One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century – or of all time depending on who you ask – was Edward Weston, whose birthday was this week, March 24th, and we have chosen him as the subject for This Week in Photography History. Head on past the break for a look into life-work of master-photographer Edward Weston.
Born in Highland Park, Illinois (1886), Edward was primarily raised by his older sister Mary. His mother had passed away when he was only five years old, and his father never spent much time with him after remarrying. Throughout his life, his sister would be one of his most stable relationships. From a young age, he knew he wanted to be a photographer. After receiving his first camera (a Kodak Bull’s-Eye #2) at 16, he used it to photograph his vacation in the American Mid-West. Despite the simple nature of the camera, a spark was ignited within Weston that was great enough to drive him to purchase a better camera upon his return home (a used 5×7″ view camera). He spent most of his free-time developing his skills as a photographer, and in 1906 he moved out to California to be closer to his sister. It was at this point in his life that he knew he wanted to become a professional photographer, but would need the proper education to do so. This decision would lead Edward back to Illinois, familiar territory for him.