a form of photojournalism that builds meaning by linking images to develop a story in depth. These four LIFE* essay excerpts exemplify Grey Villet's mastery of the medium, attesting to his credo that every story be, in his words, "as real as real could get". To achieve this, he seldom posed an image, generally used only available light and while shooting became as unobtrusive as a "fly on the wall" to allow meaningful moments to emerge naturally from a fluid reality.
Essays clockwise: "The Loving Story" the couple who challenged state bans on interracial marriage...and wond. "Tunnel Back to the Human Race," a journey through the world of an addict in the 1970's, "Lash of Success," one man's journey to personal wealth and success and the toll it taks, "Going Under," an examination of farm foreclosures in the 1980's, and "More than Compssion," a viewof the relationship between a nurse and her patients, in the mid 1970's.
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|In shooting and editing his results on contacts, Grey looked for moments that expressed a story's essence in images like those featured here. But beyond the power of such as "openers" his overall objective was to create those images that would allow each story to 'write itself" collectively in visual form before any words were added to layouts. Look carefully at these essays. In them you will find not only telling portraits of the human condition but evidence of a passionate concern for truth that distinguished the work of the great hearted man behind the lens.
*LIFE is a registered trademark of TIME Inc. Essay spreads are copyright to LIFE magazine/TIME Inc./Getty Images