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Krementz grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and moved to New York City in her late teens. She got a Nikon camera as a twenty-first birthday present in 1961. In the 1960s she worked as a photographer for the New York Herald-Tribune. Her color photography of the "March on the Pentagon" was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. She spent a year taking photographs in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Krementz later specialized in the photographing of writers. A major profile of her - written by Dorothy Gelatt - was published in the Spring 1975 issue of 35mm Photography (Ziff-Davis Publishing Company). According to the article, Krementz decided in 1970 to "...fill the author picture vacuum...". Working only with the aid of a secretary she built and ran a large library of photographs of authors. Most of her photographs at that time were in black and white. The article described her as working with a minimum of photographic equipment (two 35mm camera bodies and three lenses) and having her prints made by Erika Leone at the Meridian photographic laboratory. At the time the article was written, "...the Krementz stock list of authors totalled roughly 542...".
Krementz's photographs were shown at the Nikon House gallery in New York the mid-1970s, and in 1980 her book The Writer's Image (David R. Godine, Boston) was published. The book contained solely black-and-white photographs, with a preface written by Kurt Vonnegut, and an introduction by Trudy Butner Krisher.
She is the widow of author Kurt Vonnegut and has one daughter, Lily. In 2004, a major exhibition of her work was held at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. Writers Unbound featured warm, intimate portraits of authors in their homes and at their desks.
- "Talk with Jill Krementz, author of "The writer's desk"". Booknotes Non-fiction authors in hour-long interviews 1989-2004. June 1, 1997. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Lunch with Jill Krementz
- Writers Unbound exhibition
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- "Storybook Ballerina’s True-Life Adventure," New York Times, November 17, 2011
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