List of Historically Influential PhotographersExecute a google image search for examples of the photographer's work.Recommended site for research http://masters-of-photography.com/index.html

GoogleDocs Version (be sure to make a copy and re-name it so that you don't change the original template, thanks)See my Example of a Visual Analysis Paper

1800-1877 William Henry Fox Talbot - early photographic pioneer, developed some of the first methods of fixing shadows on paper. His book, The Pencil of Nature, was illustrated with actual calotype photographs is described as “the Gutenberg Bible of photography” because it showed the range of capabilities and future possibilities of the medium.

1815-1879 Julia Margaret Cameron - Victorian portraits, soft focus, from the early days of photography

1819-1869 Roger Fenton - the first war photographer: the Crimea, 1850s

1820-1910 Nadar (Gaspard-Felix Tournachon) - Paris, 1850-1870, portraits, early photographic pioneer

1822-1896 Matthew B. Brady - conceived the idea of using photography for image building in order to create fame. Abraham Lincoln even credited Brady’s photograph of him for helping him win the presidency. Brady was also responsible for the photographic record of the American Civil War, hiring many great documentary photographers who did the actual shooting.

1829-1916 Carleton E. Watkins - premier landscape photographer of the American West in the 1800s

1830-1904 Eadweard Muybridge - 1880s, the first to use the camera to analyze motion too fast to be seen with the naked eye.

1840-1882 Timothy O'Sullivan - Civil War and American West, wet plate photography


1844-1914 Jacob Riis - photos were only a tool for his crusade against poverty in early 20th century New York City slums

1857-1927 Eugene Atget - documentary photos of Paris architecture in the early 20th century

1864-1946 Alfred Stieglitz - the Prophet of photography as an art form, his own excellent work is too often overlooked. Published 'Camera Work' magazine & owned an art gallery which featured many photogrophers.

1865-1937 Karl Blossfeldt - Early 20th century, magnified photos of plant life revealed surreal, even Art Noveau forms

1874-1940 Lewis Hine - activist documentary work from early 20th century, from Ellis Island to child labor to sweatshops

1879-1973 Edward Steichen - protege of Stieglitz, pioneer in pictorialism before moving on to fashion photography

1882-1966 Alvin Langdon Coburn - pioneer of abstract photography with his "Vortographs"

1883-1976 Imogen Cunningham - American modernist, best known for closeups of flowers and plants

1886-1958 Edward Weston - photographer's photographer, f64, landscapes, portraits, still lifes, all done in same realist manner

1890-1976 Man Ray- pioneer in both DaDaism and Surrealism & darkroom techniques, also a painter and poet

1890-1976 Paul Strand - another Stieglitz protege, pioneer of Straight Photography

1891-1956 Alexander Rodchenko - 1920-30s in Russia, formalist, odd angles, a new way of looking

1894-1942 Tina Modotti - revolutionary images from 1920s Mexico


1894-1985 Andre Kertesz - Eastern Europe to Paris to New York, ranging from surrealist imagery to street photography

1895-1965 Dorothea Lange - documented American poor during the Great Depression

1898-1991 Berenice Abbott - architectural studies of New York City in the 1930s - the Atget of Manhattan

1899-1968 Arthur "Weegee" Fellig - worked in the Lower East Side of New York City as a press photographer during the 30's and 40's, and he developed his signature style by following the city's emergency services and documenting their activity.[citation needed] Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death

1899-1984 George Brassaï (Gyula Halasz) - after dark in the Paris underworld between the wars, also a Surrealist, also co-founder of the Magnum group.

1901-1983 Lisette Model - an important pioneer in street photography and portraits from the edge

1901-1984 Ansel Adams - Majestic landscapes of the American West, helped start the Photography Department at the Museum of Modern Art and had a long career there as a teacher.

1902-2002 Manuel Alvarez Bravo - cultural and surreal imagery from Mexico

1903-1975 Walker Evans - imagery of American society during the Great Depression

1903-1990 Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton - a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is largely credited with transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory instrument into a common device. For example; today, the electronic flash is completely associated with the field of photography.

1905-1985 Clarence John Laughlin - haunting images of abandoned cotton plantations and cemeteries in New Orleans.

1905-1998 John Gutmann - 1930s America but NOT the Great Depression, a precursor of the street photographers of the 50s

1905-1999 Frederick Sommer - Surrealist imagery somehow from realist content

1907-1997 Dora Maar - Female Surrealist & street photographer in between-wars Paris, one of Picasso's mistresses

1908- 2002 Yousuf Karsh - Canadian portrait master, created some of the iconic portraits of world leaders in the 40s and 50s.

1908-1976 Minor White - cofounder with Ansel Adams of the Zone System, also a great educator

1912-1999 Harry Callahan - formalistic, minimalist portraits and landscapes

1912-2006 Gordon Parks - documented the post-WWII African-American experience, portraying the common people and icons of the civil rights era

1913-2009 Helen Levitt - street photography from early 1940's New York City.

1918-1978 W. Eugene Smith - documentary photography with a moral edge, the King of the Photo Essay

1918-2006 Arnold Newman - One of the greatest portrait-makers in the history of photography

1919-1981 Max Waldman - celebrating theatre and the dance, 1960s and 1970s.

1919-1994 Robert Doisneau - Happy photos of Parisian life in the mid 20th century.

1919-2009 Roy DeCarava - documenting the African-American experience and its cultural icons

1923-2004 Richard Avedon - American fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century".

1928-1984 Garry Winogrand - compulsive street photographer, imagery is edgy, disorienting

1930-1979 Lothar Wolleh - a master of the portrait, featuring photographs of modern artists

1939-1942 Margaret Burke-White - Photojournalist, made some of the first photodocumentation of the Nazi concentration camps.

1944-2008 Scott Mutter - best known for the use of photomontage. Mutter was never comfortable with being considered a surrealist and coined the term "Surrational Images" to more accurately describe his work. Never transitioned to the cut and paste technique afforded by Photoshop and similar software but recreated every original print in the darkroom.

1950-1992 Irving Penn - much, much more than just a fashion photographer


b.1928 William Klein - New York street photography in the mid-fifties

b.1934 Jerry Uelsmann - complex multiple prints utilizing "post-visualization" to depict ambiguous and humorous imagery

b.1934 Lee Friedlander - Contemporary, humorous, visually exciting

b.1937 Robert Adams - Documenting the environmental destruction of the American West in the late 20th century

b.1938 Josef Koudelka - Czechoslovakian, 1970s images of his Exile in Western Europe

b.1939 William Eggleston - deceptively banal color photos of contemporary American rural and suburban life

b.1941 Emmet Gowin - "Gowin's simple yet intensely seen daily events take on the quality of ritual" - Jonathan Green

b.1944 Sebastiao Salgado - documenting the human condition in late 20th century, from Ethiopian famine to Brazilian hell mines

b.1947 Stephen Shore - master of large format camera, working in color depictions of urban scenes and landscapes.

b.1949 Annie Leibovitz - Specialized in portraits of celebrities. 1973-1983 her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the look of Rolling Stone magazine. She has since worked for many other magazines including Vanity Fair, and illustrated a variety of advertising campaigns.

b.1954 Cindy Sherman - artist using the photographic self-portrait as a means to express narrative.