Vintage Photo Eye Candy: A 1940s Guide to Becoming a Pro Photographer

Portraits, illustration, news, cinema -- this 1946 film from the Your Life Work series describes the many career tracks open to young people interested in photography and cinematography. Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, the educational reel is full of tips for hobbyists and aspiring pros. Skip to about 4:20 to learn about photojournalism. The dry narration doesn't glamourize the industry, pitching it as a sensible professional path: "Contrary to popular opinion, a press photographer's life is not just one big thrill after another! He does shoot exciting scenes from time to time, but such events are the exception. Most of his work is routine in nature, consisting mainly of pictures of people and places connected with the news."

The archival footage of journalists and their retro gear will warm the hearts of any die-hard fans of analogue image making. Check out the shot at 5:00 of newsreel cinematographers perching tripods on the roofs of their cars to get a high-angle shot:

Don't miss another gem from the Your Life Work series, which pushes careers in typesetting:  

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://archive.org/details/prelinger.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Video

Just In