Black Star is a New York City-based photographic agency that offers photojournalism, corporate assignment photography and stock photography services worldwide.
Black Star was founded in 1935 by Kurt Safranski, Kurt Kornfeld, and Ernest Mayer, three German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. When Life was launched in 1936, Black Star became an important supplier of photographs to the new magazine.
According to photo historian Marianne Fulton, Life brought Black Star 30 to 40 per cent of its business. Black Star, in turn, contributed to Life becoming the most popular magazine in America for nearly three decades, with tens of millions of readers.
Noted Black Star photographers include Robert Capa, Andreas Feininger, Germaine Krull, Philippe Halsman, Martin Munkácsi, W. Eugene Smith, Marion Post-Wolcott, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Charles Moore, and Mario Giacomelli.
In recent decades, corporate assignment photography has emerged as the largest segment of Black Star's business. The company claims to have captured more photographic images for more annual reports than any other photo agency or service in the world.