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


Studying from the work of well-known portrait photographers may help you to go from making good pictures to creating artistic endeavors.

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

(This isn’t, in fact, a complete record, however it’s a great start line!)

In case you’re wanting to get to know a number of the most influential portrait photographers on the earth, 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 earth.

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 forth.

Certainly one of her most well-known portrait pictures is the one among John Lennon in mattress with Yoko Ono carried out a number of hours earlier than Lennon’s homicide.

Annie Leibovitz remains to be energetic, and she or he teaches a web-based Masterclass, in case you’re curious about studying from one of the vital well-known 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 akin to Fortune, Newsweek and Life.

His environmental portraits in black and white are the extra well-known, particularly his well-known 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 without doubt one of the most well-known portrait photographers on the earth. His distinctive model consists of dramatic lighting and naked backgrounds.

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

4. Eugene Korman

Higher referred to as Gene Korman primarily labored in Hollywood and the film trade, Eugene was taking nonetheless pictures for movies akin to Scarface or making glamour portrait images for stars as huge as Marilyn Monroe.

In actual fact, his stills for the film Niagara had 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 outstanding environmental portraits – together with the well-known Afghan Lady.

He has two World Press Picture 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 grew to become one of the vital 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 prospect to {photograph} a number of the most distinguished world leaders at work.

At present, he makes use of his photographic abilities to {photograph} each celebrities in addition to landscapes. You may try his various 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 ‘outstanding cross-section of individuals’ for his personal immortality.

He definitely achieved his aim, as he is without doubt one of 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 sphere. As an alternative of fashions as a model, they grew to become individuals with feelings in Avedon’s portraits.

Except for 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 employees in his studio and went out within the streets to seize protesters of the Vietnam Conflict, the autumn of the Berlin Wall, and so forth.

One other mission that grew to become iconic was American West, the place he exhibited large-format portraits of miners, cowboys, and so forth. – these had been later printed as a best-selling e book.

9. Gustave Le Grey

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

Le Grey was a Nineteenth-century French photographer skilled initially as a painter. He received curious about 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 akin to including wax to paper negatives, doing mixed printing and collaborating to invent the moist collodion methodology.

10. Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is without doubt one of the most well-known American portrait photographers, and she or he was the primary photographer to be included within the Venice Biennale in 1972.

Her work has a signature model 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 also 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 identification with using make-up and masks.

Many photographers on the earth credit score some extent of affect from the work of Diane Arbus – she is acknowledged as a ‘seminal determine’ of contemporary 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 strategy. She’s primarily recognized for her well-known portrait Migrant Mom.

This portrait and a big portion of her work had been carried out whereas she travelled the midwest and southwest to doc the results of the Nice Melancholy.

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

Lange additionally co-founded the journal Aperture in 1952 – a quarterly journal specialised in images as advantageous artwork that’s nonetheless operating.

In 1945 she began instructing advantageous artwork images on the California College of Effective 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 pictures 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 constructive cultural change. The mission Ladies Empowered highlights extraordinary girls that thrive regardless of gender inequality, and his current program Crazywise goals to convey consciousness and respect to psychological sickness and Shamanic practices.

13. Brandon Stanton

Stanton is an expert portrait photographer who beneficial properties fame by photographing individuals of New York Metropolis for his mission People of New York.

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

By 2013, the mission grew to become a common images e book, and over 30,000 copies had been pre-ordered.

The e book ranked #1 on the New York Occasions Non-Fiction Finest Sellers; Stanton was named in Time’s “30 Beneath 30 Individuals Altering the World”, and now he is without doubt one of the most well-known portrait photographers on the earth.

14. Stephan Gladieu

Stephan Gladieu is a well-known portrait photographer who’s been masking battle and social points since 1989. For one among 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.

In keeping with 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 non secular photographer.

He began taking pictures of bicycles for his personal enterprise at 35 years of age. To struggle 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 pictures.

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 model separates him from different photographers within the area and places him within the realm of advantageous artwork images. Because of this, a number of museums and galleries around the globe have exhibited his work.

17. Cindy Sherman

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

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

Together with her works, Sherman has mirrored upon identification development, gender stereotypes, and different cultural codes. Most not too long ago, she’s utilizing Instagram to discover visible illustration utilizing filters, photograph modifying apps and social media.

18. Michael Coyne

Michael Coyne is without doubt one of the well-known photographers that work on task for publications as essential as Nationwide Geographic and Lonely Planet.

His greatest portraits come from documentary images and photojournalism tasks carried out around the globe and have been compiled in several books.

He additionally has a how-to e book known as Lonely Planet – Individuals Images, the place he shares his 25 years of expertise to information you and make it easier to take higher pictures.

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 printed by many magazines, together with Rolling Stone, who named him one among their Seven Masters in Images.

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 avenue images, 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 probably the greatest portrait photographers on the earth. He began as a vogue photographer – the place he instantly stood out along with his provocative and modern model.

Within the Nineteen Eighties, he began working with Self-importance Honest and have become extra curious about 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 known as Little Brown Mushroom.

23. Nick Knight

Nick Knight is without doubt one of the most well-known portrait photographers within the vogue trade in addition to a video and movie director. In 2000 he based SHOWstudio.

Since 2001 he began doing music movies collaborating with Bjork, Girl 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 known as to {photograph} the royal household on the Queen’s ninetieth birthday.

24. Mario Testino

Mario Testino is without doubt one of the most well-known portrait photographers within the vogue trade. Exterior of the style world, he’s very curious about exploring and documenting cultural heritage.

Along with his mission Alta Moda, he targeted on his native Peruvian tradition, whereas he devoted the collection A Stunning World to different cultures.

25. Manfred Baumann

Whereas Baumann is named probably the greatest portrait photographers, he’s additionally very gifted in panorama images – most not too long ago utilizing drones.

His work has been printed 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 grew to become one of the vital well-known portrait photographers on the earth 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, you’ll find Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Edward Steichen.

27. Jonathan Mannion

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

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

Last Phrases

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

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



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