Jessie Tarbox Beals was an American photographer and the first published female photojournalist in the United States. She is best known for her freelance news photographs, particularly of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and portraits of places such as Bohemian Greenwich Village.
She was the first female staff photographer hired by The Buffalo Inquirer and The Courier in 1902. Although, they rarely hired her again as a staff photographer, her freelance news photographs and her tenacity and self-promotion set her apart in a competitive field through the 1920s. At a time when most women’s roles were confined to the home and most women who ventured into photography maintained homelike portrait studios, Jessie called attention to her willingness to work outdoors and in situations generally thought too rough for a woman. She excelled in photographing such news worthy events as the 1904 world’s fair as well as documentary photography of houses, gardens, Bohemian Greenwich Village, slums, and school children.
What I admire from her is her tenacity and determination to succeed no matter what. Something we can all take from her.