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Rachel Morrison (born April 27, 1978)[1] is an American cinematographer. For her work on Mudbound (2017), Morrison earned a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, making her the first woman ever nominated in that category.[2] She has twice worked with director Ryan Coogler, first on Fruitvale Station (2013) then on Black Panther (2018).[3]

Rachel Morrison
Born (1978-04-27) April 27, 1978 (age 41)
EducationConcord Academy
Alma materNew York University
AFI Conservatory
Years active2002–present
Notable credit(s)
Fruitvale Station
Black Panther
Rachel Garza (m. 2011)


Early lifeEdit

Morrison took up photography at a young age. She grew up in a Jewish family[4] in Cambridge, Massachusetts,[5] and graduated from Concord Academy in 1996.[6] She then attended New York University, where she completed a double major in film and photography because she was unable to choose between the two; by the end of her degree, she had decided to concentrate on cinematography.[7] She then attended the AFI Conservatory's graduate cinematography program and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 2006.[8]


Morrison began her career in television, working on series and telefilms for a number of networks. Her cinematography on the 2005 television documentary Rikers High, about high school education within the Rikers Island prison complex, was nominated for an Emmy Award.[9][7]

The 2007 independent film Palo Alto marked Morrison's debut as the primary cinematographer on a feature film, after which she took a job as director of photography on the MTV reality series The Hills.[10] She worked on The Hills for two years, then shot Zal Batmanglij's Sound of My Voice, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.[10] Over the next two years, she photographed Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie and Fruitvale Station, which premiered at Sundance in 2012 and 2013 respectively,[10] as well as Any Day Now (2012), Some Girl(s) (2013) and The Harvest (2013).[9]

At the 2013 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards, Morrison was awarded the Kodak Vision Award for her work in cinematography and her collaboration with other women filmmakers.[9] The same year, Variety named her as one of the "Up Next" in their Below The Line Impact Report,[11] while Indiewire named her as one of their "Cinematographers To Watch".[10]

In 2014, she photographed Cake, directed by Daniel Barnz,[12] which she followed up with the 2015 film Dope. Dope premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, making it Morrison's seventh film to screen at the annual festival in six consecutive years.[13]

2014 marked Morrison's first foray into directing, as she was offered the chance to direct an episode of the television series American Crime, which aired in 2015.[13] In 2017 she became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers.[14]

Morrison was the cinematographer for Dee Rees's 2017 film Mudbound.[15] For her work on the film, Morrison became the first woman to win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer,[15] the first woman to be nominated for the feature category of the American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards,[16] and the first woman ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.[2]

Morrison served as cinematographer for Marvel's Black Panther (2018).[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Morrison married Rachel Garza in December 2011. They have one son, who was born in 2014,[17][18] and a daughter born in 2018.[19]


Other awardsEdit


  1. ^ "Rachel Morrison". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Tapley, Kristopher (2017-09-12). "Oscars: 'Mudbound' Cinematographer Is First Female Nominated – Variety". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  3. ^ a b Valentini, Valentina I, (2017-11-16). "'Mudbound' Cinematographer Captures Look of '40s South With Digital Cameras". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  4. ^ Bloom, Nate (March 22, 2018). "'Black Panther' cinematographer is the first woman nominated for an Oscar in her field". The Jewish News of Northern California.
  5. ^ "Behind the Camera on 'Fruitvale Station'"
  6. ^ "Rachel Morrison ’96: An Authentic Career"
  7. ^ a b c d "ONFILM Interview: Rachel Morrison". Kodak. September 13, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "AFI Member Marquee". American Film Institute. February 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Rachel Morrison to Receive WIF Kodak Vision Award". Kodak. April 29, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d Lyttelton, Oliver (January 31, 2013). "On The Rise: 5 Cinematographers To Watch In 2013". Indiewire. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "PHOTOS: Below the Line Impact Report – Cinematographers". Variety. August 14, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Workman, Matt (January 22, 2015). "The Cinematography of Cake with DP Rachel Morrison". Cinematography Database. Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Bernstein, Paula (January 23, 2015). "Rachel Morrison on Her Two Sundance 2015 Films and Being Pegged as a 'Female DP'". Indiewire. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  14. ^ Instagram 17 March 2017.
  15. ^ a b c New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Willem Dafoe Wins Supporting Actor, ‘Mudbound’ DP Makes History – Variety
  16. ^ a b "2018 American Society of Cinematographers Awards Nominations". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  17. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 23, 2018). "Rachel Morrison Becomes First Woman Nominated for a Cinematography Oscar". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  18. ^ Bendix, Trish (December 9, 2008). "Lesbian cinematographer Rachel Morrison brings us "A Non-Issue?"". AfterEllen. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  19. ^ "Rachel Morrison, ASC. on Instagram: "Welcome Cleo Miró Morrison. Born 8/28/18 at 101PM. 6 lbs 18.5 inches. Needless to say, we are already madly in love..."". Instagram. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Joey Nolfi. "Oscars: Rachel Morrison first woman nominated for cinematography". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  21. ^ Pedersen, Erik; Hammond, Pete (December 6, 2017). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads With 14 Nods; Netflix Tops TV Contenders". Retrieved December 6, 2017.

External linksEdit