The 1950s marked a moment of transition within Wayne Miller’s own work. Following the birth of his first child, the photographer began to turn his lens inwards and dedicated himself to photographing his own family. “It was as though I had never been a child,” he explained. Wayne Miller regarded childhood as a period of continual discovery and excitement and endeavoured to capture this by documenting the everyday lives of his four children.

I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs

Wayne Miller
© Wayne Miller | Magnum Photos

Wayne Miller was born in Chicago in 1918. He studied banking and worked only part-time as a photographer, but during World War II, he became a member of Edward Steichen's U.S. Navy Combat Photo Unit.

After the war he settled in Chicago and worked as a freelancer. In 1946-48, he won two consecutive Guggenheim Fellowships and photographed African-Americans in the northern states. Miller taught photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago, then in 1949 moved to Orinda, California, and worked for Life until 1953. For the next two years he was Edward Steichen's assistant on the Museum of Modern Art's historic exhibit, The Family of Man.

A long-time member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers, he was named its chairman in the summer of 1954. He became a member of Magnum Photos in 1958, and served as its president from 1962 to 1966. His ambition throughout this period was, in his words, to 'photograph mankind and explain man to man'. Wayne passed away on May 22nd, 2013.

© Wayne Miller | Magnum Photos

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