Dorothea Lange trained with the portrait photographer Arnold Genthe in New York and studied at the Clarence H. White School of Photography. In 1918 she moved to San Francisco where she joined the Camera Club, became friends with photographers Imogen Cunningham and Edward Weston, and established her own studio. By 1932 the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 were visible to Lange. Seeing a line of destitute men in front of a soup kitchen, she felt compelled for the first time, to take her camera into the street. This image illustrates Lange's ability to engage in the social issues of the day and create an aesthetically powerful composition.