After a year at school in Sussex, she studied photography in Manchester and opened her own portrait studio in the city at the age of 21. In the late 1940s a visit to Switzerland prompted her to start working outside the studio, and by the late 1950s she had abandoned studio portraiture for street photography, working in black and white until the early 1980s before moving totally to colour. Her first exhibition, People at Peace, was held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1969, and her first book, A World Observed was published in 1970. Closely involved in the founding of The Photographers’ Gallery in the early 1970s, she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 2009.
With a career spanning over seven decades and numerous exhibitions and publications to her name, Dorothy Bohm is widely regarded as one of the doyennes of British photography. She passed on, aged 98, in March 2023.