Hine understood that many immigrants came to America
to seek a better life. His early photographs depict
hopeful families arriving at Ellis Island.
Like Riis, Hine took many photographs of families
in tenement dwellings. However, Hine's subjects
are often smiling and engaged in the task at hand.
Hine's goal was to create intimate, personal human
portraits. To accomplish this, he often photographed
his subjects directly in front, from the waist up,
establishing an equality between the subject and
the viewer. Hine's subjects often looked directly
into, or just to the side of, the camera. This method
gave the impression that the viewers knew or could
identify with the subjects.
shifted his camera angle downward in some of his
factory shots to show the relationship between the
workers and their environment.
also juxtaposed his subjects to illustrate class
Unlike Riis, whose photographs projected a grim
view of New York City slum life, Hine's photographs
showed the quiet dignity of individuals whose
circumstances could improve with help.