Avedon was first known as a fashion photographer, where he was due to its imaginative design, groundbreaking impact. He was the first who left the studio and photographed haute couture into everyday surroundings. In 1994 Avadon had a a major retrospective at the Josef-Haubrich Kunsthalle in Cologne.
Besides the fashion he turned to the portrait photography. His wide area of interest is demonstrated in his documentations of the civil rights movement in the southern United States in 1963. Avedon was also in clinics, there portrayed the mentally ill and, as a bitter statement against the war, Vietnamese children who had been burned in the war of napalm.