Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Great Life Photographers” as Want to Read:
The Great Life Photographers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Great Life Photographers

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  292 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
This book represents the work of every LIFE magazine staff photographer from the 20th century, as well as a handful of others closely affiliated with the magazine, including Alfred Eisenstadt, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, Eugene Smith, and Joe McNally. THE GREAT LIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS presents the most iconic images of the past century, as well as little-known gems fro ...more
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Bulfinch Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Great Life Photographers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Great Life Photographers

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of iconic images. It's comprehensive in that there is something included for every photographer who was on staff with LIFE Magazine and includes a brief biographical sketch for each photographer. In some examples of the most famous images there is some background given regarding the subject or the photo shoot itself. This thing I found most frustrating though was so often in the biographical info reference is made to whatever the piece a given photographer is most famo ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My type of Bible.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wish there was more text and backstory
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, provocative photos of which many I'd never seen before. I enjoyed the biographies of each photographer and found the whole book inspiring.
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The photographers I love more than the rest usually belong to two magazines, National Geographic or Life. After reading the biography of a photographer, it sounds like photojournalists are the same way, they all wanted their work to be in National Geographic or Life magazine.

Great Life Photographers is a collection put together by the editors of Life, and includes a short biography and a collection of photos from every person that contributed photographs to Life magazine. It's a little hard to r
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in photography, journalism and 20th Century history
I don't know when it happened, but some time ago I developed a real fascination and appreciation for photojournalism, so I couldn't help myself from buying this book. This book showcases some of the best work from almost all photographers for LIFE magazine. The pictures range from the 1930s to the most recent being sometime around the year 2000.

There are so many beautiful images in here covering everything from war to politics to celebrities and people's ordinary lives. Some of the most famous p
Tom Romig
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mine was one of the many families that subscribed to Life, so it's not surprising that many of these photos are familiar to me. The range of the magazine is truly remarkable: politics, fashion, war, ordinary life, world events, religion, sports, education, civil rights, and so much more. Was America better when our information sources were far fewer than they are now? But even back in the day, though a handful of weekly magazines and three TV networks dominated, there were many other smaller pub ...more
Joshua Cope
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great examples from past photojournalists. During my studies, it helped me realise that that these photographers weren't trying to 'reinvent the wheel' but instead refine it and develop it. Thai inspired me to study their work, adapt it and then refine it for the foundations of my own photographs
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, own-print
Loved this. I'm glad I bought a copy. Life looked so different in the early-/mid-20th century. The bios were also nice to read. Pretty much every talented, accomplished photographer with an iconic image to their name had to start from somewhere and worked their way up.
Anton Klink
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A display of the best photographers of one of the best photo journals in the world, this book is full of evocative, excellent, real life photos. No setups, no elaborate lighting and no posing - people photographed in their natural habitats, with many of the resulting photos full of raw emotion.

Some of the pictures are repeated from "Life: The Platinum Anniversary Collection", but whereas the latter gave us more backstories for some of the photos and presented those photos in a larger format, thi
Madison Redington
This is absolutely an inspiring book, especial for people interested and passionate about visual art. The photography in it is stunning and the shots captured are intriguing and a great history lesson in one picture. The addition of a small biography of each photographer next to the picture is great because it allows the reader to get an idea of who is behind the art and their background stories. This is one of my go to books for photographic inspiration; I am into photography and I am pursuing ...more
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a book, perfect both as a gift to photographers and photography lovers, and as gorgeous book to read or browse through time and time again.

Don't expect much technical information. But as a thick reference book of superb photography to enjoy and learn from, this is one of the best books on the market (not just for photojournalists).
Amanda Tranmer
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed the format... bio pic and short bio of the photographer set next to some of their most memorable photos taken, sometimes with a little extra description and/or history thrown in. Great coffee table book. Surprisingly, a good read as well.
While "reading" is only loosely construed I did read the text and looked at almost every picture. It was, honestly, pretty stunning. Photos, which I grew up disliking, now seem so quaint and old-fashioned.
Michel B.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Needless to say, simply sensational photographs. Brief and interesting blurbs on the photographers. Interesting commentary on a select few seminal photographs.

Wish I had a couple hundred dollars - I'd buy up a dozen copies for the students in my class.
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone into photography
I am a total photography freak! This book is awesome. The pictures shown throughout the book represent some of this nation's most defining moments and also includes lesser known shots of these moments. It truly is a wonderful collection. I never get tired of looking at it!
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
The book is a collection of some excellent images captured by Life Photographers. A worthy collection ...
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's just superb.
Kareem Youssef
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, art
What is there to say about a compendium of best photographs ever taken, It's a marvel.
Johara Almogbel
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant collection of images.
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fantastic book. offers brief bios of all the life photographers on staff and occasionally some background behind their most famous photos. wish it offered even more background.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books
Stunning images some very moving images in this book and wonderful commentary on the images.
Áine Simpson
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
love this, the photos are amazing to look through :)
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Full of amazing and historic photos. A nice coffee table book to pick up and page through every once in a while.
R. David
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in photography
Recommended to Andrea by: Mom
Shelves: i-own
i was a really great book full of inspiring photos
Janine Fenton
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2013
Cecilie Skovhøj
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2016
rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2015
Mark Stevenson
rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: An Autobiography
  • Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach [With Dvdrom]
  • A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart
  • Magnum: Fifty Years at the Front Line of History: The Story of the Legendary Photo Agency
  • Through the Lens: National Geographic's Greatest Photographs
  • The Photograph
  • Magnum Magnum
  • Bystander: A History of Street Photography
  • Slightly Out of Focus
  • Image Makers, Image Takers: Interviews with Today's Leading Curators, Editors and Photographers
  • The Decisive Moment: Photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Unseen Vogue
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War
  • On Being a Photographer: a Practical Guide
  • Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
  • Earth from Above
  • Photo Idea Index
  • Street Photography Now

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Man Without a Country
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • History of God
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War
    $13.99 $1.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
“There were thousands of people milling around, in side streets and everywhere. Everybody was kissing each other…And there was this Navy man running, grabbing anybody, you know, kissing. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make any difference….I ran ahead of him because I had Leica cameras around my neck, focused from 10 feet to infinity. You only had to shoot…I didn’t even know what was going on, until he grabbed something in white. And I stood there, and they kissed. And I snapped 5 times.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt”
More quotes…