30 Most Famous Photographers In History And Up To 2022

As the German scientist “John William Herschel” called it, the art of photography has its heroes and celebrities. Get to know the most famous photographers in the world from among the millions of people who take pictures. Only a few of them managed to excel and make their stars in this world.

Also Read: 20 Rules & Advices To Improve Your Photography For Nature Skills

The world of photography began in 1800 when “Thomas Goode” made his first attempt at capturing an image, but it failed. And the most famous photographers in the world began to emerge. In the mid-twenties, the physicist “Nicephor Niepce” succeeded in trying, and his early results were immature. His assistant, Lons Daguerre, continued his career and invented a practical imaging system that produces clear and accurate images. After that, several photography stars emerged in the world, among them Arab.

30 Most Famous Photographers In 2021 You Should Know

Steve McCurry, owner of the photo “Afghan Girl”

American photojournalist Steve McCurry became famous thanks to his 1984 photo “The Afghan Girl” of a girl named Sharbat Jula while covering Afghan refugees’ situation.

She first appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine. Steve McCurry studied cinema and historical cinematography in Pennsylvania in 1968.

He started by taking photos for a daily newspaper for college students at Pennsylvania State University, then was a photojournalist in Afghanistan’s Soviet war. Newspapers and magazines were racing to publish his photos, and he won several medals as the best photojournalist.

He became famous for his iconic “Afghan Girl” (pictured below) he photographed in a refugee camp in Afghanistan, which has become National Geographic’s most popular photo throughout the ages.

Jimmy Nelson the owner of Tribal Pictures

Jimmy is a British photographer and journalist born in 1967 and considered one of the world’s most famous photographers. Known for his portraits of tribes and indigenous people around the world.

An adventurous person is considered to be traveling the world to explore primitive tribes. Jimmy Nelson is also famous for his love for the stories of isolated peoples, as he was able to portray the nature of tribes in more than 16 countries.

He started his work in photography in 1987 and intended Tibet to convey people’s suffering. In 2010 he started his documentary project entitled “Before they leave the world” after visiting 35 local gatherings and won several awards as a result.

Eric Lafforgue the owner of Pictures of Eyes

Eric, a French photographer, is famous for shining his lens’s light on the most beautiful eyes. Travel to refugee camps near Kurdistan’s Erbil, Iraq, to ​​photograph the most beautiful, expressive black and blue Kurdish eyes.

He aims to photograph these beautiful faces not only to highlight their beauty but to shed light on the situation and suffering of these displaced people on the borders between Syria and Kurdistan, fleeing the Syrian crisis that has claimed the lives of many, and his photos were also distinguished by highlighting human feelings.

He was known for his passion for distant countries since his youth. He began his travels overseas, spent some of his trips in Africa, and officially took pictures in 2006. With it, magazines and channels began publishing his photos from North Korea.

Phil Burgess is a refugee photographer

Phil Burgess is an American photographer who is considered one of the best photographers in the world through the pictures he took of the “Tibet” refugees, highlighting their difficult lives, harsh conditions, and sad facial expressions in light of asylum. His pictures were distinguished by high art and professionalism.

Manny Librodo is a portrait photographer

Photographer Mani is considered one of the best camera holders to photograph portraits because he has the high skill in working on Photoshop, which enables him to modify any image to become a unique and elegant work.

In addition to being a great portrait photographer, Mane Librodo is internationally known for his skill in using Photoshop to edit his photos. He succeeds in creating world-class and unique artworks.

Lee Jeffries is a photographer of the two martyrs

Photographer Lee Jeffrey is called the “Shahadid Photographer” due to his fame for his love of photographing the poor; this photographer depicts poor people living in streets worldwide and can capture glimpses of hope in their eyes through his black and white photos.

As he pursued them from one country to another, capturing their radiant gazes with hope despite their lives’ harshness and condition. He preferred black and white photos to destroy the distractions the colors create and focus on the eyes’ glow.


She is a storytelling professor through pictures, visiting more than 100 countries, and trying to convey people’s suffering.

Stephen Sinclair

STEPHANIE SINCLAIR Stephen is a successful photojournalist from America, and he was able to access important humanitarian and human rights cases and record them with his pictures.

He had worked with the Chicago Tribune newspaper that sent him to cover the war on Iraq and from here began his career with stardom.

Joachim Schmeisser

Born in Bad Mergentheim, Germany, Joachim Schmeisser is one of the most famous photographers who have been involved in photography since childhood. The most important factor hidden behind the artist’s success is that he has established a photography studio since the 1980s and continues his work at a professional level.

Joachim’s photographs feature different and new perspectives beyond real-life fiction. The subject of the photographs is mostly humans, animals, and nature. The artist, whose works have been the subject of many magazines, also has an award named “Hasselblad Masters,” which was awarded in 2012.


The French photographer Réhahn, one of the best portrait photographers of recent years, is known for his Vietnam photographs. The photographer, known around the world for his “Secret Smiles” project, caught the whole world’s attention with this series of photographs, which he thinks people are closing their mouths with their hands because of their kindness or modesty. He is among the rare artists to be such a good photographer without photography training.

Martin Parr

One of England’s most famous photographers. He also comes from a middle-class family and set off with the aim of documenting British middle-class life. He put in the mind of the human being with bright colors from the middle of his life that the ordinary, ordinary details of daily life are sometimes understood as signs of how strange, funny, or other things.

He showed the street, not only the photographs he took in his books but also the way he enumerated them (for example, putting a photo of the potato fry he took somewhere next to the photo of the worms he took) is one of the things he uses for the message he wants to convey. His photographs usually require no text, and there are usually no words in his books.

Jerry Uelsmann

Jerry Olsman is an American photographer, and he was one of the earliest founders of photographic installations in the 20th century in America. His work on darkroom effects predicted the use of Adobe Photoshop to create surreal portraits in the late 20th century, a process his ex-wife Maggie Taylor led at the time.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967, the National Endowment for the Fellowship of Arts in 1972, and the Lucy Prize in Fine Arts in 2015. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and is a founding member of the Society for the Education of Photography.

William Eggleston

William Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the last half of the 20th century. South America’s portraits and landscapes reinterpreted the history of the media and its relationship with color photography. Eggleston said, “I will work with this present-day material, and I did my best to explain it in photography.” “Not thinking of making any comments about whether it’s good or bad, or whether I like it.

It was right there, and it caught my attention. Eggleston’s first style was influenced by Henry Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans.

Frans Lanting

Born in Rotterdam, the name Frans Lanting has been popularized by magazines such as National Geographic Life and Outdoor Photographer.

On his travels to different places, Frans fell in love with the plants and animals of the tropical forests, shown in a photo gallery in the famous Museum of Natural History in America.

Latif Al-Ani documented the history of Iraq

Latif is an Iraqi photographer, classified as the best photographer in the world. He is eighty-four years old, and he is considered the founding father of the Iraqi art of photography.

He has a huge Iraq archive that captures the country’s daily life, as his documentary career stretches from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. He was just an amateur. His brother noticed his attachment to photography and bought him a camera to start his career in this world.

Al-Ani was the first photographer to capture aerial views of Iraq from small planes and helicopters. His pictures were characterized by a mixture of modernity and the preservation of ancient traditions, and he won many international awards and honors.

Mitch Dobrowner

Mitch Dobrowner started photography with an old Argus camera his father had given him when he was young. The photographer, who left his job at the age of 21, set off to see South America. In the following period, he opened his personal studio and continued to take pictures.

Andreas Gursky owner of the Rhine image

Photographer Andreas Gursky is a German national, is considered one of the most famous photographers. Born in Leipzig, Germany, he studied visual communication at the University of Essen, known for his panoramic photography.

In 2011, he managed to sell the image of “Ryan II” for $ 4.3 million, and thus it was considered the most expensive in the history of public auctions. The “Rhein II” photograph was taken in 1999 and is considered one of the most spectacular pictures of the River Rhine, which shows its horizontal flow between green fields under the overcast sky.

Now let’s sort the most famous photographers in the history of photography

Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

Famous photographer Ansel Adams

When it comes to famous photographers, one name should not be missing on the list: Ansel Adams. The prints of master landscape photography Ansel Adams are perfect proof that what happens after you press the shutter button is significant.

Adams was an American photographer and ecologist, which is certainly no surprise as his pictures show his fascination with the outdoors. His landscape shots of the American West – especially Yosemite National Park – are his most famous work.

Anytime someone hears the term landscape photography, Adams is probably the first name that comes to mind. No wonder because he expressed his passion for landscape photography with absolute mastery.
Adams mainly used large-format cameras because of their ability to provide extremely high resolution and sharpness when reproducing images.

Man Ray (1890-1976)

Photo: Lothar Wolleh / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky in the United States, was a visual artist who made significant contributions to both the Dada and Surrealist movements.

He was best known for his innovative techniques as well as his breathtaking fashion and portrait photography.

Ray, who was close friends with Alfred Stieglitz, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dalí, lived and worked in Paris from July 1921. He settled in Montparnasse, where he came into contact with many other artists of the time.

Shortly after moving to Paris, he met Alice Prin (better known as Kiki de Montparnasse) and fell in love with her. She was his partner in the 1920s and became the subject of some of his most famous photographs.
One of Ray’s most famous portraits of Kiki is known as Noire et Blanche (1926).

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)

Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the most respected street photographers and is considered a Magnum Photos co-founder alongside Robert Capa and David Seymour.

Sometimes known as the founder of street photography, he is also responsible for one of the most famous photography books of all time: “The Decisive Moment.”

In addition to some of his works, the concept is also described here. Various elements culminate in a single decisive moment that the photographer has to hit exactly to create the perfect photo for the situation. The term encourages photographers to develop a skill, or intuition, to press the shutter just before such an event.

Irving Penn (1917-2009)

Irving Penn was an American photographer best known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Some of his best-known works have been published in Vogue, but he has also worked with independent clients. His work has been exhibited worldwide and has shaped the art of photography.

From 1934 to 1938, he studied drawing, painting, graphics, and industrial art with Alexey Brodovitch. As a student, he worked at Harper’s Bazaar under Brodovitch’s supervision. He ended up working for Vogue when Alexander Liberman offered him a job in the art department.

After explaining his ideas for photographers, Liberman asked Penn why he didn’t shoot the pictures himself, which sparked a continuous evolution that produced the photographer we know and love today.

Penn was a trailblazer and was one of the first photographers to pose the subject against a plain gray or white background with great impact. He went even further and started with a corner positioning to force the celebrities into a pose.

Philippe Halsman (1906-1979)

Philippe Halsman: Dalí Atomicus, circa 1948

Philippe Halsman initially worked for fashion magazines between his departure from Austria and his arrival in France. Eventually, he stumbled upon Vogue and shortly thereafter built his reputation as the best portrait photographer in France.

You can see his work here, thanks to the Philippe Halsman Foundation. His most notable inspiration was Salvador Dalí, as evidenced by creating images beyond the norm, such as the famous Dali Atomicus.

Brassaï (1899-1984)

Born in Transylvania as Gyula Halász and better known as Brassaï, he was a Hungarian-French photographer and worked as a journalist throughout Europe. He was one of the many Hungarian artists who flourished in Paris between WWI and WWII.

Today he is better known for his stunning night photography in France in the 1930s when photographic resources were minimal. His paintings are full of subtle forms that are only noticeable under the dim and dark night light, so his work is seen as a great study of form.

Thanks to the natural contrast, enhanced by wet surfaces and limited available light, his compositions have been reduced to the basic, essential elements necessary to implement a concept.

He captured the fascination of Paris and many other cities in his photographs. One of the first of many collections of his work is Paris de Nuit, published in 1933 and very successful. Brassaï portrayed everything in the city, including its high society, intellectuals, ballet, and great operas.

Vivian Maier (1926-2009)

Vivian Maier has been active in several ways since John Maloof published her work. Her work was incredibly intimate – she was a collector collecting moments with her camera. She worked as a nanny for most of her life and never contacted the art industry.

There is a great documentary called Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary, reflecting her worldview and incredible talent.

Her photographs offer a completely new dimension of amazement. Maloof has published so many pictures that it is hard to imagine a single person behind such a large pool of great pictures, but they deserve all the credit.

Weegee (1899-1968)

Born Usher Fellig in Złoczów, Ukraine, he later changed his name to Arthur Fellig when he and his family emigrated to the USA at 10. Later known as Weegee, he became known as a photojournalist for his rough black and white street photos depicting crime scenes and disasters.

He published photo books and worked in the film business, first making his own independent short films before collaborating with Stanley Kubrick. After working as a darkroom assistant for commercial photographers, he took matters into his own hands and became a freelance news photographer.

Thanks to his strategy of working at various police stations, Weegee was close to emergency calls and law enforcement in the fight against crime. When an incident occurred, he would rush to the police scene to capture people in their most unadorned state. Therefore his pictures became very valuable for the press.

Weegee was so responsive that he took pride in showing up in front of the police, which is why many jokingly assumed that he was using a quija board to know where and when the events would take place. In fact, this item’s phonetic pronunciation became his nickname “Weegee,” which he loved.

His work extended beyond the press when he embarked on a career for his own ends. He has given his work his brutal, humorous, and absurd style, making him the only Weegee in photography history.

Cindy Sherman (born 1954)

Cindy Sherman is an American conceptual artist. She is considered one of the most influential artists in modern photography. This is easy to understand, especially since two of her images make the 10 Most Expensive Photos in the World.

Her photography examines contemporary identity and the properties of representation. These are obtained from the unlimited range of images from television, magazines, the Internet, and art history.

She brings herself into her own work and uses a range of costumes and characters. They are unsettling, disgusting, and sometimes amusing.
She is not only a photographer but also a model, hairdresser, stylist, and make-up artist.

Robert Frank (born 1924)

Famous photographers put a lot of time into developing their art forms. But Robert Frank is undoubtedly one of the most prolific photographers on this list. From 1941 he worked as an advertising photographer in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva.

In 1947 he found a job as a fashion photographer in the USA. He used his 35mm Leica, which was not exactly common at the time. Between 1950 and 1959, he turned to street photography and photojournalism.

It was in these areas that he became best known. The Guggenheim Fellowship enabled him to tour the country, which led to his most famous work: The Americans.

He worked closely with Walker Evans and became one of the most famous street photographers in the world. He supplemented his pictures with text that was written directly on the negatives and prints.

Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976)

Imogen Cunningham was an American photographer known for her botanical photographs, nudes, and industrial landscapes. Cunningham was a member of the California group f / 64.
Cunningham’s early work consisted of blurry images that forced the photographed figure into a mystery.

When Cunningham started experimenting with sharper, clearer images, she began creating a style that influenced many photographers after her.

Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)

Mary Ellen Mark was known for her broad spectrum of photography, ranging from photojournalism to documentary photography to portrait and advertising photography. Her pictures show a unique feeling of closeness and care for the people she has photographed during her career.

Her images are simple but powerful in a juxtaposition as difficult to achieve as humor is in street photography. Through her unique approach, she achieved narrative statements in a single aspect.

While that was tough enough, she went even further with her incredible and solid composition in her pictorial compositions. She hated the idea of ​​cropping after taking a picture so much that she was cropping in the camera. Of course, cropping is necessary to improve on an earlier shot, but if you can crop perfectly in the viewfinder, then you’re definitely right up there.
She was also sure that the photographer had to be emotionally involved in the pictures to get the correct result.

Robert Capa (1913-1954)

Robert Capa in the Spanish Civil War, 1937, Photo: Gerda Taro

Robert Capa was born as Endre Friedmann in Budapest in Austria-Hungary. He was a Hungarian war photographer who left an enormous and important work on who we are as a culture.

In 1947 Capa founded the Magnum Photos label in Paris and David Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and William Vandivert. The company was the first cooperation agency for freelance photographers worldwide and is still active today.

Although he originally dreamed of becoming a writer, Capa fell in love with photography in his early years. Before working as a photographer in Berlin in 1933, he moved to France during the rise of Nazism when his roots cost him valuable work. He and his lover Gerda Taró created the persona of this great American photographer we know as Robert Capa.

Capa became known in 1936 for his controversial image of the falling soldier in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1944 he lived in New York City because of the Jewish persecution of World War II. He was integrated into the American armed forces and photographed the war for LIFE Magazine. On June 6, he was part of the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, where he was part of the second wave of troops. It is said that he took 106 pictures with his Contax camera and 50mm lens.

Capa almost lost his life in the bloody event, but after he was finally safe, he sent the pictures to LIFE headquarters in England.

After publicly declaring that he was done photographing the war, Capa traveled to Japan for the Magnum exhibition in the early 1950s. LIFE Magazine persuaded him to go to Southeast Asia for an assignment on the French fighting in the First Indochina War. On May 25, 1954, he stepped on a land mine while photographing the war. He died on the way to the local hospital.

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