There is a bit of an artist in all of us. Some people write poems under the shade of a wind-blown tree, and others paint a picture on a canvas to free their minds from the stresses of creativity. We all have to have someone to look up to and compare our works with. With so many photographers to look at and learn from, one could look at the female photographer, who started to pop up even before the invention of the modern camera. To some, female photographers are some of the most inspirational figures in the field of photography. If one were to look at the history of famous photographers, it would not be a surprise to see just how many women have made a name for themselves in this field!

Throughout the long history of art, new art forms pop up from time to time, which may require much more time to perfectly master. It is not strange, then, that many of the famous female photographers began to rise since the commercialization of the camera. To separate from the plentiful number of photographers in the industry, women photographers began to form their own kind of style of taking pictures, beautiful in a different way.

As time passes and more people venture into photography careers, it's important to find the right role model to learn from. To become a professional photographer, the person must see what has already been taken by the lens of a camera, and what is yet waiting to be taken. With so many female famous photographers to choose from, it's easy to get lost in the rush of great photos. The list below highlights only a few of the great photographers that left quite a remarkable mark on the world of photography. Upvote the photographers you think had the most impact and leave a comment below with a photo name that you like the most from that photographer.

#1

Elizabeth 'Lee' Miller

Elizabeth 'Lee' Miller

War is a disgusting thing and through the eyes of a female photographer, the true view of war can be seen - the disgusting and cruel side. Elizabeth 'Lee' Miller, an American who migrated to the British Isles, became one of the most popular World War II photographers during its period. Unafraid of the blitz and the bombings, Elizabeth stayed in England to pursue a career in photojournalism and to capture the war not only for the British but also for the US Army. Brave and excellent at her work, she rose to fame and stayed there for years to come.

U.S. Army Official Photograph Report

#2

Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier

Sometimes, talent hides in the shadows, undisturbed for decades, till finally, in a moment, like from an overfilled box, a rush of great photos comes out to bring joy to the people who see them. That is the story of Vivian Maier, a female photographer whose fame only appeared after her death when her photos were accidentally discovered. Living in France for a large part of her life, she began to photograph American cities, showing appreciation for the cities across the nation.

commons.wikimedia.org Report

#3

Tina Modotti

Tina Modotti

When you travel the world, sometimes on purpose, sometimes because you are forced to, you get to see the world through a different perspective, that of a migrant looking for a home. Tina Modotti, an Italian-American photographer, had to travel to many different European countries with her parents, but also settled down in North America by her own choice. There, she took up acting before finally settling on photography and going to Mexico to join the uprising.

en.wikipedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#4

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

When there is a crisis, always take pictures. That is what made Dorothea Lange one of the most important photographers in the United States during the period known as the Great Depression. Having taken numerous memorable pictures of people and the surrounding world, Dorothea tackled the themes of poverty, racism, and other important themes. With the fame earned during the Great Depression, this photographer was able to stay an important figure in the world of photography even after her death.

loc.gov , loc.gov Report

#5

Ellen Von Unwerth

Ellen Von Unwerth

The freedom to express yourself is a freedom that can only come from the magic of art. With photography being one of the freest forms of art, Ellen Von Unwerth, a German photographer, rose to fame by showcasing just how free photography can be. By being a model herself before becoming a famous photographer, she has the experience of being not only behind the camera, but also in front of it.

en.wikipedia.org Report

oboe lover (he/they <3)
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

https://d7hftxdivxxvm.cloudfront.net/?resize_to=width&src=https%3A%2F%2Fd32dm0rphc51dk.cloudfront.net%2F8ez7Azk4kk2obsp3ENOCtQ%2Fnormalized.jpg&width=1820&quality=80. is one of my favorite pictures she took, the women in it are so happy :D

#6

Frances Benjamin Johnston

Frances Benjamin Johnston

The United States of America's history can be learned in several ways - through the power of words and sounds of music, but nothing beats the message translated through the sight of a photo. Frances Benjamin Johnston, a photographer born in the United States of America, used her eyes, and an additional one on the camera, to showcase not only the people of the United States but also the beautiful southern architecture. By taking photos of several great events in the nation's history, like the signing of the Spanish-American peace treaty, and portraits of the marginalized, like African Americans, Frances was able to leave a mark not only on the nation's art history but also on the world.

en.wikipedia.org , commons.wikimedia.org Report

#7

Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham

No one can argue that the three most interesting things about this world are the industry that fuels it, humanity that uses it, and nature that engulfs it. Imogen Cunningham, an American-born photographer, through her meticulous framing of photos, was able to capture not only the natural beauty of nature and a human being but also the great behemoths that are industrial landscapes. Being a member of the community named "Group f/64", she worked with other artists to not only better her photography skills but to also teach others, even inspiring such famous photographers as Judy Dater.

commons.wikimedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#8

Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun

Sometimes, reality becomes too cruel and unfair and we begin to develop a surreal vision of it, we look at it through the eyes of “what if”? Claude Cahun, born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French photographer and writer who arose after World War I and during World War II, and only got more popular after their death. Famous for their self-portraits, Claude Cahun was able to captivate the public of France and the citizens of the world around them with not only their portraits but also the surreal details they created in the world.

commons.wikimedia.org Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

“Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me.” - pretty awesome for 1928.

View more comments
#9

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott

Sometimes when one art form doesn't fit you, you can try multiple ones. If sculpting doesn’t fit you - try out photography. Berenice Abbott, an American-born photographer, first dabbled with the art of sculpting and only when she was invited to help with the work of Man Ray. Working for him, she developed a taste for photography and began to capture the beauty of the world. From the Eiffel tower of Paris to the Flatiron building of New York, Berenice Abbott captured the world, with her camera and mind, for almost a hundred years, leaving behind great works of art to look at.

en.wikipedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#10

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

When the activity you're in involves a lot of celebrity photography, it is not unusual to catch some fame in the process. Annie Leibovitz, while famous on her own for having the perfect eye for the camera, is also a famed celebrity photographer. Having been featured in Vogue and Rolling Stone magazines and having taken the last photograph of John Lennon, Annie will probably stay as one of the most famous photographers for a very long time.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#11

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White

Sometimes, a photographer is so respected by both sides of a global rivalry, that both make an offer to take their photos. Margaret Bourke-White, an American-born photographer, not only captured the United States at its lowest point during the Great Depression but also captured some photos of the Soviet Union during its rise to great power. Informing the public during World War II as the first female war correspondent, her skills and ability put her high up in the ranks of famous photographers.

en.wikipedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#12

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Art can touch many different aspects of a person's life - family, work, nature, and the world surrounding them. But art can also dig into the more taboo subjects of a person's life, ones we hide from the eyes of strangers, ones that we are not so eager to discuss. Diane Arbus, a world-famous female photographer, not only caught the bright world we live in every day, but also the underbelly of that world, the things we are not eager to discuss, but which must be put out for the world to see. For this, her fame only rose, even after she passed.

commons.wikimedia.org Report

#13

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron

The master of portrait photography, Julia Margaret Cameron is famous for her achievements in that field, and as her name reveals, she hailed from Great Britain and lived during the Victorian Era. A late bloomer, she took up photography as a hobby, but only flourished in her late years. With no interest in commercial photography, she used her family, friends, and staff to take non-commissioned photographs, to improve her skill and not sell it. Using people as props, shaping them in a way that fit her vision, Julia inspired many artists after her and not only photographers.

en.wikipedia.org , fr.wikipedia.org Report

#14

Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle

Maybe it's a myth grounded in reality, maybe it's a reality created by myths, but no one can dispute the fact that the French people sure love their art styles. Sophie Calle, a French photographer, is one of the best examples of what conceptual and installation photography should look like. By straining herself with rules and constraining techniques, Sophie can capture photos from a specific view to represent a particular idea.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#15

Gillian Wearing

Gillian Wearing

When it comes to conquering the world of arts, no one can do better than the English. Gillian Wearing, a photographer who utilizes the conceptual art form, is known to the whole world as a photographer to learn from. A 1997 Turner prize winner and one of the youngest British Talents, Gillian can catch the attention not only of the critics but also of the more relaxed art enjoyer.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#16

Deborah Copaken

Deborah Copaken

It’s not unusual to see journalism and photography mix together in what is more widely known as photojournalism, and this profession can be quite risky, especially if it involves catching a war that is happening at the moment. Deborah Copaken, a photojournalist turned author, is one of the most famous photographers of the past few decades. Catching the conflicts all around the world, Deborah is a photographer worthy of her fame. 

en.wikipedia.org Report

#17

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Sometimes, when you focus on a single subject, you can create quite a lot of wonderful pieces of work. Cindy Sherman is an American photographer whose main subject focus of her pictures was herself. Focusing on herself, Cindy was able to reveal how she would look in different contexts, positioning herself in a way that portrays the needed message, but also keeps things vague, leaving some space for the viewer to interpret.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#18

Candida Höfer

Candida Höfer

When the message is big, the photo taken must be big enough to convey it. When the world is dominated by huge spaces, both closed and open, Candida Höfer, a German photographer, is sure to catch the best possible show to translate the best possible message. While other artists rise to fame by focusing on a single subject, Candida rose to fame through open spaces, creating a clear message through a wide lens.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#19

Gerda Taro

Gerda Taro

A talent lost too soon is sometimes the most horrible thing that can happen to the world. Gerda Taro, a woman of German-Jewish descent, was one of the first photojournalists to pass away during a war. Being one of the most risk-taking photographers of her time, this young talent rose to fame not only for her great photographic ability but also for working with her partner, Robert Capa.

de.wikipedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#20

Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins

Being the first in an industry can be quite a sweet achievement to share with other people and other specialists in the profession. Anna Atkins, a woman who lived in the 19th century, is thought to be the first person ever to take a photograph. Not with a professional camera, but with one of the first cameras. And being the botanist that she was, you couldn’t even guess what the alleged first photo was taken of - a flower.

en.wikipedia.org , en.wikipedia.org Report

#21

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

Through the ages, some social issues continue to stay the same, even after steps are taken to address them correctly. Nan Goldin, a modern-day photographer, began to boil the waters of our society by exploring themes no one else was willing to even touch - LGBT subcultures, addiction, and other taboo topics. With such a controversial label above her, she soon grew to fame to become one of the most famous female photographers in the world.

commons.wikimedia.org Report

#22

Sally Mann

Sally Mann

Sometimes, you don’t need to take things to a colorful paradise; sometimes, black and white photography is enough to communicate the message you want. Sally Mann, a famous female photographer with many awards under her belt, is one of the most famous black and white photographers who can express the pessimistic ideas of decay and death beautifully.

en.wikipedia.org Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#23

Gisèle Freund

Gisèle Freund

When a crisis happens in the world, it will affect every person, no matter where you live and what you do with your life. When the Great Depression hit the world, Gisèle Freund, a German-born Frenchwoman, grabbed her camera and caught the lives of the people in other countries, like Argentina and France.

commons.wikimedia.org Report

#24

Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra

A well-taken portrait can give more than enough information about what a person is trying to express. Rineke Dijkstra is the perfect example of how several series of portraits can create a compelling story on their own. With so much skill and quality content under her belt, Rineke has separated herself from the crowd of many with her different approach to portraits and photography in general.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#25

Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark

If one wants to be a good artist or a photographer, then one must first learn how to teach. For a female photographer like Mary Ellen Mark, who went from exhibition to exhibition, it is possible to see how showcasing her work helped not only the ambitious young artists but also herself. Having a dozen different awards to showcase, she might be the most famous photography teacher.

en.wikipedia.org Report

#26

Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Käsebier

With the focus of American photography being mainly set on African Americans and people of European descent, it is important to remember the Native Americans of North America. Gertrude Käsebier was probably one of the most important women photographers who not only took many pictures of Native Americans, but also pushed the idea that photography, alone, can be seen as a job and should be respected as one.

en.wikipedia.org , loc.gov Report

#27

Barbara Morgan

Barbara Morgan

When hearing the name Barbara Morgan, one of the first things that might come to your head is the famous astronaut of NASA, but she isn’t that. Barbara Morgan, whose photographs are from the 20th century, is one of the most recognizable faces in the world of photography. Being one of the founders of one of the most famous photography magazines, you can believe that her fame reached its highest peak.

en.wikipedia.org Report

Eko Susanto
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thilly Weissenborn (1883 – 1964) was the first professional woman photographer of the former Dutch East Indies and one of the few photographers working in the early 20th century in the area who were Indonesian born. Her works were widely used to expand the newly developed tourism industry of the East Indies. thilly-wei...f2646f.jpg thilly-weissenborn-ca-1910-kitlv-6388f75f2646f.jpg