Eve Arnold: Photographing the stars and mostly “the poor, the old and the underdog”

By Julie


I haven’t been writing for a while I know. I have been caught by life I suppose (or however you say it in english). I’m going through some massive changes and just moved out of London.

Arriving in a completely different city, with no friends nearby. Jobless… this is by no means an article to pity me but I just wanted to pour it out there. This is excruciatingly more difficult that I expected. I sometimes feel even more stressed than when I was working, the anxiety sometimes crippling me.

Anyway, thinking about all this one morning and chatting with my darling Claire, I felt the need to write again and be active again. I sought solace and comfort in my photography. And this led me to today’s article subject : Eve Arnold.

Eve Arnold was an american photographer born in Philadelphia in 1912 and died in 2012 at the impressive age of 99 !

It moved me to tears when she died…A lot.

I saw most of her pictures of Marilyn of course, she was most remembered for these. As it happens I just adore Marilyn and I appreciate the way Eve Arnold captured all the sides of her personality,her fragility, strength, complexity. Eve and the Magnum photography team were on the set of “The Misfits”, a film Arthur Miller wrote for Marilyn, and the images captured by Eve are by far the most intimate, catching the actress’s vulnerability at this time of her life.

She knew how to talk to people and how to use her own sensitivity, she knew trust is one of the most important things that needs to be built, In a nutshell she cared.

To me it’s extremely important, and I can relate to that for my portraits. She cared… Then there’s the photojournalism, humanitarian side of her work, one i can completely relate to. I’ve always admired her so much for that.

I’ve always been inspired by her strength. My favourite shots of her were not the Marilyn ones, or other celebrities though. I am very much in love with this other side of her work. How i like to put it in parallel with the lives of the rich and famous. Shooting the poor, the excluded, the never-seen is as fascinating as the Hollywood stars and whatever country she goes to there’s something extraordinary waiting, a new portrait, a new story, poor, lonely, sad, restricted, veiled, people’s day life…


She worked a lot for women and on women, she was the first woman to join the Magnum agency in 1951 and became a full member in 1957.

There are many photographers I admire and look upon. She is one amongst others but I felt the need of writing all this. There are many other and there will surely be more. I am just grateful of what she did for women and for photography. Thank you very much for everything Mrs Arnold…

If you love the photography vector as much as we do, feel free to check Eve’s work. I’m sure you’ll love it.

I am currently reading: “Marilyn Monroe” by Eve Arnold.

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