André Kertész bought his first camera and made his first photograph while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange in 1912. After years of amateur snapshot photography in his native Hungary, he moved to Paris in 1925 and began a career as a freelance photographer. There, the young transplant, speaking little French, took to the streets, wandering, observing and developing his intimate approach to image making. He also met and began to photograph other artists including Brassaï.
From 1933 to 1936, Kertész published three books of his own photographs. Immigrating to the United States in 1936, he settled in New York, where he earned his living photographing architecture and interiors for magazines such as House and Garden. It was not until he retired from commercial work at age 68, that Kertész was free to focus again on the more personal subjects that had delighted him as an amateur.