The prolific German photographer and fashion legend Peter Lindbergh died on Tuesday at the age of 74. Lindbergh's official Instagram account announced the news on Wednesday morning, which was followed in a matter of minutes by a flood of tributes from dozens of his most legendary subjects and collaborators. Lindbergh was revered for his black-and-white, monumental style—one that spanned industries in its impact, and was most famously showcased in his iconic January 1990 cover of British Vogue starring a megawatt grouping of supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford.
One of his Lindbergh's final published projects was a portfolio of portraits taken at the request of Meghan Markle, for her guest-edited issue of British Vogue. "There is no other photographer she considered to bring this meaningful project to life," read a tribute that the Duchess and Duke of Sussex's Instagram account posted on Wednesday. To Markle, a large part of Lindbergh's appeal lay in his reticence towards Photoshop, in favor of his signature "natural" style. (At the time, he gamely followed Markle's instructions to make sure freckles were visible in his portraits: "That was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles," he told British Vogue in July.)
Lindbergh was also, as the New York Times's fashion critic Vanessa Friedman put it, "the man who made the Pirelli calendar a makeup-free zone," launching its current post-pinup era through his un-retouched portraits of stars like Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, and Helen Mirren. A frequent contributor to W, Lindbergh photographed many of the same stars for this magazine; the previous year, he captured 31 actors, including everyone from Richard Gere to Charlize Theron to Jacob Tremblay to Alicia Vikander, for W's annual Best Performances issue.
Still, even as Lindbergh increasingly turned his lens towards Hollywood, he was never far from the fashion industry's mind: Christy Turlington even posted a photo he'd taken of her on Tuesday—in a tragic coincidence, the same day as his death.
Turlington's fellow stars in Lindbergh's iconic Vogue cover quickly posted tributes the following morning, starting with Linda Evangelista, who shared that she was "heartbroken"—a sentiment which Debi Mazar, Anna Sui, and Bethann Hardison echoed in the comments. Naomi Campbell and Karlie Kloss wrote that they were heartbroken in tributes of their own; the latter also noted that Lindbergh was the first-ever film photographer with whom she worked. "We've lost a legend," the model Karen Elson wrote. "He took images that made women look as beautiful as they really are without smoke and mirrors, there is a vulnerability and also such strength in his photos."
They were far from the only ones to express their grief about Lindbergh's loss; tributes by fashion figures such as the photographer Mert Alas and the model Coco Rocha soon followed, as did Rihanna.
Meanwhile, the actor and up-and-coming photographer Cole Sprouse shared what it was like to watch Lindbergh behind the scenes.
From the look of it, there was only ever one big-name subject that made the photographer ill at ease: himself. In addition to Photoshop and retouching, Lindbergh wasn't one to mince words about his thoughts on selfies, either; he described them as "actually pretty much the stupidest thing that there is at all" in 2017.