Gered Mankowitz was born in London, England, on 3rd August 1946. The first of four sons of the late author, playwright and film writer Wolf Mankowitz and his wife, the Jungian psychotherapist Ann Mankowitz.
After an education of sorts at several London co-educational "progressive" schools, he left at 15, avoiding all exams and completed his education devoid of any formal qualifications. Having displayed a natural 'eye' for photography whilst on a school trip to Holland and having been inspired to take up photography by the actor Peter Sellers, his photographs were seen by the legendary photographer Tom Blau, who offered Gered an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press Ltd., in London. Over a period of several months Gered worked in all the various departments that made up Camera Press, finally moving to the studio and going on various assignments in and around London.
In 1963 he opened his own studio in London’s West End, and found himself immersed in a groundbreaking music scene. He was eventually approached to travel with and photograph the Rolling Stones on their 1965 American Tour. He became close to the band members and continued to function as their official photographer until 1967. Mankowitz was their photographer and friend, not only responsible for some of the band's most memorable and candid photographs, but for shooting the covers of their Between the Buttons and December's Children albums.
In 1967, Mankowitz shot the Jimi Hendrix Experience during two sessions at his Mason’s Yard studio. Hendrix was taking London by storm, beginning the journey that would establish him as one of the most influential and charismatic rock stars of all time. The resulting images have become some of the best-known and often-used portraits of Hendrix seen on album & CD covers, DVDs, posters and other merchandise.
He also has photographed such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Idol, Gary Glitter, Dave Edmunds, Annie Lennox, Slade, Duran Duran, Traffic, Free, The Small Faces, Soft Machine, Slade, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, Elton John, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, ABC, and The Yardbirds.
SFAE hosted a two-man show featuring Gered's important work alongside famed Beatles photographer Robert Freeman in 2000, one of the earliest Rock Photography exhibitions in the history of the genre.
Gered Mankowitz has continued taking pictures for the advertising and music industry, and is still based at his North London studio. He has contributed regularly to Mojo magazine, and still photographs bands for album covers such as Oasis, The Verve, Catatonia, Kula Shaker and more. Mankowitz's world-wide fame grows daily due to his wide-reaching contributions to pop-culture. His work is sold in galleries and held in museum collections worldwide.
In 2019 he began working on a televised documentary series titled ICON: Music Through The Lens - a six-part series delving into the art of Rock Photography and the impact it has had on our culture. The series was aired in the UK in 2020 on Sky Arts and in 2021 on PBS in the USA. SFAE was proud to participate and honored to be a part of this incredible story.