Dorothea Lange: A Photographer Essay

1575 Words7 Pages
Taking photographs may seem simple, but being a photographer is more than browsing through the viewfinder and pushing the exposure button. A photographer needs to know how to analyze the scene, speak in words that language cannot, and reach to the souls of people through a picture. During the Great Depression, many photographers captured the scenes of poverty and grief. However, there was only one photographer that truly captured the souls of Americans. According to Roy Stryker, Dorothea Lange "had the most sensitivity and the most rapport with people" (Stryker and Wood 41). Dorothea Lange was a phenomenal photographer that seized the hearts of people during the 1930s and beyond, and greatly affected the times of the Great Depression.…show more content…
She soon opened up her own portrait studio. She was very successful in her studio and she even established a group of friends for the first time in her life. In 1920, she married Maynard Dixon who was twenty years older then her. She became one of the most popular portrait photographers in San Francisco. When she went on a trip to Arizona, she took pictures outside of her studio for the first time. This was where she first encountered people who were swallowed in poverty, hopelessness, and humiliation. She soon came to a realization. Dorothea Lange said, "It suddenly came to me that what I had to do was take pictures and concentrate upon people – only people – all kinds of people, people who paid me and people who didn't" (Sufrin 78). In the late 1920's, she had two sons. It was hard for her to juggle being a mother, wife, and a photographer, so her children were often boarded out. As the Great Depression slowly approached, tensions grew in her marriage with Dixon. The stock market crash made her studio photography irrelevant since majority of the population could not afford to have their pictures taken. During this period, she became aware of all the unemployed people around her. It was during the Great Depression where her greatest pieces of works were developed. During the first years of the Depression, fourteen million people were jobless. There was a rich woman known as the
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