Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France) is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings— a master of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”. In 1939, at the age of ten, Erwitt’s family, of Russian origin, emigrated to the United States. Erwitt studied photography and filmmaking at Los Angeles City College and the New School for Social Research, finishing his education in 1950.
Erwitt served as a photographer’s assistant in the 1950s in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. Erwitt was influenced by his meeting the famous photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration’s photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. Erwitt then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier’s, Look, Life and Holiday. Joining the Magnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed Erwitt to shoot photography projects around the world. (Source: Wikipedia)