Martine Franck was born in Antwerp but spent her childhood in the United States and England before studying art history at the University of Madrid and then at the Louvre School in Paris. She Joined Magnum Photos in 1980. Her meeting with stage director Ariane Mnouchkine led to an initiatory voyage by the pair in the Far East. On her return to France, Franck became assistant to Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili at Life magazine. 'She was a member of the first Vu agency in 1970 and helped found the Viva agency two years later. Her work includes portraits of artists and writers, and humanitarian reportage, and she has photographed every production by Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil since its creation in 1964.
In 1985 she began working with the humanitarian association the Little Brothers of the Poor. The subjects of her books include a traditional Gaelic community on Tory Island (1993), Tibetan tulkus (2000) and La Fontaine's Fables (2004). In 2003, with their daughter Melanie, she and Henri Cartier-Bresson set up the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris. She focused on artists in their studios. Her latest book "Women" was published by Steidl in 2010. Martine Franck passed away on August 2012.