Famous Photographers to Help Inspire You

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The world is filled with famous photographers who have gone beyond their ability to achieve a lot. How many famous photographers do you know? Many famous photographers deserve your attention.

That said, this piece has wrapped a list of the most famous photographer that will inspire you. Without further ado, let’s go through this list.

 

Ansel Easton Adams

Ansel Easton Adams

  • February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984
  • American photographer and environmentalist

Adams, together with Edward Weston and Willard Van Dyke, founded Group f/64, a group that promoted a style of sharply detailed, purist photography. He even went a step further, with one of his colleagues to develop the zone system for a proper way to expose an image and help adjust the contrast of the final print. He mainly used a large format camera.

Adam is best known for his black and white landscape photographs of the American West, specifically the Yosemite National Park.

 

Brassaï

Brassaï

  • September 9, 1899 – July 8, 1984
  • French-Hungarian photographer

Brassaï was one of the Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris between the Word wars. He is best remembered for his black and white street photography that was descriptive and humorous. He spent most time wandering late at night in the street.

He was a master of composition. This was something that was installed to him when studying sculpture and painting.

 

Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior

Sebastião Salgado

  • Born February 8, 1944
  • A Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist

Having received the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grant in 1982 and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado Júnior is arguably the most traveled photographer. He has traveled to over 120 countries for his photographic projects.

He further received the Foreign Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in 1993.

His work has been featured in many books and publications.

 

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

  • Born October 2, 1949
  • American portrait photographer

It is hard to speak about celebrity portraits and commercial photography without mentioning Leibovitz. It is Annie Leibovitz style of photography that sets her images apart from other photographers. Her great work has seen most of her images appear in countless magazine album covers. Annie Leibovitz was a concert photographer for the legendary rock band The rolling stones during their 1975 tour.

Annie is famously known to have photographed John Lennon on the day of his assassination. In 1991, she became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery.

 

Henri-Cartier Bresson

Henri-Cartier Bresson

  • August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004
  • A French humanist photographer

A master of candid photography, Henri-Cartier Bresson was among the early user of 35 mm film.

Henri’s view on photography produced a book, describing the decisive moment. That is when psychological and visual elements of people in a real-life scene naturally and briefly come to an excellent resonance.

He pioneered the genre of street photography and captured powerful moments.

 

Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe

  • November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989
  • American photographer

Robert Mapplethorpe was best known for his approach to controversial subject matters. His most controversial work is that of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City.

He covered still-life images of flowers, self-portraits, and stylized black and white photos to show human nudes and celebrity portraits.

 

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky

  • Born January 15, 1955
  • German photographer and professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany

Andreas Gurksy is best known for his large-format architecture and landscape color photographs that often employ a high point of view.

His effort in post-production significantly contributes to excellent final products. His famous image “99 Cents”, priced $2.3 million did set a record as one of the most expensive contemporary photographs.

Today, he depends on computer software to create his style of straightforward, enigmatic, and deadpan photography, something he started doing after 1990.

André Kertész

André Kertész

  • July 2, 1894 – September 28, 1985
  • Hungarian photographer

Andre Kertész is today considered one of the seminal figures of photojournalism. He contributed to unique avant-garde photographic compositions and always produced great street photography through his style and unorthodox camera angles.

 

Mario Testino

Mario Testino

  • Born October 30, 1954
  • Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer

Described as “the world most prolific magazine and fashion photographer” by the Observer, Mario Testino‘s work has appeared in magazines such as GQ, V Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. He has also created stunning images for brands such as Estée Lauder, Gucci, and Chanel.

Additionally, Mario has worked as guest editor, art collector, entrepreneur, creative director, and museum editor.

 

Peter Lindbergh

Peter Lindbergh

  • November 23, 1944 — September 3, 2019
  • German photographer

Peter Lindbergh is among the few photographers who believe natural images are the best. He is always against polishing images using modern technology. He has been known to be against retouching when it comes to his commercial shots.

Lindbergh is considered to be among the pioneers in contemporary photography.

 

Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin

  • December 2, 1928 – March 29, 1991
  • French painter and self-taught photographer  

Guy Bourdin is best remembered for his provocative images. He was always innovative, ahead of time, and relied on minimalism to convey his message. In his work, the human body seems somehow shattered, legs and hands are seemingly detached, floating in the frame and creating a sense of mystery.

Guy Bourdin never liked publicity to an extent he did not like his work to be shown. He even said it was ok to destroy all his work after his death.

 

Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna

  • Born 1953
  • British photographer

Michael Kenna is an English photographer who is known for his unique black and white landscapes that features ethereal light achieved by photographing at night or dawn. His images convey a feeling of serenity and calmness, and they have been displayed in Asia, Europe, and Australia.

To date, his great work has seen him receive various awards, including Honorary Master of Arts. Although his excellent work lack human presence, he is always excited to explore in exploring the human body.

 

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

  • March 4, 1923 — July 26, 1971
  • American photographer

Diane Arbus great taste for the unusual resulted in her been nicknamed as “the photographer of freaks.” She is remembered for her portrayal of New Yorkers in the 1950s and the 1960s.

She focused mainly on marginalized people, standing on the fringes of society: tattooed men, circus performers, transgender, and disabled people. She even went a step further to highlight the importance of equality at a time when very few people were ready to face the marginalized and recognize then as part of society.

Diane great work even triggered the release of a movie, “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus” in 2006. The movie is worth your time.

 

Gregory Colbert

Gregory Colbert

  • Born 1960
  • Canadian photographer and filmmaker

Do you like traveling? If yes, you will find Gregory Colbert‘s words very inspiring, “Never stop exploring the things that open you, or that you love.”

He is best known for creating, Ashes and Snow, an exhibition of photographic artworks and films housed in the Nomadic Museum.

 

Tim Walker

Tim Walker

  • Born 1970
  • British photographer and Fashion photographer

Looking at his portfolio, without a doubt, you will discover that Tim Walker goes beyond the usual boundaries of creativity. He has photographed a good number of world-famous designers, directors, and actors — for example, David Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Watson, and Tilda Swinton.

 

Martin Parr

Martin Parr

  • Born 1952
  • British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector

Martin Parr applies his creativity successfully to create images that depict irony, criticism, and humor. These images are far from being dreamy, fairytale-like, or flattering.

He focuses on subjects such as meaningless leisure activities and consumption. The topics are often of ordinary middle-class citizens.

Martin is a member of Magnum, an international photographic cooperative, which was co-founded by the great master of photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson himself.

 

Sally Mann

Sally Mann

  • Born 1951
  • American photographer

Sally Mann is one of the finest American photographer best known for her controversial work of exploring the fragile age between childhood and adulthood and the thin gap between them.

Mann’s collection, “Immediate Family,” is one of her iconic achievements. This collection consists of 65 black and white photographs of Mann’s children. It was first exhibited in Chicago in 1990.

The collection explores ordinary summer activities such as playing board games and swimming. When she first released this collection, she was accused of showing child pornography content. However, the book was a great success.

 

Alex Prager

Alex Prager

  • Born 1979
  • American art photographer and filmmaker

As young as she is, Alex Prager is already a world-famous American photographer and filmmaker.

She is best known for her great color images that reminiscent of movie scenes. Through her work (where she uses models, actors, and extras), Prager portrays daily life in a way that is film-like and hyper-real.

Prager’s passion for photography was triggered when she came across a show by the great William Eggleston. Her images have been exhibited in Australia, Paris, New York, and many other places.

 

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

  • Born 1939
  • American photographer 

We just mention that William Eggleston inspired Alex Prager to start here career.

Using his image, William builds the face of the ordinary world we live in and proves that even the small can be complex and poetic. His favorite subjects include old tires, Coca-Cola bottles, power lines, directional signs, and power lines.

Eggleston sets a record by selling one of his pictures for a sum of $578,000. He is considered the pioneer in color photography.

 

Edward Weston

Edward Weston

  • March 24, 1886 — January 1, 1958
  • American photographer

Edward Weston, without a doubt, is one of the most influential and innovative American photographers of all time. His photos are captivating in their peculiarity, and they include seashells, cabbage leaves, and pictures of peppers that appear mystical and erotic.

Weston has been quoted denying that he has no intention of creating images that are seen as erotic.

 

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

  • October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954
  • American-Hungarian photographer

Robert Capa risked his life in many ways; for example, he captured soldiers in action. He was lucky his life partner, Gerda Taro, had the same occupation. Unfortunately,  Taro died young, but she remained instrumental in his life.

He was nicknamed Capa due to his up-close and personal style. Capa’s outstanding work is of the Spanish civil war.  

According to many, he is one of the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history.

Although known to many as Robert Capa, his real name was Endre Freidman. Capa, meaning shark in Hungarian, was a name he created for himself.

 

Gerda Taro

Gerda Taro

  • August 1, 1910 – July 26, 1937
  • German- Jewish photographer

As mentioned above, Gerda Taro was romantically involved with the great Robert Capa. She died while working, and she is best remembered for the disturbing images she created during the Spanish Civil War.

In 2012, Taro and Capa were honored by the English Indie rock band Alt-J in their song Taro.

 

David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle

  • Born 1963
  • American fashion photographer

David LaChapelle images have a distinctive style and often resemble paintings. He targets hyper-famous like  Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, and Madonna.

In 2006 left Los Angeles to an isolated part of Hawaii and took farming before actually resuming his photography career.

Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson

  • Born 1962
  • American photographer

Any time you speak about contemporary photography, the name Gregory Crewdson will definitely ring in your mind. His contribution to contemporary photography is immense. His power of turning the ordinary into something magical make Gregory’s style distinctive.

His subjects are rarely shot very near. From a distance and mostly caught in their stillness, these images somehow look alienated and lonesome.

 

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

  • May 26, 1895 — October 11, 1965
  • American photographer and photojournalist

Dorothea Lange is best known for her iconic work taken during the Great Depression, entitled Migrant Mother. This photograph depicted a worried mother who was living in a lean-to tent with her young children.

This woman could barely put food on the table, and she depended on killed birds and frozen vegetables to feed her children.

Through her support, that of her editor and the government, they were able to send aid to the camp.

 

Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham

  • April 12, 1883 — June 23, 1976
  • American photographer

Imogen Cunningham is known for her botanical photography, industrial landscapes, and nudes. She was a member of f/64, and her deep understanding of natural light, forms, and shadow was a rare talent.

Imogen Cunningham spent two years entirely devoted to its botanical study.

 

Ellen von Unwerth

Ellen von Unwerth

  • Born 1954
  • German photographer

Ellen von Unwerth worked as a fashion model for ten years before becoming a photographer. As an orphan, her early years were not the best, she struggled, and when she was a teenager, she joined a local circus as a magician assistant, where she spent three years.

Her photos of Claudia Schiffer in 1989, which she shared about Claudia, made her recognized as a talented photographer.

 

Tim Flach

Tim Flach

  • Born 1958
  • British photographer

Tim Flach focused on beautiful art animal photography. His best subjects to photographs are members of horses, canine, pandas, predatory birds, bears, and tigers. To date, he has published several books such as Equus (2008), More Than Human (2012), and Endangered (2017).

Fruit Bats, one of his animal photo series, saw Flach recognized as a talented photographer.

 

Dominique Issermann

Dominique Issermann

  • Born 1947
  • French photographer

Dominique Issermann focuses mainly on the genres of advertising and fashion photography. She is also known for her powerful black and white portraits.

She is admired by many people and compared to the Renaissance painters. Dominique Issermann’s favorite subject was the world-famous Canadian singer, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen.

 

Eugenio Recuenco

Eugenio Requenco.

  • Born 1968
  • Spanish photographer

Eugenio Requenco has a unique pictorial style. His detailed and cinematic has appeared in magazines such as Eugenio Requenco.

Eugenio Requenco has mastered shadow and light to the extent that he has been compared to El Greco and Goya.

He is one of the most sought-after contemporary photographers, and in 2012 he took part in the making of the Lavazza calendar, where he created his most famous images.

 

Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson

  • Born 1967
  • British photographer

Jimmy Nelson is known for documenting of tribal and indigenous people. He has photographed more than 35 tribes all over the world, and he has been to almost all the continents.

He has been criticized many times, but that has not stopped him from showing the world his abilities. His most notable project, which is ongoing, is called “Before They Pass Away.”