This particular story resonated with me on a number of different levels but mostly, I think, I was impressed by the immersion and time commitment of the photographer. Here is an excerpt from a Chicago Tribune interview with Ms. Filling 50 years after the publication which gives me a glimpse at how different photo stories were then:
"Weeks of shooting
Photographer Leonard McCombe spent four weeks with her and shot 4,000 pictures--showing readers her 15-cent breakfast, what her job was like, where she lived, what she did on weekends and whom she dated. And considered racy at the time: a shot of her in a bathtub."That photographer, Leonard McCombe, spent four weeks working on this one story is so wildly different than what we expect from (non-conflict) photojournalism now. Most assignments today are based around the idea of coming up with one "iconic" image of a person or celebrity which will be used as the header or lead-in for short, written articles. And the saddest thing is that these iconic images are mostly an opaque avatar for a person, generated by mixing popular photographic memes from the crowdsourced "creativity" of the web, interpreted by a photographer whose concerns are limited to getting "one great shot" which tells us nothing. I think of it as the "Annie Leibovitz Effect."