With the polarization of digital cameras, capturing truly candid moments are rare. Those moments when the true reality of a moment is captured in a snapshot, but when they are captured they hold a certain weight and character that speaks for itself. Garry Winogrand, a renowned photographer, became famous for capturing the reality of life in snapshots.


Garry Winogrand was born in the Bronx in 1928, and is famous for his depiction of American life during the 1950’s to the 1980’s. He is most well known for his photos of New York City life. His photos captured life as it was happening, they captured real people, mostly strangers, in the beauty of the moment.


A photo by Garry Winogrand (mocp.org)

Winogrand’s photos are currently being displayed at an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibit features over 175 of Winogrand’s images from cities all across the country. With most images the location is displayed, but little other information is given. This allows for the creativity of the view to run free and attach their own meaning to the photo. “For me the true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film…if, later, the reality means something to someone else, so much the better,” stated Winogrand. His photos of different places and strangers take on a life of their own, and mean something different to each person.




Winogrand has a fascination with female beauty, many of his photos feature women in everyday life,

“Whenever I’ve seen an attractive woman, I’ve done my best to photograph her. I don’t know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know that the women are beautiful in the photographs. By the term ‘attractive woman,’ I mean a woman I react to, positively… I do not mean as a man getting to know a woman, but as a photographer photographing.”


In 1975, Winogrand published a book titled “Women are Beautiful,” which featured a collection of photo of the women Winogrand photographed.



Winogrand captured current events and trends of the times (moma.org)

His photos were a sort of commentary on life and issues of the time, taking them and making them into art. Many of them featured prominent figures of the time such as famous actors, athletes, and politicians. Images of anti-war protests, fashionable clothes and cars, and other issues and events of the time were all an important part of his work.


The fact that his photos offer more questions than they do answers, is the beauty of Winogrand’s work. Just as a saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, and Winogrand’s work speaks volumes about the times and places he captured. Be sure to check out Winogrand’s work at the Met, from now until September 21.


What are your thoughts on the images of Garry Winogrand? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich