Photography by David Bailey

    David Bailey

    David Bailey, born in 1938 in London’s East End, says that as a youth he had very limited choices in the job market. "You could become a boxer, a car thief, or maybe a musician." Photographer wasn’t on the list and seemed an even dimmer possibility after Bailey’s failed early efforts to take snapshots with the family’s Brownie camera. Instead, he pretty much did anything and everything else to make money: carpet salesman, tallyman, shoe salesman, window-dresser. . . . It was only after being posted to Singapore while in the British Royal Air Force in 1956 that Bailey started getting more immersed in the field of photography. He discovered the work of Henri Cartier Bresson, which greatly inspired him, and started voraciously poring through copies of LIFE and various American photo journals. In 1957 he bought his first camera. "I was smitten, and gradually the prospect of becoming a photographer became less remote, perhaps even attainable."

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