Top 10 Best Female Portrait Photographers

July 27, 2013 Travis Dewitz

Post originally authored by Travis Dewitz – Eau Claire Portrait Photographer

One of the hardest post I have had to research looking for the best female portrait photographers. I found a lot of female portraits as those photos seem to rank higher than the female photographers.  After looking through 100’s of portfolios and galleries I came up my top 10 list of the best female portrait photographers from the past to present. Most of the woman on this list are very well-known and famous as photographers. Some are lesser known but their work is just as amazing. My list starts out with the one of the most controversial photographers of our time, Sally Mann.  Her portraits of her family may rile some people up but they are some of the most amazing images in how they convey a story and mood. No modern list is complete without the famous Annie Leibovitz who has been busy with portraits for Disney. Who is Cari Ann Wayman? She is a young photographer whose self portraits have a dark seeded mood that keeps you coming back. I personally love environmental portraiture’s and Erika Larsen is a master at them. Diane Arbus collection includes a look into a very strange and eerie past as her subjects do not conform normal everyday look. I think the next on my top 10 list, Ellen Von Unwerth, has a very similar style to Annie Leibovitz  and she is one of my new favorites. Mary Ellen Mark has a few different styles that she shoots in with many celebrities under her belt. The earliest woman on this list is Julia Margaret Cameron. Her photography fits the time period she worked in but her work stands out and has a special edge to it. Rineke Dijkstra is known for her simple and usually single subject shoot engulfed by bare surroundings. Many famous images of hard times of the past in the United States were captured with Dorothea Lange’s camera. I hope you found a new photographer or two from this list of my personal favorite female photographers to add to yours. Do you have others you would like to add, please do in the comments below.

 

Sally Mann

Sally Mann's Photography Website

Sally Mann | www.sallymann.com

Sally Mann
www.sallymann.com
Sally Mann’s Books
Google Images


 

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz Photography Website

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz
no personal website
www.vanityfair.com/contributors/annie-leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz’s Books
Google Images


 

Cari Ann Wayman

Cari Ann Wayman Portrait Photographer

Cari Ann Wayman | www.cariwayman.com

Cari Ann Wayman
www.cariwayman.com
Google Images


 

Erika Larsen

Erika Larsen Portrait Photographer

Erika Larsen | www.erikalarsenphoto.com

Erika Larsen
www.erikalarsenphoto.com
Google Images


 

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus Portrait Photographer

Diane Arbus | www.diane-arbus-photography.com

Diane Arbus
www.diane-arbus-photography.com
Diane Arbus’ Books
Google Images


 

Ellen Von Unwerth

Ellen Von Unwerth Portrait Photographer

Ellen Von Unwerth | www.ellenvonunwerth.com

Ellen Von Unwerth
www.ellenvonunwerth.com
Ellen Von Unwerth’s Books
Google Images


 

Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark Portrait Photographer

Mary Ellen Mark | www.maryellenmark.com

Mary Ellen Mark
www.maryellenmark.com
Mary Ellen Mark’s  Books
Google Images


 

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron Portrait Photographer

Julia Margaret Cameron
no personal website
www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/camr/hd_camr.htm
Julia Margaret Cameron Books
Google Images


 

Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra Photography Website

Rineke Dijkstra | www.photography-now.com/artist/details/rineke-dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra
www.photography-now.com/artist/details/rineke-dijkstra
Rineke Dijkstra’s Books
Google Images


 

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange Portrait Photographer

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange
no personal website
www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=3373
Dorothea Lange Books
Google Images


All of My Top Ten Photography Lists

Travis Dewitz Powerlines Portrait Thumb

Through the creative lens of Travis Dewitz; he demonstrates time and time again how much splendor can be extracted from the interplay of the industrial world around us. In the most unusual and unexpected places Dewitz showcases images that embody the forgotten beauty of railways, factory floors, the rolling smoke of steel mills, and the cities that are built around them. He brings a certain magic as he invokes the very souls of these once-glorious industrial areas; his captures overflow with inspirational energy. Click here to view his personal series.

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Travis Dewitz

I. Love. Photography. I love it. It lightens my heart, fills my soul, and allows me to capture life the way that I see it. I constantly yearn to show life in a way that hasn’t been seen before, to bring images to people in a fresh and innovative way. My favorite focus in photography, my specialty I guess you would say, is Railroad Photography & Art. Something about the rumbling of these great, big, beautiful machines. The way they shake the earth beneath you as they rumble by, how they invade your chest and you can feel the rumble inside you. The plumes of heat on a hot day represented in a heat wave. Snaking through a western valley, void of trees or any other distracting element. Just the train, by itself, in it’s own inexplicable beauty and power. From the time I was a child, they have captured my imagination. I’ve recently gotten into portraiture a bit, and I want to bring some of my experiences with trains to that arena. To capture the power of a person, the sadness, loneliness, omniscience, pride, love, & carefree spirit in a way that hasn’t been done before. I want people to look at themselves in a photograph I have taken, and see a side of themselves that they think no one else has ever seen. Dewitz Photography is all about capturing a moment in a way that has never been seen before, capturing a beauty that some never knew was even there.

Comments (8)

  1. Great inspiration for all women out there – I don’t encounter many women photographers in the field and you are right on with this article.

  2. Jared Lawson

    Great inspiration for all women out there – I don’t encounter many women photographers in the field and you are right on with this article. Good work http://www.lawsonphoto.us.

  3. My name is jejaw negash your photos are claire landscape photograph. iam senstive to your photograph and emotiona action is i love to you…

  4. Anneline Vengadesan

    Dorothea Lange…… lighting is perfect ,beautiful & strong…

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