10 Of The Most Influential Photographers in History

It certainly is a difficult question to answer: which photographer in history is the most influential? Who had the greatest impact on the world around them?

It’s almost impossible to provide a single, definitive answer, so here are the 10 photographers we believe left the world better than when they found it.

1. Ansel Adams

Specialising in black and white photography of rural landscapes, American photographer Ansel Adams was an environmental activist and a pioneer of modern nature photography.

2. Richard Avedon

Known for his ability to capture raw emotion, master portrait and fashion photographer Richard Avedon evoked life into his subjects while still managing to retain formality.

Through his often provocative and controversial images, Avedon aided in the reinvention of photography as an expressive art form.

3. Diane Arbus

Through focusing on the unique characters living amongst us, Diane Arbus created often disturbing images of marginalised people such as nudists, circus performers, dwarves, giants, and transgender people and her work has had a lasting effect on urban street culture.

4. Robert Capa

Robert Capa was a photojournalist and war photographer famous for capturing some of the most brutal battles history has ever seen, most notably the Spanish Civil War and WWII.

His images of the 1944 invasion of Normandy by the Western Allies of WWII are just a few of his action photographs capturing the violence of war amidst blurs of dust.

5. Helmut Newton

Australian-German fashion photographer Helmut Newton – who would almost certainly have been a fan of online betting – created provocative, erotically charged black and white photographs which were frequently published in mainstream publications such as Playboy and Vogue.

His style is frequently imitated, but few have come close to the highly stylised mastery of Newton’s images.

6. Steve McCurry

Internationally renowned documentary photographer Steve McCurry is most well-known for the images produced after he was smuggled across the border into rebel-controlled Pakistan during the Soviet-Afghan War of 1979-1989.

He returned with reels of film sewed into his clothes to reveal to the world the first images of the brutality of the Russian invasion

7. Annie Leibovitz

Celebrated as one of the greatest American photographers of our time, Annie Leibovitz took some of the most familiar photographs of our generation while working at Rolling Stone Magazine and her almost instantly recognisable style makes use of unorthodox poses and bold colours.

8. David LaChapelle

American commercial photographer David LaChapelle garnered an enormous through this work at Interview Magazine alongside acclaimed artist Andy Warhol and has since photographed some of the biggest celebrities of our time.

9. Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe challenged the boundaries of what should be considered photographic art in the 1970s and 1980s and is acclaimed for his provocative and often controversial images.

Through his sensitive, yet blunt treatment of contentious subject matter, Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic work fuelled a national debate surrounding the public funding of controversial artworks.

10. Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was a documentary photographer who focused on migrant workers – the ‘proud and destitute’ – and her most famous image, Migrant Mother, is seen as an iconic representation of the hardship and resilience of the American people during the Great Depression.

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