Famous 19th Century Photographers

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Photographers, including Lewis Carroll, Man Ray, Eadweard Muybridge, Dorothea Lange and Alfred Stieglitz.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Man Ray

Man Ray
Famous As: Modernist Artist
Birthdate: August 27, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: November 18, 1976

Famous photographer, painter and filmmaker, Man Ray was the sole American who was a significant part of both the Dada and Surrealist movements. Despite his contributions in various artistic mediums, he is best remembered as a photographer who popularised solarisation and Rayographs techniques. He also made films including the Surrealist classic L’Étoile de mer and published his autobiography Self-Portrait.

 2 Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: January 1, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hoboken
Died: July 13, 1946

 3 Weegee

Famous As: Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968
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 4 Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll
Famous As: Novelist, Mathematician & Photographer
Birthdate: January 27, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daresbury, Cheshire, England
Died: January 14, 1898
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pseudonym, Lewis Carroll, is remembered for his iconic children’s fiction such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. He explored the genre of literary nonsense with his poems such as Jabberwocky. He was also a photographer, a mathematician, and an inventor.

 5 Edward Weston

Edward Weston
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 24, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Highland Park, Illinois
Died: January 1, 1958

Edward Weston was an American photographer and archer. Regarded as one of the most influential and innovative American photographers of all time, Weston became the first photographer to be honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937. Some of his photographs, such as Nude, 1925 and Nautilus, are among the most expensive photographs ever sold.

 6 Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
Died: November 3, 1940

Lewis Hine was an American photographer and sociologist. Hine's photographs played a key role in the passage of the child labor laws in the USA. He worked with non-profit organizations like Russell Sage Foundation and National Child Labor Committee and captured the plight of several child laborers in the steel-making districts. These photographs helped enact the first child labor laws.

 7 Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 27, 1879
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bivange
Died: March 25, 1973

Edward Steichen was a Luxembourgish American painter, curator, and photographer. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and prolific personalities in the history of photography, Steichen is credited with changing photography into an art form. During the 1920s and 1930s, Edward Steichen was considered the highest-paid and best-known photographer in the world.

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 8 Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 9, 1830
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
Died: May 8, 1904

 9 Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt
Famous As: Father of Photojournalism
Birthdate: December 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tczew, Germany
Died: April 23, 1995

Alfred Eisenstaedt was a German-born American photojournalist and photographer who achieved popularity as a photographer for Life magazine. Remembered for capturing memorable images, Eisenstaedt is credited with capturing the V-J Day in Times Square, which became one of his most popular cover photographs. In 1989, he was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts.

 10 Andre Kertesz

Andre Kertesz
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 2, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 28, 1985

Andre Kertesz was a photographer known for his immense contribution to photo essay and photographic composition. Although his style and camera angles, which were considered unorthodox at the time, stopped him from achieving international acclaim during his lifetime, Kertesz is now regarded as one of the most influential figures in the field of photojournalism.

 11 Nicéphore Niépce

Nicéphore Niépce
Famous As: Creator of World's First Permanent Photographic Image
Birthdate: March 7, 1765
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chalon-sur-Saône
Died: July 5, 1833

Nicéphore Niépce revolutionized science by inventing heliography and made the first permanent photographic image. He had initially been part of Napoleon’s army but had to quit due to his failing health. The Niépce Prize is awarded to a photographer every year in France, in his honor.

 12 Brassaï

Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: September 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brașov
Died: July 8, 1984

Gyula Halász, or Brassaï, derived his pseudonym from the city of his birth, Brassó, then in Hungary. Later, he moved to Paris, where he began his career as a photographer. He published his works in volumes such as Paris de nuit. He was also a sculptor and a poet.

 13 Paul Strand

Paul Strand
Famous As: Photographer, Film director, Cinematographer
Birthdate: October 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: March 31, 1976

Paul Strand was an American filmmaker and photographer who helped transform photography into an art form along with other modernist photographers like Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz. He is also credited with co-founding the Photo League in the 1930s. During his illustrious career that spanned 60 years, Paul Strand covered several subjects and genres throughout Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

 14 Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 11, 1815
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: January 26, 1879

 15 Louis Daguerre

Louis Daguerre
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 18, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France
Died: July 10, 1851
Remembered for his invention of the daguerreotype, or the first process of photography, which could develop pictures in just 20 to 30 minutes, Louis Daguerre had humble beginnings as revenue officer and then an opera scene painter. He was also instrumental in setting up the first diorama theater.

 16 Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 12, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: June 23, 1976

 17 Eugène Atget

Eugène Atget
Famous As: Photographer, Artist
Birthdate: February 12, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Libourne
Died: August 4, 1927

Eugène Atget was a French flâneur credited with pioneering documentary photography. Renowned for his obstinacy to document all of the street scenes and architecture of Paris before the advent of urbanization, Atget's works inspired several surrealists. Unfortunately, Eugène Atget did not live to see the kind of reception his works eventually received; he was not celebrated during his lifetime.

 18 Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 18, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warren County, New York, United States
Died: January 15, 1896

Mathew Brady was an American photographer who captured the American Civil War through his lenses. One of the earliest photographers in the history of the US, Brady is credited with taking pictures of prominent personalities like Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Andrew Jackson. Dubbed the father of photojournalism, Mathew Brady was the most renowned American photographer during the 19th century.   

 19 Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis
Famous As: Photographer, Anthropologist
Birthdate: February 16, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Whitewater
Died: October 19, 1952

Edward S. Curtis was an American ethnologist and photographer whose work focused on the Native American people and American West. He is credited with photographing the first portrait of a Native American. Edward S. Curtis' work aimed at preserving the traditional life of Native Americans.

 20 Henry Fox Talbot

Henry Fox Talbot
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: February 11, 1800
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dorset
Died: September 17, 1877

 21 Tokugawa Yoshinobu

Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Famous As: Photographer, Shogun
Birthdate: October 28, 1837
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mito
Died: November 22, 1913

Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the 15th and last shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. During his tenure, he aimed to reform the shogunate but was largely unsuccessful. He resigned in 1867 and went into retirement, choosing to lead a private life away from the public eye. He had multiple hobbies, including photography, oil painting, archery, hunting, and cycling.

 22 László Moholy-Nagy

László Moholy-Nagy
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bácsborsód
Died: November 24, 1946

 23 Guillermo Kahlo

Guillermo Kahlo
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: October 26, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pforzheim
Died: April 14, 1948

 24 Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott
Famous As: American photographer
Birthdate: July 17, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio
Died: December 9, 1991

 25 Robert Cornelius

Robert Cornelius
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 1, 1809
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: August 10, 1893

 26 Tina Modotti

Tina Modotti
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: August 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Udine, Italy
Died: January 5, 1942

Italian-American photographer Tina Modotti was the daughter of migrant laborers in Austria. She later worked in a textile factory in Italy, before moving to the U.S., where she acted in Italian theater. Initially excelling in still lifes and portraits, she later gained fame for her signature close-ups of Mexican workers.

 27 Karl Blossfeldt

Karl Blossfeldt
Famous As: photographer, sculptor, professor
Birthdate: June 13, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schielo
Died: December 9, 1932

Karl Blossfeldt was a German photographer, artist, sculptor, and teacher. He is best remembered for his work Urformen der Kunst, a collection of close-up photos of animals and plants. The book became highly influential and Blossfeldt's works were used as teaching tools in Berlin. Blossfeldt also served as a professor at the United State Schools for Fine and Applied Art. 

 28 Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun
Famous As: Artist, Photographer, Writer
Birthdate: October 25, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nantes
Died: December 8, 1954

Claude Cahun was a French sculptor, surrealist photographer, and writer. He is best remembered for his work as a self-portraitist and writer. Apart from his primary career, Claude Cahun also played a major role in the Second World War, serving as a propagandist and resistance worker.

 29 Wilson Bentley

Wilson Bentley
Famous As: Farmer, Photographer, Meteorologist
Birthdate: February 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jericho
Died: December 23, 1931

 30 Sukumar Ray

Sukumar Ray
Famous As: Photographer, Poet, Writer, Illustrator, Playwright, Children's writer
Birthdate: October 30, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: September 10, 1923

Sukumar Ray was a 19th-century Bengali writer and poet born in British India. He is most remembered for his writings for children. He was born into a prominent family as the son of a famous writer, painter, and instrumentalist. Sukumar Ray worked during the pinnacle of the Bengal Renaissance and was close friends with Rabindranath Tagore. 


 31 John Heartfield

John Heartfield
Famous As: Photographer, Painter, Poster artist
Birthdate: June 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schmargendorf
Died: April 26, 1968

John Heartfield was a German visual artist. He is credited to have pioneered the use of art as a political weapon. He used photomontages to satirize Adolf Hitler and depict his anti-Nazi and anti-fascist sentiments. He studied at the Royal Bavarian Arts and Crafts School and went on to launch a publishing house, Malik-Verlag, with his brother.  

 32 E. J. Bellocq

E. J. Bellocq
Famous As: photographer
Birthdate: 1873 AD
Birthplace: New Orleans
Died: 1949 AD

 33 Frank Hurley

Frank Hurley
Famous As: Explorer, Photographer, War photographer, Photojournalist
Birthdate: October 15, 1885
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glebe
Died: February 16, 1962

Australian photographer Frank Hurley is best remembered for recording the Antarctic expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton, known as Endurance. He also risked his life clicking pictures in both the World Wars. After running away from home at 13, he studied engineering but found his calling in photography.

 34 Felice Beato

Felice Beato
Famous As: photographer, journalist, war photographer, photojournalist
Birthdate: 1832 AD
Birthplace: Venice
Died: January 29, 1909

 35 Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn
Famous As: Photographer, Painter
Birthdate: September 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kaunas
Died: March 14, 1969

 36 Charles Demuth

Charles Demuth
Famous As: Painter, Photographer
Birthdate: November 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: October 23, 1935

 37 Alexander Gardner

Alexander Gardner
Famous As: photographer, war photographer
Birthdate: October 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paisley
Died: December 10, 1882

 38 Nadar

Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 6, 1820
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris
Died: March 20, 1910

Nadar was a French caricaturist, photographer, novelist, journalist, and balloonist who championed heavier-than-air flight. Nadar became the first photographer to take aerial photographs in 1858. His photographic portraits are preserved by several museums and institutions.

 39 Gene Stratton-Porter

Gene Stratton-Porter
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lagro, Indiana, U.S
Died: December 6, 1924

 40 William Friese-Greene

William Friese-Greene
Famous As: Photographer, Inventor
Birthdate: September 7, 1855
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: May 5, 1921

 41 William Henry Jackson

William Henry Jackson
Famous As: Painter, Photographer, Explorer, Artist, Mountaineer
Birthdate: April 4, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Keeseville
Died: June 30, 1942

 42 Carl Akeley

Carl Akeley
Famous As: Taxidermist
Birthdate: May 19, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clarendon, New York, United States
Died: November 17, 1926

Carl Akeley was an American taxidermist, biologist, sculptor, conservationist, nature photographer, and inventor. Widely regarded as the father of modern taxidermy, Akeley is remembered for his immense contributions to American museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. He is also credited with founding the AMNH Exhibitions Lab.

 43 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: September 18, 1939

 44 William Kennedy Dickson

William Kennedy Dickson
Famous As: Inventor, Film director, Film producer, Cinematographer, Actor, Photographer, Engineer
Birthdate: August 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: France
Died: September 28, 1935

 45 Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Käsebier
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 18, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Des Moines
Died: October 12, 1934

 46 James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 29, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1983

 47 Charles Sheeler

Charles Sheeler
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 16, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 7, 1965

 48 Duchenne de Boulogne

Duchenne de Boulogne
Famous As: Photographer, Neurologist, Physician
Birthdate: September 17, 1806
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer
Died: September 15, 1875

 49 Jacques-Henri Lartigue

Jacques-Henri Lartigue
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Courbevoie, France
Died: September 12, 1986

 50 Mário de Andrade

Mário de Andrade
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 9, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: São Paulo
Died: February 25, 1945

One of the pioneers of the Brazilian modernist movement, Mário de Andrade introduced a signature prose style that mirrored colloquial Brazilian language. Apart from writing poems and novels, he influenced ethnomusicology. He was a skilled photographer, too. Hallucinated City remains one of his most celebrated works.