Elliott Erwitt

By: Briana Grima

Info


  • Elio Romano Erwitz was his original name, later changed it to Elliott Erwitt.
  • He was born on July 26, 1928 in Paris, France to Russian Parents. He is still alive today at age 87.
  • His family immigrated to the United States in 1939. He studied photography and film making at Los Angeles City College and the New School for Social Research. Erwitt had three wives, all of which he divorced. He has four children; Amelia, Ellen, Misha, and Jennifer.
  • Erwitt served as a photographer's assistant in the 1950s in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. He was influenced by meeting the famous photographers Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration's photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. He then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday.
  • Erwitt frequently photographed dogs but later leaned more towards candid photos of people in everyday life.
  • He joined the Magnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed him to shoot photography projects around the world and making him more well-known.
  • Erwitt was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship in 2002 and the International Center for Photography's Infinity Award in 2011.
  • "I don’t start out with any specific interests, I just react to what I see. I don’t know that I set out to take pictures of dogs; I have a lot of pictures of people and quite a few of cats. But dogs seem to be more sympathetic.." -Elliot Erwitt




  • Others admire his work and say it can be sometimes sad and other times funny.
  • I appreciate that his photos are candid and really capture the moment. He turns everyday life occurrences into photos that have deeper meanings.
  • “I don’t keep color pictures for my ‘personal exposures.’ Color is for work. My life is already too complicated, so I stick to black-and-white. It’s enough. Black-and-white is what you boil down to get the essentials; it’s much more difficult to get right. Color works best for information.” This is a quote I found to be interesting.


Photos of Erwitt

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His work

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Sources