Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

The Instrument Is Not The Camera: Eve Arnold

If you do a Google image search for Eve Arnold, the majority of the photographs that come up are of Marilyn Monroe. It’s not surprising, considering  she spent ten years documenting the starlet; whether on movie sets, at special celebrity events, or just her everyday life. The photographs of Monroe, however, are just a small portion of her work. There is an incredible diversity to her photography which rivaled any photographer of her day. Her subjects range from migrant laborers to the Queen of England; from prostitutes in Cuba to First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It didn’t matter who the subject was, she treated them all with the same amount of respect and interest, all while capturing thousands of photographs from around the world.

Born in Philadelphia to Russian immigrant parents in 1912, Arnold took up photography when a boyfriend gave her a Rolleicord (the cheaper version of the Rolleiflex) at the age of 34. She had been working at a photo-finishing lab for several years, so she knew the technical side of photography, but she quickly became enamored with the artistic side. She soon ended her studies in medicine, and began seriously pursuing photography as a career, beginning with a six-week course at New York’s New School for Social Research (where Richard Avedon was a classmate). As soon as it was over, she took off and began taking pictures. Her first project was photographing fashion in Harlem. She spent months in places most photographers would never have gone, especially as a white female. She spent the next year and a half in bars, restaurants, church halls; wherever these models were showing their homemade gowns….Being rejected by most publications in the US because of the subject matter, her husband sent some of her prints to Britain’s Picture Post, who published the story in 1951. She had applied to become a photographer for the Magnum Photography Agency and the publication of these images were a big part of her acceptance. She so impressed the agency’s founders, including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, that she became the first woman photographer accepted into the organization, working for them as a free-lance photographer until 1957 when she became a full member…..READ MORE

eve-arnold-06

eve-arnold-04

eve-arnold-40

eve-arnold-03

eve-arnold-43

eve-arnold-09

eve-arnold-02

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: