From unknown artists to lords, from photographers working for Hitler to war photographers taking pictures of the innocent victims, from Japanese erotic art to food photography, this third part of our visual journey is about diversity and tolerance. We discovered that art has no name, no social status, and no fear. We understood that photography blossoms anywhere and anytime and that it remained unchanged throughout all its history. Photography has always been about the people. In no particular order, here are the next 25 of the most famous 100 photographers of all times.
PS: In case you missed them, here are Part 1 of the 100 of the Most Influential Photographers of All Time and Part 2 of the 100 of the Most Influential Photographers of All Time.
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 – 1980) was a British photographer, but also a painter, diarist, interior designer, and stage and costumes designer for the theater and films. He won two Oscars for Best Costume Design for the movies Gigi (1956) and My Fair Lady (1964). Still, his legacy at photographer is more important than that.
Cecil Beaton is known as fashion, society portraits, and war photographer. He started to work at Vogue in 1927. His social portraits were dedicated to his friends, but later on they became a public service. He photographed the Royal Family and did the wedding pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. During the Second World War Cecil Beaton photographed the British suffering on the home front and victims in hospitals. His photographs were used to convince the American govern to enter the war and help Britain.
Some say Cecil Beaton wasn’t a technical photographer. He didn’t use extreme effects or innovative methods. What he did was arranging a scene, building the composition, and waiting for the perfect moment to press the shutter button. In his own words: “Be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” Well, his portraits are definitely not ordinary.
Eric Boman is known for his work in fashion industry. He worked for famous magazines (Vogue, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, The World of Interiors) and fashion brands. Besides his commissioned work, Eric Boman likes to do travel photography, art photography, and still life. His personal projects were published in a book called "Eric Boman: A Wandering Eye", a book of travel photographs from 1975 - 2005.
In Eric Boman's portfolio you'll find outstanding portraits of legendary figures, both women and men, but also objects playing dramatic roles. To see a white stiletto playing a role in a Hitchcock crime, look for the book called Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation. Eric Boman's work is elegant, stylish, and sophisticated.
Patrick Demarchelier (b. 1943) is a French fashion photographer. He has a long list of clients including famous fashion magazines like Marie Claire, Elle, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, but also fashion brands like Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Elizabeth Arden, and many more. Considered one of the most famous fashion photographers of the moment, Patrick Demarchelier believes in practice: "I learned most by just taking pictures; a lot of pictures. I've made plenty of mistakes, but it's often from your mistakes that you learn most. Being a photographer is like being an athlete. You must practice every day."
His images are complete, impeccable, and glamorous. Besides the obvious style and experience, Patrick Demarchelier is known for showing the true personality of his models. Using black and white photography a lot might be one of the reasons for that. He worked for Pirelli calendar in 2005 and 2008 with amazing results. His photographs are realistic, natural, and feminine.
Bert Hardy (1913 - 1995) was a British photographer who documented the face of his country after the Second World War. He did documentary and press photography and published his works in the Picture Post magazine. Bert Hardy started his career with a photograph of King George V and Queen Mary in a passing carriage. In 1941 he was hired by the Picture Post, even if he didn't have photography studies or any studies (he left school at 14).
Bert Hardy documented the Second World War (took part in the D-Day, Paris liberation, etc.) and then the Korean War. His images were always close to the action. He used a Leica, but most of all he used his heart and his talent. His pictures are sensible, touching, and natural. He photographed joy, love, children, sadness, and despair. He didn't expensive gear, image editing, or innovative techniques. Bert Hardy was gifted, as many of those times photographers were.
Tim Walker (b. 1970) was the assistant of Richard Avedon and works also as a fashion photographer. He started with portraits and documentary photography, but soon enough his innovative style gave him an important role in fashion industry. He works for Vogue, Love, and W magazines. You can see his images in exhibitions and photo books, as well as in permanent collections at Victoria and Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London.
Tim Walker has an unique style, characterized by romanticism and extravagance. He does mostly color photography and creates dramatic stages, with outstanding design and charming characters. It's impossible not to recognize his pictures. They are strong fairy tales, complex tableaux in a modern interpretation.
Fashion and portrait photographer, Terry Richardson (b. 1965) is known for exquisite fashion campaigns (Marc Jacobs, Diesel, Tom Ford, Sisley, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.) and for his work for famous fashion and lifestyle magazines (Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, etc.).
Terry Richardson started his career in 1994 with Vibe magazine. His photographs are provocative and push sexual boundaries to the extremes. They were criticized, but still exhibited and published. Terry Richardson focuses on putting celebrities in ordinary situations, portraits, sexuality, nudity, and himself. He often appears in photographs, near his models, or uses makeup and glasses to make people look like him.
Norman Parkinson (1913 - 1990) is known as a portrait and fashion photographer. Inspired and creative, he worked for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and Queen magazines. During the Second World War he served for Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance photographer, but after the war Norman Parkinson returned to his passion for beauty and style.
Norman Parkinson was appreciated during his lifetime and received many awards, as well as the royal photographer job. He is known as one of the most famous British fashion photographers and one of the first who moved photo sessions from studios to outdoor setting. He had humor, elegance, and glamour, and transformed fashion photography into storytelling and entertainment. The portraits of Royal Family, celebrities, or models are fresh and candid, and show personality.
Probably according to his wish, Normal Parkinson died during a photo shooting in Singapore. Humor and passion stayed with him until the last moment.
Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, also known as Lord Snowdon (1930 - 2017) was a British photographer known for his fashion photographs, portraits, and a marriage with Princess Margaret. His career includes royal portraits, documentary photography, covers for Queen's albums, 60 years of working for Vogue magazine, and documentary film.
He was informal in all his works, including the royal portraits and fashion photographs. His photo essays featuring arts and social issues were published for 28 years in The Sunday Times Magazine. Even after his marriage failed, he remained close to the Royal Family and his royal portraits show a different face of British monarchy. He photographed the Queen for decades. He also was one of the first photographers who did portraits of Princess Diana and show her fashion style. Lord Snowdon was debonair and stylish, and his photographs are the same.
Lord Snowdon's photographs are exhibited in permanent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Horst P. Horst
Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann alias Horst P. Horst (1906 - 1999) was a fashion photographer, known for female portraits, but also for architecture photography, still life, and environmental portraits. He was the apprentice of Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, who introduced him to Vogue. Horst P. Horst debuted as a photographer in the French edition of Vogue in 1931.
Horst P. Horst is famous for his erotically charged photographs, in which there are surrealist elements as well as ancient Greek influences. Considered his masterpiece, The Mainbocher Corset is the image of timeless beauty, and it's still used as an inspiration by modern fashion designers. Horst P. Horst was carefully preparing his shooting, using many lights and props.
His passion for interior designs brought him to the volume Horst Interiors, in which he presents society interiors. He developed this passion into a series of photographs dedicated to high-society lifestyle and in 1970 began working for House & Garden magazine.
Philip Jones Griffiths
Known for his war photographs, Philip Jones Griffiths (1936 - 2008) covered the Vietnam War in a way that changed American perception of the war. He was a photojournalist and freelancer photographer who started his career working for The Observer. Later on, working for Magnum agency, he focused on the suffering of the Vietnamese people. But he didn't publish his photographs until 1971 when his book Vietnam Inc. was finally released. No American press agency wanted to publish photographs featuring the horrors of the war and the Vietnamese rural life.
While his masterpiece remains Vietnam Inc., Philip Jones Griffiths continued to document the face of war. He covered Yom Kippur War and worked in Cambodia for two years. His words remain one of the best advises for photojournalists: "The ability to keep things in perspective is very important for a journalist. In a tense situation you need the ability to be there, yet somehow step aside; to keep a cool head and keep working without getting frustrated".
In the portfolio of Jeanloup Sieff (1933 - 2000) you'll find portraits of politicians and famous people, landscapes, nudes, and fashion photographs. He was considered an art photographer and his works were published in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
Jeanloup Sieff worked mostly in black and white, and almost always used a wide angle. His recipe was based on textures and shapes, with some frivolity, and extra sensuality. While his name was conquering the world of fashion, Jeanloup Sieff continued to work on personal projects, received awards, and exhibited all around the world.
Bob Carlos Clarke
Bob Carlos Clarke (1950 - 2006) was a complex photographer. He did documentary and commercial photography, portraits, and nudes. He remained in the history of photography with his erotic approach and his continuous interest in love. For example, the series The Agony & The Ecstasy is dedicated to young lovers at public school balls. Besides exhibitions and awards, the work of Bob Carlos Clarke received recognition in six volumes: The Illustrated Delta of Venus (1979), Obsession (1981), The Dark Summer (1985), White Heat (1990), Shooting Sex (2002), and Love-Dolls Never Die (2004).
Working in black and white, versatile, successful, and dramatic, Bob Carlos Clarke was obsessed by femininity, sensuality, and eroticism. His photographs are iconic and memorable, but never dull. They can fascinate you, but aren't easy to handle. Bob Carlos Clarke was compared with Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe, but the truth is he's one of the kind.
Some say Bob Carlos Clarke was a perfectionist and he was never satisfied of his life, despite his obvious success. In 2006 he killed himself, leaving room for rumors and a huge legacy to photography.
Born in 1948, Mick Rock is a rock legend as much as his subjects. Queen, David Bowie, Blondie, The Sex Pistols are just some of them. His portfolio includes music albums, films, and music videos. A long series of books and exhibitions wear his name.
Sometimes called “The Man Who Shot the 70s", Mick Rock catches the spirit of rock'n roll in this outstanding times. His dedication and his close relationship with the musicians add a different dimension to his work. His books are signed or have forewords written by artists. Their approval brought Mick Rock fame and recognition.
Using both color and black and white photography, Mick Rock allows the music to be heard through his images. You can feel the energy, the passion, and the friendships behind the scenes. Powerful and dramatic, Mick Rock's style is the authentic face of the 70s.
Sebastião Salgado (b. 1944) is a documentary photographer who dedicates his work to social and environmental issues. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambasador and works on extensive projects all around the world. He travelled in 120 countries and published book about the subjects he covers. Among his subjects there are migration, workers, unknown human communities, globalization, wildlife, and landscapes.
With his analogue black and white photographs, Sebastião Salgado continues to raise awareness on environmental issues, especially on destroying the Amazonian forests. He is an activist for the poor and powerless. You can hear him speak in TED talks.
David Loftus (b. 1963) is a photographer famous for the way he photographs food. He illustrated cookbooks for many chefs, but the longest relation he has is with Jamie Oliver (they published over 20 cookbooks together).
David Loftus did all sorts of photographs, from fashion to travel to commercial. Food photography was just another job, but it worked out to be his chance to fame. His photographs look delicious, but also realistic and healthy. You can see ingredients, textures, methods, and all you need to know about a recipe. No fake colors, extensive editing, and tricky filters. The secrets are in lighting, composition, and dedication both from the photographer and the chef.
Brian Duffy (1933 - 2010) remains in photography history for fashion and portrait photography. He began his career in 1955 at Harper's Bazaar and moved to Vogue in 1957. Together with David Bailey and Terry Donovan he formed what was called "The Black Trinity", a group that aimed to change the place of the photographer in the fashion industry and redefine the aesthetic of this type of photography. They weren't just photographers, but also celebrities, and had the same status as their models and subjects.
Brian Duffy worked for many famous publications and did the Pirelli calendar in 1965 and 1973. He also collaborated with musicians and produced movies and TV commercials. He have up photography in 1979 when he tried to burn his negatives. He was a cultural icon, an enigma that swept over the artistic world of two decades. His photographs are stylish, fun, and dynamic. He developed real relationships with the models and the people he photographed, and this changed the commercial air of the fashion industry.
Simon Norfolk (b. 1963) is known as landscape and architecture photographer. He won many awards and published several monographs with pictures from the wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia. He has a different perspective on war and genocide, and present them from the landscape point of view.
Exhibited around the world and raising awareness, Simon Norfolk's photographs are impressive and dramatic. He uses simple compositions and faded colors, but his images a meaningful and moving. A philosophical form of landscape photography, the work of Simon Norfolk makes you reflect on human condition and the impact we have on each other and on the land we inhabit.
Nobuyoshi Araki (b. 1940) is a prolific photographer, with more than 500 published books. His successful career is based on a strange idea of combining erotic and fine art photographs. In his pictures, women, flowers, and food come together in an artful manner. Controversial, but appreciated, the work on Araki transformed him into the most prolific Japanese artist of all times.
It seems that there's a thin line between pornography and art in the work of Araki. His black and white images raise questions, but also fascinate the public. Awards and accusations mix in this photographic context. Any opinion is difficult and personal. But for Araki this is art. He continued to be inspired and to work even after he lost the vision of an eye. For a man who become famous for the pictures he took during his honeymoon, this isn't something rare. His style is casual, intimate, and authentic.
Ellen Von Unwerth
Ellen Von Unwerth (b. 1954) was a model before becoming a fashion photographer. She is known for advertising campaigns and fashion photographs, and for her feminine and erotic style.
Her feminine approach in the world of fashion brought her to publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair. When it comes to fashion, her subjects are strong and sexy women, but Ellen Von Unwerth has other subjects too. She does photographs for musicians and album covers, and directs short films. You can see her work in a long list of books, movies, and music videos for Duran Duran, Salt-N-Pepa, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, and others.
Ellen Von Unwerth believes in empowering women, in giving them active roles, and in celebrating sensuality. She uses black and white photography to create iconic images, both playful and dramatic.
Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl alias Leni Riefenstahl (1902 - 2003) was a film director and became famous for directing two of the most effective and innovative propaganda films ever made. Unfortunately, these films were made for Nazi propaganda and some say that Leni Riefenstahl and Adolf Hitler were close friends. After the war she was arrested and classified as a Nazi sympathizer, without involvement in war crimes. Regardless the subject, her films and artistic vision were inspiring.
In photography, Leni Riefenstahl remains famous for technical and aesthetic innovations. In the film Olympia, dedicated to 1936 Summer Olympics, she used tracking shots, slow motion shots, underwater shots, very high and very low shooting angles, and panoramic aerial shots. He innovative techniques are at the base of modern sport photography.
Leni Riefenstahl spent the last part of her career in Africa, documenting the Nuba tribe in Sudan. She used color photography and an artful style, which combines dancing, athletic poses, and stunning portraits.
Edward Steichen (1879 - 1973) is considered the author of the first fashion photographs published in a magazine. He worked for Art et Décoration, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. At his time, Edward Steichen was the best paid photographer in the world.
Edward Steichen was a pioneer of photography. In 1904 he was making experiments with the color photography and in 1911 published the first fashion photographs featuring gowns designed by Paul Poiret. He served during both wars and left his mark on military photography as well. Edward Steichen believed in photography as a form of art useful in every day life. His work put the basis of commercial photography as we know today. He used to say that "The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself.”
His portfolio is amazing. From flowers to street shots, from portraits to military photographs, from fashion to still life, the sensitivity of Edward Steichen found a good subject in each of them. The portrait of Greta Garbo is one of the iconic pictures that will stay with us forever.
Alfred Stieglitz (1864 - 1946), modern art promoter and photographer, remained in the history of photography for his dedication to transform photography in a form of art. He worked for the magazine The American Amateur Photographer, writing articles and printing photogravures. After he gained more influence, he joined The Camera Club of New York and published a magazine for them. Soon, the magazine became the world's best photo magazine.
Alfred Stieglitz had a simple and efficient style. He did travel photography, landscapes and portraits. He was a perfectionist of technique and printing and militated for exhibitions dedicated to photography. In 1902 he succeeded to organize an exhibition called Photo-Secession, exclusively dedicated to photographs and the show was a success. An independent magazine dedicated to pictorial photography followed. A gallery was the natural next step. Alfred Stieglitz gave to photography more than his pictures, he gave it a public.
"We are searching for the ultimate truth. . . We believe that if only people are taught to appreciate the beautiful side of their daily existence, to be aware of all the beauty which constantly surrounds them, they must gradually approach this ideal. For beauty is the ultimate truth, and truth means freedom." - quote source
Roger Fenton (1819 - 1869) is considered one of the first war photographers in the world. He documented the Crimean War and more than 300 of his photographs were exhibited in London and Paris.
Roger Fenton didn't have the advantages of modern photography equipment. Nevertheless, he traveled around Britain and Europe and took photographs. He also did landscapes photographs, portraits, and still life images. He faced a world where photography was not quite an art and not quite a job. His exhibitions were seen by Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III, but he didn't succeed to make money from this. In 1863 he sold the equipment and gave up photography.
George Hoyningen-Huene (1900 - 1968), a fashion photographer with an outstanding life, began his career at french Vogue in 1925. Born in Russia, he lived in England, France, and United States. He was a mentor for many of the time photographers including Horst P. Horst and François Tuefferd.
After moving to United States, in 1935, George Hoyningen-Huene worked for Harper's Bazaar and did mostly celebrities portraits. He also started to work in film industry as a special visual and color consultant.
George Hoyningen-Huene had an elegant style, very flattering for his subjects. He used a high vantage point and the result was stylish and clean. He liked elaborated lighting and composing. George Hoyningen-Huene was one of the first photographers who did outdoor photo sessions for fashion industry.
Sarah Moon alias Marielle Warin (b. 1941) was a model before becoming a fashion photographer. She was the first woman to do Pirelli calendar in 1972 and a long list of fashion campaigns wear her signature.
Sarah Moon has an artful style, her photographs look like oil paintings. There's always a soft air, a melancholy, and a story in her pictures. Her unique style wasn't influenced by commercial aspects and she always stayed true to her art. In her pictures you see soft touches, geometry, and pure colors. Feminine and sensitive, the art of Sarah Moon can't be forgotten.