The Hungarian-born photographer, André Kertész, is known for his significant contribution to composition and the art of the photo essay. As a young man, his family prepared and educated him for a career in stockbroking. However, his natural interests lead him to magazine photography and inspired him to learn. Despite being on the front lines during WW1 and working at the stock exchange in Budapest, Kertész continued to pursue photography. His desire to attend photography school in Paris was quashed by his family but after finding some professional success he finally decided to emigrate in 1925, at the age of 27, to explore the artistic culture of the city.
During his life, he did not receive the acclaim that he felt he deserved. It is thought that his unusual style and use of camera angles prevented his work from receiving recognition. Since his death in 1985, his work has gained acceptance and admiration. He is now credited as ‘the father of photojournalism’, with Henri Cartier-Bresson, stating that ‘we all owe him a great deal’.
As we find more of these films, the lineage of creative influence is becoming clearer. From Kertész to Cartier-Bresson to our own Masters of Photography, it seems the great photographers make a conscious effort to study those who have gone before them.
In this video, we get a rare glimpse of Kertész walking around Paris talking about his process and the reasoning behind his shots. This gives us a wonderful insight into how a true great of photography sees the world and makes his photographs.