Esther Langberg was born in Bergen and grew up in the Majorstuen district in Kristiania (modern-day Oslo). She became a switchboard operator and took photographs as a hobby. As a member of Oslo Kamera Klubb, she did well and won competitions the club held.
Her sister, Karen Irgens, wrote about food in the ladies’ journal Urd and asked Esther to photograph dishes to illustrate her articles. This was Esther’s entrance into the journal, first and foremost as a photographer but later on also as a writer. Esther Langberg photographed numerous reports on the arts and culture, and many articles about the celebrities of the day were illustrated with her pictures. She was also responsible for a number of the journal’s cover pictures. Many of these were examples of “free photography” – nature studies and up-close pictures, not least of flowers – that testify to her artistic ambition outside of her reportage pictures.
Esther Langberg took photographs for a book on Aker municipality before it merged with Oslo (Aker 1837–1947). She also made postcards, featuring scenes both from Oslo and from two places where she vacationed: the mountains of Gausdal and the island of Karmøy.