Culture

The Best Female Photographers 

Ranker Art
Updated February 11, 2020 143 votes 32 voters 38 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest female photographers, then and now.

While it's often seen as a male-dominated industry, some of the best female photographers deserve to be right up there with the men. In other words, many of these women can be considered the greatest photographers of all time, as they've contributed years of outstanding work and images—regardless of their gender. Though greats like Ansel Adams and Richard Avedon are certainly at the top of their class, as are top female photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Dorothea Lange. 

So, when it comes to the world's top female photographers, who deserves to make the list? The aforementioned Annie Leibovitz and Dorothea Lange are clearly two of the greatest photographers in general, and perhaps the most influential women photographers. However, other renown females could include Lee Miller, Diane Arbus, and Ruth Orkin, among many others.

Take a look at the list of famous female photographers below and vote up the ladies you think are the very best. You can also vote them down accordingly, and add any you think are missing from the list.

list ordered by
1
Annie Leibovitz is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Age 69 from Waterbury
2
Dorothea Lange is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 70 (1895-1965) from Hoboken
3
Lee Miller is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 70 (1907-1977) from Poughkeepsie
4
Anna Atkins is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 72 (1799-1871) from Tonbridge
5
Diane Arbus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 48 (1923-1971) from New York City
6
Ilse Bing is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Ilse Bing Dec. at 99 (1899-1998) from Frankfurt
7
Ruth Orkin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 64 (1921-1985) from Boston
8
Gertrude Käsebier ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 82 (1852-1934) from Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School
9
Frances Benjamin Johnsto... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 88 (1864-1952) from Grafton
10
Margaret Bourke-White is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 67 (1904-1971) from New York City
11
Claude Cahun is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 60 (1894-1954) from Nantes
12
Francesca Woodman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 23 (1958-1981) from Denver
13
Mary Ellen Mark is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Age 78 from Philadelphia
14
Germaine Krull is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 88 (1897-1985) from Wilda
15
Anne Geddes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Age 62 from Queensland
16
Berenice Abbott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 93 (1898-1991) from Springfield
17
Cindy Sherman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Age 65 from Glen Ridge
18
Cristina Mittermeier is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Age 52 from Mexico City
19
Eve Arnold is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 100 (1912-2012) from Philadelphia
20
Gerda Taro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 27 (1910-1937) from Stuttgart
21
Helen Levitt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 96 (1913-2009) from Bensonhurst
22
Imogen Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 93 (1883-1976) from Portland
23
Julia Margaret Cameron ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Julia Margaret Cameron Dec. at 64 (1815-1879) from Kolkata
24
Katy Grannan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Katy Grannan Age 50 from Arlington
25
Leni Riefenstahl is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Photographers
Dec. at 101 (1902-2003) from Berlin