“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.”  —Edward Weston

Edward Weston, PhotographerEdward Weston was a seminal photographer of the first half of the 20th century. He studied photography at the Illinois College of Photography then worked as a retoucher for The George Steckel Portrait Studio. He moved to the Louis A. Mojoiner Portrait Studio to be a photographer. His skills in lighting and posing were quickly recognized. After marrying, he opened his own portrait studio in California. He worked in the pictorial style that featured a soft-focus aesthetic. Weston’s work and articles he wrote were published in American Photography, Photo Era and Photo Miniature magazines.

Weston moved to Mexico City, where he opened a studio photographing famous artists: Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros and Jose Orozco who hailed him a master of 20th-century art. He returned to California where he made arguably his most enduring works — closeups, natural forms, and nudes.

He became one of the founding members of Group F/64 along with Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, Sonya Noskowiak and Imogen Cunningham. His work received an exhibition of 300 retrospective prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) in New York City in the mid-1940s. By that time he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. From that time until his death, he supervised the creation of his 50th Anniversary Portfolio and the Project Prints.

Nude 1936 and Shell 1927, as well as his portrait, are courtesy of EdwardWeston.com where you can learn more about this most deliberate of American photographers.

Read more mini-biographies of influential photographers on Photofocus.