© Charles “Teenie” Harris, 1930s-1940s, One Shot Teenie

#1: Two young women eating caramel apples, 1940-1945
#2: A woman outside Kay’s Valet Shoppe, 1938-1945
#3: Boys (possibly from Herron Hill School) playing brass instruments, 1938-45
#4: A woman poses with a car on Mulford Street in Homewood, 1937

In the days of film, especially in a controlled setting, photographers often made redundant shots to make sure they captured what they wanted. Not Charles “Teenie” Harris. A native of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the city’s cultural center of African-American life, Harris was a semi-pro athlete and a numbers runner before he bought his first camera in the 1930s. He opened a photography studio and specialized in glamour portraits, earning the nickname “One Shot” because he rarely made his subjects sit for a second take. (read more)

Nearly 80 years later, a retrospective of the photographer’s work, Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story" is on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh until April 7, 2012.

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