Photographers help us see the world in a way we never could before. They capture moments in time and help us look at them from another perspective. Photographers have the ability to use light, composition, and angles to evoke different feelings from their viewers.
Some photographers even have the unique ability to create images that stand the test of time and remain relevant for decades or even centuries. These photographers are so brilliant that their work has been recognized as some of the best ever created.
Their photographic techniques, subject matter, and creative ideas have influenced other artists for years after they first began taking pictures. There are many famous photographers from history, but these are some of the most successful, inspiring, and well-known. This is an incomplete list as many other names could appear here. It obviously reflects our individual tastes and preferences.
Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer who worked in the art world for nearly 50 years. He was one of the first to capture iconic images of Paris, and his work has influenced countless photographers and artists since. He photographed some of the greatest celebrities of his day, including Marie Curie, Picasso, Adolphe Adam, and many others. Perhaps one of his most famous images is a painting he made called “The Kiss” that was shown at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1910. He also created a series of prints titled “Le miroitement de l’écume” that were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1911. The image shows an enormous fog-like cloud from which an enormous cloudburst is forming and rising into the sky above Paris. The image is so powerful that it still holds up today as one of Cartier-Bresson’s most famous works.
Steichen was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. He was also a very well known and beloved photographer of the early 20th century. His work has been featured in many exhibitions and is still being used today. Steichen worked in various mediums, but his most famous images are still his “Portrait of a Woman” from 1913. In this photograph, the woman is seated at an antique table that has been turned into a portrait for her to admire. The woman looks beautiful, but her face is not looking directly at you, as if she is looking up at something else entirely. She is looking forward to meeting you, and she is holding a lot of things inside herself that she does not understand yet. She seems to be holding onto some sort of feeling for someone or something that she does not yet know about.
Stieglitz was one of the most prolific photographers during the 1920s and 1930s, but he only had one successful marriage after his first wife died in 1934 while they were married in France. He had two children and two grandchildren by his second wife, which he did not want to acknowledge publicly until after he died in 1952. Stieglitz’s work became more abstract during this period, with him experimenting with new techniques and tools that he could use when creating images that were less abstract than what had been previously used by him as an artist-in-residence at MOMA. During this time, he also worked on curating exhibitions at MOMA. In 1962, he curated the “291” show, which featured the work of many modern artists who had worked outside of the mainstream art circles of their time. This exhibition was hugely successful, drawing record crowds to MOMA. He continued working at MOMA until his death in 1971.
Avedon was a very successful fashion photographer during the 1950s and 1960s, working for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. He had a relatively large amount of time to spend on his family during this period, which allowed him to spend more time with his wife and children than he would have had at the beginning of his career. The couple also lived in Paris for a number of years after Avedon’s divorce from his first wife in 1954. In addition to being successful as a fashion photographer, Avedon also worked as an art curator at MOMA in New York City.
Cecil Beaton was a British photographer and filmmaker best known for his fashion photography. While he started out as a commercial photographer, he also worked in film and advertising. He created many iconic portraits of Hollywood stars, such as Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. He received two Academy Awards for his photography, as well as two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Prix de West. He was also known for his unique style, shooting with a wide-angled lens to get close-ups of his subjects.
Andre Kertesz was a Hungarian photographer best known for his architectural photography. In addition to his architectural photography, he also produced some of the earliest examples of photojournalism. He also worked as a painter and was recognized for his contributions to the Bauhaus movement. He produced architectural drawings, watercolors, and sketches, which he then translated into his photography. His work was characterized by the use of straight lines, minimalistic composition, and a tonal palette of black and white.
Sam Abell was an American photographer known for his landscapes and portraits. Abell was a key figure in the Pictorialist movement, which focused on softening the focus and black and white imagery. Like many of the Pictorialist photographers, he used hand-processing and printing methods which added to the aesthetic. He created the first photo essay in American history, titled “New York by the New York Central.”
Elliott Erwitt was a French photographer known for his witty images and sense of humor. He often focused on street photography and human interest photography, capturing moments of people’s daily lives. He also worked in advertising as a still life photographer. Erwitt is known for his use of irony and humor, which brought a new perspective to street photography. He is best known for his series “Dog Whistles,” where he photographed dogs with signs or objects around them that hinted at the dog’s personality or breed.
Irving Shahn was an American photographer known for his portraits and nudes. Through his nudes, he explored the connection between sexuality and spirituality, challenging the social norms of the time. Shahn was a key figure in the New Photography movement, which focused on the idea of photography as Fine Art. He was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement and created many abstract images, incorporating shapes and lines.
Lewis Hines was an American photographer who is best known for his documentary work as a social reformer. He focused on child labor and worker conditions, taking many disturbing images of children working in dangerous conditions. His images helped to pass child labor laws in the United States and were noted for their importance in the government’s decision to pass these laws.
Did you like the list? It is always interesting to know the work of great photographers and their history, as they serve as inspiration for our trajectory.