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Famous Photographers

One of the things that aspiring photographers rely on when starting out is inspiration. We look through books, magazines, art galleries, and online. Inspiration is everywhere and it gives us motivation to find our own niches and style.

There are many highly successful and famous photographers in history from the early days of photography until now. They span the spectrum of all types of photography and include the most popular:

  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Modern
  • Black and White
  • Fashion
  • Female
  • Nature
  • Street
  • Baby
  • Sports
  • Nude

Here are a few famous photographers to give you a daily dose of inspiration.  We will be adding additional photographers to this list, please contact us to recommend anyone.

Annie Leibovitz

Annie was born in 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. She had five siblings. Her father was an Air Force lieutenant and her mother was a modern dance instructor.
In 1967, Annie enrolled into the San Francisco Art Institute where she initially started out studying painting. This is where she developed a love for photography.

In 1970, Leibovitz landed a job as a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. Within two years she became their chief photographer. For a 23 year old, this was pretty impressive.

Annie photographed many big name celebrities. She used bold colors and unique poses in her images. Leibovitz photographed John Lennon just hours before his death. She had him posed nude on top of his wife who was fully clothed. This was one example of how she used posing to create images that really showed off her signature style.

In 1983, Leibovitz began working for Vanity Fair. She photographed celebrities ranging from teen “heart throbs” to politicians and presidents.

Annie went on to work for multiple advertising campaigns, including American Express. She was hired as head photographer at the Olympics held in Atlanta, Ga in 1996.

Leibovitz still continues to inspire and educate photographers today. Her career as a photographer definitely worked out well for her and she has made a name for herself in this industry.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams (1902-1980) was born in San Francisco, California. Adams left his mark in the industry and is one of the most widely recognized iconic photographers.

Adams was an only child. Due to a disconnect with his mother and being an only child, he had a hard time fitting in at school. This led to him eventually being home schooled by his father and aunt.

Adams found a love for nature because he spent a lot of time taking long walks.
At the age of twelve, Ansel taught himself to play the piano and read music. Music became his intended profession, although he eventually ended up converting towards photography.

His first photographs and writings that were published were displayed in the Sierra Club’s 1922 Bulletin.

In 1927, Adams met Albert M. Bender. He fully supported Ansel financially and greatly motivated him in his photographic journey. Bender was the reason for Adams’ first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras.

Adams later went on to meet and collaborate with multiple photographers and artists. He published eight portfolios and dozens of books. His landscape images had a way of making his viewers feel like they were they were actually there, feeling the same emotions he felt when there.

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was born in 1895 in Hoboken, New Jersey. She is one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers of the 20th century due to her iconic images taken during the Great Depression era.

Lange photographed displaced farmers, migrant workers, and sharecroppers during the 1930’s.

Her image of Margaret Florence, titled Migrant Mother, is one of her most famous images to date.

Lange also continued to take images post-war. Regardless of when her images were taken, they always told a story. Rather than just seeing an image of people, you felt as though you were reading a document describing the behind the scenes story of the moment. She basically had the skills to combine documents and visual representation in one image.

There are many other famous photographers that we look up to from both the past and present. Knowing their stories, how they got started, and seeing their work gives us inspiration and motivation. If you ever feel the need to be inspired, look up and research famous photographers.

Additional Famous Photographers To Be Added

Yousef Karsh
Richard Avedon
Robert Frank
Louis Daguerre
Joseph Nicéphore
W. Eugene Smith
Man Ray
Elliott Erwitt
Andreas Gursky
Robert Doisneau
Mario Testino
Brian Duffy
Jay Maisel
Jerry Uelsman
Steve McCurry
Frans Lanting
Henri Cartier-Bresson
André Kertész
Philippe Halsman
Diane Arbus
Margaret Bourke-White
Alfred Stieglitz
Gerda Taro
Robert Capa
Vivian Maier
Garry Winogrand

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