Fotograf Magazine

Zdeněk Tmej: Story without a Happy Ending

The Prague-born Zdeněk Tmej (5. 7. 1920 – 22. 7. 2004) lost his father at 7, and soon afterwards also the financial security afforded by the family’s large tailor’s shop, which his mother was unable to maintain. He took photographs from the age of twelve, first publishing these in magazines at sixteen. He specialized in instant photographs taken in difficult light conditions, such as in the theatrical environment. As early as before the war he had already published photo-reportages of his own suggestion and themes, especially in the magazines of Melantrich, one of the foremost publishers of the day. He had the best prerequisites for photography: rapacity, a penetrating eye, and a talent for surviving – even war and imprisonment. At the same time his social status was prefigured by a self-destructive temperament as well as satyriasis.

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