“I photograph to preserve the ephemeral, fix chance, to keep in an image what will disappear: gestures, attitudes, objects which are testimonies of our passing.”
– Sabine Weiss
Sabine Weiss (23 July 1924 – 28 December 2021) was a Swiss-French photographer and one of the most prominent representatives of the French humanist photography movement in the 1950s and 60s, along with Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Martine Franck, Édouard Boubat, and Izis.
But her work is more than that. It spans the mid-century emergence of black-and-white street photography and photojournalism.
Her atmospheric photographs capture the joys of life, whether people watching in Western Europe’s cafes, squares and streets, or recording small moments in New York City.
Born in Switzerland, Weiss moved to Paris in 1946. While working with fashion photographer Willy Maywald, she met Robert Doisneau in 1952 at Vogue. This led her joining the Rapho press agency that would exhibit her work and a nine-year contract as a Vogue photographer.
Lead Image: Sabine’s husband, the artist Hugh Weiss, was told to run. “One day my husband and I found ourselves walking in that area, the light was beautiful. I told him, ‘Run!’ and he did. At that moment, I didn’t like that picture, but he said, ‘but do go ahead and take it’. It was good advice.”
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