in the music industry. He has worked with a large number of well-known artists, from The Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix, and many of his photographs became the covers of these artists’ most successful albums. He has worked in all divisions of the photography industry including fashion, music, advertising, news, and private photography. He has worked from his own gallery in North London for the past 22 years. 
Gered Mankowitz was born as the first of four sons on 3 August 1946 in London, England, to the late English writer Wolf Mankowitz and Ann Margaret Seligman. After attending multiple schools throughout his education, Mankowitz dropped out of school at 15 years of age, without any proper qualifications. However, his natural photography gifts were discovered on a school trip to the Netherlands by the famous photographer Tom Blau. Blau offered Mankowitz an apprenticeship, and after a few months on the job, he had worked in all the departments, and began taking assignments. In 1962, Mankowitz began taking photos professionally in Barbados, and when he returned to London, he took a position in the Parisian fashion world, but quickly realized that that style of photography was not for him. In 1963, he broke into the music photography industry, and felt at home being able to work with artists his own age. At the end of that same year, Mankowitz opened his own studio. 
After only a few months, Mankowitz began working with Marianne Faithfull and The Rolling Stones, and was asked to go on tour with The Rolling Stones. After his stint on tour, he had the opportunity to work with Jimi Hendrix, Free, Traffic, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Soft Machine, Slade, Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, Elton John, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, ABC, and Duran Duran. In 1982, Mankowitz was featured in an exhibition at London’s Famous Photographer’s Gallery, and had his work viewed by over 16,000 people. This exhibition then toured the U.K. for 2 years. For the next 22 years, Mankowitz was based in his North London Studio, mainly working in the advertising industry, and contributing to major publications. He still works in the music industry, and regularly works with major newspapers and magazines. His work is being shown and sold in galleries throughout the world.
When asked if he thought that his work influenced the image of the Rolling Stones, Mankowitz replied: "I think I contributed a lot when I did the cover of the album Between the Buttons. My contribution in the earlier sessions was based more on an honesty, a desire to communicate something about the Stones as people and not try and mask their personalities with any sort of technical or theatrical embellishments. I think that that’s why (their manager) Andrew (Loog Oldham) liked the pictures and why the band were happy to work with me for such a long period of time, because I photographed them as they were. And then when it came to Between the Buttons, I felt confident enough as a photographer and in my relationship with them to actually make a contribution." 
Mankowitz’s photographs of Jimi Hendrix didn’t gain popularity until several years after they were taken. They were taken in black and white, which was Gered’s typical style, but Jimi’s manager insisted on color photographs for album covers. Therefore, the pictures were not revealed to the public until 1992, when Mankowitz had his first solo exhibition in London. The collection of Jimi Hendrix photos struck people, and the pictures quickly gained popularity. They have been especially influential, and appear on books, record covers, and magazines. 
John Varvatos, a well-known men's fashion designer, wrote this about a photo taken by Mankowitz: "This is from a series of photos Gered Mankowitz did with Jimi in 1967 at Mason's Yard in London. That series may be the most important pictures to me. I have a big, limited-edition print of that photo behind my desk. I look at it every day when I come in. There was nobody that looked like that when Jimi came on the scene, and there are not very many people who could pull that look off."