Famous 21st Century Photographers

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 Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz
8
Famous As: Portrait Photographer
Birthdate: October 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.

Anna-Lou Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer whose career is defined by intimate photographs of celebrities, as exemplified by her famous portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, hours before the English musician’s murder. The Rolling Stone magazine provided the platform for her photographic talent during the early years of her career. She was involved in a controversy over an apparent topless photo of Miley Cyrus.

 2 Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman
6
Famous As: Photographer, Film director
Birthdate: January 19, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glen Ridge

 3 David Bailey

David Bailey
5
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: January 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leytonstone

David Bailey is an English portrait and fashion photographer. He is credited with co-creating the Swinging London movement along with Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan during the 1960s. Bailey is also known for his work with the famous Vogue magazine. The character played by David Hemmings in the 1966 mystery thriller film Blowup was inspired by David Bailey.

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 4 Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: February 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: April 21, 2009

Vivian Maier was an American street photographer whose works received critical acclaim after her death. Maier's photographs were unpublished during her lifetime. However, her works went viral on the internet when it was published on Flickr five months after her death. Vivian Maier's life and work have inspired documentary films like Finding Vivian Maier.

 5 David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle
5
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 11, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fairfield

 6 Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 20, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Watertown, New York, United States

Danish-American actor, Viggo Mortensen, is best known for portraying the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Some of his other films are A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic and Green Book. He is also an author of various books on poetry, photography and painting.

 7 Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry
4
Famous As: photojournalist, photographer, journalist
Birthdate: February 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Darby

Steve McCurry is an American photographer and photojournalist whose photo Afghan Girl has appeared on the cover page of National Geographic magazine on multiple occasions. Over the course of his illustrious career, Steve McCurry has won numerous awards and honors, such as the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and the Lucie Award for Photojournalism.

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 8 Jena Malone

Jena Malone
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sparks, Nevada, United States

As a child actor, Jena Malone delivered a Saturn Award-winning performance in Contact. She later starred in Donnie Darko, Sucker Punch, Into the Wild. and The Hunger Games franchise. She also sings as part of Jena Malone and the Blood Stains and is a talented photographer who has held exhibitions.

 9 Robert Clarence Irwin

Robert Clarence Irwin
6
Famous As: TV personality
Birthdate: December 1, 2003
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Buderim, Australia
Robert Irwin, the son of the late wildlife expert Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin, has also gained fame as the host of Robert's Real Life Adventures and co-hosted Wild But True. He is part of the series Crikey!, is a wildlife photographer, and has created a book series, too.

 10 Alexandra Hedison

Alexandra Hedison
5
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Alexandra Hedison is a renowned photographer and has exhibited her creations at numerous galleries, throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has also appeared in the series The L Word and Nash Bridges. Openly lesbian, she has dated Ellen DeGeneres in the past and is now married to Jodie Foster.

 11 Jason Lee

Jason Lee
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 25, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Huntington Beach, California, United States

Jason Lee is an American actor, photographer, producer, writer, and former professional skateboarder. The recipient of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male, Lee has also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his work as an actor. A multi-talented personality, Jason Lee is credited with co-founding a company named Stereo Skateboards which manufactures skateboard decks, apparel, and equipment.

 12 Helena Christensen

Helena Christensen
5
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: December 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Helena Christensen is a Danish photographer and supermodel. A former beauty queen, clothing designer, and Victoria's Secret Angel, Christensen has been featured on cover pages of magazines, such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Well-known for her philanthropic activities, Christensen has participated in campaigns to raise awareness about climate change. She has also launched fundraising campaigns to fight against breast cancer.

 13 Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: December 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mardin, Turkey
Died: July 13, 2002

 14 David Hockney

David Hockney
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bradford

Painter, photographer, printmaker, and stage designer David Hockney is best known for his works such as Portrait of an Artist, which became the most expensive piece of art by a living artist ever auctioned, at $90 million. His works have explored themes such as homosexuality. He has synesthesia, too.

 15 Tasya van Ree

Tasya van Ree
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 30, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mililani, Hawaii, United States

Tasya van Ree is a popular American painter and photographer, known for her keen interests in visual presentation and mixed media. Also known for her distinctive sense of fashion, Tasya believes that people become what they wear. An openly gay celebrity, she serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community. She has dated personalities like Amber Heard and Caroline Vreeland.

 16 Linda Fiorentino

Linda Fiorentino
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 9, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Linda Fiorentino is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Bridget Gregory in the 1994 neo-noir erotic thriller film The Last Seduction, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a couple of prestigious awards, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award.

 17 Cynthia Daniel

Cynthia Daniel
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida

Cynthia Daniel is a photographer and former actress. The twin sister of Brittany Daniel, Cynthia followed in the footsteps of her sister to become an actress. However, she retired from acting in 1997 and chose to become a photographer, even as her twin sister Brittany Daniel continued to pursue acting.

 18 Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida
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Famous As: Actor, Photographer, Sculptor, Journalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Subiaco

Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a  sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.  

 19 Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon

Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Belgravia
Died: January 13, 2017

From working as a photographer to becoming one of the members of the British royal family, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon had an amazing journey. Despite being known for his marriage with Princess Margaret, he was also known for his philanthropy and charity work. He also co-designed the Snowdon Aviary, which is now part of the famous London Zoo.

 20 Ann Curry

Ann Curry
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hagåtña, Guam

Born to a Japanese mother and an American father, journalist Ann Curry is best known for her extensive war reporting and has covered disturbances from areas such as Syria and Afghanistan. The Emmy Award-winning journalist has had a long stint on NBC. She also supports cancer research.

 21 Robert Frank

Robert Frank
5
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: November 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 2019

Robert Frank was a Swiss documentary filmmaker and photographer best remembered for his photographic book The Americans which earned him comparisons with the likes of Tocqueville. An acclaimed photographer, Robert Frank won many prestigious awards, such as Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 1996 and the Edward MacDowell Medal in 2002.

 22 Susan Mikula

Susan Mikula
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Famous As: Photographer, Rachel Maddow’s Partner
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: New Jersey, United States
Self-taught photographer Susan Mikula is known for using old Polaroids and pinhole cameras to create her masterpieces. She was an accountant earlier and has also worked for the U.S. consulate in Mexico. The LGBT icon is in a long-term relationship with her partner, journalist and TV personality Rachel Maddow.

 23 Koo Stark

Koo Stark
4
Famous As: Actress, Photographer
Birthdate: April 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Renowned photographer Koo Stark has held numerous exhibitions. Her works have also been showcased at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has also been an actor and a model, and has been in the news for her relationship with Britain’s Prince Andrew. Stark is a cancer survivor. 

 24 Sebastião Salgado

Sebastião Salgado
4
Famous As: Photojournalist, Painter, Journalist
Birthdate: February 8, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aimorés

 25 Berry Berenson

Berry Berenson
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Murray Hill, New York, United States
Died: September 11, 2001

Berry Berenson was an American actress, photographer, and model. Apart from appearing on films alongside actors like Jeff Bridges and Anthony Perkins, Berenson also contributed as a photographer; her works were featured in popular magazines like Newsweek, Glamour, Vogue, and Life. Berry Berenson died aboard American Airlines Flight 11 during the September 11 attacks. 

 26 Barret Oliver

Barret Oliver
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

 27 Lance Gross

Lance Gross
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA

 28 Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy
4
Famous As: Sculptor & Photographer
Birthdate: July 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cheshire, England

English sculptor, artist, and photographer Andy Goldsworthy has revolutionized outdoor art by creating masterpieces with naturally available material such as rain, snow, and rocks. A farm laborer in his younger days, he developed an early love for nature and the elements. Rain Shadows remains one of his best-loved works.

 29 Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor
Birthdate: June 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 4, 2016

 30 Chris Owen

Chris Owen
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Houghton, Michigan, U.S.

 31 Russ Meyer

Russ Meyer
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: March 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Leandro, California
Died: September 18, 2004

Russ Meyer was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, editor, and cinematographer. He is best remembered for directing a series of popular sexploitation films, such as Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! After his death, the majority of his estate and money went to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as per his will.

 32 Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: November 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fort Scott, Kansas, United States
Died: March 7, 2006

Gordon Parks was a writer, photographer, musician, and film director. He was the first Black American to direct and produce major motion pictures pertaining to the experience of slaves and African-Americans. He is credited with co-creating a new film genre called blaxploitation and his works have influenced filmmakers like Spike Lee. He is also credited with co-founding Essence magazine.

 33 Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky
3
Famous As: Artist, Photographer, University teacher
Birthdate: January 15, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig

Known for his blatant use of digital manipulation and unique compositional strategies, Andreas Gursky is one of the most pricey, yet bestselling photographers of our time, with his best known work, Rhein II, fetching $4.3 million in 2011.  The first to produce large prints, measuring 6 × 8 feet or more, he also taught fine arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

 34 William Eggleston

William Eggleston
3
Famous As: Photographer, Artist
Birthdate: July 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Memphis

 35 Chris Stein

Chris Stein
4
Famous As: Musicians
Birthdate: January 5, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

 36 Don McCullin

Don McCullin
3
Famous As: Autobiographer, War photographer, Journalist
Birthdate: October 9, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Finsbury Park

Don McCullin is an English photojournalist best known for his work as a war photographer. He achieved national recognition when he exhibited his hard-hitting photos of the Northern Ireland conflict and the Vietnam War. His photographs have also showcased the downtrodden, impoverished, and unemployed. McCullin's career has inspired a couple of documentary films, namely Just One More War and McCullin.   

 37 Chris Jagger

Chris Jagger
4
Famous As: Musician, Photographer, Music journalist
Birthdate: December 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dartford

Chris Jagger is an English musician best known as the younger brother of Sir Michael Philip Jagger aka Mick Jagger. Apart from being a musician, Chris Jagger has also worked as a journalist; he has contributed articles for prominent publications like The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Telegraph. Jagger is also credited with organizing charity concerts.

 38 iO Tillett Wright

iO Tillett Wright
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Famous As: Television host
Birthdate: September 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York

iO Tillett Wright is an American photographer, author, activist, TV and podcast host. He is credited with founding the now-defunct international street art magazine Overspray for which he served as the editor-in-chief until 2009. His podcast The Ballad Of Billy Balls was counted among the best of 2019 and was considered for television development.

 39 Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev
5
Famous As: Jurist, Politician, Photographer, Blogger, Lawyer, Actor, Businessperson
Birthdate: September 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg

Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, has also been the prime minister and president of Russia. Born to teacher parents, he was an intelligent child and began studying his father’s encyclopedia in third grade. He is known for his support of the nuclear disarmament treaty.

 40 Martin Parr

Martin Parr
3
Famous As: Photographer, Journalist
Birthdate: May 23, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Epsom

Martin Parr is a British photojournalist, photographer, and photobook collector. He has also worked as a professor of photography at prestigious institutions like the University of Wales, Newport and Ulster University. Over the course of his career, Martin Parr has won several awards, such as the Dr. Erich Salomon Award and Lucie Award.

 41 Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimane
3
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

French designer Hedi Slimane began his career as a marketing assistant at Yves Saint Laurent. His menswear silhouettes earned him a CFDA International Designer Award. He now works with the luxury brand Celine. He is also a skilled photographer and has released several photo books and worked for several magazines.

 42 Count Nikolai von Bismarck

Count Nikolai von Bismarck
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: December 29, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England

Count Nikolai von Bismarck is a British-German photographer who became the youngest person to shoot for Condé Nast, a global mass media company. He is also credited with photographing prominent personalities like Princess Beatrice of York. In addition to capturing the portraits of others, Von Bismarck has also posed for publications like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, The Telegraph, and GQ.

 43 Austin O'Brien

Austin O'Brien
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eugene, Oregon, U.S.

 44 Gilles Bensimon

Gilles Bensimon
3
Famous As: photographer
Birthdate: February 29, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vic-sur-Cère

Gilles Bensimon was born to a painter mother and had struggled with dyslexia in childhood. He had also served the French army in the Algerian War. Nicknamed The Tripod, he later became one of the most popular celebrity photographers of his time, with a client list that included Madonna and Sharon Stone.

 45 Tipper Gore

Tipper Gore
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Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: August 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Mary Elizabeth Gore, better known as Tipper Gore, was married to former American president Al Gore. She had a major role in establishing the Parents Music Resource Center, which made CDs carry parental advisory stickers, to prevent their children from listening to music laced with profanity.

 46 Margaret Trudeau

Margaret Trudeau
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Famous As: Author, Actress
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

 47 Francesca Hilton

Francesca Hilton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 15, 2015

Born into luxury, comedian Francesca Hilton was the only child of Hilton founder Conrad Hilton and Hollywood star Zsa Zsa Gabor. It was later revealed that Francesca was born out of marital rape, and her parents divorced before her birth. Hilton left her a scanty fortune, and she died in poverty.

 48 Astrid Kirchherr

Astrid Kirchherr
3
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg

Astrid Kirchherr was a German photographer and artist who was famous for the photographs she took of the original band members of the Beatles. She wanted to study fashion designing as a young woman but shifted to photography at the recommendation of a teacher. She later became acquainted with the Beatles and took several iconic photographs of them. 

 49 Austin Swift

Austin Swift
4
Famous As: Photographer, Actor
Birthdate: March 11, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, United States

Austin Swift is an American actor best known for playing important roles in films like We Summon the Darkness, for which he also served as a co-producer. The younger brother of Taylor Swift, Austin Swift followed in the footsteps of his sister to establish himself in the entertainment industry.

 50 Pierre Woodman

Pierre Woodman
4
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auvergne, France

After working odd jobs as a bartender and a policeman, Pierre Woodman began his career as a fashion photographer. He then stepped into porn film direction and launched the longest-running porn series in the world, Casting X. Woodman is his pseudonym, which he earned for his love for climbing trees.