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Famous American Photographers Term Paper

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Updated: Sep 3rd, 2021

There are many noted photographers in our time. Most of these photographers were influenced by the earlier photographers. One of them is Levitt who is an American documentary from , . She was famous as a photographer in the ’40s and was named as one of the “100 best photo books” when she published her first book. She focused her work mainly on documentaries and films which were made in the late 1940s; two documentary films with and : (1948) and (1948). Levitt, along with Loeb and , received an for the screenplay of The Quiet One. Following her success in films, received two grants to take color photographs on the streets of New York, and she returned to still photography in and . Her work mainly focused on what she sees in front of her and had a touch of realism which is still widely used today. For example, by one of our noted photographers in our time, Leibovitz’s photos.

Another famous photographer who left his mark is Ralph Eugene Meatyard who was an American who came at the time when there was a period of the photo boom, which paralleled the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. Meatyard’s work was popular and thus it could be found anywhere as it was displayed and collected by major museums, published in important art magazines, and regarded by his colleagues as among the most original and disturbing imagery ever created with a camera. He also inspired other newer noted photographers like and .

However, by the late 1970s, his photographs mainly exhibited the “southern” art. He was also very well known for taking photographs in a way that was ahead of his time and it is still being used as an example in most photographic schools. His images had nothing to do with street photography which was also made famous during his time neither was it a realistic image. He was best known for his images that were populated with dolls and masks, with family, friends, and neighbors pictured in abandoned buildings or ordinary suburban backyards. During his time, he also did some high experimental work with other photographers such as Henry Holmes Smith, Harry Callahan, and others. To summarize Meatyard, was famous for developing the “No-Focus” imagery whereby images ran entirely counter to any association of camera art with objective realism and opened a new sense of creative freedom in his art. His contributions to photography were challenged as it displayed most of the cultural and aesthetic conventions that were ahead of his time and did not fit in with the dominant notions of the kind of art photography could and should be.

Modern photographers take inspiration from Meatyard to display more abstract photos and to think out of the box. His pictures displayed the many different ways and angles that one could look at one thing.

Another noted photographer was Garry Winogrand who was a noted ; best known for his portrayal of in the mid 20th century. He was influenced by and and their respective publications American Photographs and . Apart from that, was another influence although his style was different.

Winogrand was known for his portrayal of American life in the early 1960s which depicted the social issues of his time and included a sense of responsibility for the media on how they should portray an image as it gives a lot of influence on a situation. His pictures mainly were based on him walking in the city and taking photographs of what he saw on the streets as he was inspired by the events he was witnessing. His visual style and his wit are still considered unique even in modern-day photography.

These photographs capture the evolution of a uniquely 20th and 21st-century phenomenon, the event created to be documented, in Winogrand’s style — a unique conversation between the photographer and his subject.

Apart from the above photographers, Bill Brandt was a significant and known for his high-contrast images of British and his distorted and . Brandt did a documentary on British society which was uncommon during his time. He also bravely documented the bomb shelters of London during in 1940, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Information. During , Brandt paid attention to all subjects which were captured in his “Camera in London” (1948) which excelled in portraiture and landscapes. He became Britain’s most influential and internationally admired photographer of the and even in modern times. His contribution to modern photography is his sharp and focused photo’s on landscapes and portraits.

One of the most recent and highly talked about modern-day noted photographers is Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz; an whose style is inspired by Brandt. She has worked with some of the most famous people in the world such as The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, and so on.

She even takes photographs for several famous magazines such as Vanity Fair.

She also had exhibited her photos at the in 1991 which gained her even more popularity.

In modern times also, noted photographer Paul Couvrette; a Canadian has been recognized as the Canadian Photographer of the Year, Ontario Photographer of the Year, and Ottawa Photographer of the Year. He is also famous among celebrities and had consulted high-end customers such as Roger Vadim, David Bowie, Princess Anne, Princess Margaret, and the Sultan of Oman. When he returned to Canada, he decided to concentrate on shooting clients that were seeking something special and something that is out of the box. Currently, Couvrette is described as a “creative photographer extra ordinary” by local media. He has mentioned that his favorite subjects are ordinary people that you see right across your neighborhood and not just some show-offs. He has also been recognized as the father of digital photography in Canada as he was one of the first Canadian photographers to embrace this new technology and consequently became the National Spokesperson for Agfa, the world leader in scanning technology.

Thus, many of the earlier photographers were mainly inspired by true events around them and some went to be different by taking unique photos. Thus, if we study these photographers we will come to see that there will always be someone who captures the current events of our time and someone who thinks out of the box and sees from a fresh perspective.


“Lens Culture.” Web.

“Bill Brandt Archive”. Web.

Cutajar, Mario. “ Ralph Eugene Meatyard.” Web.


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1. IvyPanda. "Famous American Photographers." September 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/famous-american-photographers/.


IvyPanda. "Famous American Photographers." September 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/famous-american-photographers/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Famous American Photographers." September 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/famous-american-photographers/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Famous American Photographers'. 3 September.

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