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Manuel was born in Mexico City and originally studied painting and music, becoming interested in photography in the 1920s. He met Diego Rivera through his friendship with Tina Modotti. He famously photographed the Mexican Muralists, and his cinematic images of Mexico speak of the mystery of everyday life, and of contemporary political and social problems. Although never officially aligned with the Surrealists, Andre Breton was known to particularly admire his work, and said it showed ' everything that is poetic in Mexico.'

Lola was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, and began taking photographs under the influence of her husband in the 1920s. They separated in 1934, and this is when she came into her own as an artist. She worked in a number of photographic genres: nudes, still life, landscape, photomontage and portraits. She was a close friend of Frida Kahlo, and in fact hosted Frida' s first solo exhibition in Mexico in her gallery (Galería de Arte Mexicano) in 1953.