(1914 - 1995)
An amazing portrait and fashion photographer.
“Some pictures look posed that are not posed”
Nina Leen was one of the first women photographers for LIFE. She was born in Russia but grew up in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She always wanted to be a photographer and her first camera, bought in Europe while she was still an amateur, was a Rolleiflex that she continued to use throughout her assignments for LIFE. She is best known for her many pictures of animals. Nina was married for a few years to Serge Balkin, who was a fashion photographer.
During her early years on the magazine, Nina Leen did a number of memorable stories about teenagers. As an expert observer of the manners and mores of her new country, her reactions to American youth were particularly acute. She photographed many fashion stories for LIFE and was a perceptive interpreter of “way of current life” stories.