- Famous Photographers of The 19th Century
- Famous Photographers of the Early 20th Century
- Famous Photographers of the Late 20th Century
Throughout the years there have been a handful of photographers who have molded the ways in which the medium of photography has become an art. Each photographer left his imprint on photography, forever changing the ways in which people study, practice, enjoy and embrace the field.
From the early photographers, who established the initial path that photography would follow, to the photographers of today, who are continually pushing the bounds of photography with digital cameras and image editing software, hundreds of photographers have snapped millions of photos, allowing us to see everyday objects in extraordinary ways and extraordinary objects in average ways interesting, intriguing and sometimes-unusual people have had a huge impact on the art of photography. In this section, we’ll examine the great photographers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. We’ll discuss their techniques, styles, histories and more. Keep reading to learn more about famous photographers.
Famous Photographers of The 19th Century
Although the first recreation of a permanent image occurred in 1826, color photography and the predecessors of modern pictures didn’t arrive until 1861. However, as soon as technology advanced methods for developing pictures progressed and portable cameras became more accessible, photography became a widespread hobby.
While some took pictures to document a moment, others practiced photography to spread information about current events, the foundation for modern photojournalism. Still others took to the camera to create art and express their perspectives.
When it comes to photography as an art form, the subjects, representations and methods of taking pictures are varied and complex. Along with using people and animals as subjects of photographs, photographers have also been known to capture pictures of even the most mundane objects, such as fruit and street signs.
In this section, we will discuss the work, lives and legacies of some of the earliest photographers.
Andre Giroux (1801-1879)
This famous French painter and photographer is best known for his representations of landscapes and restorations of medieval ruins. In fact, Andre Giroux was in some ways bred to be a photographer due to the fact that his dad invented camera equipment for Daguerre.
While he started out painting, Giroux also etched glass negatives to give his work a mechanical, industrial feel. He would then use his glass etchings as the basis for negatives from which he could reproduce countless photos, a technique that is known as cliché-verre. Keep reading to learn more about the life and work or Andre Giroux.
EJ Bellocq (1873-1949)
Although most of his work wasn’t seen until after his death, this wealthy Creole man is most famous for his photos of prostitutes, opium dens and other seedy areas. While most of his work was tragically destroyed after his death, some photos survived and were published in a collection entitled Bellocq: Photographs from Storyville (1996).
In general, EJ Bellocq’s photographs focused on a single woman, either nude or partially dressed. Also, in almost all of his pictures, the faces of the women are scratched out. Although there was some speculation that those who found the photos vandalized them, most experts agree that Bellocq himself was the one who scratched out the faces in order to protect the women’s identities. Read on to learn more about EJ Bellocq’s legacy.
Man Ray (1890-1976)
Although he considered himself to be a painter, Man Ray was an American photographer who did work in fashion and portrait photography. However, his most lasting legacy lies in his significant contributions to the Dada and Surrealist art movements.
The famous photographer Man Ray is best known for his work depicting images in the genres of Dadaism, surrealism, and avant-garde imagery. A master of fashion and experimental photography, Man Ray was also a painter, filmmaker, writer and philosopher. Respected as an artistic genius, Man Ray produced provocative and daring photographs.Emmanuel Radnitzky was born on August 27, 1890 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
While he started to dabble in photographic Dada work in 1916, as his practice evolved throughout the 1920s, he moved to Paris, claiming that New York was not the right place for him to produce Dada pieces. During his career, Man Ray worked with other great artists, including Picasso, Dali, Arp and Ernst. Keep reading to learn more about the life and work of Man Ray.
Famous Photographers of the Early 20th Century
From 1901 to 1950, photography evolved from an art in its infancy to a complex and constantly evolving medium. Photographers in this time period experimented with light and shadow, color and new forms of photography equipment.
As photographic technology advanced and more people started practicing this art, more and more artists who considered themselves painters flocked to the new medium. While some of the earlier famous photographers localized their practice to taking pictures of people, animals and landscapes, as the camera and its accessories evolved, some started using it to take pictures of more complex scenes, to make political statements and to capture a mood, rather than a specific subject.
Similarly, the practice of photography expanded out of the realm of portraiture, gaining an important role in the world of advertising and photojournalism. In fact, during the early 20th century, the camera started to play an essential part in the way in which information was disseminated and how people learned about world events. Images of war, pictures of foreign countries and representations of other ways of life began to be more widely circulated.
Another important step in the cultural evolution of photography is the fact that cameras became cheaper and more widely available. As a result, families and individuals started using cameras to capture their memories and record their personal histories. This gave birth to the rise of street photography, the practice of taking pictures of everyday people and scenes.
In this section, we will discuss the work, lives and legacies of photographers that were born at the beginning of the 20th century.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Without a doubt, Andy Warhol is one of the most famous photographers of the 20th century. Known as a leader in the avant-garde art world, Andy Warhol established the Pop Art movement, a trend in the art world that drew its subjects and themes from mass media and popular culture.
While Warhol is famous for his photography, he was also a prolific artist, writer, philosopher and music producer. Although he started out as an illustrator for an advertising company, during the 1960s, Warhol started painting some of his most famous works, including his pictures of the Campbell Soup can and Marilynn Monroe. Keep reading to learn more about the life and legacy of Andy Warhol.
Annie Leibovitz (1949-)
Famous for her portrait work for Rolling Stone magazine, Annie Leibovitz has photographed thousands of celebrities, ranging from John Lennon to Jack White. While her photos are famous for gracing the covers of major magazines, her work has come to be greatly respected in the art world for her ability to capture the personalities, egos and vulnerabilities of her subjects.
Over the years, Leibovitz has not only held exhibit shows at some of the nation’s most famous museums but has also published a number of books that contain collections of her work. Read on to learn more about Leibovitz’s life and work.
Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007)
Born June 20, 1929, in Reims, France, Jean Baudrillard began his career as a translator, critic, teacher and, above all, a philosopher. However, his philosophical work often focused on objects and images, paving the way for his thematic focus in his later work in photography. In fact, his PhD thesis was called “Third Cycle Thesis: The System of Objects.” Baudrillard worked as a German teacher at a French high school.
While he is famous for his work in photography, Baudrillard is also a prolific writer, philosopher and cultural theorist. Although he refused to categorize his ideologies, some label Baudrillard as a post-structuralist, a line of thought that establishes that meaning and systems make sense only in their relationship to each other.
One of the highlights of his career was his installation and symposium entitled The Murder of the Image (2001). In this exhibition, Baudrillard claimed that photography is the perfect crime, in which the picture kills the image of the object by only leaving an illusion of the original. Keep reading to learn more about the prolific work of Baudrillard.
While you may have never heard of William Wegman, you have probably seen photos of his trademark Weimaraner dogs in funny, yet sincere poses. William Wegman Educational Background William Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts on December 2, 1943. He received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1965. Two years later, he received a Masters of Fine Arts degree… Read more >
New York photographer Diane Arbus was known for her powerful and emotional images of the outsiders in society, including the ugly, different or bizarre, as well as ordinary people she met on the streets. Arbus was regarded as a pioneer in flash photography, photographing her subjects close up in daylight. She would use a flash to isolate her subjects’ images and explore the themes of dysfunction and… Read more >
Famous Photographers of the Late 20th Century
During this time period, photography has changed drastically and quickly. Today, photographers continue to push the limits of photography, experimenting with the newest equipment, including digital cameras and digital image editing software. They also continue to push the bounds of film-based photography, often taking photographs to initiate political or social change.
Today, the art of photography is evolving at an extremely rapid pace. With technological advancements, such as the digital camera and numerous digital image editing software programs, photographers in this time period have been able to push photography to new and exciting limits.
In addition to experimenting with new technology, photographers in this era have also used photography to question politics and society. Famous photographers in this era often find themselves in war zones, impoverished communities and areas on the fringes of society, documenting events, people and places. Sometimes they simply allow us to see everyday objects in new and exciting ways.
In this section, we’ll discuss famous photographers born from 1950 to the present, including Sally Mann, Herb Ritts, Nan Golden, Uta Barth and more. Read on to learn about the style, history, techniques and more of famous photographers from this time period.
Cindy Sherman is a photographer who might be most well-known for her conceptual self-portraits. In her most recent series, from 2003, Sherman presents herself as a series of clowns. She has also posed as B-film, foreign film and film noir actresses. In addition to her self-portraits, Sherman has also been involved in fashion photography. In 2006, she created a series of fashion photographs for designer Marc Jacobs.
Keep reading to learn more about Cindy Sherman.
Anton Corbijn is a photographer from the Netherlands who has worked with such well-known musical artists as Depeche Mode, U2 and Nirvana. Corbijn tends to prefer black-and-white images over highly polished glamour photography.
Keep reading to learn more about Anton Corbijn.
Sophie Calle’s work often depicts human vulnerability and examines identity and intimacy. Calle’s work, such as her projects The Hotel and The Address Book, have been known to generate controversy, as they tend to trespass into average citizen’s private lives.
In addition to photography, Calle is famous for her conceptual and installation art. Keep reading to learn more about Sophie Calle.
Andreas Gursky is a famous German photographer who is well-known for taking photographs of large subjects, such as industrial plants and hotels, from high viewpoints. The only child of a commercial photographer, Gursky often practices photojournalism, although he sometimes uses digital editing software to manipulate his photographs.
In 2007, Gursky’s photograph 99 Cent II Diptychon sold for $3.3 million. Read on to learn more about Andreas Gursky.
David LaChapelle practices fashion, advertising and fine art photography and is well-known for his humorous and often-surreal style. Throughout his career, LaChapelle has photographed such celebrities as Marilyn Manson, Uma Thurman and Drew Barrymore.
In addition to photography, David LaChapelle has directed music videos and advertisements. He has also directed films and published several books.
Keep reading to learn more about the career of David LaChapelle.
In this article I share the highlights, knowledge gained and experiences had on my photographic journey.
My small contributions to the classic genre including thoughts on art, consent, quality and my portfolio.