Annemarie Heinrich was born in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1912. She attended school in Berlin until 1926, when she migrated with her family to Argentina. Heinrich originally studied dance, music, and scenography, which had a great effect on the lighting and composition of her later work and served as an entrée into the world of art, theater, and entertainment.
Heinrich began her career as an apprentice to European émigré photographers, and in 1930, at the age of eighteen, she set up her first studio in Buenos Aires. Surrounded by artists of every discipline – celebrities, film and radio stars, opera singers, ballerinas, tango dancers – Heinrich soon developed a new genre in Argentina: the celebrity portrait. As Juan Travnik writes in Annemarie Heinrich: Un cuerpo, una luz, un reflejo (Ediciones Larivière, 2015),
"Annemarie Heinrich became the creator of a genre which in Argentina, as well as in other countries, developed side by side with the growth of the film industry and the popularization of the radio. Her passion for scenography, the fine arts, dance and theater allowed her to intertwine her knowledge of those fields – together with her careful study of different photographic styles – with her own photographic production. Having become a lover of photography, she implemented lighting schemes and shooting techniques which enabled her to meticulously control her work in the studio and to reach greater artistic freedom."
For over forty years, Heinrich worked for the prominent Argentine show-business magazines Radiolanda and Antena; her photographs also appeared regularly in the publications Cinegraf, El Hogar, Sintonía, Mundo Argentino, and Rosalinda. Some of her most famous subjects include the 20-year-old amateur actress Eva Duarte, who went on to become First Lady of Argentina as wife of President Juan Perón; American singer and civil rights activist Marian Anderson; writers Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges; and prominent South American celebrities Tita Merello and Carmen Miranda.
Throughout her life, Heinrich was deeply involved in avant-garde circles both in Argentina and abroad. In 1939, she married Argentine writer Alvaro Sol, pen name of Ricardo Sanguinetti, and became an Argentine citizen. She served as co-founder of Foto Club Argentino and was a founding member of both the Consejo Argentino de Fotografía (Argentine Council on Photography) and the Consejo Latinoamericano de Fotografía (Latin American Council on Photography). During the 1940s, she was active in the antiwar movement Consejo Argentino por la Paz (Argentinian Council for Peace) and in the Junta de la Victoria (Victory Board), an association of women promoting anti-fascism and solidarity with the Allies. In 1950, she travelled to Europe, where her work was shown in Rome, Milan, Paris, and Zürich; and in 1954, she travelled to the Federal German Republic to study color photography and for an exhibition of her work in Cologne.
Heinrich was a prominent member of the photoclub La Carpeta de los Diez (Group of 10) and served as an academic on Argentina’s Comisión Nacional de Cultura (National Committee for Culture). In 1982, she received the Premio Konex – Diploma al Mérito as one of the five best Argentine photographers of the decade, and was awarded “Honorable World Excellency” by the Federación Internacional del Arte Fotográfico (International Federation of Photographic Art). In 1992, she was named an Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires. She served in Germany as a member of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbilder (German Photographic Society) and of the Arbeitskreis Münchener Fotografen. She is a recipient of the Alicia Moreau de Justo Prize for the 100 Outstanding Women of the Twentieth Century.