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July 10, 2022

Oddballs and Activists: Jill Freedman’s Incredible Street Photography

Jill Freedman (October 19, 1939 – October 9, 2019) is a highly respected New York City documentary photographer best known for her street and documentary photography. After college, Freedman traveled to Israel and England before taking up copywriting jobs in New York to sustain herself. She had not grown up taking photographs, but she said in New York one day she “woke and wanted a camera.”

In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Freedman said activism and protests had been the catalysts for her photography: “I studied sociology and anthropology and now realize that what I’ve been doing with my camera all these years is documenting human behavior. But I was taking pictures in my head long before I became a photographer. It was the Vietnam war that changed everything for me. I was angry and wanted to photograph anti-war demonstrations, so got my first camera.”

Freedman has published seven books: Old News: Resurrection CityCircus DaysFirehouseStreet CopsA Time That Was: Irish MomentsJill’s Dogs; and Ireland Ever.


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