American Imogen Cunningham came to photography in 1906 when she was studying chemistry at university. In the early years she worked from her studio in Seattle where she established herself in portraiture. Later she moved to San Francisco and began her study of plants. She was a co-founder of the Group f/64, along with Ansel Adams, which is credited with establishing a West Coast style of photography. Imogen continued to photograph until her death at 93.
Nina Leen - Circus Girls
Russian-born photographer Nina Leen moved to the United States in 1939. She was one of the first women photographers at LIFE magazine and started shooting for the title in 1945. Her association with LIFE continued until the magazine folded. Fascinated with the ways in which people lived their lives, Nina travelled to Sarasota, Florida in 1949 to shoot an essay on circus girls.
New Yorker Margaret Bourke-White began her illustrious career with Fortune magazine in 1929. Later she became the first woman to shoot for LIFE. She established herself initially as an industrial photographer. But her oeuvre is vast and includes documentation of the Great Depression and also some of the most important photographs of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. She was ambitious, intelligent, bold and fearless.
On top of the Chrysler building in New York where she had an office on the 61st floor
Sharecroppers, Great Depression
Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps (above and below)