What to photograph today? Some of us walk the streets. Others take photos of loved ones. Some of us are drawn to flowers. Ruth Bernhard was drawn to light early on. Armed with her first camera and with little money, she evidently bought a package of Lifesavers and some straws. This was back in 1930 when she was twenty-five years old.
Here in her own words are how her career started...
“I became a photographer by accident, after I came to the United States. When I arrived in 1927, I had no job, no profession, and no money. My father supported me while I learned English, but in 1929, he announced that it was time for me to have a job. An acquaintance by the name of Ralph Steiner, who worked for the magazine The Delineator, was looking for a darkroom assistant. That is where I learned to be a photographer. However, the job itself was very uninteresting. After six months I was fired. I used the ninety dollars I received as severance pay to purchase an 8 x 10 view camera, a tripod, and other darkroom equipment. With only pennies left, I purchased straws and Lifesavers at the dime store, which became the inspiration for my first two photographs”.
So there you have it. You just don't know where life will take you. From a package of Lifesavers, Ruth Bernhard lived a full life, all 101 years of it. To end the week of Ruth Bernhard here on Fifty Two Pieces, I'm reposting her Recipe for Life.