Issue No. 106
Taking a picture at a family event or a party with friends has been an American addiction since the beginning of the 20th century. But with the Depression over and a newfound affluence—post WW II—a subtle change occurred in the 1950s. We became obsessed with photographing anything that seemed at the time to have some particular importance. It’s difficult to know why we decided to record these mundane depictions of our lives. Was it a need to prove to ourselves that we had been there, or were we reaching out to our yet unborn progeny, saying that, at least in pictures, we still lived?
Picture editor John Godfrey Morris has done far more than rub elbows with the who’s who of photojournalists. He’s assigned them, edited them and, on occasion, spent the night with them. Not in a prurient way, of course. The news knows no clock other than that of a deadline. And Morris, now 97 (born December 7, 1916), has been on more of them than perhaps any other person on the planet.
“I am just a spectator of wildlife, and I photograph what nature wants to show me.”