Ruth Harriet Louise – First Woman Hollywood Photographer

Ruth Harriet Louise (1903 – 1940) ran Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s portrait studio from 1925 to 1930.

When Louise was hired by MGM as chief portrait photographer in the summer of 1925, she was twenty-two years old, and the only woman working as a portrait photographer for the Hollywood studios.

In a career that lasted only five years, Louise photographed all the stars, contract players, and many of the hopefuls who passed through the studio’s front gates, including Greta Garbo, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, and Norma Shearer. It is estimated that she took more than 100,000 photos during her tenure at MGM.

Today she is considered an equal with George Hurrell Sr. and other renowned glamour photographers of the era.

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Joan Crawford by Ruth Harriet Louise for Dream of Love (1926)

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Anita Page by Ruth Harriet Louise

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Dorothy Sebastian by Ruth Harriet Louise

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Greta Garbo by  Ruth Harriet Louise for “The Temptress” (1926)

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Marceline Day by Ruth Harriet Louise

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Ruth Harriet Louise (self-portrait)

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