Search for content, post, videos

The Questionnaire : Jane Evelyn Atwood by Carole Schmitz


Jane Evelyn Atwood : Free and independent

Jane Evelyn Atwood is known for her long-term work with prostitutes in the rue de Lombards in Paris, a seminal experience that gave rise to her unique working method. She has also been awarded the most prestigious awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1980 for her images of blind children around the world.

In 1971, Jane Evelyn Atwood moved from her native New York to Paris. At first, she worked during the day at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications where she produced press reviews and gave English lessons to support herself. But very soon, she tried to do something with her creativity and briefly tried her hand at acting. Then, having always been fascinated by images, without knowing anything about photography and even less thinking about becoming a photographer, she decided to buy a Nikkormat with which she made her first images, inspired by the only exhibition she had seen until then, that of Diane Arbus.

In the 80’s, she multiplied her long term reports, which she chose with care. Eighteen months with the Foreign Legion from Beirut to Chad; a four-month chronicle of the daily life of Jean-Louis, an AIDS patient whom she accompanied to the end; four years with the victims of antipersonnel mines in the four corners of the world.

She never goes “in the heat of the moment” in the fields that interest her and, with patience and commitment, her photographic work can mobilize her over several years. She takes the time to meet people, to let situations arise, to penetrate unexplored places and to portray human communities that are too often considered to be “on the margins”, and only stops when she feels she has had an answer to her initial question.

Her goal: is to include the excluded, to show what we don’t see, and to participate in the iconography of the world’s realities, even the darkest. In short, she makes sure to be where she feels she should be, with sensitivity, respect and intelligence.

For her, a successful photo is one that moves. It may be wild or not perfectly taken, but either way it should not leave you indifferent.

When we look at her career as a photographer, we can see the political commitment of her images, the special relationship she has with the people and places she photographs, but also her position as a concerned woman.


Website :


Your first photographic click ?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Diane Arbus


The man of images who inspires you?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : not a man, a woman : Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus © Tod Papageorge


The image you would have liked to make? 

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I don’t know


The one that moved you the most? 

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I can’t remember


And the one that made you angry?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I can’t remember


The quality needed to be a good photographer?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : an eye, a heart, patience, passion


The secret of the perfect image, if it exists? 

Jane Evelyn Atwood : it doesn’t exist


The person you would dream of photographing?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I don’t know


An essential photo book?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : There are many great photo books, but none that are essentiel.


The camera of your beginnings?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Leica.


The one you use today?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Leica.


Your favorite drug?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Red wine.


The best way to disconnect for you?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Music.


Your greatest quality?

Jane Evelyn Atwood: ask someone else.


An image to illustrate a new banknote?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I don’t know.


The job you would not have liked to do?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Accountant.


Your greatest extravagance as a photographer?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I can’t relate to the question.


The values you wish to share through your images?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Understanding others.


The city, country or culture you dream of discovering?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I don’t dream of discovering that.


The place you never get tired of?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : There isn’t one.


Your biggest regret?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I regret that I never learned to play a musical instrument.


Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok or snapchat?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : I don’t do social network, if that’s what those are…


Color or B&W?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : It depends on what the subject is.


Daylight or artificial light?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Daylight.


The most photogenic city according to you ?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : There are many.


If God existed would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Neither one.


The image that represents for you the current state of the world?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : One of fear and forboding


What is missing in today’s world?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Honesty, compassion, intelligence, sharing


And if everything was to be remade?

Jane Evelyn Atwood : Sigh…



Create an account or log in to read more and see all pictures.

Install WebApp on iPhone
Install WebApp on Android