On the 21st of November 1869 Zaida Ben-Yusuf was born in London to a German mother and an Algerian father, but became a naturalised American citizen later in life. She operated – for ten years beginning in 1897 – arguably the most fashionable portrait studio on Fifth Avenue, New York, while at the same time contributing work to numerous publications and the period’s most important photography exhibitions.
Despite her young age and her recent arrival in America, she attracted to her studio many of the era’s most prominent artistic, literary, theatrical, and political figures. In 1901 the Ladies Home Journal featured her in a group of six photographers that it dubbed, "The Foremost Women Photographers in America."
Zaida Ben-Yusuf died on 27 September 1933 in Brooklyn.