Born Naomi Siegler, Savage was a native of Princeton, New Jersey. Her parents were Samuel Siegler and Elsie Siegler (née Radnitzky), a sister of Man Ray (1890-1976, see lots 115-128). She first studied photography under Berenice Abbott at the New School for Social Research in 1943, and afterward attended Bennington College from 1944 until 1947 to study art, photography and music. She spent a year after her graduation in California with her uncle, Man Ray, studying his techniques. In 1950 she married the architect and sculptor David Savage, with whom she moved to Paris, living there for some years. Savage was heavily influenced by Man Ray, prompting her to experiment with the medium of photography, combining traditional techniques with more unusual processes, including some of her own design.