Jill Krementz is a photographer and author. She has published some 31 books, mostly of photography and children’s books. Krementz grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and moved to New York City in her late teens. She got a Nikon camera as a birthday present when she became 21. As to working as a photo reporter, she built a life on it. In the 1960s she worked as a photographer for the New York Herald-Tribune. With her color shot of the “March on the Pentagon” she made the cover photo in the The New York Times magazine. She spent a year taking photographs in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Krementz later specialized in the photographing of writers. A major profile of her – written by Dorothy Gelatt – was published in the Spring 1975 issue of 35mm Photography. According to the article, Krementz decided in 1970 to “…fill the author picture vacuum…”. Working only with the aid of a secretary she built and ran a large library of photographs of authors. Most of her photographs at that time were made in black and white and she is described as working with a minimum of photographic equipment (two 35mm camera bodies and three lenses) and having her prints made by Erika Leone at the Meridian photographic laboratory. At the time the article was written, “…the Krementz stock list of authors totalled roughly 542…”.
Her photographs were shown at the Nikon House gallery in New York the mid-1970s, and in 1980 her book The Writer’s Image (David R. Godine, Boston) was published. The book contained solely black-and-white photographs, with a preface written by Kurt Vonnegut, and an introduction by Trudy Butner Krisher.
She is the widow of author Kurt Vonnegut and has one daughter, Lily. In 2004, a major exhibition of her work was held at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. Writers Unbound featured warm, intimate portraits of authors in their homes and at their desks.