Ruth Orkin Photofile
The perfect primer on American photographer, photojournalist, and filmmaker Ruth Orkin.
Ruth Orkin (1921–1985) always dreamed of becoming a filmmaker, and although that ambition was thwarted until later in her career, she quickly found other ways of engaging with the world of images. She was given her first camera at the age of ten, and by the age of seventeen, she was cycling across the United States from Los Angeles to New York, documenting her trip in albums of annotated photographs. In the early 1940s, she settled in New York, joining the Photo League and making her name with photo stories for major magazines such as Life, Look, and This Week.
In images that range from celebrity portraits to bird’s-eye views from her apartment window, from children at play to the experiences of a lone American tourist in Italy, Orkin’s photography retains a cinematic sense of the passage of time and allows the humanity and charisma of her subjects to shine through.