Born in Mexico City. In 1962 she attended at the University of Cinematographic studies at the Autonomy University, where she was taught by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, who in 1970 invited her to be his assistant.
She has been a member of the Mexican Salon of Plastic Arts, the Foundation of Contemporary Arts and the Mexican Council of Photography, and has received grants from The Mexican Council of Photography and the Guggenheim Foundation and she was part of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, CONACULTA, FONCA.
By the end of 1975, she had presented her work in more than 60 collective expositions in Mexico, the United States, France, Ecuador, Cuba, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Nicaragua, India and Japan. She presented her first solo show in the Casa de la Cultura in Juchitan, Oaxaca in 1980. She is one of the most prolific Mexican photographers with a number of individual exhibitions in foreign countries, including the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, and Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, United States of America; and most recently the Images of the Spirit (tour and catalogue); Philadelphia Museum of Art,1998; Cuaderno de Viaje , Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City 1999; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2000; India-Mexico, Museo del Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City, 2002, Graciela Iturbide, Andersen Gallery, Rome, Italy, 2002, Birds, Robert Miller Gallery, US.A. 2004, Naturata Galería López Quiroga, 2004, Graciela Iturbide Retrospective USA 2005, 12 days en Mozambique, Roma Italia 2006; The Goat’s dance, Paul Getty Museum, Los Ángeles, CA, Estados Unidos, 2007-2008; Graciela Iturbide, Hasselblad Award Winner, Hasselblad Center, 2008, Frida Kahlo’s Bathroom, Galería López Quiroga, México, D.F. y Graciela Iturbide, Sala Azca de Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, España, 2009, travelling exhibition to the Fotomuseum Winterthur en Suiza, el Centro José Guerrero de la Diputación de Granada and Casal Solleric en Palma, España.
She was first prize winner for the Photography Biennale of the National Fine Arts Institute (1980), for the International Organization of Workers of the ONU for the portfolio El empleo o su carencia (Chile, 1986). Between 1987 and 1991 she received the following prizes: W. Eugene Smith; the first prize for the Mois de la Photographie in Paris; the Hugo-Erfurth in Leverkusen, Germany; the first prize in Hokaido, Japan, the prize form the city of Arles, France and in 2005 the prize Assegnato ad una Donna Fotografa alla carriera in Benevento, Italy and the Woman Montblanc Award in México. In 2007 obtains the Legacy Award at the Smithsonian Latino Center, Washington D.C., recipient in 2008 of the Hasselblad Award in Gotemburgh, Sweden, the National Prize of Arts and Sciences in México, 2009 and the Prize PHotoEspaña Baume & Mercier, part of the Festival PhotoEspaña in 2010.
She was a resident artist in Beaux- Arts, Paris,France in 1995; Kleberg Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, United States and Civitella Ranieri, Italy in 2001; Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida, 2002; invited by the Metropolitan State College of Denver/ Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professor, Denver, Arizona, 2002.
The books that contain her work: Avandaro, (1971, Editorial Diogenes, S.A.)Los que viven en la arena (1981, Instituto Nacional Indigenista), Suenos de papel (1985, Rio de Luz, Fondo de Cultura Economica), Juchitan de las Mujeres (1989, Ediciones Toledo), En el nombre del padre (1981,Ediciones Toledo), Fiesta Und Ritual (1994, Ediciones Benteli Verlag), La forma y la memoria (1996, Museo Marco Monterrey), Images of the Spirit (1997, Aperture), Graciela Iturbide (2001, Phaidon), In the Mother’s Eyes (2001, Ediciones Stemmle) India-Mexico (2002, DGE Ediciones) Pájaros ( 2002, Twin Palms Publishers) Mujeres Mexicana del Siglo @ XXI (2003 L&L Ediciones, Imagen y Promocion Cultural S.C. ), Naturata (2004, Ediciones Galería López Quiroga), 12 days in Mozambique edited for Marco Delogu to the International Photo Festival in Rome, 2006. Nowadays she is preparing an exhibition and a book project for next year’s International Photo Festival in Rome in 2007, as well as two publications for this year titled Eyes to fly edited by Bill Wittliff and the Texas University/Alkek Library Special Collections and Graciela Iturbide, Ed.Taschen; Torrijos: The Man and The Myth (Umbrage Editions, 2007); Graciela Iturbide: Juchitán, (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008); Graciela Iturbide: The Hasselblad Award 2008 (Steidl, 2008); El baño de Frida Kahlo, (Editorial RM/Galería López Quiroga, 2009) and Asor (Steidl, 2009).