Rankin is the working name of John Rankin Waddell who was born in Glasgow in 1966 and is an English fashion and portrait photographer. He grew up in Hertfordshire and while studying at Brighton Polytechnic, he realized that his interest lies in photography. So, he joined the Barnfield College, Luton, United Kingdom and later went to London College of Printing. Meanwhile, Rankin met Jefferson Hack and once they graduated, together they started a magazine titled Dazed & Confuse.
In 1999, the two became the founder of a production company known as, Dazed Film & TV. It was the first to broadcast a mast-head television special, Renegade TV Gets Dazed. Rankin then in 2000 launched RANK, a quarterly fashion magazine. The Dazed Group also publishes Another Man, HUNGER and Another Magazine.
By the Royal Photographic Society, Rankin was awarded an Honorary Fellowship. He has photographed many celebrities such as Kate Moss, Spice Girls, Lily Allen, Britney Spears, Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett, Queen Elizabeth II, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Juliette Binoche, Björ and more.
In 2009, Rankin invited people from all over the United Kingdom to participate in Rankin Live, his project. In the same year, Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion – Rankin’s one hour documentary was broadcasted by BBC Four. In the documentary, Rankin paid tribute to the iconic photographs of Erwin Blumenfeld, Helmut Newton, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Guy Bourdin and Richard Avedon. He had a dialogue with a range of models, photographers and assistants, also models like Erin O’Connor, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Daphne Guinness, Mollie Gondi, David Gandy, Jade Parfit and Heidi Klum – contemporary models. In April, Rankin and Trevor Home Architects created and designed a contemporary structure, Annroy – Rankin’s personal photographic studio, living space and gallery.
In addition to his great work profile, Rankin has taken photographs of many famous people of Hollywood and has done campaigns for well-known brands like, Coca Cola, Levi’s, BMW, H&M, Dove, Hugo Boss, L’Oreal, Rimmel, Nike, Reebok, Longchamp Aussi, Marks and Spencer’s and many other.
Rankin visited South Africa in 2010 with BBC to make a documentary titled, South Africa in Pictures. In the same year, Nike and Bono’s R.E.D commissioned Rankin to shoot for Nike’s global campaign to fight and spread awareness against HIV/AIDS. The campaign was called, Lace Up Save Lives.
A year later, in 2011 Rankin became the photography teacher in Jamie’s Dream School, a series by Channel 4. In the same period, he also presented America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine, a documentary by BBC Four. Then in 2012, Rankin re-shot Liquorice – a music video by Azealia Bank. Later he worked for Cheryl Cole’s music video – Ghetto Baby.
Apart from this, Rankin has worked for Dove and Rimmel, for their television commercials along with Chris Cottam. The two also made a gangster film, The Lives of the Saints, shot in London. They have made promotional music videos for Nelly Furtado, Robyn, The Noisettes, Kelis, The Enemy, and Marina and the Diamonds.
Rankin provided his services to the Britain’s Missing Top Model, a reality show. Rankin was a guest judge at Germany’s Next Top Model and he also shot the event. He often works with Lianna Fowler, the winner of the program’s cycle 2.
Other than all the glamorous side of his work, he did campaigns for Women’s Aid, a charity organization.