All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Lewis Hine
Self Portrait
Lewis Hine
Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine

Country: United States
Birth: 1874 | Death: 1940

Lewis Hine was an American sociologist and photographer known for using his camera as a tool for social reform. His photographs were instrumental in changing child labor laws in the United States.

There were two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated.

-- Lewis Hine


Lewis Hine was born on September 26, 1874, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. After his father was killed in an accident, Hine began working and saving for college. He attended the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and New York University to study sociology. He became a teacher at the Ethical Culture School in New York City, where he encouraged his students to embrace photography as an instructional tool. Hine took his sociology pupils to New York Harbor's Ellis Island, where he photographed the thousands of immigrants that landed each day. Between 1904 and 1909, he shot over 200 plates (photographs) and realized that documentary photography could be used to effect social change and reform.

Hine joined the Russell Sage Foundation's staff photographer in 1907, photographing life in the steel-making regions and inhabitants of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the landmark sociological study The Pittsburgh Survey. The next year, he left his teaching post to work as a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC). Lewis Hine recorded child labor during the next decade, with a concentration on the use of child labor in the Carolina Piedmont, to aid the NCLC's lobbying attempts to abolish the practice. In 1913, he chronicled juvenile laborers among cotton mill workers with a series of composite pictures by Francis Galton.

Charlie Foster has a steady job in the Merrimack Mills. Huntsville, Alabama. Lewis Hine
Charlie Foster has a steady job in the Merrimack Mills. Huntsville, Alabama.
© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Lewis Hine's work for the NCLC was frequently hazardous. Factory police and foremen routinely threatened him with violence or even death as a photographer. The immorality of child labor was intended to be hidden from the public at the time. Photography was not only forbidden, but it also posed a significant danger to the enterprise. Hine was compelled to disguise himself in order to gain access to the mills, mines, and factories. He worked as a fire inspector, postcard vendor, bible salesman, and even an industrial photographer documenting manufacturing technology.

During and after World War I, he shot relief efforts for the American Red Cross in Europe. Hine created a series of work portraits in the 1920s and early 1930s that stressed the human contribution to modern industry. Lewis Hine was commissioned to photograph the Empire State Building's construction in 1930. He photographed the workers in perilous positions as they secured the structure's steel framework, taking many of the same hazards as the employees. He was hoisted out in a specially built basket 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue to get the best views. He recalls hanging above the city at times, with nothing below but "a sheer drop of nearly a quarter-mile."

Cherryville Mfg. Co., Cherryville, N.C. One of the smallest boys. Doffer. 1908. Lewis Hine
Cherryville Mfg. Co., Cherryville, N.C. One of the smallest boys. Doffer. 1908
© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
During the Great Depression, Hine worked for the Red Cross, photographing drought relief in the American South, and for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), documenting life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. He was also the chief photographer for the Works Progress Administration's National Research Project, which investigated changes in the industry and their impact on employment. Hine was also on the faculty of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.

Lewis Hine was chosen as the photographer for the Works Projects Administration's National Research Project in 1936, but his work there was never completed. His final years were filled with professional struggles caused by the loss of government and corporate patronage. Hine hoped to participate in the Farm Security Administration photography project, but despite numerous letters to Roy Stryker, Stryker always declined. Hine lost his house and applied for welfare because few people were interested in his work, past or present. After an operation, he died on November 3, 1940, at Dobbs Ferry Hospital in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He was 66 years old at the time.

Group of workers, including boys and girls, standing outdoors. Lewis Hine
Group of workers, including boys and girls, standing outdoors
© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Hine's photographs aided the NCLC's campaign to end child labor, and the Children's Bureau was established in 1912. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 eventually put an end to child labor in the United States.

Corydon Hine, Hine's son, donated his father's prints and negatives to the Photo League, which was disbanded in 1951. The Museum of Modern Art declined to accept his photographs, but the George Eastman House did.

Wendy Lamb Books published Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop's historical fiction middle-grade novel Counting on Grace in 2006. The final chapters focus on Grace, a 12-year-old girl, and her life-changing encounter with Lewis Hine during his 1910 visit to a Vermont cotton mill known to employ a large number of child laborers. The iconic photograph of Grace's real-life counterpart, Addie Card (1897-1993), taken during Hine's undercover visit to the Pownal Cotton Mill, graces the cover.

In 2016, TIME Magazine published colorized versions of several of Hine's photographs of child labor in the US.

In the early days of my child labor activities I was an investigator with a camera attachment... but the emphasis became reversed until the camera stole the whole show.

-- Lewis Hine




Lewis Hine was trained to be an educator in Chicago and New York. A project photographing on Ellis Island with students from the Ethical Culture School in New York galvanized his recognition of the value of documentary photography in education. Soon after, he became a sociological photographer, establishing a studio in upstate New York in 1912.

For nearly ten years Hine was the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, contributing to exhibitions and the organization's publication, The Survey. Declaring that he "wanted to show things that had to be corrected," he was one of the earliest photographers to use the photograph as a documentary tool. Around 1920, however, Hine changed his studio publicity from "Social Photography by Lewis W. Hine" to "Lewis Wickes Hine, Interpretive Photography," to emphasize a more artistic approach to his imagemaking. Having joined the American Red Cross briefly in 1918, he continued to freelance for them through the 1930s. In 1936 Hine was appointed head photographer for the National Research Project of the Works Projects Administration, but his work for them was never completed. His last years were marked by professional struggles due to diminishing government and corporate patronage, and he died in 1940 at age sixty-six.

Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum


Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Lewis W. Hine studied sociology before moving to New York in 1901 to work at the Ethical Culture School, where he took up photography to enhance his teaching practices. By 1904 he had begun a series of photographs documenting the arrival of immigrants at Ellis Island; this project, along with his pictures of harsh labor conditions published in the Pittsburgh Survey, brought his work to the attention of the National Child Labor Committee. He served as its official photographer from 1911 to 1916, and later traveled with the Red Cross to Europe, where he documented the effects of World War I in France and the Balkans for Red Cross Magazine. After returning to the United States in 1922, he accepted commercial assignments, produced another series on Ellis Island immigrants, and photographed the construction of the Empire State Building. Several of these construction pictures were published in Men at Work (1932), a book celebrating the individual worker's interaction with machines in the modern world. Despite the success of this book, Hine's financial situation became desperate and his photography was virtually forgotten. Berenice Abbott and Elizabeth McCausland learned of his work through the New York City Photo League and mounted a traveling retrospective exhibition of his work to revive interest in it in 1939.

Lewis Hine is best known for the documentary images of child labor practices that he produced under the aegis of the National Child Labor Committee from 1911 to 1916. These photographs not only have been credited as important in the passing of child labor laws, but also have been praised for their sympathetic depiction of individuals in abject working conditions. Hine labeled his pictures "photo-interpretations," emphasizing his subjective involvement with his subjects; this approach became the model for many later documentary photographers, such as Sid Grossman and Ben Shahn.

Source: International Center of Photography


 

Lewis Hine's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #39 Shadows
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Anton Corbijn
Netherlands
1955
Anton Corbijn (born 20 May 1955) is a Dutch photographer, music video director, and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for almost 3 decades. Some of his works include music videos for Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" (1990), U2's "One" (version 1) (1991), Bryan Adams' "Do I Have to Say the Words? and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993), as well as the Ian Curtis biopic Control (2007), George Clooney's The American (2010), and A Most Wanted Man (2013) based on John le Carré's 2008 novel of the same name. Anton Corbijn was born on 20 May 1955 as Anton Johannes Gerrit Corbijn van Willenswaard in Strijen, the Netherlands, where his father had been appointed as parson to the Dutch Reformed Church the previous year. Father Anton (Hilversum, 12 Nov 1917 - Amersfoort, 9 Mar 2007) would take up the same position in Hoogland (1966) and Groningen (Diakonessenhuis, 1972) moving his wife and four children with him. His mother, Marietje Groeneboer (11 Sep 1925 - Hoogland, 15 Sep 2011), was a nurse and was raised in a parson's family. Photographer and director Maarten Corbijn (Strijen, 1960) is a younger brother. Grandfather Anton Johannes (Corbijn) van Willenswaard (Schoonhoven, 24 Nov 1886 - Hilversum, 16 Aug 1959) was an art teacher at Christian schools in Hilversum and an active member in the local Dutch Reformed church in Hilversum. Corbijn started his career of music photographer when he saw the Dutch musician Herman Brood playing in a café in Groningen around 1975. He took a lot of photos of the 'rising star' Herman Brood & His Wild Romance. Because of the pictures taken by Corbijn, Brood's fame rose quickly, and as a result Corbijn's own exposure increased. Corbijn has photographed Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Tom Waits, Pr?ta V?tra, David Bowie, Peter Hammill, Miles Davis, Björk, Captain Beefheart, Kim Wilde, Robert De Niro, Stephen Hawking, Elvis Costello, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, Simple Minds, Clint Eastwood, The Cramps, Roxette and Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst others. Perhaps his most famous, and longest standing, association is with U2, having taken pictures of the band on their first US tour, as well as taking pictures for their Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums (et al) and directing a number of accompanying videos. From the late 70s the London based NME, (New Musical Express), a weekly music paper, featured his work on a regular basis and would often feature a photograph of his as the front page. One such an occasion was a portrait of David Bowie back stage in New York at his play The Elephant Man in nothing more than a loin cloth. In the early years of London based The Face, a glossy monthly post-punk life style / music magazine, Anton Corbijn was a regular contributor. He made his name working only in black and white. In May 1989 he began taking pictures in colour using filters: his first try was done for Siouxsie Sioux. Between 1998 through 2000, in collaboration with the painter Marlene Dumas, he worked on a project called "Stripping Girls", which took the strip clubs and peep shows of Amsterdam as their subject; while Corbijn later exhibited photographs, Dumas took Polaroids which she then used as sources for her paintings. Corbijn has photographed album covers for U2, working with sleeve designer Steve Averill and Peter Hammill, Depeche Mode, The Creatures (the second band of Siouxsie Sioux), Nick Cave, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Therapy?, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, R.E.M., The Bee Gees, Saybia and Moke.Source: Wikipedia
Cindy Sherman
United States
1954
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Sherman earned a BA from Buffalo State College, State University of New York (1976). In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives, as an essential component of appreciating the work. While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography. Sherman’s exhaustive study of portraiture and self-portraiture—often a playful mixture of camp and horror, heightened by gritty realism—provides a new lens through which to examine societal assumptions surrounding gender and the valuation of concept over style. Among her awards are the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts (2005); American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001); a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (1995); and others. Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); among others. Sherman has participated in many international events, including SITE Santa Fe (2004); the Venice Biennale (1982, 1995); and five Whitney Biennial exhibitions. Cindy Sherman lives and works in New York.
Antonin Kratochvil
Czech Republic/United States
1947
Antonin is a founder of the VII photo agency. As photojournalists go, Antonin Kratochvil has sunk his teeth into his fair share of upheaval and human catastrophes whilst going about his documentation of the time in which he lives. As people go, Kratochvil's own refugee life has been much in the way the same as what he has rendered on film. Kratochvil's unique style of photography is the product of personal experience, intimate conditioning and not privileged voyeurism. Over the years his fluid and unconventional work has been sought by numerous publications stretching across widely differing interests. From shooting Mongolia's street children for the magazine published by the Museum of Natural History to a portrait session with David Bowie for Detour, from covering the war in Iraq for Fortune Magazine to shooting Deborah Harry for a national advertising campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union, Kratochvil's ability to see through and into his subjects and show immutable truth has made his pictures not facsimiles but uncensored visions. And yet, what set his kind apart from the many is his consistency and struggle to carry on. For Kratochvil this fact comes in the form of his numerous awards, grants and honorable mentions dating back to 1975. The latest of these are his two, first place prizes at the 2002 World Press Photo Awards in the categories of general news and nature and the environment. The next is the 2004 grant from Aperture publishing for Kratochvil's study on the fractious relationship between American civil liberties and the newly formed Homeland Security since the World Trade Center bombings. In addition, Kratochvil's fifth book Vanishing was presented in April 2005 and marks another significant milestone for the craft to which he belongs. Vanishing represents a collection of natural and human phenomena that on the verge of extinction. What makes this book so innovative is the twenty years it has taken to produce, making it not only historical from the onset, but a labor of love and a commitment to one man's conscience.
Sasha Stone
Russia/United States
1895 | † 1940
Sasha Stone was a Russian artist. A stateless photographer, he and his first wife, Cami Stone (born Wilhelmine Schammelhout 1892-1975), were successful photographers during the 1920s and 1930s. One of his most known work is the cover of Walter Benjamin's book One-Way Street published in 1928. Sasha was born as Aleksander Steinsapir to Jewish parents, Natan Steinsapir and Bella Meerson, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He studied electrical engineering at Warsaw Technical Institute in Poland from 1911 to 1913. In 1913, he immigrated to New York and spent a few years working briefly at the Edison Company in New Jersey. In 1917, Sasha enlisted in the United States Army, served in WWI and was honorably discharged on June 14, 1919. While in the United States Army he was granted a stay at the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Art Training Centre in Paris after the war. After his military discharge, Sasha lived in the Rue de Plantes, Paris, and worked as a sculptor. In 1918, Sasha and Cami moved to Berlin together and later married in 1922. When he moved to Berlin, he kept his studio in Rue de Plantes for his cousin Harry Ossip Meerson to use; however, Meerson failed to pay rent and was evicted. In Berlin, Sasha was associated with the sculptor Aleksandr Archipenko, and was a contributor to the magazine G-Material für elementare Gestaltung. His work was published in Die Form, Das Kunstblatt, UHU, Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, Der Querschnitt, Gebrauchsgraphik, and Die Dame as well. In 1924, Sasha and Cami opened their own studio in Berlin, named Atelier Stone, meaning “Studio Stone”. In 1928, he officially changed his name to Sasha Stone and became a painter. He had little success as an artist. Due to an economic downturn in Europe during this period, Sasha focused on photography as a main source of income. Sasha had become an extremely versatile photographer, working with portraits, journalism, feature images, advertising, property, fashion, and architecture photos. His photos appeared in Adolf Behne's edition of Berlin in Bildern, and Paul Cohen–Portheim's travel guide Paris. Sasha took images for surrealist journals like Varietés in Belgium and Bilfur in Paris. His work was presented in the first international photography exhibition called Fotografie der Gegenwart in Essen, Germany, and Werkbund's exhibition Film und Foto in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1931, Sasha and Cami moved to Brussels, Cami's hometown, where they lived until they divorced. In 1933, the couple were part of the Exposition Internationale de la Photographie in Brussels. A collection of nudes by Sasha and Cami Stone was published in Les Femmes through the French magazine Arts et Metiers Graphique in 1933. Throughout this time Sasha was connected with artists, celebrities and intellectuals of that period. Sasha and Cami divorced on February 15, 1939. They continued to work together until Sasha remarried. On April 29, 1939, Sasha Stone remarried, to Lydia Edens (born Alida Anna Edens). Sasha, Lydia and other families fled the German attack on Brussels on May 14, 1940. Their goal was to reach Spain and then go to the United States for safety. The group was en route through the Pyrénées in Perpignan, France. On August 6, 1940, Sasha died in Perpignan due to a serious ailment. The exact location of his grave is unknown. The only thing left is the graveyard book entry.Source: Wikipedia Best known for his photomontage reproduced on the cover of Walter Benjamin's book One-Way Street (1928), Stone was closely associated with the New Objectivity movement of the 1920s in Germany. From 1924 to 1931, he operated a successful photographic studio in Berlin. He contributed photo reportage to many of the major illustrated magazines, including Uhu, Die Dame, and Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and was celebrated for his innovative advertising work. In 1933 the French magazine Arts et Metiers Graphique published Femmes, a portfolio of Stone's studies of female nudes, as the first in a series of three planned portfolios on the human body. (The other two, Hommes and Adolescents, were never realized.) Stone's photographs, with their fragmented figures, angular compositions, and use of raking light, are superb examples of avant-garde photographic aesthetics in Europe between the world wars.Source: The Met
Stephen Wicks
United States
Stephen Wicks' attraction to photography began during his childhood. He says he was inspired by the photo essays in LIFE Magazine. Each week when a new issue arrived it seemed like the world beyond his home was in his hands and he had feelings for and wanted to meet the people who appeared in the pictures and visit the places he saw on the pages in the magazine. Wicks has always had a deep interest in all forms of communication. He says his attraction to the visual world and belief in the power of images triggered his imagination, cultivated his intuition, awakened within him a natural curiosity and an instinct to questioning everything. These qualities have been the inspiration for Wicks to follow parallel careers as an imagemaker and visual educator. As an artist Stephen Wicks has been using photography, videography, monologues and soundscapes to tell stories about the things he see's, questions and values. His motivation has been to create picture stories, in print and now also on the screen, to share with others what he has experienced, discovered and captured. During his early career Wicks created traditional B&W photo essays with up close and personal photographs made, often while living with his subjects over a long period of time, and returning many years later to see and capture changes in their lives. More recently, Wicks has been making digital color photographs of landscapes, places and objects found in spaces shared by the natural landscape and built environment. Although these photographs are void of people, he believes a human trace is visible in each picture and, with this in mind, he see's his Nature/Culture images as social landscapes. It is precisely the absence of people along with a sense of their presence, as seen in the marks and artifacts left in the environment, he now finds most fascinating. Stephen Wicks is currently developing two presentation/performance/storytelling projects: PICTURE STORIES: a series of live presentations based on thematic video vignettes, photographs and monologues about American people, places, experiences and events; including a dialogue with the audience (in development / launch: September 2019) BEING THERE: his YouTube Channel - a video magazine about American Culture - including picture stories, video journals and commentary on education, art, communication, politics, economy, media (in development / launch: October 2019)
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #39: Shadows
April 2024 Online Solo Exhibition
AAP Magazine #39: Shadows

Latest Interviews

Barbara Cole and Wet Collodion Photographs
Cole is best known for her underwater photography, but her other studio practice during the cold months in Toronto is an ongoing series of wet collodion photographs. This heavily analog process from the 19th Century is a years-long endeavor of revitalization and experimentation, offering modern day viewers an understanding of what it took to develop photographs in the early days of its invention. Cole has added her own unique take on the process by adding a layer of color in contrast to the usual sepia tones associated with the genre. The resulting wet plate photographs are tactile and dimensional dances between light and shadow, past and present, depicting women in timeless dreamscapes. We asked her a few questions about this specific project
Exclusive Interview with Michael Joseph
I discovered Michael Joseph's work in 2016, thanks to Ann Jastrab. I was immediately captivated by the power of his beautiful black and white photographs from his series 'Lost and Found.' His haunting portraits of young Travelers have stayed with me ever since.
Exclusive Interview with Debe Arlook
Debe Arlook is an award-winning American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment, as she attempts to understand the inner and outer worlds of human relationships. Degrees in filmmaking and psychology inform these views.
Orchestrating Light: Seth Dickerman Talks About his Passion for Photographic Printmaking
Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #39 Shadows
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes