Remembering The Lives of Professional Photographers

by Mark Sharron

Celebrating their lives

Different breeds of professionals influence the world of photography through their unique styles and skills. As technology continues to evolve, photography has changed dramatically, but the basics remain the same- capturing emotions, moments and actions in still pictures. 2016 and 2017 saw the loss of some photographers who have made significant contributions throughout their careers. The following is a celebration of a few of them and their achievements in the sector.

Lord Snowdon

Born Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon was renowned for his documentary work, celebrity and society photography. He died aged 86 and left behind a collection of some of the best works in the field of photography. For more than 50 years, Lord Snowdon grew a reputable career, which got a big boost when he became the establishment’s photographer in the 1960s. He earned the title of Lord Snowdon after marrying Princess Margaret. Experts in the industry describe Snowdon’s impact to be monumental in many ways. His list of subjects is a mile long and includes some notable names in society. He has portraits of Julie Christie, John Hunt and Barbara Hepworth, among others. The National Portrait Gallery has 130 original prints of these portraits, which were a donation from Snowdon in 2014. Throughout his career, Lord Snowdon insisted on keeping his techniques simple and wasn’t much for technology. He worked for British Vogue and Sunday Times.

Jeff Pitts

Pitts first started out at the Flintshire Chronicle, but his longest job was at the North West Daily Post where he worked for 20 years. Colleagues and people in his circles described him as a humorous, true professional. At the time of death, Pitts was running his own photography business, which he started after leaving the Daily Post in 2012. He was an all-rounder since he covered presswork, weddings and public relations.

Marc Riboud

Riboud, born in St-Genis-Laval is famous for the image of Jan Rose Kasmir, a Vietnam War protestor. The photograph, taken in 1967 in Washington D.C., was of Kasmir confronting the National Guard while holding a flower. This picture later became the icon for the flower power movement, and it is also credited as altering public perception vis a vis the Vietnam War. Riboud started out working for Magnus, going all over the world taking photographs in regions like China, Iran and Pakistan. He is also famous for his works during the 1960s Cultural Revolution in China. Riboud is hailed as one of the greatest for his creativity and unmatched skills, which enabled him to bring out each tumultuous emotion in a single print.

Bill Cunningham

You can’t talk about fashion photography without naming Cunningham. He was an icon in the field and his work at the New York Times is unparalleled. Bill Cunningham’s career spanned four decades, and in that time, he photographed the most beautiful and glamorous subjects for magazine covers, but he never let the allure of the business get to him. He was known to bike to and from work, which gave him a chance to take as many photos as he could of everything that he came across. He died in 2016 from health complications.

These are only some of the icons and legends who have inspired generations of photographers. Some of them passed away unexpectedly, which exaggerates the suddenness of death. Prior preparations for such eventualities save families a lot of trouble as they grieve. Making all the necessary arrangements in advance can also cost less compared to waiting for the last minute rush. Additionally, relatives have the chance to celebrate such fulfilled lives without worrying about the minutiae.

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