Else Ernestine Neuländer-Simon (1900 – 1944) was a German Jewish photographer renowned for her dreamlike, multiple exposed images. She became a leading photographer in Berlin during the Weimar Republic.
She used the names Yva and Yva Else Simon in her work as photographer.
In 1925, Neuländer established her own photographic studio using the professional pseudonym Yva in a favorable location, near the avenue of Kurfürstendamm. In 1926, she had a brief collaboration with the painter and photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke, but due to a copyright dispute, they severed their partnership.
Her brother, Ernst Neuländer, was a co-owner of the modeling salon Kuhnen and he hired her to shoot his models. She was able to publish ten photographs in Die Dame in 1927, which served as a breakthrough to the top fashion magazines of the day.
She embraced the modernist approach using technical composition and avant-garde imagery, both capturing the sexual revolution of the period and emphasizing the female form in ungendered ways, which allowed her flexibility as an artist.
Her decision to enter the field was itself a challenge to the accepted norm of the day, which saw men as artists and women as their passive models.
By 1927, Yva had become known for specializing in fashion, nudes, and portraiture, but increasingly she recognized the commercial aspects for photography and was one of the first professionals who worked in advertising.
A nice fact to know is that she hired a young assistant: Helmut Neustädter in 1936, who would later become the well-known fashion photographer Helmut Newton.