Photography The Most Influential Photographers of All Time  

Ranker Art
219 votes 46 voters 41 items

List Rules Vote up the most influential and important photographers who changed the industry.

Being considered a great photographer is one thing, but going down as one of the most influential photographers of all time is a completely different story. Sure, many of the world's most famous photographers had and continue to have a hand in pushing the boundaries of photography, but some of these early pioneers changed photography forever. All-time greats like Ansel Adams have become mainstays in the history of photography, and their work stands as a testament to great photographs. 

The list of influential photographers to follow didn't just set the tone for generations to come, they also created some of the most important work within the photography industry. Whether you're talking portrait & fashion photographers, photojournalists, or just great photographers in general, no one pushed the boundaries like those to follow. Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, and Diane Arbus are just a few of the best names on this list. So, who are your picks for the most influential photographers of all time?

Check out the list of noteworthy photographers below and vote up whoever you think had the greatest influence on the industry. 

list ordered by

1
17 1
Ansel Adams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 82 (1902-1984)

2
13 1
Richard Avedon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 81 (1923-2004)

3
11 1
Irving Penn is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 92 (1917-2009)

4
6 0
Cindy Sherman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 65

5
9 2
Helmut Newton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 84 (1920-2004)

6
8 2
Eve Arnold is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 100 (1912-2012)

7
8 2
W. Eugene Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 60 (1918-1978)

8
11 5
Diane Arbus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 48 (1923-1971)

9
5 0
Andreas Gursky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time

10
8 3
Henri Cartier-Bresson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 96 (1908-2004)

11
6 2
Man Ray is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 86 (1890-1976)

12
4 0
André Kertész is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 91 (1894-1985)

13
6 3
David Bailey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 81

14
5 2
Edward Weston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 72 (1886-1958)

15
3 0
Josef Koudelka is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Evripidis Tsatsiadis added Josef Koudelka age 81

16
3 0
Nick Knight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 61

17
3 0
Robert Mapplethorpe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 43 (1946-1989)

18
3 0
Robert Frank is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 94

19
4 2
Guy Bourdin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 63 (1928-1991)

20
4 2
Elliott Erwitt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time

21
3 1
Herb Ritts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 50 (1952-2002)

22
3 1
Nan Goldin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 65

23
2 0
August Sander is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
Dec. at 88 (1876-1964)

24
2 0
Joel-Peter Witkin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time

25
4 3
Martin Parr is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential Photographers of All Time
age 66