15 Worlds Most Famous Photographers

September 22, 2016 · 47 comments

by Dustin Betonio


What makes a world’s famous photographer noticed or well-known? Is it the number of years he or she has been in this profession, the experience they have gathered, or a particular field of photography that he or she has chosen? None of these; the most important reason behind any of the world’s most famous photographer is the pictures he or she has taken.

World’s most famous photographers do keep a low profile a lot of times. A by-line in their photo is enough to acknowledge their work. Some famous photographers would rather not reveal their own faces for personal reasons. These reasons can be to stay mysterious to their growing audience in particular or they are just too shy, plain and simple. World’s most famous photographers are celebrated because they have made a particular shot of a bizarre or amazing moment that can only happen in a millisecond. People admire how in so little time, they have captured such an astonishing event or happening.

As qouted,’” A picture speaks a thousand words”. Well, these world’s most famous photographers, at one time or another in their careers, have clicked a picture that has taken them beyond the realms of greatness. In this article, I am a going to take a look and share to you such world’s most famous  photographers with their sample masterpieces that have excelled in their own profession.The following worlds most famous photographers have touched the hearts of many worldwide with the most amazing and stunning photos.

If you like photos, but don’t have the budget to hire the best photographers in the world for your new website or project, make sure to check out the thousands of fully-licensed premium photos found over at Envato Market.

If you are an aspiring photographer yourself you are probably always on the look for your next motive whatever it is an Aerial Photography, a Street Photography or another motive, you will need to represent your work in a professional yet inspiring way. There are many great Photographer’s Portfolio Sites out there to inspire you. If you decide to create a website yourself, one of the easiest ways is to choose a WordPress Portfolio Theme to kickstart your project.



Worlds Most Famous Photographers

1. Robert Capa


(born Endre Ern? Friedmann October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954) Capa originally wanted to be a writer; however, he found work in photography in Berlin and grew to love the art. In 1933, he moved from Germany to France because of the rise of Nazism, but found it difficult to find work there as a freelance journalist. Capa’s first published photograph was that of Leon Trotsky making a speech in Copenhagen on “The Meaning of the Russian Revolution” in 1932 making him one of world’s famous photographers.

2. Carol Guzy


Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Carol Guzy (born 1956) is one of the most renowned American photojournalists of all time. Guzy gets results because she focuses on shooting feelings rather than pictures. Through her lens, she has delved into the darkest corners of human existence, hoping to bring understanding between people in all parts of the world. Over the years, she has brought viewers face to face with Kosovo refugees, famine in Ethiopia, civil unrest in Haiti, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the tragedy of south Florida’s Hurricane Andrew.

3. James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey

James Natchwey was born in 1948 in Syracuse. He began photographing because he was “influenced by imagery from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement.” In 1976 he started to photograph for “a small newspaper in New Mexico.” He “documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues.” He has been around South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, The Soviet Union, Western Europe and the United States, photographing different events and the socio-political issues. He did a series of photographs from the September 11 attacks and also when the United States went to Iraq to the war. He was injured in Iraq; a bomb exploded in the vehicle he was in. He recovered from that and went to Asia to do a remarkable series covering what the Tsunami ion December 26, 2004 had caused.  He has been contracted to work for the Time Magazine since 1984. He is also a “founding member of the photo agency VII.

4. Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry was born April 23, 1950 is an American photojournalist. McCurry began studying film history cinematography and filmmaking at Penn State in 1968, but ended up getting a degree in theater arts and graduating cum laude in 1974. He became very interested in photography when he started taking pictures for the Penn State newspaper called The Daily Collegian.Steve McCurry took a picture of a 12 year old Afghan girl. Her picture became so famous that in 1985, National Geographic magazine printed it as their cover. The picture is called The Afghan Girl.

5. Dorothea Lange


Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1895 and studied photography in New York City before the First World War. In 1919, she moved to San Francisco, where she earned her living as a portrait photographer for more than a decade. During the Depression’s early years Lange’s interest in social issues grew and she began to photograph the city’s dispossessed. A 1934 exhibition of these photographs introduced her to Paul Taylor, an associate professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, and in February 1935 the couple together documented migrant farm workers in Nipomo and the Imperial Valley for the California State Emergency Relief Administration.That is why she is one of the world’s famous photographers.

6. Henri Cartier-Bresson


Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica – his camera of choice thereafter – and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the “street photography” or “real life reportage” style that has influenced generations of photographers who followed.

7. Frank Fournier


Frank Fournier was born in 1948 in Saint-Sever, France. The son of a surgeon, he embarked on four full years of medical studies before beginning his career in photography in 1975 in New York City. He first joined the office staff of Contact Press Images in 1977 and became a member photographer in 1982. Fournier’s winning photo “The agony of Omayra Sanchez” .At the time the now famous photograph was taken, the world was already fixated on the tragedy. Omayra was one of the victims at the center of the associated controversy over responsibility for the disaster. Almost immediately after its release, the image captured widespread attention. According to an unnamed BBC author, “many were appalled at witnessing so intimately what transpired to be the last few hours of Omayra’s life”. Thus making Fournier one of the world’s most famous photographers.

8. Walker Evans


Walker Evens was born in November 3, 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri. He worked for the Farm Security Administration, and like Dorothea he “document[ed] the effects of the Great Depression.” He not only documented the Great Depression but “he also focuses on the landscapes and architecture around him” He photographed “Cuba during the revolt against dictator Machado.” He published Let Us Praise Famous Men that included his work from the documentation of the Great Depression and other works. His photographs were like Dorothea’s; they were “icons of [the] Depression-Era misery and poverty.” After doing that work he “went on to work in an abstract modernist, using the tools of both black-and-white and color photography to cover both socio-political issues and more conceptual artistic ideas.” He is also most noted for his work with James Agee, observing poor southern sharecropping families during the great depression. The pain and intrusion is so evident in their faces, the pride and humiliation shown throughout.

9. Malcolm Browne


Born in 1933, Malcolm Browne was born and raised in New York City. His mother was a Quaker with fervently anti-war opinions, his father a Roman Catholic and an architect. Browne attended Friends Seminary, a Quaker school in Manhattan from kindergarten through to twelfth grade. He went to a Quaker college in Pennsylvania and studied chemistry. A Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and photographer. His best known work is the award-winning photograph of the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thích Qu?ng ??c in 1963.

10. Murray Becker


Murray Becker, an Associated Press photographer whose pictures of the burning airship Hindenburg and a weeping Lou Gehrig are among the most celebrated in journalism, died of cancer Tuesday at his home in North Miami Beach, Fla. He was 77 years old and had been retired since 1972.

For 32 of his 43 years with The A.P., Mr. Becker managed the news service’s picture-taking efforts and had the title chief photographer. His acclaimed pictures of the Hindenburg disaster of May 6, 1937, at Lakehurst, N.J., were a series of 15 shots, from first flare-up to the rescue of survivors. When it was over and his film holders were headed for Newark to be processed, Mr. Becker sat down and wept.

11. Kevin Carter

Sudan Famine

(1961-1994) – South Africa Pulitzer Prize winner, Kevin Carter, took his own life months after winning the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for a haunting Sudan famine picture. A free-lance photographer for Reuter and Sygma Photo NY and former PixEditor of the Mail & Gaurdian, Kevin dedicated his carrer to covering the ongoing conflict in his native South Africa. He was highly honored by the prestigious Ilford Photo Press Awards on several occasions including News Picture of the Year 1993.

12. Helen Levitt

New York, Circa 1971

One of the most important figures in contemporary photography is the New Yorker Helen Levitt. For over 60 years her quiet, poetic photographs made on the streets of the city she has inhabited for most of her life have inspired and amazed generations of photographers, students, collectors, curators, and lovers of art in general. Throughout her long career, Helen Levitt’s photographs have consistently reflected her poetic vision, humor, and inventiveness as much as they have honestly portrayed her subjects—men, women, and children living it out on the streets and among the tenements of New York.

Born In 1945-46 she shot and edited the film In the Street with Janice Loeb and James Agee, providing a moving portrait of her still photography. Levitt’s first major museum exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943, and a second solo show, of color work only, was held there in 1974. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at several museums: first in 1991, jointly at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; in 1997 at the International Center for Photography in New York; and in 2001 at the Centre National la Photography in Paris.

13. Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was born in Riga, Latvia. He studied engineering in Dresden before moving to Paris, where he set up his photographic studio in 1932. Halsman’s bold, spontaneous style won him many admirers. His portraits of actors and authors appeared on book jackets and in magazines; he worked with fashion (especially hat designs), and filled commissions for private clients. By 1936, Halsman was known as one of the best portrait photographers in France.

From the 1940s through the 1970s, Philippe Halsman’s sparkling portraits of celebrities, intellectuals, and politicians appeared on the covers and pages of the big picture magazines, including Look, Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post, Paris Match, and especially Life. His work also appeared in advertisements and publicity for clients like Elizabeth Arden cosmetics, NBC, Simon & Schuster, and Ford.

14. Charles O’Rear


Charles O’Rear (born 1941) is an American photographer best known for his photos of wine country and the image Bliss  that was used as a standard wallpaper in Windows XP.

During the 1970s, he contributed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s DOCUMERICA project. O’Rear photographed for National Geographic Magazine for more than 25 years. He began his focus on winemaking in 1978 as an assignment to photograph the Napa Valley. Afterwards, he moved to Napa Valley and began photographing wine production around the world. To date, O’Rear has provided photographs for seven wine books.

15. Roger Fenton


Roger Fenton (28 March 1819 – 8 August 1869) was a pioneering British photographer, one of the first war photographers.He is particularly known for his coverage of the Crimean War, which is a pity, because it only formed a small proportion of his output in other areas, notably landscape photography, and also somewhat obscures the major part he played in promoting photography in general.

The Crimean War (1853-1956) was one of many between Russia and the Turks, but this time involved the British and French. William Russell, a journalist working for The Times, and one of the first war correspondents, began to send a series of disturbing accounts of the conduct of this war, and particularly the conditions under which the British forces were fighting. Less than 20% of the fatalities of the forces were due to war wounds; the majority of these were caused by disease and the freezing cold. When Russell began to report the inadequacy of the medical facilities and the fact that British soldiers, not having even been issued with winter uniforms, were dying with cold, feeling over the government’s handling of the war began to mount.

Please share your thoughts on Worlds Most Famous Photographers  in a comment

Author : Dustin Betonio

Dustin Betonio is a Translation Management graduate at University of Mindanao. His earlier career was devoted on customer service outside the information highway. Currently studying Law in the same University.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronn November 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Well I agree there are some good photographs here but in essence someone suggesting the person posting this has confused a good photograph with “world’s most famous photographers”.

In the end the list is baffling.

I hope Mr. Betonio becomes a more discerning lawyer than judge of photography. Looking at his other postings I believe he is a bit too active and dispersed. Not meaning to disparage him in any way of course. We all constantly use our own preferences to define what is good. But there is after all a difference between that and claiming to to know who the world’s 15 most famous photographers are.

A few could be deleted without hesitation from the above list to make way for other, more obvious choices.


Tina November 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Amazing people and amazing photos!

good night world


Scott October 15, 2013 at 12:09 am

i believe you folks have confused famous photographs with famous photographers, although the eisenstaedt photo in time square was overlooked. how could you possibly omit ansel adams?


Ray October 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

You missed all the real good ones. Where’s Helmut Newton, , Richard Avedon, Weston, Ansel Adams, Herb Ritts, Marc Lagrange, Annie Leibovitz, ManRay, David LaChapelle , Mario Testino. and the list goes on…


Unnikrishnan January 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Highly beyond words. All positive thoughts for you.Thanks for sharing.


Lawrence January 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

I cannot believe that Ansel Adams was not included in this great group of distinguished photographers!


Amber Van Acker December 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Just saw an expositon of Robert Capa’s work.
Great work!


Yanna November 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Hello! I’m Yanna Salcedo from Philippines. This article really helps me to know more about Photography. They are one of my inspiration now. Now, I don’t have any good camera but someday I know I can afford to buy that. I only have cybershot now. Photography is my first love :)


Henk October 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm

These are really the world’s most famour photographers, often for one or two remarkable shots. But there is a host of great talent that does not get the recognition enjoyed bye photo journalism. I am trying to find current day famous photographers who are famous for their overall art and collect them om my site, http://www.wackypodia.com. I have just started a few lists such as Best Landscape photographers and would like input on who should be on such lists.

I look forward to any responses.

Henk Jordaan


shannon wilson October 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm



kayleigh scott October 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

no, these pictures are very inspirational 😀


Tyron Raines October 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The photos by Kevin Carter and James Nachtwey are two of my favorites.


bhavna October 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

You guys have mentioned 15 names and yet Margaret Bourke-White is nowhere. How it is possible?


jizz September 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

nice piccs yooooo


Hadar September 12, 2012 at 1:25 am

I just came across this website whilst researching for my photography A2 level and I came across the no.7 photo on this page, by Frank Fournier…I had seen the picture before, that child with those hauntingly blackened eyes, body emmerging from some grisly swamp; only back then I thought it was just a dramatically posed photograph. Now, to discover that it was infact that it was a real life photograph taken at the painful end of Omayra Sánchezs’ young life, is too devastating to properly imagine. It disturbs me how cruel this world seems to be but simultaneously, it reminds me how lucky I am to be so safe.
But I truly believe we have the power too save many people like omayra, in mortal peril, perhaps even with simple things like charity, voulenteering and inspiration. And love, of course!
I won’t nag, but please please please do your bit! Thanks <3


Alan Goodin October 31, 2012 at 12:54 am

I remember seeing the picture you describe in the 15. I do not know of the tragedy in which the boy died. I will have to JFGI. I am researching an assignment for my photography class and found this site. With many of the photographs and photographers I am familiar. My goal is to provide my students with an opportunity to find out about famous photographers from around the world. My school, Ingraham High School in Seattle, Washington, will officially become an “International High School next year. All of the subject matter departments are now doing research to incorporate this basis of point of view for our students.
I was particularly impressed with your comment about ” painful end of Omayra Sánchezs’ young life, is too devastating to properly imagine. It disturbs me how cruel this world seems to be but simultaneously, it reminds me how lucky I am to be so safe.” I agree with you that we must use our power to work in behalf of the people of the world. With your permission, I would like to quote you for my students’ daily quote. I would put on the board “I truly believe we have the power too save many people like Omayra, in mortal peril, perhaps even with simple things like charity, volunteering, and inspiration. And love, of course!” -HADAR

I reply to


Jeff September 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Nice list – a great range of styles, and mix of old and new! A list like this is never going to be exhaustive, so I’m not sure why some people get so upset by them, but there are some really great photographers here who are often overlooked.


pulok deb September 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

its great to know the photographer. they touch my heart.Before visit this site i just known the world famous photos but i did not know who created it.thank you tripwire…………..

if you post their own photos, it will be great………


Robin B. September 5, 2012 at 5:42 am

Thanks so much for sharing. It is very interesting to say the least. I guess I really enjoyed where they came from and where they went. The uniqueness and the attributes that give us all an inspiring edge on our own gifts.


FRANKLYN September 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

I really wonder how so nice and lovely they made a photos and i wish someday one of my capture will put on there and all people around this earth can see it


puru August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

hey this all are supop i even i want to be that


Kipakau July 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

It was nice to remember all those great people who brought the reality, nature to the eyes of the world through the photography…..good work…


Famous Photographers July 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Walker Evans is my favorite in this list. He is the first photographer to have a one-man show photo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.


rexmariposa July 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Very different photos and it windows xp photo also their


Photo Fan Man June 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Peter Lik is fast becoming one of the world’s most notable landscape photographers.


Becky June 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks of the info, I’m writing an essay entitaled ‘Has photography cahnged the world?’ this has helped me massively!


Nature Photographer June 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

I didn’t know that the famous photograph of a hill and sky used by Microsoft for Windows XP is a photograph of Charles O’Rear. Thanks! Great info!


Maddie April 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for this information, it has helped me with homework, inspiring? x


Drew April 21, 2012 at 2:06 am

Yusef Karshhhhh.

With a name that smooth you have to be world-class.


Arlan April 15, 2012 at 3:39 am

How come you didn’t mention any of Sebastiao Salgado’s photos? He is a great Brazilian photographer. Check his work, they are absolutely intense.


Radha Balamurali March 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

I am Radha Balamurali. I just want to share this with you. Recently I met an old man,74 years old. He is an excellent photographer,who is to be recognized internationally. ” ” “Inspiring Nature” is the title he wishes to give for his photographs. Can you help him out?
Thank you,
With regards,


john September 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

no. you are a little boy who needs my help, in your bed


Yale Gurney March 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

All of these incredibly talented people have been an inspiration, helping me to get where I am today. I thank them for leading the way – wonder if they felt that way when they were in their prime? “Hey, my images may someday inspire the world…”

Yale Gurney
twitter: @YaleGurney
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YaleGurneyPhotography


amelton February 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

omg i like


Chelsea February 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm

omg thats crazy i like all tis pictures


Nish@Income Tax eFiling February 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

Excellent photos! Classics!
I personally feel 11th one is the best. Grim, brutal.

He might be a good photographer, but I doubt he did anything commendable after putting the camera back in the bag.


Kohl February 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Reinterating the Ansel Adams omission- Why? You may not consider him one of the best, but if you ask the average person to name 5 photograpers, I bet AA would be one. Fame, he has.


pamela January 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Steve McCurry!! The power of his pictures are amazing, the emotions that it brings you while you are looking the real world through the pictures.


Kat January 19, 2012 at 3:34 am

How can you have a list of famous photographers and not include Ansel Adams???


DTPhotogMtl January 21, 2012 at 12:07 am

I asked myself that same question. Ansel Adams is one of the greats! And what about Irving Penn or Homai Vyarawalla?


arron December 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

i like helen levitt the photos she makes are relly good


Jane November 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

That photo by Henry Cartier Bresson is my all time favourite. I don’t know if it was luck or skill that he caught him a split second before his heel hit the water but I love how undisturbed the water is and knowing that the man in it got soaked and had to walk around the rest of the day with wet trousers, but because of that picture he’s eternally going to be hovering over that puddle bone dry :) Probably a silly reason but when I was doing photography in college and we were shown this image that’s just how it hit me.


bycostello October 7, 2011 at 11:41 am

nice run down…


Kaitlyn October 7, 2011 at 2:10 am

I think I saw that photo of Steve McCurry featured in Reader’s Digest, and of course who can’t recognise that Charles O’Rear photo.


William Martin October 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Great to know about famous photographers, really good sort of informative post this is. Thanks for sharing


VASFI AKALIN October 6, 2011 at 10:45 am

Dear mr

My name is Vasfi Akal?n.I am working as a cameraman in a firm.I am wishing my knowledges about video cameras and editing .I am enthusiast of the camera investigations.So much I want to meet realist of the camera world and movie maker.I want to subscriber to your magazine –T R I P W A R E .For thisI want some magazines or back issues as sample(s) from -T R I P W A R E Magazine .In future I will be subscriber to your magazines.
I am waiting your reply in a soon.

Your Sincerely




Lars October 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback Vasfi. We are an online magazine only and I recommend you follow us using RSS or email subscription.


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