the photography of Nina Leen

Photographer Nina Leen, 1909-1995 - born in Russia, but grew up in Germany, Italy & Switzerland before settling in the States in 1939. She was an acclaimed animal photographer before moving to the USA.
Nina joined LIFE magazine in 1945, one of the first female photographers hired by the magazine.

Here are a few of my favourites from the plethora of Leen photographs you can glean from the internet:

glorious checks!

the lovely Lauren Bacall

teenagers of America

squirrel bath

a woman eating cotton candy.

the Dees triplets, 1964 - how groovy are they?

Nina herself, photographing a model.

portrait of Nina Leen with a Rollieflex, 1949

To find out more about Nina Leen, here is a great reference point via Gallery M
The majority of the images used here are from Google's Life images.
Here's Nina's section on Life's website.

I found it fascinating that Nina was so entranced by bats! She referred to them as her "flying kittens". I, too, am intrigued by these creatures that are so feared, and therefor I adore Nina even more now! I'm going to try to find a copy of The World of Bats, 1970. Hard to even find a photo of the book online! Popular bat book :)

with photography joy,


  1. i'm always stunned by the gorgeous photography from back in the day. i am obsessed with film photographs! they are gorgeous. the squirrel bath cracked me up :)

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  2. I absolutely adore Nina Leen's work. Her eye for detail and ability to create such wonderful contrast and patterns in black and white photography make me go weak at the knees. :)

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