Women Photographers – Part One

The blogosphere is full of ‘best of’ lists and rankings. The blog is a perfect venue for this type of information. So I thought it would be nice to create a women in the history of photography list. I rarely read an interview where a photographer, male or female, cites a woman as an influence. The exceptions is perhaps Diane Arbus. And I have always found the sources on this subject rather limited. I like the idea of being able to see the range, and ability of female photographers from the advent of the art form.It is not in chronological order or by ranking per say, it is meant as a general source list. I discovered quite a lot of great work while putting it together.

I often wish I had more female mentorship and inspiration, but I guess it is out there if you are willing to look. So hopefully someone will find something or someone inspiring in the list. I am sure I have missed some artists, so feel free to email me your additions.

Julia Margaret Cameron


Camille Silvy


Clementina, Lady Hawarden


Alice Austen


Doris Ulmann


Gertrude Kasebier


Alice Boughton


Eva Watson-Schutze


Louise Deshong


Laura Adams Armer


Alice Lex-Neurlinger

Margrethe Mather


Hannah Hoch


Florence Henri


Lucia Moholy


Imogen Cunningham


Tina Modotti


Ilse Bing


Bernice Abbott


Margaret Bourke-White


Marion Post Wolcott


Dorothea Lange


Helen Levitt


Inge Morath


Lotte Jacobi


Barbara Morgan


Carlotta Corporan


Lillian Bassman


Lisette Model


Laura Gilpin


Louise Dahl Wolfe


Diane Arbus


Thanks to Joerg Colberg, I somehow forget Lee Miller, and for suggesting,  Martine Franck and Ruth Bernhard

Ms. Miller


Part Two – Coming Soon….







17 thoughts on “Women Photographers – Part One”

  1. BRAVA! Helen Levitt and truly contemporary photographers Amy Stein and Cara Phillips have been profound inspirations for my work.

  2. Great post! Good to see Margaret Bourke-White and Bernice Abbott there.

    Susan Meiselas is a good one too, here book Carnival Strippers is fascinating.

  3. great to see this list! i tried to post this last night, but apparently failed–

    I’d add Claude Cahun and the Comtesse de Castiglione (for her collaborations) and Lee Miller as well.

    looking forward to seeing part 2!

  4. under addressed issue here (still!).

    often, i try to think of influence strictly as female (compared to the unfortunate cultural default), and where i find difficultly, i know i need to learn more.

    and don’t forget roni horn!

  5. Excellent list, and there are a few that are new to me, thank you. You might also add Chansonetta Stanley Emmons to your list. She was an early 20th c. photographer in Maine and Boston, and made photographs of rural Maine that deeply moving.

  6. Love the list. I am always looking for new and exciting women photographers so checking out some from your list should be interesting. Some other favourites of mine are Sylvia Plachy and Sally Mann. Then of course there’s Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Leibovitz, although they wouldn’t be as high up on the list. More contemporary still I love Hellen van Meene. Thanks,

  7. hey cara!
    what about rineke dijkstra, sharon lockhart, gillian wearing, bettina von zwehl, claude cahun, cindy sherman, nikki s. lee, liz deschenes, nan goldin, eve arnold, sophie calle, sarah charlesworth, carrie mae weems, donna ferrato, candida hofer, judith joy ross, penelope umbrico, laurie simmons, lauren greenfield and the hilda becher half of the bechers?

  8. Just for your Information; Camille Silvy is not a woman, but a man – In french Camille is a boys name, with two M’s it’s a girl…… But besides that little flaw, it’s a great list… Thank you, didn’t know all the names… Kind Regards Gabriela Morera

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