Photography Masters

Biography: Portrait photographer James Abbe

Biography: Portrait photographer James Abbe

James Abbe (1883 – 1973) was an American photographer. Abbe had a remarkable talent for inspiring trust in stars and Lillian Gish convinced him to come to Italy in 1923 to work as a lighting consultant and still photographer for “The White Sister.” He closed his Broadway studio, abandoned his wife and children, and moved to Italy. He spent the…
Biography: Nude photographer Ruth Bernhard

Biography: Nude photographer Ruth Bernhard

Ruth Bernhard (October 14, 1905 – December 18, 2006) was a German-born American photographer. In 1927, after two years at the Berlin Academy of Art, Ruth moved to New York where she began to seriously pursue a career in photography. Eight years later she met Edward Weston in California and was deeply moved by his work. He revealed to her…
Biography: Street photographer Louis Stettner

Biography: Street photographer Louis Stettner

Louis Stettner (born November 7, 1922) is an American photographer of the 20th century whose work includes streetscapes, portraits and architectural images of New York and Paris. His work has been highly regarded because of its humanity and capturing the life and reality of the people and streets of both cities. Since 1947, Stettner has photographed the changes in the…
Biography: Experimental photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke

Biography: Experimental photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke

Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898–1983) was a German experimental photographer who co-founded the Fotoform group with Otto Steinert. Heinz Hajek-Halke, born in Berlin in 1898, spent part of his childhood in Argentina. He worked as a photo editor, press photographer and commercial artist, concentrating almost from the start on montage techniques. During World War II he lived quietly and photographed small animal…
Biography: Documentary photographer Emil Otto Hoppé

Biography: Documentary photographer Emil Otto Hoppé

Emil Otto Hoppé (1878-1972) was one of the most important art and documentary photographers of the modern era whose artistic success rivaled those of his peers, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), Edward Steichen (1879-1973) and Walker Evans (1903-1975). Hoppé was one of the most renowned portrait photographers of his day, as well as a brilliant landscape and travel photographer. His strikingly modernist…
Biography: Polish pioneer photographer Maksymilian Fajans

Biography: Polish pioneer photographer Maksymilian Fajans

Maksymilian Fajans (1825–1890) was educated in the Academy of Fine Arts and Parisian studios of local artists and was initially interested in drawing and lithography. In 1862, he became intrigued by the more and more trendy invention of photography. He was a portraitist and a documentarian. As a photoreporter he captured the – often now destroyed – developments of Warsaw:…
Biography: Fashion photographer Willy Maywald

Biography: Fashion photographer Willy Maywald

Willy Maywald was born in Kleve in the Lower Rhine region in 1907, he attended the schools of applied arts in Krefeld, Cologne, and Berlin which shaped his avant-garde style. In 1932 he moved to the city on the Seine, where he befriended many of the protagonists of modern art. The bustling arts scene of Paris offered him many different…
Biography: Portrait photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Biography: Portrait photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark (1940 – 2015) has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism.…
Biography: Fashion/Portrait photographer Herb Ritts

Biography: Fashion/Portrait photographer Herb Ritts

Herbert Ritts (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits. Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70’s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also…
Biography: Documentary/Architecture photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher

Biography: Documentary/Architecture photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher were German artists working as a collaborative duo. They are best known for their extensive series of photographic images, or typologies, of industrial buildings and structures. To create these works, the artists traveled to large mines and steel mills, and systematically photographed the major structures, such as the winding towers that haul coal and iron ore…
Biography: Documentary photographer Lewis Hine

Biography: Documentary photographer Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine (1874 – 1940) was an American sociologist and photographer. Hine was educated as a sociologist at the University of Chicago, during the years when John Dewey and Thorstein Veblen were on its faculty. He continued his education at New York and Columbia Universities, and taught at the School of Ethical Culture. (Among his students there was Paul Strand,…
Biography: Pictorial Rural Life photographer Peter Henry Emerson

Biography: Pictorial Rural Life photographer Peter Henry Emerson

Peter Henry Emerson (1856 – 1936) was a British photographer. He bought his first camera in 1882 and spent the next several years studying and experimenting in photography. By 1885 he was exhibiting his work and winning prizes widely. In 1889 Peter Henry Emerson published Naturalistic Photography a handbook detailing his approach and the theories he believed supported it. Although…
Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

Eva Besnyo (1910–2002) was a Dutch-Hungarian photographer who participated in the Nieuwe Fotografie (New Photography) movement. In 1928, she started to study photography at József Pécsi’s studio where she also served an apprenticeship. In 1930, at the age of 20, she moved to Berlin where she first worked for advertising photographer René Ahrlé before working on photoreportages with the press…
Biography: Documentary photographer Walker Evans

Biography: Documentary photographer Walker Evans

Walker Evans (1903 – 1975) was an American photographer best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans’s work from the FSA period uses the large-format, 8×10-inch camera. He said that his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are “literate, authoritative, transcendent”. Many of his…
Biography: Nude/Fetish photographer Elmer Batters

Biography: Nude/Fetish photographer Elmer Batters

Elmer Batters (November 24, 1919 – June 25, 1997) was a pioneer fetish photographer who specialized in capturing artful images of women with an emphasis on stockings, legs, and feet: ahead of his time in popularizing foot fetishism imagery as erotic entertainment. Batters started out publishing his photographs himself, and since the early 1960s his work was featured in magazines…
Biography: Robert Frank

Biography: Robert Frank

Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is an American photographer. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, was influential, and earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage. Born in Switzerland, Frank grew…
Biography: Documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White

Biography: Documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White (1904 – 1971) was an American documentary photographer. Margaret Bourke-White was one of the most famous and most successful photographers of her time. Her combination of intelligence, talent, ambition, and flexibility made her an ideal contributor to the new group journalism that developed during the thirties. Bourke-White was already noted as a photographer of industrial subjects when she…
Biography: Documentary photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Biography: Documentary photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902 – 2002) was Mexico’s first principal artistic photographer and is the most important figure in 20th-century Latin American photography. He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with is artistic peak…
Biography: City Life/Street photographer Louis Faurer

Biography: City Life/Street photographer Louis Faurer

Born in 1916 to immigrant parents from the Russian/Polish border, Louis Faurer’s childhood, in a South Philadelphia neighborhood of mostly Italian and Jewish immigrants, was not easy. “There were problems of survival,” he once said. After graduating from the South Philadelphia High School for Boys in 1934, he spent a few summers as caricature artist in Atlantic City, New Jersey.…
Biography: People/Portrait photographer Pedro Luis Raota

Biography: People/Portrait photographer Pedro Luis Raota

Pedro Luis Raota (1934-1986) was an Argentinian photographer. At a young age he sold his bicycle to buy a camera, determined to learn the art of photography. He quickly took up portrait photography in Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz and later moved to Villaguary where he enthusiastically set up his own studio. Since his first recognition in 1958, he…