Bill Owens (born September 25, 1938) is an American photographer, photojournalist, brewer and editor living in Hayward, California. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 1976and two NEA Grants, he is best known for his photographs of suburban domestic scenes taken in the East Bay and published in the book Suburbia in 1973. According to The New York Sun, “Bill Owens is one of the very few photographers to have shot people in the suburbs to any great extent. There is a long, long list of photographers who made their reputations shooting in cities and a shorter but impressive list who made their names with studies of rural communities, but Mr. Owens is uniquely associated with suburbanites living in the tract housing developments that absorbed 60 million Americans in the decades following World War II.”
His new website http://www.billowens.com/#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=4&a=0&at=0
contains the series he is most famous for, Suburbia.
Here is a quote from the mother of the child holding the gun in one of his most famous photographs
“I dont feel that Richie playing with guns will have a negative effect on his personality. (He already wants to be a policeman.) His childhood gun-playing wont make him into a cop-shooter. By playing with guns he learns to socialize with other children. I find the neighbors who are offended by Richie’s gun, either the father hunts or their kids are the first to take Richie’s gun and go off and play with it.”