18 years ago I came across this photo printed on a postcard, I can’t recall where. I was hooked by the dog’s love of life and I needed that!
I moved house a couple of weeks ago- my sons have grown and left home now and that part of my life is complete, and in sorting through things this card re-surfaced. I propped it next to my computer screen, as its such a positive image. For some reason tonight in particular I looked at the back to find out who the photographer was.
Its by Erich Salomon 1886-1944 and there is a very interesting and informative biography of him here:
He was a risk taker, and went after his photos of people without their awareness, hiding his camera inside his hat! The ” unguarded moment”. I like to think I do that too- but I have an unwritten pledge with my clients that they can relax with their unguarded moments as I won’t betray them and only show their happy side. SoI edit to the positive and safe. I want to share safety.
He was revolutionary at the time, so a real individual.
The photo of the dog was taken in 1932 on a train between Chicago and New York. Erich was from Germany and worked abroad for some years.
Extract from his Biography by Peter Hunter:
“The candid photographer who had been the toast of Berlin society only a few years before was recognized by his fellow contrymen only as “the Jew Salomon” and was forced to wear a yellow star. In 1943, the Nuremberg Laws, the implement for the “final solution”, having been extended to German-occupied nations, Salomon and his family went into hiding. They were betrayed by a meter reader who noted an increase in gas consumption. According to Red Cross records, Erich Salomon died at Auschwitz in July 1944, a month after the Allies landed in Normandy.”
Before I knew who it was, the person who photographed the dog helped me when I needed something positive and pure, and the dog is surely that! Maybe thats all we can be responsible for- what we share honestly in the moment.
Now I will look at that photo and not just see the dog and love of life, but also know the absolute tragedy of life too, and maybe that’s the point.But it doesn’t mean I accept it! or think thats the way it has to be!