The 'eye of the Paris streets' photographer Sabine Weiss dies aged 97


Swiss-French photographer Sabine Weiss, who chronicled social change for nearly eight decades, has died aged 97 in her Paris home, her family said Wednesday. She was considered the last of the French 'humanist' photography school of post-World War II.

Born Sabine Weber on July 23, 1924, in Saint-Gingolph on the edge of Lake Geneva, she bought her first camera at the age of 12, and became an apprentice in a prestigious Geneva photo studio at 16.

She moved to Paris in 1946 and worked as an assistant to fashion and portrait photographer Willy Maywald. She became a French citizen in 1995.

She opened her own studio in 1950 in the 16th Arrondissement of the capital, finding work taking photographs for Le Printemps department store and  for advertisments.

With her American husband, the painter Hugh Weiss, she spent time in artistic circles. She was commissioned for portraits of several well known artists of the time including Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti and Niki de Saint Phalle.

There were writers, musicians and actresses too such as Françoise Sagan, Romy Schneider, Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Bardot, and Charlie Parker.

Globe trotter
Later, Robert Doisneau brought her onto the team of the iconic fashion magazine Vogue and into the Rapho photo agency, which opened doors to many opportunities in the United States.

She met and photographed many of the celebrities of the time, and travelled extensively.

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