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The Best Photographers of All Time 

Ranker Art
Updated July 30, 2019 1.1k votes 189 voters 5k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest photographers of all time.

The world's best photographers do much more than simply take pictures; they tell stories with their images and capture the essence of the people, places, and things they shoot. While some of the greatest to do it are also considered the most influential photographers, the two are not the same. Sure, the best photographers can have an impact on the industry and influence others aspiring to do the same, but these masters of the lens are simply the best to pick up a camera and photograph what they see.

When it comes to a list of the best photographers of all time, a select few instantly come to mind. Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, and Richard Avedon certainly top the list here. However, plenty of other famous photographers have proven themselves to be some of the greatest, whether they primarily shoot fashion, portraits, or the world around them. Regardless of subject matter, these are the greatest photographers to ever pick up a camera. 

Vote up the photographers you think are best, or those who created the best images that stand the test of time. You can also add any that may be missing from the list.

list ordered by
1
Ansel Adams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Ansel Adams Dec. at 82 (1902-1984) from Western Addition, California
2
Henri Cartier-Bresson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 96 (1908-2004) from Chanteloup-en-Brie, France
3
Annie Leibovitz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 69 from Waterbury, Connecticut, United States of America
4
Vivian Maier is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Vivian Maier Dec. at 83 (1926-2009) from New York City, New York
5
Robert Capa is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 41 (1913-1954) from Budapest, Hungary
6
Richard Avedon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 81 (1923-2004) from New York City, New York
7
André Kerté... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 91 (1894-1985) from Hungary
8
Diane Arbus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 48 (1923-1971) from New York City, New York
9
Robert Frank is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 94 from Switzerland, European Free Trade Association, Zurich District, Zürich, Canton of Zurich
10
Brassaï is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 85 (1899-1984) from Brașov, Centru, Romania
11
Dorothea Lange is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 70 (1895-1965) from Hoboken, New Jersey, United States of America
12
Jon Luvelli is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
melatkins added Jon Luvelli
13
Elliott Erwitt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 90 from Paris, France
14
Bill Brandt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 79 (1904-1983) from Hamburg, Germany
15
Bruce Davidson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 85 from Oak Park, Illinois
16
Yousuf Karsh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 94 (1908-2002) from Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey, Mardin, Mardin Province, Asia, Western Asia
17
Andreas Gursky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 64 from Leipzig, Germany
18
Robert Doisneau is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 82 (1912-1994) from Gentilly, France
19
William Eggleston is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 79 from Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
20
Walker Evans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 72 (1903-1975) from St. Louis, Missouri
21
Steve McCurry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 68 from Darby, Pennsylvania
22
Richard Kalvar is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Richard Kalvar Age 75 from New York City, New York
23
Jerry Uelsmann is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 84 from Detroit, Michigan
24
Cecil Beaton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 76 (1904-1980) from Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
25
Martin Parr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Photographers of All Time
Age 66 from Epsom, United Kingdom