10 most famous photographers in the world

10 most famous photographers in the world – TOP of the best photo artists of all time

The 10 most famous photographers in the world are brilliant photo artists who have made a huge contribution to the development of contemporary art. These best photographers are a very diverse group of people, but they are united by a love for their profession and a desire to make our world a better place. Among them there are masters of all popular genres and styles of photography who have passed a difficult path to recognition and fame.

The photographers that will be discussed in this article were very different people. But they all differed in common quality – the ability to create masterpieces with the help of a camera. And for this, a true master does not necessarily need a camera of the latest ultra-modern model, bought for a lot of money.

Frank Horvath les Halles 1957
Frank Horvath les Halles 1957.

The 10 most famous photographers in the world are:

  1. Helmut Newton (Germany, 1920-2004);
  2. Andreas Gursky (Germany, b. 1955);
  3. Richard Avedon (USA, 1923-2004);
  4. Irving Penn (USA, 1917-2009);
  5. Henri Cartier-Bresson (France, 1908-2004);
  6. Nick Knight (Great Britain, b. 1958);
  7. Mick Rock (Mick Rock, UK, b. 1949);
  8. Marc Riboud (France, 1923-2016);
  9. Sebastian Salgado (Brazil, b. 1944);
  10. Frank Horvat (Italy, 1928-2020).

Helmut Newton

Helmut was born into a Jewish family in Berlin and bought his first camera at the age of 12. Unfortunately, the Nazis soon came to power in Germany, and the future artist miraculously managed to escape death in a concentration camp and flee abroad in 1938. He settled in Australia, changed his surname from Neustadter to Newton, and took up fashion, theater and industrial photography.

Helmut Newton Germany 1920.
Helmut Newton Germany 1920.

His life changed dramatically in the early 1950s, when the famous British magazine Vogue offered the master a professional contract. It was in this edition that Newton made a big name for himself in the nude genre, publishing provocative photographs with sadomasochistic and fetishistic overtones.

Andreas Gursky

Andreas was born in the GDR 10 years after the end of World War II, but as a baby he ended up in Germany, where his parents fled. After graduating from the Dusseldorf Art Academy, he was one of the first in the world to use electronic image processing on a computer.

Andreas Gursky Germany 1955.
Andreas Gursky Germany 1955.

Gursky is rightfully considered a recognized master of large-format photography, and his masterpieces are sold at art auctions for a lot of money. The record holder for the cost among his works is the picture Rhein II (1999), for which in November 2011 an unknown buyer paid 4.3 million US dollars at auction.

Richard Avedon

A descendant of Jewish emigrants from Russia was born and lived most of his life in New York. Already at the age of 23, he founded his own photography studio and very quickly achieved recognition in the genre of fashion photography. In his youth, the artist was fond of politics and often photographed participants in large-scale protest rallies.

Richard Avedon Dorian Bazaar.
Richard Avedon Dorian Bazaar.

But Avedon gained international fame thanks to the unique skill of portraiture, where the heroes of his work were the most famous representatives of the political, business and cultural elite of the United States. Although world-class presidents and show stars were happy to pose for the artist, he also liked to photograph ordinary Americans: miners, farmers, the unemployed and just crowds of people.

Irvin Penn

Another American artist with Jewish roots, born in New York. But, unlike Avedon, Penn became interested in photography as an adult independent person. While working as an assistant editor for Vogue magazine, he first picked up a camera at the age of 26 and very quickly made a career as a fashion photographer.

Penn was a self-taught genius and invented many of his own photography techniques. And among the masterpieces of the master, one can especially distinguish photographic portraits of the recognized geniuses of world art Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp.

Jean Cocteau photo by Irving Penn.
Jean Cocteau photo by Irving Penn.
Henri Cartier Bresson
Photo by Henri Cartier Bresson.
Photo by Henri Cartier Bresson.

A native of a wealthy family of French manufacturers, he was fond of drawing since childhood and dreamed of becoming a painter, but at the age of 24 he discovered photography and fell in love with it. Henri bought a small camera and took up street photography, and the flair of the artist helped him find interesting materials for pictures.

Photographs by Cartier-Bresson are the pinnacle of realistic style in the photography of the twentieth century. He is rightfully considered the father of documentary photojournalism, because he was able to capture any scene in an incredible way at the moment of its highest emotional upsurge.

Nick Knight

One of the most original photo artists of our time was born in London in a family of doctors. Unlike his parents, from childhood he was fond of not the exact sciences, but art, he liked to walk around the city with a camera in his hands. After graduating from college, Nick got a job at a fashion magazine as a photographer and his career quickly took off.

photography by Nick Knight.
photography by Nick Knight.

Knight has become widely known in the world thanks to the original approach to the work of a photo artist. The heroes of his works are often people with disabilities and non-standard facial features. The artist also shoots video clips and photo albums for world celebrities.

Mick Rock

Surprisingly, the name of this photographer exactly matches the favorite subject of his work. Mick Rock throughout his professional career has successfully photographed the world’s best rock artists and created album covers for them.

10 most famous photographers Meek Rock UK 1948.
Meek rock UK 1948.

The artist became interested in photographing rock stars in the early 1970s and has been doing this for over 50 years. He is still in demand among top musicians and maintains warm friendly relations with many of them.

Mark Riboud

Mark has been fond of photography since childhood, but professionally took up photography only at the age of 28. For several decades, he traveled the world and gained wide popularity thanks to numerous documentary images from the hot spots of the planet.

Riboud was especially fond of the Far East, often visited Vietnam and China, repeatedly witnessed the brutality of the war and published shocking footage in the world’s largest magazines. His black-and-white photos have spread all over the Earth and are rightfully considered masterpieces of documentary photography.

10 most famous photographers Mark Riboud France 1923 2016.
Mark Riboud France 1923 2016.
Sebastian Salgado

The only Brazilian in our TOP was born in a well-to-do family, received a higher economic education at the university and at first worked in his specialty. But, often on business trips in Africa, Sebastian began to photograph the events and became interested in this activity.

10 most famous photographers Sebastian Salgado SEALs.
Sebastian Salgado SEALs.

The main theme of his work has always been human suffering: refugees, starving children or miners working in terrible conditions. Salgado is also actively fighting for the conservation of the Earth’s ecosystem and is engaged in the restoration of the Brazilian rainforests.

Frank Horvath

The most versatile photographer on our list was born into a Jewish family in Croatia, spent his childhood in Switzerland, his younger years in Italy, and then lived most of his life in France. At first he was fond of landscape photography, then – documentary photography, and gained wide world fame thanks to pictures for fashion magazines.

10 most famous photographers Frank Horvath 1928.
Frank Horvath, 1928. 10 most famous photographers.

Horvat was an active experimenter and boldly used revolutionary technologies in his work. He was one of the first of the world’s leading photo artists to switch to digital photography and use computer post-processing of images.

The 10 most famous photographers in the world have achieved recognition thanks to their hard work and bright talent. They created many masterpieces in various genres of photography and are worthy of the memory of their descendants.

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