As a media student, I am always interested in learning more about important figures who paved the way for what the media industry is today. I am interested in all aspects of media, but there was one point in my life when I wanted to be a photojournalist. I have since figured out that photography is not my forte; but despite being terrible at photography, I still enjoy learning about various photographers.
Margaret Bourke-White was an American photojournalist. She is best known for being the first foreign photographer allowed to take photographs of the Soviet Union and the first female war correspondent allowed to work in combat zones in World War II.
Bourke-White was introduced to photography by her father, who took photographs for fun, and she became more invested in the art of photography after enrolling at Columbia University in 1921. She eventually transferred to Cornell University, and after she finished her studies there, she became a professional photographer. She started out as an industrial photographer, and her work as a “pioneer” in industrial photography helped lead her to work for Life and Fortune magazine.
She was all about capturing specific moments and people. She started out by taking photographs of buildings, machines, materials—industry-specific photographs. Over time, she became interested in taking photographs of social issues and traveling to areas where there was social change happening.
I believe her story was not lost in history. She has left a legacy that most people only dream of leaving behind. Her work and her experiences were a jump in women’s equality. She did something most women could not do in the 1930s: she traveled as a photographer and made her own way in life. Her work and her legacy have inspired me, and I know her life’s work will continue to inspire others for years to come.