Rachel Morrison

Rachel Morrison (born April 27, 1978)[1] is an American cinematographer and director. 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, working on the films Fruitvale Station (2013), and Black Panther (2018).[3]

Rachel Morrison
Born (1978-04-27) April 27, 1978 (age 44)
EducationConcord Academy
Alma mater
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]

Morrison worked on The Hills[10] 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]



Year Title Director Notes
2011 Sound of My Voice Zal Batmanglij
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Tim Heidecker
Eric Wareheim
Any Day Now Travis Fine
2013 Fruitvale Station Ryan Coogler
Some Girl(s) Daisy von Scherler Mayer
The Harvest John McNaughton
2014 Little Accidents Sara Colangelo
Cake Daniel Barnz
2015 Dope Rick Famuyiwa
2017 Mudbound Dee Rees New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer[15]
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography[20]
Nominated – American Society of Cinematographers Award for Outstanding Cinematography[16]
Nominated – Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Cinematography[21]
Nominated – Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society for Best Cinematography
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
2018 Black Panther Ryan Coogler Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
2019 Seberg Benedict Andrews

As director


As cinematographer

Year Title Notes
2016 Confirmation Television movie

As director

Year Title Notes
2015 Quantico Episode: "Kill"
2015–2016 American Crime 2 episodes
2020 Homemade Episode: "The Lucky Ones"
2020–2021 Hightown 4 episodes
2021 The Morning Show Episode: "A Private Person"
2021 American Crime Story 2 episodes

Other awardsEdit

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2012 Rikers High News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Cinematography Nominated [7]
2013 Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards: Kodak Vision Award Won [7]
2016 What Happened, Miss Simone? Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program Nominated


  1. ^ "Rachel Morrison". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2015. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Tapley, Kristopher (September 12, 2017). "Oscars: 'Mudbound' Cinematographer Is First Female Nominated – Variety". Variety.com. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Valentini, Valentina I (November 16, 2017). "'Mudbound' Cinematographer Captures Look of '40s South With Digital Cameras". Variety. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  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 February 11, 2015. 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 January 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 23, 2018). "Rachel Morrison Becomes First Woman Nominated for a Cinematography Oscar". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  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. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Joey Nolfi. "Oscars: Rachel Morrison first woman nominated for cinematography". EW.com. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  21. ^ Pedersen, Erik; Hammond, Pete (December 6, 2017). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads With 14 Nods; Netflix Tops TV Contenders". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.

External linksEdit