100 Photographers You Must Know

There’s no quicker way to annoy people en masse than to compile a list of some number of the best of some thing. Whether that’s the 100 best Rock ‘n Roll albums of all time, or the ten best cars produced this year. Even so, these lists are always fun, fun, fun. And here’s a list A Photo Editor pointed to from Professional Photographer, a UK publication, compiling the 100 most influential photographers of all time. Surely designed to incite a little bit of outrage and discussion, that’s a good thing. This list is, more than anything, a teaching tool. I’m familiar with the work of most of the photographers on this list, but there are certainly several that cause my mental canvas to draw a blank. The point is, we should all print out this list—whether or not we agree with it—and learn the work of each of these photographers. Study it, in fact, in hopes that some of their genius will subtly rub off on our own aesthetics and into our pictures. If all great artists copy, you could certainly do worse than copying the best of the best. I know I’m going to make it a deliberate goal, starting with the work of #50 on this list, British fashion and documentary photographer Corinne Day, with whom I’m fairly unfamiliar.


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