Always in step with the prevailing cultural zeitgeist, Rankin is an acclaimed photographer whose commercial images create disruptive campaigns for top global brands and whose unmistakable personal work regularly ascends to iconic status. Born John Rankin Wadell, 1966 in Glasgow, Rankin has launched and published widely influential magazines like Dazed & Confused, Rank and AnOther Magazine. For seven weeks in 2009 with his Rankin Live project he photographed people straight off the street, completing one shoot every 15 minutes, with the portraits printed and hung within 30 minutes. He photographed over 1,000 people for the project, with each subject getting a print of their portrait to take away
In January 2014, BBC Four broadcast his documentary Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion, in which he created tributes to images by Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, David Bailey and Guy Bourdin. He interviewed a number of original photographers, models and assistants, and used contemporary models including Heidi Klum, Erin O'Connor, Jade Parfitt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Tuuli Shipster, Mollie Gondi, Daphne Guinness and David Gandy
A tireless entrepreneur, publisher, filmmaker, and mentor, his work is published worldwide and is exhibited in galleries including MoMA, New York, and the Victoria & Albert museum, London.