Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

1906-1979

About

Philippe Halsman was born in Riga, Latvia in 1906. He originally studied electrical engineering, but while in Paris he switched to photography in 1931. In 1940 he immigrated to New York where eventually he succeeded with freelance assignments. In 1960 he was given permission to photography leading Soviet personalities.
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To his credit, Halsman had over 100 Life magazine covers and several for Time magazine. He was the first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers and divided his work into three categories, magazine stories, advertising pictures and private portraits of men and children.

Halsman was able to bring out the human quality in his renowned portrait sitters. He had the knack of making even the most famous people appear anonymous, gentle and real. He also was able to persuade a number of famous people to make fools of themselves by taking their shoes off and jumping a few inches off the ground.

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