Barbara Traub is an American photographer, who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Several years after graduating from Johns Hopkins University, she went on an exchange program to an art school in Florence, Italy for a semester with the intention of doing painting and drawing but at the last minute was handed a camera, thus establishing her future direction.
Her early work was influenced primarily by the street photography/decisive moment aesthetics of Robert Frank, Josef Koudelka, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1987 she won first place in the Baltimore Sun Magazine photo contest and held her first exhibition. She traveled worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia, making informal portraits of people in their surroundings. Soon thereafter, she was introduced to the art of Man Ray whose attention to surrealism, abstraction, and multimedia further influenced her style.