Famous 19th Century Photographers

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Photographers, including Lewis Carroll, Man Ray, Eadweard Muybridge, Dorothea Lange and Alfred Stieglitz.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Photographers
 1 
Man Ray
(Modernist Artist)
Man Ray
6
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
(Photographer)
Alfred Stieglitz
5
Birthdate: January 1, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hoboken
Died: July 13, 1946
 3 
Weegee
(Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist)
Weegee
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968
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 4 
Julia Margaret Cameron
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1815
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: January 26, 1879

Julia Margaret Cameron was a British photographer best remembered for her close-up portraits of popular Victorian men. Widely regarded as one of the 19th century's most important portraitists, Cameron is credited with capturing the beauty and innocence of children, women, and men. Julia Margaret Cameron is also credited with popularizing the close-ups in photography.

 5 
Edward Steichen
(Photographer)
Edward Steichen
4
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.

 6 
Alfred Eisenstaedt
(Father of Photojournalism)
Alfred Eisenstaedt
3
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.

 7 
Eadweard Muybridge
(Photographer)
Eadweard Muybridge
4
Birthdate: April 9, 1830
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
Died: May 8, 1904

Eadweard Muybridge was an English photographer best remembered for his contribution to photographic studies of motion. Muybridge achieved international prominence when he exhibited photographs of Yosemite Valley in 1868. He is said to have inspired several artists and inventors like Sol LeWitt, Thomas Eakins, William Dickson, and Francis Bacon.

 8 
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
(15th and last shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan)
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1837
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
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.

 9 
Andre Kertesz
(Photographer)
Andre Kertesz
3
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.

 10 
Nicéphore Niépce
(Creator of World's First Permanent Photographic Image)
Nicéphore Niépce
3
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.

 11 
Louis Daguerre
3
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.
 12 
Paul Strand
(Photographer, Film director, Cinematographer)
Paul Strand
3
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.

 13 
Eugène Atget
(Photographer, Artist)
Eugène Atget
2
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.

 14 
Imogen Cunningham
(Photographer)
Imogen Cunningham
4
Birthdate: April 12, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: June 23, 1976
 15 
Mathew Brady
(One of the Earliest Photographers in American History)
Mathew Brady
4
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.   

 16 
Henry Fox Talbot
(English Scientist, Inventor, and Pioneer Photographer Who Invented the ‘Salted Paper’ and ‘Calotype’ Processes)
Henry Fox Talbot
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1800
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbury, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 17, 1877

Henry Fox Talbot was an English photography pioneer, inventor, and scientist. He is best remembered for inventing the calotype and salted paper processes that served as predecessors to photographic processes of the 20th century. He is also credited with inventing the photoglyphic engraving process. Henry Fox Talbot also played a major role in the progression of photography as an art.

 17 
Edward S. Curtis
(Former photographer and ethnologist whose work focused on the American West and on Native American people)
Edward S. Curtis
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whitewater, Wisconsin, United States
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.

 18 
Guillermo Kahlo
(Former Photographer who photographically documented important architectural works, churches, streets, landmarks, as well as industries and companies in Mexico)
Guillermo Kahlo
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pforzheim, Germany
Died: April 14, 1948
 19 
László Moholy-Nagy
(Photographer)
László Moholy-Nagy
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bácsborsód
Died: November 24, 1946

Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy was known for his non-representational art and his love for constructivism. Though he initially studied law, he later experimented with many forms of art, such as painting, sculpting, and photography. He also taught at the Bauhaus school of avant-garde design and co-edited the Bauhausbook series.

 20 
Berenice Abbott
(American photographer)
Berenice Abbott
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio
Died: December 9, 1991
 21 
Robert Cornelius
(Photographer)
Robert Cornelius
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1809
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: August 10, 1893
 22 
Karl Blossfeldt
(German Photographer and Sculptor Best Known for His Close-up Photographs of Plants and Living Things)
Karl Blossfeldt
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schielo, Germany
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. 

 23 
John Heartfield
(Photographer, Painter, Poster artist)
John Heartfield
3
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.  

 24 
Frank Hurley
(Explorer, Photographer, War photographer, Photojournalist)
Frank Hurley
2
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.

 25 
Alexander Gardner
(photographer, war photographer)
Alexander Gardner
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paisley
Died: December 10, 1882
 26 
E. J. Bellocq
(photographer)
E. J. Bellocq
3
Birthdate: 1873 AD
Birthplace: New Orleans
Died: 1949 AD
 27 
Nadar
(Photographer)
Nadar
2
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.

 28 
Étienne-Jules Marey
(French Scientist Who is Widely Considered to be a Pioneer of Photography)
Étienne-Jules Marey
2
Birthdate: March 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beaune, France
Died: May 15, 1904

Étienne-Jules Marey was a French scientist, chronophotographer, and physiologist. He is best remembered for his work which played a major role in the development of physical instrumentation, cardiology, cinematography, aviation, and the science of laboratory photography. Étienne-Jules Marey is widely regarded as a pioneer of photography.

 29 
Ben Shahn
(Photographer, Painter)
Ben Shahn
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kaunas
Died: March 14, 1969
 30 
Charles Demuth
(Painter, Photographer)
Charles Demuth
2
Birthdate: November 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: October 23, 1935
 31 
Edward H. Rulloff
(Doctor, Lawyer)
Edward H. Rulloff
0
Birthdate: July 9, 1819
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: May 18, 1871
 32 
Gene Stratton-Porter
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lagro, Indiana, U.S
Died: December 6, 1924
 33 
William Friese-Greene
(Photographer, Inventor)
William Friese-Greene
2
Birthdate: September 7, 1855
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: May 5, 1921

William Friese-Greene was a British photographer and inventor. A pioneer of motion pictures, Friese-Greene is remembered for devising a series of cameras with which he shot moving pictures in London. Despite earning substantial amount of money throughout his career, Friese-Greene died in poverty as he spent his earnings on his inventions. His life inspired a biopic titled The Magic Box.

 34 
Sukumar Ray
(Photographer, Poet, Writer, Illustrator, Playwright, Children's writer)
Sukumar Ray
3
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. 

 

 35 
William Henry Jackson
(Painter, Photographer, Explorer, Artist, Mountaineer)
William Henry Jackson
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Keeseville
Died: June 30, 1942
 36 
Felice Beato
(Photographer)
Felice Beato
2
Birthdate: 1832 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 29, 1909

Felice Beato was an Italian-British photographer whose work focused on capturing events, people, and countries that were unfamiliar to most people in North America and Europe. Beato is credited with capturing important events like the Second Opium War and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. One of the earliest war photographers, Felice Beato influenced other photographers in places like Japan.

 37 
William Kennedy Dickson
(Inventor, Film director, Film producer, Cinematographer, Actor, Photographer, Engineer)
William Kennedy Dickson
2
Birthdate: August 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: France
Died: September 28, 1935

William Kennedy Dickson was a Scottish inventor best remembered for his association with Thomas Alva Edison. Dickson invented a motion picture camera when he was working under Thomas Edison. William Kennedy Dickson is also credited with directing The Dickson Experimental Sound Film which was the first film to use the Kinetophone.

 38 
James Van Der Zee
(Photographer)
James Van Der Zee
4
Birthdate: June 29, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1983
 39 
Carl Akeley
(American Taxidermist, Sculptor, Biologist, Conservationist and Inventor Known for His Contributions to American Museums)
Carl Akeley
2
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.

 40 
Gertrude Käsebier
(Photographer)
Gertrude Käsebier
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Des Moines
Died: October 12, 1934
 41 
Mário de Andrade
2
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.

 42 
Roger Fenton
(British Photographer and One of the First War Photographers)
Roger Fenton
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1819
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heywood, Lancashire, England
Died: August 8, 1869

Roger Fenton was a British photographer best remembered for his contributions as one of the earliest war photographers. One of the most prominent photographers of his generation, Fenton played an important role in founding the Photographic Society which was later renamed the Royal Photographic Society. Fenton is also credited with capturing the final few stages of the famous Crimean War.

 43 
Charles Sheeler
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 7, 1965
 44 
Jacques-Henri Lartigue
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Courbevoie, France
Died: September 12, 1986
 45 
Duchenne de Boulogne
(Photographer, Neurologist, Physician)
Duchenne de Boulogne
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1806
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer
Died: September 15, 1875
 46 
Timothy H. O'Sullivan
(Photographer)
Timothy H. O'Sullivan
2
Birthdate: 1840 AD
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 14, 1882
 47 
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor
(Photojournalist)
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Istanbul, Turkey
Died: February 4, 1966
 48 
Fernand Khnopff
(Painter, Sculptor, Photographer, Philosopher, Writer)
Fernand Khnopff
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dendermonde
Died: November 12, 1921

Fernand Khnopff was a Belgian painter whose works gained him recognition and helped achieve a cult status during his lifetime. He was honored with the prestigious Order of Leopold for his immense contribution to Symbolism.

 49 
Alvin Langdon Coburn
(Photographer)
Alvin Langdon Coburn
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston
Died: November 23, 1966

Alvin Langdon Coburn was an American photographer who played a major role in the progression of American pictorialism. Coburn is often credited with producing some of the earliest completely abstract photographs. 

 50 
Oscar Gustave Rejlander
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1813
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sweden
Died: January 18, 1875

Oscar Gustave Rejlander was a British photographer best remembered for pioneering Victorian art photography. He is also remembered for his contribution to Charles Darwin's third-major work of evolutionary theory, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Many of Rejlander's photographs are preserved in institutions like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.