In the preface to his new book Moment by Moment, former LIFE photographer John Loengard notes that the thing about a good photograph is that it cannot be repeated. What it captures will never happen again, though now it is frozen in time by the image.
“That may explain why an image of a brief moment, an instant in time, can hold our interest forever,” he writes.
Loengard’s latest book is a survey that takes a closer look at a variety of the many iconic images he has created during the last 60 years. It is filled with quiet, intimate moments, from a laughing Marilyn Monroe to a young boy turning his head at the sound of his mother calling. All of his subjects, whether famous or unknown, are treated with the same careful, thoughtful eye — catching the moments in between.
Pictured on the cover is the famous photo of the Beatles in a swimming pool at Miami Beach in 1964. This photo in fact never ran on the cover of LIFE magazine – although as illustrated here, it is certainly cover worthy — but ran in the back of the book as a Miscellany. (“I never thought it was a terrific photograph,” Loengard told LIFE.com a few years ago. “It’s not a very expressive picture at all, in my opinion. But given the history and the appeal of the people in it, it keeps cropping up, year after year.”)
John Loengard was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine from 1961 to 1971 and went on to be the Picture Editor from 1978-1987. Moment by Moment is available now, published by Thames and Hudson.