Walde Huth, born 29 January 1923, was a German photographer, known especially for her work in the fashion industry and for her street-style composition.
Huth was born in Stuttgart, Germany. At seventeen years of age, she began attending the state school of applied arts Bauhaus Universität, in Weimar, where she studied under esteemed photographer and professor Walter Hege. She was Hege's pupil for three years (1940-1943).
Huth then began working for Agfa Wolfen, a film distribution plant contemporarily known as ORWO. There, she worked until 1945 as a colour photography developer. Huth was a member of the German Society for Photography and the Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler (Federal Association of Visual Artists).
Huth founded a studio of her own in Esslingen (district), called the "Artistic Photo Workshop". Here, she would display her portrait, art, and theater photography. However, her most prized work, perhaps, was her fashion photography. Huth got the chance to travel the world this way, her most iconic work coming from her adventures in Paris, France. Working out in the cities and on the streets instead of in the studio, Huth attracted a lot of attention from big-name magazines like Vogue.
"For three years between 1953 and 1956, she traveled to Paris, Florence, and Rome to photograph the latest collections for German magazines. Her models were the stars of the era; instead of positioning them in luxurious settings, she placed them around the city, surrounded by passersby. “I had no need to refer to locations,” she later explained about her photographs of evening gowns that were not taken in the opera or in a ballroom. “I saw it in terms of lines, forms, design, in terms of the dress.” She also wanted to get away from the sweet kitsch of smiling models. Her photographs are carefully composed and depict self-confident women whose clothing becomes a form that corresponds to the architecture of the city."
Rejecting an offer of a contract by Vogue, Huth instead co-founded "Schmölz and Huth" with her husband, Karl Hugo Schmölz. Schmölz, also a photographer, was a member of the same Photographer's society as Walde. Perhaps due to Karl's interest in Architectural photography, the two built their business into a furniture and interior architecture and design studio.
Schmölz and Huth quickly became prominent in the furnishing industry, the leading firm for photography and advertising. The space would serve as an advertising and public relations hub in Cologne, Germany. It stayed in business until closing in 1986, and remains one of Huth's biggest successes.
Walde Huth died 11 November 2011, aged 88. She is best remembered for her Paris fashion photography, her work with creations by Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Givenchy and Maggy Rouff: the world famous “New Look”.
"Graceful, style-conscious, with a sharp eye and wit, inspired and inspiring, Walde Huth remains one of the great intellects of German photography."