Born in Hawaii, Anne Brigman moved to California when she was sixteen years old. Trained as a painter, she turned to photography in 1902. "[S]lim, hearty, unaffected women of early maturity living a hardy out-of-door life in high boots and jeans, toughened to wind and sun" were Brigman's favored subjects, and she photographed them nude in the landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California.
Brigman was one of two original California members of the art photography group the Photo-Secession, founded by Alfred Stieglitz, and she was the only Western photographer to be made a Fellow of the group. Three issues of Camera Work featured her photographs, and the British Linked Ring society of photographers elected her a member. Around 1929 she moved to Long Beach in Southern California, where she continued to photograph, focusing on a series of sand erosions. A year before her death in Eagle Rock, near Los Angeles, in 1950, she published a book of her poems and photographs titled Songs of a Pagan.