One of the most successful "candid" glamour photographers of the fifties. Avery was one of six children born in Akron, Ohio. His family moved to L.A. when he was nine, and he was introduced to his uncle Max, a landscape and architectural photographer, who inspired him to become involved in photography. Later on, he worked at a camera shop near the NBC studios. He took some classes, was a darkroom assistant, and photographed some chorus girls, then was drafted into the Army and assigned to the Signal Corps. Avery spent six months training at the New York City LIFE offices before being beng sent overseas. In London he was put in charge of the Army Pictorial Service Laboratory, where he processed all of the still and combat footage from the European theater. He married a woman in London, who became his manager and promoter.

Though Avery's photographs are candid and often unstaged, his work displays refinement, a strong knowledge of lighting, and good composition. His unassuming manner put his famous subjects at ease, subjects like Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Dean Martin (and family), and Paul Newman with Joanne Woodward.

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