Jan 292013

Leica M9 – Fashion Photographer

by Andy Lee

Hi Steve,

I’d like to share with you some of my work as a fashion and beauty photographer, and how I transitioned to shooting with a digital Leica M camera.

Most photographers are surprised when I tell them I shoot with a Leica M9 for fashion and beauty. I’m not sure why—In my eyes it’s a camera I really enjoy shooting with and it produces amazing files. Sure there are things about it I’d like to see improved, but no camera is ever perfect, and photography is a medium of constraints and compromises.

I started in the industry shooting film on a Mamiya RZ67 ProII medium format camera. I eventually moved to Canon digital SLRs. Canon’s are fantastic cameras to shoot with—super fast, rugged, versatile. But for some reason, I kept looking for something else…

I grew up learning photography shooting with an old rangefinder camera my parents had but never used—I guess what rangefinder cameras mean to me now is a certain familiarity and simplicity in approach to shooting I was first introduced to photography with. So when Leica announced their first digital M in 2006 (Leica M8), I *had* to own one! What followed was the realization of how much I missed shooting with a rangefinder and how few of the bells and whistles I actually used on digital SLRs. I kept shooting with the Leica M8 to the point where it was the only camera I reached for. Eventually I upgraded to a Leica M9 which has a full-frame sensor and delivers even better image quality!

I have been shooting with a digital Leica M camera as my primary camera system of choice since 2008, and am really excited about the new Leica M.

Visit Andy Lee’s website at:


Follow on Twitter: @andyleephoto












  62 Responses to “Leica M9 – Fashion Photographer by Andy Lee”

  1. nice shoot but i don’t understand why you speak about leica M9 , there is a big post production if you shot with canon leica fuji olympus you can have the same results ! show us the raw files that’s the real pictures after it’s only digital treatment

  2. Beautiful portfolio.. There really is an appreciative the value in the style of look a Leica produces compared Canon and Nikon.. Look forward to seeing your next pieces of work with the new M :-)

  3. Beautiful work!

    It’s not the camera though. I shoot beauty & fashion too – with a Nikon D4 – but this is very secondary to my lighting. Lighting is where it’s at, in my opinion. Please see my fan page to view my work.

  4. Great Captures!

    For sure it’s not that easy to trigger strobes as with DSLRs.


  5. Now THIS was something I wanted to see. Been on the fence about dropping all my Nikon gear and switching over to the M. The one area I wasn’t seeing enough about was work like this – strobist / fashion shooting. This is amazing – and has me close to the jump!

    • Just remember, it’s not the camera here – it’s the photographer.

      Intrinsically, the M9 will not produce better files under these sorts of controlled lighting conditions than a contemporary full frame Nikon (or Canon) with pro glass.

  6. Now thats high art at it’s finest!! Bravo Andy! I will take this all day over bikers, tattoo freaks and zombie festivals. Civilization still exists.

  7. Based on the data, M8 with 35mm and M9 with 50mm.

  8. Amdy,

    Stinning work! What lens? Computer fine tuning? Thx!

  9. Wonderful photographs! I am curious to know which lenses were used. 75 and 90mm perhaps? Thanks for sharing!

  10. Images on Andy’s site that definitely should be used in the Leica brochures instead of the rubbish they usually use.

  11. Thanks for sharing such impressive work of yours. The images are unbelievably stunning. I hope Leica in Solms is watching and listening. Andy Lee… is your man!!! Let him work on all your current and future Leicas.. He will amaze you of the photographic images he can create using the right tool, and that is Leica.

  12. hmmm… so if I buy Leica M9, all the models will love me, right?

  13. PS – really enjoy when there is Leica content on the site Mr Huff. Thank you.

  14. is there are particular focal length you prefer for this work? great work.

  15. I am impressed. These photos have a gorgeous, ethereal look!

  16. Thanks everyone for such positive and welcoming feedback!

  17. Fantastic pictures ,
    What really amazed me was the fact that Andy Lee used the M9, I love the M9 and know how good it is, but using it for fashion pictures needs great conviction in this fantastic camera.
    The sharpness of this camera+ lenses is no secret, edding to it the ability to produce these great and different shades whic differ from Nikon Canon colours.
    Mr. Lee also produces dreamy frames that add to the beauty of his models
    Great job

  18. Love your stuff – nice work Andy!!

  19. I’ve recently been seriously thinking of going in the same direction (or almost as I was planing to wait on the 240) but in the end I think it falls on the measly 1/180th flash sync speed. With the type of shooting I do I sometimes find the 1/250th of my Nikon to be to slow, even more so the 1/200th of my OM-D (which is why I really like the X100 and wonder why I ever sold it).

  20. Wow, I’ve seen your work before Andy, and was already a fan – but had no idea so much of it had come out of the M :-) awesome!

  21. I never made a comment in your site before but I couldn’t just ignore this one … brilliant composition coupled with the perfect choice of PP.

  22. The best pictures i have ever seen here. IMHO, They are that good.

  23. Wonderful and packed with beauty and style.

  24. so this is not “street” ; ))
    (i hate “street” .. i wonder if street photographers have their own life .. hunting kissing couples, georgeous teenagers licking candy .. old people feeding pidgeons … )
    i am happy to see real photography.

    thanks steve
    greetings michael

  25. Outstanding, I love them all, especially the third.

    Nice to see some more Leica images, I really enjoy all the contributions but the Leica M submissions are what got me addicted to this site and I’d love to see more.

  26. Wretched predictive text I meant Andy, not any. Apologies.

  27. Fantastic work. Any could you write a posting on your studio and location set up? It would be very informative at least for me.

  28. Love this! Exactly what I will be doing!

  29. Fantastic work , yes it shows the M9 is just as capable as other equipment and of course Andy .
    Great to see.

  30. brilliant work as ever Andy, I agree with a previous post, Leica should get an M240 in your hands straight away!

  31. Aha, aha, aha! Nothing else to say really, the photos say it all!! Leica M9 and more importantly, Andy Lee; ‘Bravo’!!

  32. Awesome work. Poses, light and everything :)

  33. Masterpieces in their style. However, your eye and knowledge the point, not the Leica M9. With the same lighting nobody could recognize the differences if you had take these photos by any other digital camera.

  34. very very nice work

  35. Very impressed – great work

  36. if you understand photography, you can shoot with everything.

  37. Nice work there!

  38. J’adore!

  39. who needs a m240?

    am doing my first studio with the m9/sync flash in a few days..should be interesting

  40. beautiful art. Leica rocks.

  41. Beautiful work Andy and thank you for sharing. And Steve thank you for this true Daily Inspiration. I have been sitting on the Leica fence for the last two years. My last Leica was an M3 over forty years ago. Been surfing the net for Leica pictures and I’m so sick and tired of seeing nothing but out of focus, shallow DOF B&W conversions. That is not what Leica images are about. Andy you have restored my faith in Leica cameras. I’m sure that many people are surprised that you are shooting fashion with an M9, and even more surprised when they see your images. I finally took the plunge Saturday and bought a Leica M-E. I also lust after the new M Monochrom. Rather than wait, I am able to start shooting with the M-E. Also it moved me to the head of the Monochrom list with my dealer.

  42. Wow tough gig!

    But seriously, very, very classy images. Love them!

  43. Wow. Great photography and at the same time showing how good the M9 files are from a technical standpoint. Solms should have given the M to you as a beta tester rather than to some other folks.

  44. High level pro work. On a technical level it really shows what Leica is capable of.

    • Or any other camera for that matter. One could even make these shots with an Olympus E-PM2. Wonderful photos though.

  45. Beautiful and inspiring! Truly examples of why I would like to enter into the realm of fashion photography. High art.
    And this is no diss against the M9 but I don’t think it’s the camera in this case. It’s the photographer having a near flawless vision.
    Steve, more fashion inspirations if you can please!!

  46. Now this is photography!!!! Recording of light and emotion….love it!

  47. Wow,great work Andy, what triggers do you use for your Leica? If I may ask

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