Janine Niépce was born on the 12th of February 1921 in Meudon into a family of vinegrowers in Burgundy. She is a distant relative of Nicephore Niepce.

In 1944, Janine Niepce graduated with a license for Art History and Archeology at the Sorbonne. At the same time, she developed films for the French Resistance and took part in the liberation of Paris as a liaison officer.

Janine Niepce was one of the first photo-journalists in France. Beginning in 1946 she traveled extensively in France, recording changes in French culture (including the first television in 1963, and the rise of rapid transport) and the contrast between life in the countryside, in the towns, and in the capital, Paris. From 1963 she began reporting from further away in Europe and around the world, including Japan, Cambodia, India, USA, Canada. Dressed like a foreign tourist, she also covered the French events during May 1968.
In the 1970s, her work focused particularly on the women's liberation movement and its struggles for the freedom of contraception, abortion and wage equality. From 1984 to 1986, she reported on researchers and engineers for the French Ministry of Research.
She was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1981 and became a Knight of the Legion d'Honor in 1985.
In 2000 during an exhibition at Visa pour l’Image, it has been underlined that Janine Niepce was the only photographer to report the evolution of women and their story during half a century. Her numerous exhibits are shown in France, in Europe and some around the world.
From 1965 to May 2010, her photographs were published by the Rapho agency in the French press and internationally. Since May 2010, the agency Roger Viollet is in charge of her publications. Amongst her 18 books, 6 have been published since 1992: « France. Niepce-Duras » Actes Sud Edition, « Les années femmes » in 1993, « Mes années campagne » in 1994, « Images d'une vie » in 1995 with La Martinière Edition, « Les vendanges » in 2000 Hœbeke Edition and « Françaises Français 1944-1968, le goût de vivre » Imprimerie Nationale-Acte Sud.
Between 2000 and 2007, she regularly lectured at the International School of Photography Spéos and she actively supported the creation of the museum Maison Nicéphore Niépce.

Autoportrait de Janine Niépce