Born in Latvia in 1906, Philippe Halsman was as unusual a photographer as he was prolific. Over the course of his career, Halsman produced reportage and covers for most major American magazines, including a staggering 101 covers for Life magazine. His assignments brought him face-to-face with many of the century’s leading personalities. While technically gifted, Halsman’s true gift lay in encouraging his many subjects to pose naturally for the camera. “Most people stiffen with self-consciousness when they pose for a photograph. Lighting and fine camera equipment are useless if the photographer cannot make them drop the mask, at least for a moment, so he can capture on his film their real, undistorted personality and character.” Pictured here, Surrealist artist Dalí jumps for a portrait along with three cats in an early example of the practice Halsman called “jumpology”.

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