Sabine Weiss, born in 1924 in Saint-Gingolph, Switzerland, has always maintained a fierce independence and a need to strike out on her own. At just eighteen—during a time when being a photographer was not a common profession, especially for a woman—she took off in order to pursue this passion, riding her bicycle to Geneva.
In the capital city, she apprenticed under studio photographer, Frédéric Boissonnas until 1945, and soon after opened a studio of her own. But once again wanderlust set-in and after the war Weiss moved to Paris to assist Willy Maywald, the famed German fashion photographer. There, she met her future husband, the American painter Hugh Weiss, and she began recording—in-depth—the daily life of the Parisian working-class. Her first years in Paris, she worked mainly as an independent, but in 1952 was hired by Vogue as a photo reporter and fashion photographer. Also at the time, Robert Doisneau discovered her photography and asked her to join the humanist leaning photo agency Rapho, giving her opportunities to work and travel for many other publications such as Time, Life, Newsweek, and Paris-Match.