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View: 10 pioneering female photographers – Women’s history month

A Palestinain woman pleads with Christian militia in Beirut while a man tries to take children to safety during the Lebanese civil war, 19th January 1976. (Photo by Francoise De Mulder/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

 

Johnny Rotten (Lydon) of the Sex Pistols makes faces while the group hangs about a trash bin, London 1977. L to R: Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, and Paul Cook. (Photo by Janette Beckman/Getty Images)

A group of boys sit on a police patrol car in Alphabet City, New York City, 1980. (Photo by Jill Freedman/Getty Images)

On International Women’s Day, today, and in celebration of Women’s History Month (1 March – 31 March), photo agency Getty Images has sent us profiles of 10 pioneering women photographers from their collection …and an edit of their work.

From Françoise De Mulder, who was the first woman to win the World Press Photo of the Year award, to Ruth Harriet Louise, the first female photographer in Hollywood, and Grace Robertson OBE, who worked for photojournalism magazine Life  – These inspirational trailblazers opened the gates for future female photojournalists to thrive in the industry.

Read their profile and view their images below:

  • Françoise De Mulder was a French war photographer who in 1976 became the first woman to win the World Press Photo of the Year award. The winning image was a black and white photo of a Palestinian woman raising her hands at a masked militiaman in Beirut’s war-ravaged La Quarantaine district.
    View her work
  • Janette Beckman is a British documentary photographer. She lives in New York City. Beckman describes herself as a documentary photographer. While she produces a lot of work on location, she is also a studio portrait photographer. Her work has appeared on records for the major labels, and in magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Glamour, Italian Vogue, The Times, Newsweek, Jalouse, Mojo and others.
    View her work
  • Jill Freedman is a highly respected New York City documentary photographer whose award-winning work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography.
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  • Grace Robertson OBE is a British photographer. Robertson’s father gave her a second-hand camera in 1949 and the following year she had a photo story about her sister doing her homework published in Picture Post. Over the next few years she had several photo stories published in the magazine including “Sheep Shearing in Wales” (1951), “Tate Gallery” (1952), “Mother’s Day Off” (1954) and “Childbirth” (1955). As well as photojournalism for magazines such as Life,Robertson worked in advertising.
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  • Evelyn Hofer was a German-American portrait and documentary photographer. The family moved to Geneva in 1933 in order to escape Nazism, and later to Madrid. Evelyn attempted unsuccessfully to enter the Paris Conservatory and then switched to photography, first apprenticing in Zürich and Basel and then taking private tuition in Zürich. After Franco came to power they moved again to Mexico. Hofer moved to New York in 1946, where she worked with Alexey Brodovitch of Harper’s Bazaar and befriended Richard Lindner and Saul Steinberg.
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  • Margaret Bourke-White was an American photographer and documentary photographer. She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet industry under the Soviet’s five-year plan, the first American female war photojournalist, and having one of her photographs on the cover of the first issue of Life magazine.
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  • Ruth Harriet Louise was an American professional photographer, the first woman photographer active in Hollywood; she ran Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s portrait studio from 1925 to 1930.
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  • Berenice Abbott was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s.
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  • Gertrude Käsebier was an American photographer. She was known for her images of motherhood, her portraits of Native Americans, and her promotion of photography as a career for women.
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  • Julia Margaret Cameron was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary or heroic themes.
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