Top 5 Famous Photographers Of India In 2023
There are very few in the group who are brave enough to follow their dreams regardless of the risks and challenges that accompany it. These are the individuals who have triumphed in spite of all odds, leaving behind the convenience and stability of their already established jobs to seriously pursue their passions and have made a lasting impact.
Photography is an activity that is deeply fulfilling and involves dedication, inventiveness, patience and focus. Photographers from India have established themselves in various genres such as wildlife, fashion and contemporary.
The top, highly skilled and renowned Indian photographers have made a mark with their work and have been acknowledged not only in India, but also internationally.
This list comprises of the most well-known Indian photographers that you should know about.
1. Raghu Rai
Raghunath Rai Chowdhry was born in 1942 and is an Indian photographer and photojournalist who has dedicated his life to various social causes. His journey in photography began in 1965 when he joined the staff of 'The Statesman' in New Delhi and he became a freelance photographer in 1976. He has released more than 18 books, with two of the most famous being 'Raghu Rai's India: Reflections in Colours' and 'Reflections in Black and White'.
He even documented the aftermath of the Bhopal Gas Leak in 1984 when he was working with Greenpeace. His works have been recognized with the Padmashree award in 1972 and the Academie des Beaux Arts Photography Award – William Klein in 2019. He currently resides in Delhi and is a correspondent for Magnum Opus.
2. Gautam Rajadhyaksha
Gautam Rajadhyaksha Ji (16 September 1950 – 13 September 2011) was one of the most well-known Fashion Photographers in India. In 1980, he embarked on his journey and due to his enthusiasm for photography, he decided to leave his advertising job in 1987 and instead pursue commercial photography, as well as fashion and media projects. His book entitled ‘Faces’, which was published in 1997, featured 45 famous personalities. In 2000, he held his first photography exhibition in Pune, displaying two decades of his work. Additionally, he was a screenwriter for the films ‘Bekhudi’, ‘Anjaam’ (story), and Sakhi (story and screenplay). His work was not only publicized in India, but also in San Francisco, Dubai, and London.
3. Homai Vyarawalla
Homai Vyarawalla, known by her pseudonym 'Dalda 13', was India's first female photojournalist. Beginning her career in the 1930s, she was one of the first women to join 'The Illustrated Weekly of India', which showcased a great deal of her black and white photographs. Her work includes many famous figures of the time, such as a photograph of the Dalai Lama when he entered Sikkim via Nathu La in 1956.
Later in her life, she donated her collection of photographs to the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, and in 2010, she collaborated with the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai to present a retrospective of her work. In 2011, she was awarded the Padma Vibushan and Google paid homage to her on her 104th birthday with a doodle titled 'First Lady of the Lens'.
4. Raghubir Singh
Raghubir Singh (1942-1999) was a renowned Indian photographer admired for his documentary-style photos and landscapes. Teaching himself photography, he was employed by renowned magazines worldwide and was even known for his street photography. His noteworthy works include Ganga: Sacred River of India (1974) and River of Colour: The India of Raghubir Singh (1998). He has published 14 books that were well-received. His works are currently held in several highly prestigious modern art museums around the world. Additionally, he worked as a teacher and taught in New York at the School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, and Cooper Union. For his accomplishments, he was rewarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1983.
5. Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh, a contemporary artist and photographer born in 1961, has generated twelve books within her photographic style of Documentary and Portraits, which are mostly focused on the lives of the upper and middle class. She describes herself as a 'bookmaker who works with photography'. In 2008, she was awarded the Prince Claus Award and, in 2013, she became the first Indian to have a solo exhibition at London's Hayward Gallery. In 2018, she was given the Infinity Award by Museum Bhawan.