Anton Corbijn (born 20 May 1955) is a Dutch photographer, music video director and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both bands over three decades.
Corbijn began his career as a music photographer when he saw the Dutch musician Herman Brood playing in a café in Groningen around 1975. He took a lot of photographs of the band Herman Brood & His Wild Romance and these led to a rise in fame for Brood and in exposure for Corbijn.
From the late 1970s the London-based New Musical Express (NME), a weekly music paper, featured his work on a regular basis and would often have a photograph by him on the front page. One such occasion was a portrait of David Bowie wearing a loincloth backstage in New York when starring in The Elephant Man.. In the early years of London-based The Face, a glossy monthly post-punk life style / music magazine, Corbijn was a regular contributor. He made his name photographing in black-and-white but in May 1989 he began taking pictures in colour using filters. His first venture in this medium was for Siouxsie Sioux. Between 1998-2000, in collaboration with the painter Marlene Dumas, he worked on a project called “Stripping Girls”, which took the strip clubs and peep shows of Amsterdam as their subject; while Corbijn later exhibited photographs, Dumas took Polaroids which she then used as sources for her paintings.
Corbijn has photographed Bob Dylan, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Prāta Vētra, Peter Hammill, Miles Davis, Björk, Captain Beefheart, Kim Wilde, Marc Almond, Robert De Niro, Stephen Hawking, Elvis Costello, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, Peter Murphy, Simple Minds, Clint Eastwood, The Cramps, Roxette, Herbert Grönemeyer, Annie Lennox, and Eurythmics, amongst others. Perhaps his most famous and longest standing association is with U2, which includes taking pictures of the band on their first US tour, taking pictures for their albums The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums (et al.), and directing a number of accompanying videos. Other album covers featuring work by Corbijn include those for Springsteen, Nick Cave, Siouxsie’s second band The Creatures, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Therapy?, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, The Killers, Simple Minds, R.E.M., The Bee Gees, Saybia, Clannad and Moke.