Salzmann has worked as a photographer and filmmaker since the early 1960s. He holds a BA in German literature and an MA in anthropology, both from Temple University. His projects document the lives of little known groups in the United States and abroad. Salzmann’s photographic method is deeply informed by his background in anthropology and involves long-term participation in and observation of groups or events. He often publishes his work as a photo essay accompanied by text. He has numerous publications, including The Last Jews of Rădăuţi (1978), a photographic study of a nearly extinct Jewish community in Romania, with text by Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann.