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10 Powerful Quotes from Female Photographers

10 Powerful Quotes from Female Photographers
By 3 years ago 22485 Views

Meet some of history's most influential female photographers, who have broken down stereotypes and revolutionized photography as we know it...

1. Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott

Image: Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

"Photography helps people to see."

Berenice Abbott (1898 -1991) is remembered as one of the most independent, determined and respected photographers of the twentieth century.

Beginning as a darkroom assistant, Abbott's interest in photography developed quickly, as did her reputation. She soon set up her own studio, shooting people on artistic and literacy worlds, including French nationals and expatriates.

In 1929, Abbott visited New York and was so taken by the city that she moved there and spent six years photographing the streets. Her work has provided a historical chronicle of many now-destroyed buildings and neighborhoods of Manhattan.

2. Annie Leibovitz

Image: UBS

"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people."

Annie Leibovitz is considered one of the greatest portraits photographers in America. At 23, she was the chief photographer at Rolling Stone, where she developed her trademark technique using bold colours and poses.

Leibovitz photographed John Lennon on the day he was assassinated, and has shot numerous covers for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

She was the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington's National Portrait Gallery in 1991.

3. Diane Arbus

Image: Tod Papageorge, 1967

"Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies."

Diane Arbus (1923 - 1971) was an American photographer best known for her intimate black and white portraits of the marginalised.

She began as a commercial photographer, but grew disinterested and instead took to the streets of New York with her camera. She would take photos of the city's inhabitants and number her film as she developed the prints. Her last known negative was labelled #7459.

Arbus committed suicide aged 48. A year after her death she was posthumously chosen as the first American photographer to be displayed at the Venice Biennale.

4. Nan Goldin

Image: The Artist Project

"I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I've lost."

Internationally renowned for her documentation of love, fluid sexuality, glamour, death and pain, Nan Goldin first experimented with photography aged 15.

By her late teens, Goldin fell into drug use and found herself in America's 'wastelands'. Yet she photographed everything. This work was considered groundbreaking, showing a side of America that many people pretended didn't exist.

Goldin has documented many LGBT people in her photographs over the years and become an icon for the LGBT movement, saying, "I really admire people who can recreate themselves and manifest their fantasies publically. I think it's brave."

5. Lynsey Addario

Image: Guardian

"As a war correspondent and a mother, I've learned to live in two different realities. It's not always easy to make the transition from a beautiful London park filled with children to a war zone, but it's my choice. I choose to live in peace and witness war - to experience the worst in people but to remember the beauty."

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who works for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine.

In 2015, American Photo Magazine named Lynsey one of the five most influential photographers of the past 25 years, writing that "Addario changed the way we saw the world's conflicts."

Her work is dangerous; whilst in Pakistan in 2009 Addario was involved in an automobile accident and broke her collar bone. In 2011, she was held along with 3 of her colleagues by the Libyan government for 6 days before being released.

6. Dorothea Lange

Image: Wikipedia

"That frame of mind that you need to make fine pictures of a very wonderful subject, you cannot do it by not being lost yourself."

During the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange (1895 - 1965) photographed the unemployed men who wandered the streets, influencing future documentary photography.

Her work led to employment with the federal Resettlement Administration (RA), later called the Farm Security Administration (FSA), bringing the plight of the poor and forgotten to public attention.

While Lange sometimes grew frustrated that her work didn't always provoke a response from society, her photography has endured and remains an influence to documentary photographers today.

7. Ilse Bing

Image: Ilse Bing, 1931

"I felt that the camera grew an extension of my eyes and moved with me."

Ilse Bing (1899 - 1998) was a German avant-garde and commerical photographer who produced pioneering monochrome images during the inter-war era.

She produced images in the fields of photojournalism, advertising and fashion, her work featuring in magazines such as Vogue.

Bing was one of the first photographers to master and shoot exclusively on the hand-held, small-format Leica camera. This caught the attention of photographer and critic Emmanuel Sougez, who hailed Bing 'the Queen of the Leica'.

8. Anne Geddes

Image: Julie Oliver

"The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed."

Anne Geddes is one of the world's most famous baby photographers, loved for her creative and adorable shoots.

Her first greeting card and calendar collection in 1992 became an instant success, and her debut book Down in the Garden has been translated into 23 different languages.

Geddes taught herself photography at 25. She started assisting a local photographer before opening her own studio. She chose babies as her subject because of her love for them. In one interview, she said, "I had seen the way children and babies were generally being photographed. It just didn't seem realistic to me took their children along to photographic studios all dressed in their Sunday best, photographs that didn't really show the personality of the child."

Geddes has sold more than 18 million books and 13 million calendars during her career.

9. Eve Arnold

Image: Vogue

"If you are careful with people, they will offer you part of themselves. That is the big secret."

Eve Arnold (1912 - 2012) was an American photojournalist. Over her career she photographed many iconic figures including Marilyn Monroe, Malcolm X and Joan Crawford.

Her interest in photography began when she received a camera as a gift. She then abandoned her plans to become a doctor to pursue her new-found love.

As a documentary and portrait photographer, Arnold's work took her to Afghanistan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.

She was the first woman to join the New York branch of the Magmum agency, and was a seasoned photojournalist for the London Sunday Times.

10. Sally Mann

Image: Kim Rushing

"There is a lot of information in most of my pictures, but not the kind of information you see in documentary photography. There is emotional information in my photographs."

Sally Mann is best known for her black and white photographs - at first of her young children, then later of landscapes.

Her work has often caused controversy, especially her collection Immediate Family, which, published in 1922, contains 60 photographs of Mann's children, sometimes without clothing, growing up in their secluded family home.

Mann defended her photos by describing them as "natural through the eyes of a mother, since she has seen her children in every state: happy, sad, playful, sick, bloodies, angry and even naked."

In the mid-1990s Mann began photographing landscapes, and has released numerous books. In 2001, Time Magazine named Mann 'America's Best Photographer', and she has permanent collections at various museums and galleries.