64 Of The Most Famous Photographers In History
We’re not the ones to talk about the importance of photography, for it has been done many times in much more beautiful words than we are capable of. However, you know us - we still always try to pay our respects where they are due and show our appreciation in the ways we know the best. And that’s usually a picture list. This one, though, is a little bit different than the rest. Here, you’ll be able to meet the people behind the camera, whose works made it into history and, sometimes, even changed the way we see it. This is our list dedicated to the most famous photographers of all time, and who knows, it might even be the first time you put their names to faces!
From the most famous landscape photographers, like Ansel Adams, to the famous portrait photographers, like Annie Leibovitz, you’ll meet all the world-renowned artists in this list. We’ve gone so far as to add one of their beautiful photos next to their portraits, to make this list even more impactful for those trying to learn more about the world of photography. And once you see (or revisit) their works, you’ll understand why these men and women are titled the best photographers. Their stunning pictures truly enrich the world around us with those moments in time caught in perfect stillness for us to analyze and take in. Here we’ve promised not to talk about the importance and beauty of photography at the very beginning of this text, and look at us now.
Anyhoo, ready to put the faces next to the names of some of the most famous photographers in history? Of course you are, and we’re just excited as you are to see who you think is the best or the most important of them all! How will we know it? Simple - just give your vote to the famous photographer that you think deserves to be on the top of this list.
Dorothea Lange’s (1895 - 1965) iconic picture known as Migrant Mother is forever cemented in our mind as the image describing the Great Depression. It truly is one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century. However, when you know that Dorothea suffered from polio as a kid, which left its mark even in her adulthood, you start to understand where she got the ability to connect to her photography subjects on such a deep level. Her empathy and deep levels of connection were among the traits that made her into one of the most famous portrait photographers of all time.
Emmanuel Radnitsky (1890 - 1976) was born in Philadelphia, grew up in New Jersey, and started his work as a professional artist in 1910 New York. After two years there, he started signing his name as Man Ray, despite his family surname not being changed to that until the 1920s. He learned photography purely so that he could recreate his own works of art, which comprised paintings and mixed media.
Edward Henry Weston
Edward Henry Weston (1886 - 1958) is regarded as one of the most innovative, inventive, and influential American photographers of the 20th century. Throughout his 40 years of active photography he encompassed a wide variety of subjects like portraits, landscapes, nudes, still lifes, genre setting, and even parodies.
Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) was a landscape photographer best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West. He was also a founding father of Group f/64 - an alliance of photographers who wanted to create ‘pure’ photography art emphasized with sharp focus and full tonal variety of an image. Adams was also a lifelong supporter of environmental protection, and this cause was always tangible in his work.
Jacques Henri-Lartigue (1894 - 1986) was a French photographer who had to wait the better part of his life before becoming a renowned artist. In fact, he was 69 when he first showed a collection of his photographs in MoMa! However, he got his first camera when he was eight, so up until the point of his show, he had already gathered thousands of invaluable images from sporting events, car races, family vacations, the life around him, and most importantly - his brother’s crazy inventions.
Eliot Porter (1901 - 1990) was a biological scientist by vocation, but wildlife photography had always been his true calling. After the success of his exhibition in 1938, Porter pursued wildlife photography full time and began experimenting with Eastman Kodak’s dye transfer method for color pictures. This influenced his work greatly, even changing the way he took his images.
Walker Evans (1903 - 1975) was best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration, where he captured the impact the Great Depression had on people. His use of a large-format camera made his images almost alive and aligned with his objectives to create ‘literate, authoritative, and sublime’ pictures. Evans’ images captured and documented the true face of the Great Depression so powerfully that you can still feel the gloom of the times when looking at them in our day.
Robert Capa’s (1913 - 1954) turbulent upbringing and life on the move might have been one of the factors that pushed him into documenting the fleeting moments of life. Capa’s most significant works were taken during the five wars he documented to be published in various magazines and newspapers. In fact, Capa risked his life on several occasions to take the best shots, especially so when he decided to go to the D-Day on Omaha beach as a sole amateur photographer. After the war was over, Robert went to co-found Magnum Photo agency in Paris, which was the first agency ever to represent freelance photographers.
Robert Doisneau (1912 - 1994), a Parisian from an upper-class family in Gentilly, had an insatiable attraction to the arts from a very young age. So, naturally, he took to photography and as early as 1934, he got his first job as an industrial photographer at a Renault factory. However, that didn’t last long and he was sacked for tardiness. Despite that, and the start of WWII, mister Doisneau kept working as a freelance photographer, thus garnering a vast collection of incredibly detailed and powerful photographs.
Annie Leibovitz (1949 - Present) is probably one of the most well-known photographers of this day. She started her career as a photographer for the legendary Rolling Stone magazine and worked there for ten years, before embarking on other photography projects. To capture the perfect image, Leibovitz uses special light arrangements that produce that iconic subdued, almost impressionistic look.