Photographer Biographies
Fashion Climbing: A Memoir
Fashion Climbing
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0525558721
The New York Times bestseller

" An] obscenely enjoyable romp." --The New York Times Book Review

The untold story of a New York City legend's education in creativity and style

For Bill Cunningham, New York City was the land of freedom, glamour, and, above all, style. Growing up in a lace-curtain Irish suburb of Boston, secretly trying on his sister's dresses and spending his evenings after school in the city's chicest boutiques, Bill dreamed of a life dedicated to fashion. But his desires were a source of shame for his family, and after dropping out of Harvard, he had to fight them tooth-and-nail to pursue his love.

When he arrived in New York, he reveled in people-watching. He spent his nights at opera openings and gate-crashing extravagant balls, where he would take note of the styles, new and old, watching how the gowns moved, how the jewels hung, how the hair laid on each head. This was his education, and the birth of the democratic and exuberant taste that he came to be famous for as a photographer for The New York Times. After two style mavens took Bill under their wing, his creativity thrived and he made a name for himself as a designer. Taking on the alias William J.--because designing under his family's name would have been a disgrace to his parents--Bill became one of the era's most outlandish and celebrated hat designers, catering to movie stars, heiresses, and artists alike. Bill's mission was to bring happiness to the world by making women an inspiration to themselves and everyone who saw them. These were halcyon days when fashion was all he ate and drank. When he was broke and hungry he'd stroll past the store windows on Fifth Avenue and feed himself on beautiful things.

Fashion Climbing is the story of a young man striving to be the person he was born to be: a true original. But although he was one of the city's most recognized and treasured figures, Bill was also one of its most guarded. Written with his infectious joy and one-of-a-kind voice, this memoir was polished, neatly typewritten, and safely stored away in his lifetime. He held off on sharing it--and himself--until his passing. Between these covers, is an education in style, an effervescent tale of a bohemian world as it once was, and a final gift to the readers of one of New York's great characters.

Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous
Flash
The Making of Weegee the Famous
Paperback      ISBN: 1250229871

The first comprehensive biography of Weegee--photographer, "psychic," ultimate New Yorker--from Christopher Bonanos, author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid.

Arthur Fellig's ability to arrive at a crime scene just as the cops did was so uncanny that he renamed himself "Weegee," claiming that he functioned as a human Ouija board. Weegee documented better than any other photographer the crime, grit, and complex humanity of midcentury New York City. In Flash, we get a portrait not only of the man (both flawed and deeply talented, with generous appetites for publicity, women, and hot pastrami) but also of the fascinating time and place that he occupied.

From self-taught immigrant kid to newshound to art-world darling to latter-day caricature--moving from the dangerous streets of New York City to the celebrity culture of Los Angeles and then to Europe for a quixotic late phase of experimental photography and filmmaking--Weegee lived a life just as worthy of documentation as the scenes he captured. With Flash, we have an unprecedented and ultimately moving view of the man now regarded as an innovator and a pioneer, an artist as well as a newsman, whose photographs are among most powerful images of urban existence ever made.
Foursome: Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury
Foursome
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury
Hardcover      ISBN: 0307957292
A captivating, spirited account of the intense relationship among four artists whose strong personalities and aesthetic ideals drew them together, pulled them apart, and profoundly influenced the very shape of twentieth-century art.

New York, 1921: acclaimed photographer Alfred Stieglitz celebrates the success of his latest exhibition--the centerpiece, a series of nude portraits of his soon-to-be wife, the young Georgia O'Keeffe. The exhibit acts as a turning point for the painter poised to make her entrance into the art scene. There she meets Rebecca Salsbury, the fianc of Stieglitz's prot g , Paul Strand, marking the start of a bond between the couples that will last more than a decade and reverberate throughout their lives. In the years that followed, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz become the preeminent couple in American modern art, spurring on each other's creativity. Observing their relationship leads Salsbury to encourage new artistic possibilities for Strand and to rethink her own potential as an artist.

Gene Smith's Sink: A Wide-Angle View
Gene Smith's Sink
A Wide-Angle View
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374232156

An incisive biography of the prolific photo-essayist W. Eugene Smith

Famously unabashed, W. Eugene Smith was photography's most celebrated humanist. As a photo essayist at Life magazine in the 1940s and '50s, he established himself as an intimate chronicler of human culture. His photographs of war and disaster, villages and metropolises, doctors and midwives, revolutionized the role of images in journalism, transforming photography for decades to come.

When Smith died in 1978, he left behind eighteen dollars in the bank and forty-four thousand pounds of archives. He was only fifty-nine, but he was flat worn-out. His death certificate read "stroke," but, as was said of the immortal jazzman Charlie Parker, Smith died of "everything," from drug and alcohol benders to weeklong work sessions with no sleep.

Lured by the intoxicating trail of people that emerged from Smith's stupefying archive, Sam Stephenson began a quest to trace his footsteps. In Gene Smith's Sink, Stephenson merges traditional biography with rhythmic digressions to revive Smith's life and legacy. Traveling across twenty-nine states, Japan, and the Pacific, Stephenson profiles a lively cast of characters, including the playwright Tennessee Williams, to whom Smith likened himself; the avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage, with whom he once shared a Swiss chalet; the artist Mary Frank, who was married to his friend Robert Frank; the jazz pianists Thelonious Monk and Sonny Clark, whose music was taped by Smith in his loft; and a series of obscure caregivers who helped keep Smith on his feet. The distillation of twenty years of research, Gene Smith's Sink is an unprecedented look into the photographer's potent legacy and the subjects around him.
George Eastman: A Biography
George Eastman
A Biography
Hardcover      ISBN: 0801852633

This life of George Eastman is the first biography since 1930 of the man who transformed the world of photography. As a 23-year-old bank clerk, Eastman bought his first camera and began simplifying the cumbersome and messy wet-plate process. With only two years' experience, he patented a dry-plate coating machine and began selling photographic plates. Soon, the business was doing so well that he quit his job at the bank and started his own company.

Eastman's success was based in part on his own inventions, but even more on his ability to raise capital, recruit technically skilled employees, sell his own products, and outmaneuver his competitors. In this revealing and informative new biography, Brayer shows us how such key innovations as roll film and the light, hand-held camera helped the Eastman Kodak Company dominate the world market.

More importantly, Brayer draws a vivid portrait of the man behind the money. Eastman worked hard at keeping out of the limelight and even insisted that his donations be kept anonymous, prompting the Boston Globe to call him "America's most modest and least- known millionaire." His aggressive business personality was a sharp contrast to his personal life: Eastman once joked that it was his goal to take two six-month vacations in a year. He would regularly forsake the office to bicycle around Europe or ride a stagecoach through the snowy trails of Yellowstone Park. He was an art lover, who once bartered 60 shares of Kodak stock in the 1890s for a painting he felt he must have, and a classical music enthusiast, who built a school for the training of virtuosos.

Despite his retirement in 1925, Eastman showed little sign of slowing down. Making moneyhad been interesting, but putting money to work became more so. In the 1920s he designed a special camera for use in orthodontia and established elaborate dental clinics for needy children in Rochester, London, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, and Rome. He oversaw the building of the Eastman Theatre and the Eastman School of Music. His contributions built a new campus for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a new medical school for the University of Rochester. Finally, he became the largest contributor to the education of African Americans during the 1920s and the Tuskeegee Institute's most important benefactor.

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
Hold Still
A Memoir with Photographs
Paperback      ISBN: 0316247758
This National Book Award finalist is a revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann.

In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity
Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity
Hardcover      ISBN: 0803237855

Laura E. Smith unravels the compelling life story of Kiowa photographer Horace Poolaw (1906-84), one of the first professional Native American photographers. Born on the Kiowa reservation in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Poolaw bought his first camera at the age of fifteen and began taking photos of family, friends, and noted leaders in the Kiowa community, also capturing successive years of powwows and pageants at various fairs, expositions, and other events. Though Poolaw earned some income as a professional photographer, he farmed, raised livestock, and took other jobs to help fund his passion for documenting his community.

Smith examines the cultural and artistic significance of Poolaw's life in professional photography from 1925 to 1945 in light of European and modernist discourses on photography, portraiture, the function of art, Native American identity, and American Indian religious and political activism. Rather than through the lens of Native peoples' inevitable extinction or within a discourse of artistic modernism, Smith evaluates Poolaw's photography within art history and Native American history, simultaneously questioning the category of "fine artist" in relation to the creative lives of Native peoples.

A tour de force of art and cultural history, Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity illuminates the life of one of Native America's most gifted, organic artists and documentarians and challenges readers to reevaluate the seamlessness between the creative arts and everyday life through its depiction of one man's lifelong dedication to art and community.
How Photographs Are Sold: Stories and Examples of How Fine Art Photographers Sell Their Work
How Photographs Are Sold
Stories and Examples of How Fine Art Photographers Sell Their Work
Paperback      ISBN: 1933952938

In How Photographs Are Sold, author and fine art photographer Alain Briot has compiled stories and examples of how several successful photographers market and sell their work. The book features information from photographers who earn a living from their artwork, as well as from others who sell their artwork to further their passion rather than as their main source of income. It also includes examples from Alain's personal experience selling his fine art photographs.

The featured photographers come from a variety of backgrounds and use a broad range of techniques for selling their artwork. They share information about their personal styles, what has worked for them and what hasn't, where they have sold their work, and more. Also included are images of each photographer's selling environment and examples of the marketing materials they use.

Topics include:

  • A description of the selling venues used by each artist: wholesale, retail, galleries, art shows, websites, etc.
  • Various photographic genres: landscape, wildlife, flowers, portraiture, etc.
  • A variety of business challenges and solutions
  • A description of the business approach used by each artist
  • A biography of each artist
  • Skill enhancement exercises to help the reader develop their skills
This book is designed to meet the needs of both amateur and professional fine art photographers. Whether you're just getting started in the fine art photography business or have been working at it for years, this book will prove to be a valuable resource.

This book differs from Alain's previous marketing book, Marketing Fine Art Photography, in that this is not a manual but a collection of stories and examples. While Alain's first marketing book tells you how to sell your work, this second book shows you how to sell your work.
A Hungry Heart: A Memoir
A Hungry Heart
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0743269039

Acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, composer, novelist, and memoirist, Gordon Parks has participated in, been witness to, and documented many of the major events in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.

In A Hungry Heart, Parks reflects on the people and events that shaped him: from growing up poor on the Kansas prairie to crisscrossing the country on the North Coast Limited; documenting poverty and injustice in Chicago to doing fashion spreads for Vogue; photographing black revolutionaries to writing, composing the soundtrack for, and directing the Hollywood movie version of his novel The Learning Tree. More than a self-portrait of the artist, A Hungry Heart is a striking account of an American era.
Insisting on the Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land
Insisting on the Impossible
The Life of Edwin Land
Paperback      ISBN: 0738201901

If a single life exemplifies the inner drive that fires a great inventor, it is the life of Edwin Land. The major innovations that he was able to achieve in photography, optics, industry, and science policy carry priceless lessons for readers today.Insisting on the Impossible is the first full-scale biography of this Magellan of modern technology. Victor McElheny reveals the startling scope and dating spirit of Land's scientific and entrepreneurial genius. Second only to Edison in the number of patents he received (535), Land build a modest enterprise into a gigantic "invention factory," turning out not only polarizers and the first instant cameras, but also high-speed and X-ray film, identification systems, 3-D and instant movies, and military devices for night vision and aerial reconnaissance. As a scientist, Land developed a new theory of color vision; as a science advisor to Eisenhower during the Cold War he spearheaded the development of the U-2 spyplane and helped design NASA.Behind these protean achievements was a relentless curiosity, a magical public presence, and a willful optimism that drew him again and again to conquer "the impossible." In an era when these qualities are needed more than ever, this masterly biography will speak to anyone involved or interested in business, science, photography, educational reform of government.