Thankfully, our contemporary society is not exclusively a man’s world. But it was. Especially if one’s ambition was to become a cinematographer. But Maryse Alberti, who cut her teeth as a rock and roll photographer, decided she wanted to be the one behind the big camera—and she achieved that goal in stunning fashion. Today, she is an acclaimed veteran who has worked with great directors such as Todd Haynes, Todd SolonzDarren Aronofsky, Richard Linklater, and Ryan Coogler. Such success is not by chance—her character and talent have led her to win three Independent Spirit Awards, in addition to two awards at the Sundance Film Festival. And quite frankly, an Academy Award is long overdue for Alberti, whose extensive filmography includes visual stunners like Velvet Goldmine, The Wrestler, and Creed. In this new installment of our Language of the Image series, we review the career of a great pioneer who is still at the top of her game.

Watch Now: Films shot by Maryse Alberti, including Velvet GoldminePoison, and Dottie Gets Spanked.

Be sure to check out the previous installments in our Language of the Image series, in which we take a look at the work of Wally Pfister, Yves BélangerMatthew LibatiqueVittorio StoraroRachel Morrison, and Bradford Young. Plus, check out our list of essential female cinematographers, and our profile of the legendary Roger Deakins. And for more on the inimitable women of film, watch our videos on Tessa Thompson, Aubrey Plaza, and Jennifer Connelly.