Michel Comte
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • More contexts


During the past 25 years of Swiss photographer Michel Comte’s career, renowned magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview, Stern and GQ, have been publishing his images and portraits of the most beautiful women and world’s most significant artists of our time alike. What has gradually evolved, is an astonishing collection of work of great intimacy and understanding; images which allow an exceptional insight into the soul of whom Comte is portraying. Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and bestseller-author, once said: “Regardless whether Michel has a Hollywood celebrity or an orphan from the Third World in front of his lens, he takes both their pictures with the same sincerity and devotion.”

Michel Comte Intimacies is a Homage to women. Whether clothed by the most talented designers from New York to Paris or fragile with delicate bareness, Michel Comte always manages with his lens, to steal a glance behind the façade into the depths of ones character, to reveal that one little secret we were trying so hard to conceal. The foundation, and ultimately also the secret behind every one of his shoots is the dialogue between the photographer and his model: Comte’s photographs are never a planned staging, but much more the result of a silent understanding and mutual respect between two people. Perhaps this is why so many of his most important images he captured not in the cold atmosphere of a studio, but rather in the familiarity and comfort of his own room at the Hotel Ritz in Paris.
1953born in Zurich. Trained to be professional art restorer
Photography as a profession came to Comte auto didactically
1978 Comte receives his first international photographic assignment for Paris based fashion-labels Ungaro and Chloé
1979Comte leave Switzerland and moves to Paris
1981Comte relocates to New York, where he beings to work for the American Vogue, later settling down in Los Angeles. During a fashion shoot Comte meets model Dominique Kamber
since 1981Editorially Comte works mainly for the publishing group Condé Nast During this time he not only works as a fashion- but also a celebrity photographer, portraying stars from the worlds of fashion, arts, entertainment, music and sports, from Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger and Jennifer Lopez, over Robert Altman, Sting and Jeremy Irons, to Julian Schnabel or Jeff Koons.
since 1999Michel Comte travels to and works in war-zones and unstable regions such as the Tibet, Iraq, Afghanistan or Bosnia as photographer for the International Red Cross. In collaboration with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) various Charity-projects develop
2003Michel Comte photographs the campaign of his first own fragrance: Michel Comte Shared Water
2004founding of the, Michel Comte Water Foundation, which functions as a charitable foundation under the supervision of the Swiss government, of which the purpose is to help supply and provide possibilities for people in developing countries to have access to clean drinking water
2007Comte begins his first international film project as director of an Hollywood production

Exhibitions (Selection)

Guggenheim Museum in Venice

Centro Internazionale di Fotografia in Verona

Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Te Neues Publishing: Michel Comte, Twenty Years: 1979-1999, 1999

Te Neues Publishing: Michel Comte: Kontraste/Contrasts Portfolio (Stern Portfolio Library), 1999

Steidl Verlag: People and Places with no Name, 2000

Steidl Verlag: Aiko T, 2002

Steidl Verlag: Charlie Chaplin: A Photo Diary, 2002

Steidl Verlag: Michael Schumacher: Driving Force, 2003

Random House: Schumacher, 2003

Steidl Verlag: Michael by Michel, 2004

BMW AG: MWB Sauber F1 Team, 2006

Essays/Articles (Selection)


Vogue Italia

American Vogue

Vogue Germany



Vanity Fair


GQ Magazine

Additional Information

Clients and advertising campaigns:



Gianfranco Ferré










Illy Café

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