Bring back some good or bad memories


September 18, 2023

20 Breathtaking Portraits of Greta Garbo Taken by Ruth Harriet Louise From the 1920s

Ruth Harriet Louise (1903-1940) was an American professional photographer. The first woman photographer active in Hollywood, she ran MGM’s portrait studio from 1925 to 1930. Louise was hired by MGM as chief portrait photographer in the summer of 1925. She was the only woman working as a portrait photographer for the Hollywood studios.

In a career that lasted from only five years, Louise photographed all the stars including Greta Garbo. It is estimated that she took more than 100,000 photos during her tenure at MGM. Photographer Ruth Harriet Louise first photographed Garbo in September 1925. They had their last photo shoot together on April/May 1929.

Ruth Harriet Louise thought Greta Garbo was “a wonderful personality,” but as long as they worked together she remained elusive, difficult to photograph. “She has so many sides to her personality that one cannot do her justice ... She is so young, and so sad; she has so many moods, and even when she smiles I always sense a great sadness.”

Louise was the industry’s only major female photographer, Louise also was – perhaps not insignificantly – the only one who was Garbo’s age (they were both twenty-two in 1928). She seemed less concerned with contributing to a manufactured image than capturing a real person.

To accomplish this, she employed a little-used trick of the trade that allowed her to shoot some of the most open and revealing pictures of Garbo. Everything was photographed in long shot. Louise accomplished her miracles by the skillful way in which she cropped and enlarged; her close-ups emerged in the dark room.


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10