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27 Most Well-known Portrait Photographers (Previous & Current)


Studying from the work of well-known portrait photographers might help you to go from making good images to creating artworks.

On this record, you’ll discover a combination of well-known portrait photographers from previous and current to get you impressed.

(This isn’t, after all, a complete record, nevertheless it’s a superb start line!)

In the event you’re desirous to get to know a number of the most influential portrait photographers on the planet, let’s get began.

High 27 Most Well-known Portrait Photographers Ever

1. Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is amongst essentially the most well-known portrait photographers on the planet.

She began working for Rolling Stone journal in 1970, and since then, she’s photographed many well-known individuals from the music enterprise, television stars, politicians, and so on.

One in all her most well-known portrait pictures is the considered one of John Lennon in mattress with Yoko Ono accomplished just a few hours earlier than Lennon’s homicide.

Annie Leibovitz continues to be energetic, and he or she teaches a web-based Masterclass, in case you’re fascinated by studying from one of the most famous photographers within the area.

2. Arnold Newman

Arnold Newman, White Home Press Workplace (WHPO), Public area, through Wikimedia Commons

Arnold Newman was a gifted portrait photographer who studied drawing and portray. In 1946, he relocated to New York, and he began working as a photographer for well-known magazines corresponding to Fortune, Newsweek and Life.

His environmental portraits in black and white are the extra well-known, particularly his famous portrait of Stravinsky, which, by the best way, was rejected by Harper’s Bazaar, who had commissioned the job.

3. David Bailey

David Bailey is among the most well-known portrait photographers on the planet. His distinctive type consists of dramatic lighting and naked backgrounds.

Bailey’s well-known works embody portraits of many celebrities in addition to portraits and behind the scenes reportages from the style world.

4. Eugene Korman

Higher often called Gene Korman primarily labored in Hollywood and the film business, Eugene was taking nonetheless pictures for movies corresponding to Scarface or making glamour portrait images for stars as massive as Marilyn Monroe.

Actually, his stills for the film Niagara have been the bottom for Andy Warhol’s Marilyn’s collection of portraits – iconic for the pop artwork motion.

5. Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is a journey and documentary photographer who’s most well-known for his Nationwide Geographic work.

Throughout his travels, he makes essentially the most exceptional environmental portraits – together with the well-known Afghan Woman.

He has two World Press Photograph prizes and the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal, amongst his a number of awards.

6. Pete Souza

Regardless of being a gifted skilled photographer since 1998, he turned some of the well-known portrait photographers for his work capturing former US president Barack Obama.

Souza additionally labored as chief official White Home photographer throughout the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Each intervals gave him the possibility to {photograph} a number of the most outstanding world leaders at work.

At present, he makes use of his photographic abilities to {photograph} each celebrities in addition to landscapes. You’ll be able to try his different work on his Instagram account.

7. Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh in a studio, BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives, CC BY through Wikimedia Commons

Yousuf Karsh is an Armenian-Canadian portrait photographer who immortalized individuals as well-known as Albert Einstein or Winston Churchill.

He photographed ‘anybody who was anybody’ and claimed that he selected this ‘exceptional cross-section of individuals’ for his personal immortality.

He actually achieved his purpose, as he is among the most well-known portrait photographers of the twentieth century.

8. Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon exhibition in Berlin. Credit score: Shervin Afshar (Flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0 through Wikimedia Commons

Richard Avedon was an American vogue photographer who revolutionized the sector. As a substitute of fashions as a model, they turned individuals with feelings in Avedon’s portraits.

Other than the style world, Richard Avedon utilized his expertise and images abilities to make socially and politically charged black and white portraits.

He photographed activists and civil rights staff in his studio and went out within the streets to seize protesters of the Vietnam Conflict, the autumn of the Berlin Wall, and so on.

One other challenge that turned iconic was American West, the place he exhibited large-format portraits of miners, cowboys, and so on. – these have been later revealed as a best-selling e-book.

9. Gustave Le Grey

Gustave Le Grey, Selfportrait, Daguerreotype, 1848, Public area through Wikimedia Commons

Le Gray was a Nineteenth-century French photographer educated initially as a painter. He received fascinated by images in 1847, doing his first daguerrotypes.

His portraits of Giuseppe Garibaldi gave him fame all through Europe.

Le Grey additionally taught images and made some technical improvements corresponding to including wax to paper negatives, doing mixed printing and collaborating to invent the moist collodion methodology.

10. Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is among the most well-known American portrait photographers, and he or she was the primary photographer to be included within the Venice Biennale in 1972.

Her work has a signature type although she made noticeable technical adjustments all through her profession, which mirrored a shift in idea and imaginative and prescient.

Her selection of topics can be a degree of recognition of her work as she did portraits of marginalized teams in addition to women and men who would partially or completely cowl their id with using make-up and masks.

Many photographers on the planet credit score some extent of affect from the work of Diane Arbus – she is acknowledged as a ‘seminal determine’ of recent images.

11. Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mom, Public area through Wikimedia Commons

Dorothea Lange was a well-known portrait photographer with a documentary and photojournalist method. She’s primarily recognized for her well-known portrait Migrant Mom.

This portrait and a big portion of her work have been accomplished whereas she travelled the midwest and southwest to doc the results of the Nice Despair.

These journeys have been funded by the Roosevelt administration, who employed numerous artists, amongst which Dorothea Lange, to doc the individuals who have been alleged to obtain assist with the New Deal.

Lange additionally co-founded the journal Aperture in 1952 – a quarterly journal specialised in photography as fine art that’s nonetheless operating.

In 1945 she began educating superb artwork images on the California College of Wonderful Arts by invitation of Ansel Adams.

12. Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a good photographer and documentary filmmaker who makes use of storytelling to lift consciousness and create social change.

Inside portrait images, he stands out for his photographs of indigenous individuals. Borges is a a number of award winner, and his work has been exhibited all through the world.

He runs many non-profit applications to assist make a optimistic cultural change. The challenge Girls Empowered highlights extraordinary girls that thrive regardless of gender inequality, and his current program Crazywise goals to deliver consciousness and respect to psychological sickness and Shamanic practices.

13. Brandon Stanton

Stanton is an expert portrait photographer who good points fame by photographing individuals of New York Metropolis for his challenge People of New York.

He began in 2010 photographing 10,000 New Yorkers dwelling out of unemployment checks. The challenge moved to a Fb web page the place he began including quotes and later interviews along with his topics.

By 2013, the challenge turned a popular photography book, and over 30,000 copies have been pre-ordered.

The e-book ranked #1 on the New York Occasions Non-Fiction Finest Sellers; Stanton was named in Time’s “30 Below 30 Folks Altering the World”, and now he is among the most well-known portrait photographers on the planet.

14. Stephan Gladieu

Stephan Gladieu is a well-known portrait photographer who’s been masking battle and social points since 1989. For considered one of his most famous tasks, he documented the individuals of North Korea.

Regardless of the constraints and limitations, he captured portraits that replicate his standpoint and illustrate the human situation.

Based on the bio on his web site, he’s at the moment extra devoted to his private analysis and tasks: a “human story all through colourfully portrait assortment”. He’s additionally nonetheless performing some worldwide portraits for magazines and journalistic actions.

15. Lee Jeffries

Historically talking, Lee Jeffries is a portrait photographer – nonetheless, he describes himself as a religious photographer.

He began taking pictures of bicycles for his personal enterprise at 35 years of age. To battle his loneliness, he began going out and photographing homeless individuals.

He doesn’t simply {photograph} them; he talks to them and creates a connection – that’s why they’re such highly effective photographs.

16. David Lachapelle

David Lachapelle is an American portrait photographer well-known for his iconic portraits full of symbolism, references to artwork historical past and saturated colours.

His signature type separates him from different photographers within the area and places him within the realm of superb artwork images. For that reason, a number of museums and galleries around the globe have exhibited his work.

17. Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an artist finest recognized for the social commentary made by way of portrait images utilizing herself because the mannequin.

She doesn’t think about them self-portraits as a result of she transforms herself into completely different personas – the truth that it’s her physique is just a sensible matter.

Together with her works, Sherman has mirrored upon id building, gender stereotypes, and different cultural codes. Most just lately, she’s utilizing Instagram to discover visible illustration utilizing filters, photograph enhancing apps and social media.

18. Michael Coyne

Michael Coyne is among the well-known photographers that work on project for publications as vital as Nationwide Geographic and Lonely Planet.

His finest portraits come from documentary photography and photojournalism tasks accomplished around the globe and have been compiled in numerous books.

He additionally has a how-to e-book referred to as Lonely Planet – Folks Pictures, the place he shares his 25 years of expertise to information you and aid you take higher images.

19. Ken Reagan

Ken Reagan was one of many nice portrait photographers in historical past. He had the expertise to seize the second and inform a narrative by way of his portraits.

He was revealed by many magazines, together with Rolling Stone, who named him considered one of their Seven Masters in Pictures.

He additionally gained a number of awards, and his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries all around the globe, together with Washington’s Nationwide Portrait Gallery – whose assortment holds 5 of Reagan’s works.

20. Bruce Gilden

Gilden is an American photographer who’s most well-known as a result of he photographed individuals within the streets utilizing a flash.

Most photographers attempt to go unnoticed when doing street photography, however not Bruce Gilden – that’s why his close-up portraits make him one of many best-known portrait photographers of our technology.

21. Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton, Portrait of Laurel Martyn, 1952, Public area through Wikimedia Commons

Helmut Newton is taken into account among the finest portrait photographers on the planet. He began as a vogue photographer – the place he instantly stood out along with his provocative and modern type.

Within the Nineteen Eighties, he began working with Vainness Honest and have become extra fascinated by making portraits of the highly effective and well-known.

22. Alec Soth

Soth is a documentary photographer who’s made gorgeous portraits “involved with the mythologies and oddities that proliferate America’s disconnected communities”.

He’s been a Magnum member since 2008 and has been awarded a number of fellowships and exhibited in museums and public collections around the globe. He additionally has a publishing firm referred to as Little Brown Mushroom.

23. Nick Knight

Nick Knight is among the most well-known portrait photographers within the vogue business in addition to a video and movie director. In 2000 he based SHOWstudio.

Since 2001 he began doing music movies collaborating with Bjork, Woman Gaga, amongst others. Knight’s seek for innovation ranges from lighting methods to using multimedia.

Nonetheless, he’s by no means given up portrait images – for instance, in 2016, he was referred to as to {photograph} the royal household on the Queen’s ninetieth birthday.

24. Mario Testino

Mario Testino is among the most well-known portrait photographers within the vogue business. Exterior of the style world, he’s very fascinated by exploring and documenting cultural heritage.

Along with his challenge Alta Moda, he centered on his native Peruvian tradition, whereas he devoted the collection A Lovely World to different cultures.

25. Manfred Baumann

Whereas Baumann is named among the finest portrait photographers, he’s additionally very gifted in panorama images – most just lately utilizing drones.

His work has been revealed and exhibited a number of instances and has obtained many awards. He additionally teaches for the Leica Academy worldwide.

26. Philippe Halsman

Dali Atomicus, Philippe Halsman, CC BY-SA 2.0 through Wikimedia Commons

Halsman turned some of the well-known portrait photographers on the planet because of his surreal collaborations with Salvador Dali.

He’s additionally recognized for photographing most of his topics leaping. This manner, he might seize an ‘unguarded second’. Amongst a number of the most well-known, yow will discover Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Edward Steichen.

27. Jonathan Mannion

Mannion began because the assistant of Richard Avedon and later unfold his wings as some of the well-known portrait photographers within the music enterprise.

He’s accomplished over 300 album covers, and he shares many behind-the-scenes moments in his Instagram feed.

Closing Phrases

Out of all essentially the most well-known portrait photographers on the planet, this record consists of lots of my favourites – I hope you loved it.

I’d like to know which portrait photographers you embody in your record of ‘the perfect’ – please tell us within the feedback beneath!



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