Robert Giard was a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer who for two decades chronicled a broad survey of contemporary American gay and lesbian literary figures. Giard came relatively late to the practice of photography. He majored in English literature and received a B.A. from Yale, and M.A. in Comparative Literature from Boston University. For a time he taught intermediate grades at the New Lincoln School in New York City. By 1972, entirely self-taught, he began to photograph, concentrating on landscapes of the South Fork of Long Island, portraits of friends, many of them artists and writers in the region, and the nude figure.