Walker Evans (1903 - 1975) was one of the greatest documentary photographers of the 20th century. Though most famous for his photographs of southern sharecroppers during the Great Depression (published in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which he co-authored with James Agee in 1941), he also worked on the staff of Time and Fortune magazines and in 1965 became a professor emeritus at Yale University.

His attitude toward documentary photography was much stricter than that of many of his contemporaries (see "Migrant Mother"). He said, "That's where the word 'documentary' holds; you don't touch a thing. You 'manipulate,' if you like, when you frame a picture - one foot one way or one foot another. But you're not sticking anything in."

However, there is ample evidence that he didn't always follow his own rules: Reportedly, while working on Let Us Now Praise Famous Men he set beds at photogenic angles and cleared clutter off tables in order to reveal "the order and beauty that ... lay beneath the surface of their poverty."

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