Eleonor and Harry

7

American photographer Harry Callahan shot thousands of pictures of his wife Eleonor. He kept a ‘record’ of her in endless number of ways. But why did he do it?

Eleanor, Chicago,1949. Photo via Masters of Photography

Nowadays, a lot of people shoot their feet. To be completely honest I never understood why. Thinking about it, I guess it qualifies as a self-portrait, because let’s face it, it’s not just the face which makes up a person. There are hundreds of reasons why people take self portraits. I guess one of them is the fact that the photographer is actually the subject closest at hand.

When you’re deeply in love (with someone other than yourself), the tendency is that if that other person doesn’t mind, you’ll take lots of pictures of them. This was the case with Harry Callahan. Harry Callahan shot thousands of pictures of his wife Eleonor. He ‘recorded’ her in endless number of ways: nude, clothed, on the street, on the beach, in the water, in the bedroom etc etc etc. He was, it seems, relentless.

Eleanor, New York,1945 / Eleanor, Chicago, 1948. Photos via Masters of Photography

Does this say something about him? Was he absolutely fixated with her? Was she an easy and cheap substitute for a model? Or was he simply so in love with her that he couldn’t get enough?

Eleanor and Barbara, Chicago, 1953. Photo via Masters of Photography

Harry Callahan passed away in 1999 at age 86, so I guess we’ll never know.

written by webo29 on 2011-07-14 #b-w #woman #lifestyle #analogue-lifestyle #lomography #obsession #film-photography #portrait #harry-callahan #wife

7 Comments

  1. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    I like to think that he was just so in love with her that he couldn't get enough. . . .

  2. webo29
    webo29 ·

    @kneehigh85 :)

  3. britterzb
    britterzb ·

    That's so sweet :-)

  4. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    Maybe he was a control freak who needed to be checking on his wife all the time- just kidding.
    Amazing pictures!

  5. webo29
    webo29 ·

    @sidsel hahaha

  6. freyfrey
    freyfrey ·

    wow, I'm in love with her too!

  7. bcrespo
    bcrespo ·

    I read a book that says that he was really uncomfortable shooting people he didn't know. It's one of the reasons he took so many pictures of her. He used to think that shooting models was artificial. You can read this amazing article about his work: erickimphotography.com/blog/2015/01/20/7-lessons-harry-call…

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