A half-century of social documentary from the acclaimed American photographer, with previously unseen works

In this deeply personal book, Eugene Richards (born 1944) excavated a collection of more than 50 years of mostly unseen photographs—from his earliest pictures of sharecropper life in the Arkansas Delta to the present. In the midst of a fraught political climate—pandemic, rise in gun violence, polarized politics and the devastation in Beirut—Richards found himself meditating on what it means to make socially conscious documentary photography today. Upon his son’s suggestion, he began to post his photographs on social media, sifting through dusty binders of contact sheets—photographs taken for a community newspaper, on assignment for magazines, as a volunteer for human rights organizations, when wandering alone and at home with his family—and scanning the negatives.

In This Brief Life compiles these works, along with personal commentary and extensive captions by the photographer. Get there.