Famous Women Photographers

Famous women photographers, not unlike like women painters, were initially forgotten by history as history books have been written for the most part by men.

The prevailing attitude towards female photographers in the early days was that women were not suited to carrying heavy camera equipment or to working with the chemicals that were involved in developing. 


But the contribution that women such as Fay Godwin, Eve Arnold and Margaret Bourke-White made was important and historians and researchers today, often women themselves, are helping to reclaim these women and give them the recognition they deserve.


famous women photographers

Above: Women Seeing Women, Edited by Lothar Schirmer

Below you will find a list of famous women photographers - and they are all women! Some are well known and others not so well known. The list includes famous black photographers such as Eslanda Robeson (who was also an anthropologist) and Adine Williams.

I have also written an article about famous black photographers which might interest you. You can use this list as a starting point for further explorations into the amazing world and work of female photographers of all colours and nationalities.

The list is grouped into three sections. The first is female photographers who worked mostly in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the second group is women who mostly lived, worked and died in the 20th century; and the third group are women photographers who are still alive today, to the best of my knowledge. I hope you find this list useful as a jumping off point for your explorations into the lives and work of women photographers - their contribution to the field of photography deserves greater recognition and we can learn so much from them.

Famous Women Photographers from the 19th  & Early 20th Centuries (Not Ordered)

  • Gertrude Käsebier 1852-1934
  • Eva Watson-Schütze 1867-1935
  • Frances Benjamin Johnson 1864-11952
  • Berenice Abbott 1898-1991
  • Doris Ulmann 1884-1934
  • Karimeh Abbud 1896-1955
  • Claude Cahun 1894-1954
  • Julia Margaret Cameron 1815-1879
  • Frances Benjamin Johnston 1864-1952
  • Ruth Harriet Louise 1903-1940
  • Tina Modotti 1896-1942
  • Lucia Moholy 1894-1989
  • Gerda Taro 1910-1937
  • Laure Albin-Guillot 1880-1962
  • Anna Atkins 1799-1871
  • Alice Austen 1866-1952
  • Emma Barton 1872-1938
  • Alice Boughton 1866-1943
  • Anne W. Brigman 1869-1950
  • Christina Broom 1863-1939
  • Mary Cassatt 1844-1926
  • Nancy Ford Cones 1869-1962
  • Clementina Hawarden 1822-1865
  • Frances Benjamin Johnston 1864-1952
  • Agnes Warburg 1872-1953
  • Catharine Barnes Ward 1851-1913
  • Jane Wigley
  • Bessie Buehrmann
  • Theresa Llwelyn

Famous Women Photographers who Lived and Worked During the 20th Century (Not Ordered)

  • Eslanda (Essie) Goode Robeson 1896-1965
  • Ruth Bernhard 1905-2006
  • Margaret Bourke-White 1906-1971
  • Toni Frissell 1907-1988
  • Eve Arnold 1913-2012
  • Esther Bubley 1921-1998
  • Imogen Cunningham 1883-1976
  • Louise Dahl-Wolfe 1895-1989
  • Gisèle Freund 1908-2000
  • Laura Gilpin 1891-1979
  • Masumi Hayashi 1945-2006
  • Hannah Hoch 1889-1978
  • Martha Holmes 1923-2006
  • Lotte Jacobi 1896-1990
  • Dorothea Lange 1895-1965
  • Fay Godwin 1931-2005
  • Martine Franck 1938-2012
  • Linda McCartney 1942-1998
  • Lee Miller 1907-1977
  • Lisette Model 1906-1983
  • Inge Morath 1923-2002
  • Barbara Morgan 1900-1992
  • Ruth Orkin 1921-1985
  • Leni Riefenstahl 1902-2003
  • Dorothy Norman 1905-1997
  • Diane Arbus 1923-1971
  • Lola Àlvarez Bravo 1907-1993
  • Shima Ryu 1823-1899
  • Mieko Shiomi 1909-1984
  • Jo Spence 1934-1992
  • Anya Teixeira 1913-1992
  • Adine Williams
  • Marion Post Wolcott 1910-1990
  • Francesca Woodman 1958-1981
  • Mary Bayard Wootten 1875-1959
  • Madame Yevonde 1893-1975

Famous Women Photographers Who are Still Alive Today (Ordered by Year of Birth)

  • Lillian Bassman 1917-
  • Grace Robertson 1930-
  • Hilla Becher 1934-
  • Eleanor Antin 1935-
  • Mary Ellen Mark 1940-
  • Heather Angel 1941-
  • Sylvia Plachy 1943-
  • Lynn Davis 1944-
  • Markéta Luskac 1944-
  • Joyce Tenneson 1945-
  • Tina Barney 1945-
  • Sandy Skoglund 1946-
  • Susan Meiselas 1948-
  • Annie Leibovitz (1949-)
  • Linda Wolf 1950-
  • Sally Mann 1951-
  • Bettina Reims 1952-
  • Sophie Calle 1953-
  • Nan Goldin 1953-
  • Carrie Mae Weems 1953-
  • Cindy Sherman 1954-
  • Shirin Neshat 1957-
  • Brigitte Lacombe 1958-
  • Francesca Woodman 1958-1981
  • Lorna Simpson 1960-
  • Carolyn Cole 1961-
  • Anna Fox 1961-
  • Catherine Opie 1961-
  • Catherine Yass 1963-
  • Inez van Lamsweerde 1963-
  • Mary Fitzpatrick 1968-
  • Alexandra Hedison 1969-
  • Loretta Lux 1969-
  • Lori Nix 1969-
  • Elinor Carucci 1971-

Recommended Reading

In Real Life: Six Women Photographers A History of Women Photographers

You may also like to the browse the books in my Photography Book Store in the famous women photographers section.

› Famous Women Photographers

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