Born in 1966, John Rankin Waddell, also known under the name of Rankin, is an English portrait and fashion photographer. Waddell was born in Glasgow and brought up in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Whilst studying accounting at Brighton Polytechnic, he realised that his interests lay elsewhere and dropped out, taking up the study of photography at Barnfield College Luton and then London College of Printing. During this time, Rankin met Jefferson Hack, with whom he formed a working relationship. The two decided to start a magazine together called Dazed & Confused once they had graduated.
In December 2000 Rankin launched his own quarterly fashion magazine, RANK. He also publishes Another Magazine, Another Man and more recently "HUNGER". In addition, Rankin has donated his services to publicity campaigns for the charitable organisation Women's Aid, providing photographs for use in the What's it going to take? and Valentine's Day campaigns.
In April 2009 Rankin created Annroy, a contemporary structure designed by Trevor Horne Architects that is home to Rankin’s own state-of-the-art photographic studio, gallery and living space, where he lives with his wife and model Tuuli Shipster. Each month ‘’Annroy’’ holds a different exhibition, which features some of Rankin’s current work.
Rankin was first married to actress Kate Hardie. They married in 1995, divorced in 1998 and had a son together. In 2002, Rankin was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal Photographic Society. In January 2009, BBC 4 broadcast his 1 hour documentary Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion, in which he created his own tributes to the iconic images by Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, David Bailey and Guy Bourdin. He interviewed an array of original photographers, models and assistants, and used contemporary models including Heidi Klum, Erin O'Connor, Jade Parfitt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, his wife Tuuli Shipster, Mollie Gondi, Daphne Guinness and David Gandy.
In 2010, Rankin travelled to South Africa with the BBC to shoot the documentary, South Africa in Pictures The same year, Rankin was commissioned by Nike and Bono’s R.E.D in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to shoot a global Nike campaign, Lace Up Save Lives, to raise awareness about the disease. Rankin was involved with television reality show Britain's Missing Top Model. The show followed eight young women with disabilities who competed for a modeling contract, which includes a photo shoot with Rankin and a cover photo in Marie Claire. Rankin has shot for Germany's Next Topmodel, where he was a guest judge, and regularly works with the winner of Cycle 2 of Britains Next Top Model Lianna Fowler.
In 2011 Rankin served as the photography teacher in the Channel 4 series Jamie's Dream School featuring Jamie Oliver. He also presented the BBC Four documentary America in Pictures - The Story of Life Magazine. In May 2012 it was confirmed that Rankin would be re-shooting Azealia Banks's music video for her single "Liquorice".