10. Joe McNally (1952- )
This guy is writing the book on lighting with wireless flash — literally. McNally’s published two books on the subject that are as close to a flash bible as I’ve come across.
9. Doris Ulmann (1882-1934)
This lady was a pictorialist who took lots of ethnographic photos. Basically, she went around taking portraits of everyday people. Not candids, not snapshots, but portraits. That was revolutionary at the time, and the photos are still relevant today.
8. Matthew Rolston (1955- )
Handpicked by Warhol himself, Rolston’s strengths lie in lighting and composition. He doesn’t have a bad last name, either. He’s currently one of the most well-known celebrity photographers in the world.
7. Germaine Krull (1897-1985)
She has a portfolio that spans every genre of photography and at least four continents. Krull was a radical political activist against Marxism, a recluse among Tibetan monks in northern India and a hotel owner, just to name a few things — and she carried her camera with all the while.
6. Erich Salomon (1886-1944)
Oh man, this dude. He’s known for some of the most genius ways to covertly take photos, like in 1927 when he hid a camera in his bowler hat and took some of the first courtroom photos ever. Sadly, Salomon started photographing late in life and then died young, with his family, in Auschwitz in 1944.
5. Diane Arbus (1923-1971)
Sometimes known as the “photographer of freaks,” Arbus photographed people who were marginalized or considered deviant. This included circus freaks, giants, dwarves, transgendered individuals and more. She was a master at showing hidden beauty.
4. Cindy Sherman (1954 - )
She has been redefining the self-portrait as we now know it since 1976. Her body of work has been the inspiration for countless other photographers — like Leibovitz — and continues to grow.
3. Annie Leibovitz (1949- )
She has formed the look of popular culture for the last 50 years. All those iconic images you’ve seen of John Lennon or Queen Elizabeth, yeah, those are hers.
2. Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)
This man invented photojournalism and the reportage style. Cartier-Bresson is the original dude-carrying-a-35mm-around-everywhere-he-goes.
Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971)
Bourke-White was the first lady photographer in war correspondence, first female photog in Life Magazine, and the first foreign photog in the Soviet Union — male or female. This lady is the definition of a badass.