This is a list of the most controversial photographers. Throughout history art and fashion photographers have pushed against the bounds of convention, the law, and good taste.
The scope of controversy in photography is broad, including fashion photographers known to shoot provocative campaigns, like Steven Klein or David LaChapelle; to photographers who use corpses as their models, like Joel-Peter Witkin. Profane themes are all possible subjects for a controversial photographer.
All of these photographers have created notable bodies of work and though some of their scandalous photos might even seem tame in the modern day, it's difficult to determine who has truly been the most controversial photographer of all time. Even if some of the names are new to you, their fashion campaigns and controversial art are familiar. It’s up to you to help determine which photographers have made, or are still making, the most controversial photographs.
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2 6 1 Andres Serrano age 67 Andres Serrano is an American photographer and artist who has become famous through his photos of corpses and his use of feces and bodily fluids in his work, notably his controversial work ...more
3 7 2 Annie Leibovitz age 68 Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer.
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5 5 2 Jill Greenberg age 50 Jill Greenberg is an American photographer and artist. She is known for her portraits and fine art work that often features anthropomorphized animals that have been digitally manipulated with ...more
6 5 3 Jan Saudek age 82 Jan Saudek is a Czech art photographer and painter.
7 4 2 Tierney Gearon age 54 Tierney Gearon is an American photographer who came to prominence in Britain after a media controversy over her work at the Saatchi Gallery. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She had no formal ...more
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11 2 1 Ron Galella age 87 Ronald Edward Galella is an American photographer, known as a pioneer paparazzo. Dubbed "Paparazzo Extraordinaire" by Newsweek and "the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi ...more
12 2 1 Steven Klein age 57 Steven Klein is a photographer and film director.
13 2 2 David Hamilton age 84 David Hamilton is a British photographer and film director best known for his nude images of young women.
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15 2 2 Sally Mann age 66 Sally Mann is an American photographer, best known for her large black-and-white photographs—at first of her young children, then later of landscapes suggesting decay and death.
16 2 2 Ren Hang Died at 29 (1987-2017)
17 2 2 Bill Henson age 63 Bill Henson is an Australian contemporary art photographer.
18 3 4 Nobuyoshi Araki age 77 Nobuyoshi Araki is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist. He is also known by the nickname Arākī.
19 2 3 Pierpaolo Ferrari
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21 1 2 Michael Stokes age 55
22 1 2 Marwane Pallas
23 1 2 Chris von Wangenheim Dec. at 39 (1942-1981) Christoph "Chris" von Wangenheim was a German fashion photographer of the late 1960s through the early 1980s.
24 1 2 bigcraig added Garry Gross Dec. at 73 (1937-2010)
Nude photos of 10 year old Brooke Shields Garry Gross is an actor.
Nude photos of 10 year old Brooke ShieldsGarry Gross is an actor.