Carter Jones was a noted international freelance photographer born on May 6th, 1913 in Washington D.C.
He attended St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman, Alabama and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He also studied creative writing at Princeton University. In the early 1940's he spent eight years as an advertising copywriter and copy chief in elite New York City agencies and won several awards.
In 1948, he left New York City for Paris to study art at the Académie Julien at the Rue du Dragon where Matisse and Modigliani once worked. During this time he had a borrowed Rolleiflex camera and began shooting street scenes under the indirect influence of the infamous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. His work garnered immediate interest and he soon began photographing professionally for many European fashion magazines including Paris Match, Femina, Le Figaro, Les Jardin des Modes and London Illustrated. A creative liaison emerged with the great Jacques Fath who was considered one of the three dominant influences on postwar haute couture. This led to his meeting Manine Auroux with whom he married in Paris in 1949.
After a year abroad, Carter Jones returned to the United States with his new bride where Jones’ commercial photography remained in demand. Along with a growing interest in his advertising images, Jones also began getting recognition from museum curators and distinguished magazine editors. Starting in 1954, his photographs would appear in numerous U.S. Camera Annuals for the remainder of his career. In 1955, Edward Steichen, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, selected one of Jones’ photographs for the historically significant exhibition The Family of Man.
Jones’ inclusion in the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow was a great honor for the artist as he had more photographs in the show than any other American photographer. Starting in 1960, Carter Jones began exhibiting regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual presentation: Photography in the Fine Arts.
It is undoubted that some of Jones’ most successful photographs were of his children. He would go to great lengths to capture natural and unposed shots of them in playful and poetic scenes with humor and inventiveness. “We can never enter into a child’s world, or we become an intruder. We can only peer into his world, into the realm of his own making.” - C. Jones, 1964 US Camera
On September 4th, 1968, just as his career began to peak, Carter Jones was killed on a return flight from an assignment in a single - engine plane crash over Ocean County, NJ.