William Eggleston | A Photographer You Should Know

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Photofocus (old site)

When color photography first came onto the scene, many saw it as a novelty.  “Serious” photographers continued to shoot only in Black & White.  However a few photographers challenged that notion… the most famous is William Eggleston.

Born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, Eggleston was raised by an engineer father and his mother.  Eggleston was seen as introverted for much of his life and chose to ignore traditional Southern male pursuits of hunting and sports to instead focus on art.

While in college (a pursuit he never completed), Eggleston was introduced to photography.  A friend gave him a Leica camera.  His earliest influences were Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank and French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

It was in 1965 when he first began to photograph in color. He sold his first photograph to the Museum of Modern Art in 1969 after a chance encounter.  In 1970, he was introduced to the Corcoran Gallery.  The director of the…

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