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46 Famous Portrait Photographers You Should Know

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Portrait photography is one of the oldest forms of photography. And nearly 200 years on, portraiture remains one of the most popular pursuits within the art form.

This is a history of portrait photography told through the lens of great portrait photographers. We’ll look at the best past and present portrait photographers.

Our journey starts with the great portrait photographers of times past. Then we’ll look at the best portrait photographers of today before finishing with the rising stars of portrait photography. It’s a journey that’s sure to inspire your own portrait photography.

Portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr. by Yousuf Karsh

The Enduring Popularity of Portrait Photographers

Portrait photographers have been at the vanguard of the photography craft. They’ve documented some of history’s most famous and infamous individuals. And they brought photography into the mainstream.

Portrait photography has given us the protagonists of our shared history. They’ve connected us to presidents, prime ministers, and stars on the stage and screen. Their portraits are hung in prominent galleries all over the world. And they’ve graced the covers of Time, Vogue, and Rolling Stone. These faces have become part of public consciousness.

But portrait photography isn’t just about the big names. Portraits are about people. And portrait photographers use their cameras to tell personal stories. They capture the spirit of the people they encounter, from farmers to fishermen and businessmen to bandits.

As well as being a discipline in its own right, portrait photography is a feature in many types of photography. Portraits play a significant role in fashion and editorial photography. And you’ll find portraits everywhere, from photojournalism to wedding photography.

Portrait photography endures because we love characters. We want to know the players in the stories humans tell. And the best portrait photographers let us glimpse hearts and souls laid bare on celluloid. Portrait photography allows us to connect with people we may never know.

Portrait of young girl in Afghanistan
“Afghan Girl with Green Shawl” by Steve McCurry

46 Famous Portrait Photographers You Should Know

The best source of inspiration for portrait photography comes from looking at the masters. By looking at the work of the most famous portrait photographers, you’ll see how personalities are explored and characters are created.

We’ve split our extensive list of famous portrait photographers into three sections. The first section looks at the all-time greats of the genre.  The second section looks at the best photographers of our era. And the final section looks at the rising stars of portrait photography.

A black and white portrait of Grace Kelly jumping
Grace Kelly by Philippe Halsman

Famous Portrait Photographers from History

In this section, we’re celebrating the portrait photographers of the past. They’re artists who have led the way in portrait photography over the decades, breaking rules and setting standards.

These portrait photographers have created some of the most iconic images of the last 100 years. You might be familiar with some of these photographers, while some names might be new to you. But all of them are worthy of your attention.

1. Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)

tintype portrait of Sir John Herschel
Sir John Herschel by Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron was a true trailblazer of portrait photography. Not only was she a woman thriving in a man’s world, but she also developed her own style of portrait photography. Her style wasn’t appreciated in her own time, and many criticized her work.

But over the years, her portraits have been praised for their genuine intimacy. Her portrait photos are softly focused with a natural feel. They were at odds with the stale and static portraits of the Victorian era.

Her subjects were the great and the good of upper-class Victorian society. Her most prominent subjects were Charles Darwin, Henry Taylor, and Sir John Herschel.

Tintype portrait of a man
“Lago” by Julia Margaret Cameron

2. Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

Portrait of Native American girl
“Qahatika Girl” by Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis is one of the most important names in American photography. He was a photographer working in the American west near the turn of the century. His portrait collection is an important historical archive.

Curtis photographed hundreds of indigenous people from various tribal groups across America. They include the Hopi tribes in the southwest and the Inuit peoples of the north.

His subjects include names eternally linked to the myth of the Wild West. The portraits of Geronimo, Red Cloud, and Chief Joseph are particularly special.

Portrait of Geronimo wrapped in a blanket
Geronimo by Edward S. Curtis

3. James Van Der Zee (1886-1983)

black and white print of lady holding a straw hat
“Lady With Straw Hat” by James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee was an essential part of the Harlem Renaissance of the ’20s and ’30s. His portraits are stylish and well crafted. But his work also serves as a historical document for a significant moment in Afro-American history.

Van Der Zee used his camera to document the fashions and figures of a black culture revival in New York. His portraits show a middle-class African-American society. It’s a self-confident community that was thriving culturally.

Some of his notable subjects are dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and civil rights leader Marcus Garvey. He worked mainly in a studio, using lavish props and set dressings.

Black and white print of lady in a white dress
“Lady in Chair” by James Van Der Zee

4. George Hurrell (1904-1992)

Black and white portrait of Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks by George Hurrell

George Hurrell is a portrait photographer from the golden age of cinema. As the official photographer of the MGM studio, his portraits captured some of Hollywood’s most iconic actors and actresses.

Hurrell’s celebrated list of subjects includes everyone from Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart to Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe.

The archetypal celebrity photographer, his portraits are intensely glamorous. His collection strengthens the legend and mystique of this timeless Hollywood era. His style is dramatic, with strong contrasts between light and dark.

Joan Crawford in Furs
Joan Crawford by George Hurrell

5. Angus McBean (1904-1990)

Audrey Hepburn lifting sunglasses
Audrey Hepburn by Angus McBean

Angus McBean is often overlooked when it comes to lists of the most famous portrait photographers. But he shouldn’t be. His portraits were wholly original, blending a sharp style with surrealism and wit.

McBean’s style was less polished and more earthy than his contemporaries. His lighting was sharp and dramatic, which he used for a darker tone in his work. He wasn’t afraid to add surrealist elements or humor, even when working with Hollywood stars.

As a celebrity portrait photographer, he worked with A-listers like Audrey Hepburn, Vivian Leigh, and The Beatles.

Model emerging from dead leaves
Hanae Mori by Angus McBean

6. Philippe Halsman (1906-1979)

Portrait of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali by Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman was one of the first great portrait photographers to inject a sense of fun into his work. He had close connections to surrealist artists and was a long-time collaborator with Salvador Dali.

His portraits are joyful and exuberant. His subjects are often snapped in mid-air as they jump and dance before the camera. But despite the humor, there’s always a personal warmth to his images. His portrait photos are uniquely personal.

As well as Salvador Dali, prominent subjects include Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Muhammad Ali. His skill behind the camera also led to a career as a fashion photographer.

portrait of Marilyn Monroe Jumping
Marilyn Monroe by Philippe Halsman

7. Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002)

Portrait of Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill by Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh is undoubtedly one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time. You may not be familiar with his name, but you’ve probably seen a few of his portraits.

His name reached global acclaim with his stunning portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. He went on to photograph some of the most iconic individuals of the 20th Century. These include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Muhammad Ali, and Nikita Khrushchev.

His style is clean and classy. The portraits are posed and deliberate. But they all pack a punch of personality and charm. Most modern portrait photographers owe a debt to Yousuf Karsh.

portrait of Khrushchev dressed in furs
Nikita Khrushchev by Yousuf Karsh

8. Robert Capa (1913-1954)

portrait of Ernest Hemingway lying in bed
Ernest Hemingway by Robert Capa

Some might be surprised to see Robert Capa on a list of famous portrait photographers. It’s true that he made his name as a photojournalist. But there’s a case to be made about Capa’s abilities as a portrait photographer.

Capa is famed for his courageous war reportage, with stunning images from the Spanish Civil War and World War II. But as you look through his collection, you’ll find it’s littered with captivating and enchanting portraits.

He died on the job in 1954, shooting the rising conflict in Vietnam. And much of his color photography and portraits have only come to light after his death. His noteworthy subjects include Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.

portrait of a woman in red shirt on a balcony
Capucine by Robert Capa

9. Arnold Newman (1918-2006)

Black and white portrait of Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman

Arnold Newman is an American photographer famed for his “environmental portraits.” Rather than ply his trade in a studio, he took his portrait photography into the wild. Although working on location, his portrait photos were still styled and considered. He combined a sense of freedom with a meticulous approach.

His portraits have been printed in Life, Fortune, and Newsweek magazines. He has portraits of some significant players from the 20th century. These include presidents like Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan and artists and musicians like Picasso and Stravinsky.

Portrait of Leonard Bernstein in a music studio
Leonard Bernstein by Arnold Newman

10. Richard Avedon (1923-2004)

portrait of Marilyn Monroe in a sparkly dress
Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon was an American fashion photographer born and raised in New York. His catalog oozes class and elegance. And his work as a portrait photographer is intelligent and creative, setting him apart from his peers.

His work spans several decades of the 20th century. And he has portraits of many notable figures from the arts, fashion, and politics. They include Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, and George H. W. Bush during his time as director of the CIA.

Avedon set the standard for portrait photographers to come. The elegance and coolness of his images have influenced many photographers who followed in his footsteps.

Model standing on her toes with dress blowing
Verushka by Richard Avedon

11. Herb Ritts (1952-2002)

Five naked super models
Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi by Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts defined a generation. He worked with some of the most famous people on the planet throughout the ’80s and ’90s. But to call him a celebrity photographer would be a disservice. His images are the definition of cool. And he produced some of the most iconic images of the period.

His sharp and stylish portraits led him to a career as a fashion photographer. And with his portrait photos, he helped establish the era of the supermodel. He worked with Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer.

Black and white portrait of Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer by Herb Ritts

12. Elliott Landy (1942- )

Bob Dylan and his son sitting at a table
Bob Dylan by Elliott Landy

Elliot Landy won’t be on everyone’s list of great portrait photographers. And I’ll admit this is a rather personal choice. But Elliott Landy played a significant role in defining an era of pop music.

Landy was a portrait photographer for some of the greatest music artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Some notable names are Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. But his best work as a portrait photographer comes from his collaborations with Bob Dylan and The Band.

The Band in the basement in New York
The Band by Elliott Landy

Famous Photographers Of Our Time

The following shooters are the most famous portrait photographers of the modern era. They’re the biggest names in portrait photography. And if you don’t know their work already, it’s time you do.

These portrait photographers are at the top of the photography profession. You’ll see their work in galleries across the globe and on the pages of major publications.

13. Annie Leibovitz

portrait of John Lennon sitting crossed legged on a white couch
John Lennon by Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz might be the most famous portrait photographer in the world right now. For the last 50 years, she’s blazed a trail in the portrait genre. Her portraits have graced the cover of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Vogue.

Annie Leibovitz has photographed nearly every celebrity you can imagine. The list includes presidents past and present to rock stars of mythical status. But rather than use their fame to enhance her portraits, her photos add grandeur to her portrait subjects.

She works in studios and on location. But the most striking aspect of her portrait photography is her composition. The shots are structured for a strong impact. But her subjects always have an air of openness.

Arnold Schwarzenegger on skis with a white snowy mountain background
Arnold Schwarzenegger by Annie Leibovitz

14. Steve McCurry

portrait of young girl in front of blue wall
Botswana Girl by Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is one of the most renowned photojournalists. He documents conflicts and hardships across the globe. His portrait work plays a huge part in his journalism, bringing depth and soul to his war reportage.

His subjects are the people he encounters on his travels. They’re the afflicted and the conflicted, the protagonists and the victims. McCurry adds humanity to conflicts that can seem abstract to newspaper readers.

McCurry has an eye for a powerful image. He picks his subjects with precision and photographs them with compassion. His images are some of the most recognizable portraits and stand out in an era of mass media.

portrait of a man from Yemen smoking shisha pipe
Yemeni Man by Steve McCurry

15. David LaChapelle

Bjork kneeling on a mirror with golden ships
Bjork by David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle has been on the rise as a professional photographer since the ’80s. And as a famous portrait photographer, he now sets the tone of modern pop culture.

LaChapelle has a bold style that combines a kitsch aesthetic with a surrealist sensibility. He’s not afraid to exaggerate with colors or styles. There’s a realism in his work, but he turns it up to 11.

David LaChapelle’s portraits have become a staple of popular music and culture. He’s worked with Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Tupac. Many of his images are just as iconic as the artists themselves.

portrait of Tupac having a bubble bath
Tupac Shakur by David LaChapelle

16. Mario Testino

Black and white portrait of Princess Diana
Princess Diana by Mario Testino

Mario Testino came to prominence in the ’90s, photographing huge names like Madonna and Kate Moss. But his true breakout came from his photoshoot of Princess Diana. This shoot defined him as a truly famous portrait photographer.

Testino’s portrait style is bright and clean, with a hint of old Hollywood glamor. His shots are styled and considered, with nothing left to chance. But his images have a familial quality. The subjects always seem at ease, like they’re in the company of friends.

portrait of Halle Berry in a brown dress
Halle Berry by Mario Testino

17. Mark Mann

Portrait of George Carlin with a joker playing card coming out of his shirt sleeve
George Carlin by Mark Mann

Mark Mann is a British portrait photographer. He’s made a name for himself as one of the finest celebrity portrait photographers. He’s worked with famous people in the arts, sports, and politics.

Mann’s portraits are rich in detail and color. He often uses a close-up composition for powerful and intimate portraits. Mann’s a master of the studio portrait. His lighting is deliberate but warm and sympathetic. He looks for the depths in his subjects.

Mark Mann has had his portraits published in every publication from Vanity Fair to Esquire. And his client list reads like a who’s who of Washington and Tinseltown.

Close up portrait of Adam Driver
Adam Driver by Mark Mann

18. Lorenzo Agius

Amy Adams in a blue dress leaning on a piano
Amy Adams by Lorenzo Agius

Lorenzo Agius is a British photographer. His work encapsulated the feel-good hedonism of the Brit Pop of the ’90s. His early work with Ewan McGregor brought him to prominence. And since then, he’s become one of the most famous portrait photographers.

You can still find the fun-loving aesthetic of his ’90s work in his modern work. His best portrait photos have a cheeky sense of fun. He has the style and compositional skills of a fashion photographer. But he always brings out the humor in his subjects.

Close portrait of Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie by Lorenzo Agius

19. Jimmy Nelson

portrait of a girl in traditional Mexican dress
Zapoteca, Oaxaca, Mexico by Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson is a British portrait photographer. But he’s also an extensive traveler photographing people from every corner of the earth. His portrait photography studies and celebrates traditional cultures worldwide.

Nelson’s portrait photography serves as a window into traditional cultures. His subjects wear the traditional dress of their people. And Nelson explores and examines everything in glorious detail. His portraits celebrate the heritage and roots of ancient cultures.

portrait of a young Maasai Tribesman
Massai, Tanzania by Jimmy Nelson

20. Peter Lindbergh

portrait of Kate Moss in Dungarees
Kate Moss by Peter Lindbergh

With a long and storied career, Peter Lindbergh has become one of the most well-respected portrait photographers in the fashion industry. His catalog is brimming with all the top models of the last few decades. And he’s constantly featured in fashion publications.

Often working in black and white, his portraits are sharp and dramatic. The shots are styled, but they have an atmosphere of casual disruption. His shots often seem like he took them during the break of the shoot. His relaxed approach brings the personality out of his subjects.

portrait of three models on a beach
Tatjana Patitz, Lynne Koester, Marie-Sophie Wilson by Peter Linderbergh

21. Martin Schoeller

portrait of Willem Defoe
Willem Defoe by Martin Schoeller

Martin Schoeller is a German photographer who perfects his trade in Hollywood. By photographing some of the film industry’s biggest stars, he’s become one of the best-known photographers in the world.

Schoeller has a distinct style that sets him apart from other portrait photographers. He’s a fan of the extreme close-up. He heightens the intensity with hard lighting and bright colors. And yet his portraits retain a warmth that’s drawn from his subjects.

He takes two different approaches. One is more minimalist, with nothing but lights and a plain backdrop. And the other is more stylized, with lavish sets and props.

Quentin Tarantino in a room with doves
Quentin Tarantino by Martin Schoeller

22. Alessio Albi

portrait of a model with head popping out of the sea
Amelia Zadro by Alessio Albi

Alessio Albi is an Italian portrait photographer working in the fashion industry. Relatively new to the fashion photography scene, he’s setting a new standard with his visionary and atmospheric compositions.

Albi’s portrait style blends realism with a stylized approach. He creates an atmosphere of heightened reality. He has a collection of fabulous studio portraits, often in dynamic black and white. But his location shots steal the show with their cinematic vision and depth.

Model holding cards in a smoky room
Lisa Louis Fratani by Alessio Albi

23. Kenneth Willardt

Close up portrait of model
Doutzen Kroes by Kenneth Willardt

Kenneth Willardt is a fashion photographer with a passion for close-up portraits. He’s one of the hottest contemporary portrait photographers in the fashion industry. And he’s become a mainstay of all the top fashion magazines.

His portraits are intense, popping with color and energy. Hair, makeup, and set design play a huge role in his photography. All this, combined with his strong compositions, makes his portrait work stand out from the crowd.

portrait of a model lifting sunglasses above eyes to reveal a tanline
Fabianne Tambosi by Kenneth Willardt

24. Jovana Rikalo

portrait of a woman with spiky crown holding flowers
Alexandra Denic by Jovana Rikalo

Jovana Rikalo is a fine art photographer. She uses her portraits to tell magical stories and create fairy tales. She has a unique style that evokes a mythical past, bringing legends to life.

Rikalo uses intricate costumes and set designs to create her scenes. She’s a visual storyteller, and each shot takes us on another step of the journey. Her portraits have incredible attention to detail. And her set design skills are matched by her camera work.

Close portrait of woman with half flower mask
Anja Lord by Jovana Rikalo

25. Philip Edsel

Woman in colorful clothes sitting on a tennis court
Dakota Luevano by Philip Edsel

Philip Edsel is a fashion photographer working in the sports arena. He’s worked with some of the greatest athletes of our generation. And he’s headed projects for the biggest sports brands, like Adidas and New Balance.

When you look through his collection, his portraits are always a highlight. His black and white photos are sharp and elegant. And his color photography is vibrant with near-neon tones. Edsel brings a cinematic eye to sports editorials.

Black and White portrait of Simone Biles
Simone Biles by Philip Edsel

26. Mert Alas

Portrait of woman in a dress
Zendaya by Mert Alas

Mert Alas is one of the top portrait photographers in the fashion industry. If you’ve leafed through a copy of Vogue in the last 20 years, you’ve seen some of his work. His work with Gucci and Versace has made him one of the most in-demand fashion photographers in the world.

His style ranges from highly styled to natural and laid back. He often uses lavish sets with extensive costume and makeup design. But much of his portrait work is candid with a fun-loving realism.

Portrait of woman in oversized green suit
Qiuqui by Mert Alas

27. Pamela Hanson

Black and white portrait of woman with headcloth
Beri Smither by Pamela Hanson

Pamela Hanson is one of the busiest women in portrait photography. Her photography is constantly featured in all the top fashion publications, making her one of the industry’s most famous photographers. Her portraits have recently graced the covers of Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

Hanson’s photos are intricately put together. But the atmosphere of her shots is always relaxed and natural. She brings the heart and soul out of her subjects, giving her portraits a warm glow.

You’ll find some heart-warming family portraits on her website. They show a different side to her portrait work.

portrait of a woman sitting in a cafe
Amber Valletta by Pamela Hanson

28. Joe McNally

Sweaty boxer sitting in the light of a window
Ray James by Joe McNally

Joe McNally is an American photographer. And his portraits have explored many areas of American pop culture. As an experienced photographer, he’s developed a powerful and unique style.

He’s produced portrait editorials for musicians, athletes, and fashion brands. He never fails to create memorable images. McNally has a detailed and illuminated style. He uses a mix of lighting to bring his subjects to the fore and create a sense of heightened reality.

portrait of priest holding a gold cross
Pastor Grier by Joe McNally

29. Erik Almas

Wide portrait of woman in grand hall

Erik Almas was born and raised in Norway. But his work as a professional photographer has taken him all over the globe. He’s created images used by some of the world’s biggest companies.

Almas has an expansive style of photography. His shots are bright and open. They contain many intricate details, but they never feel busy. He’s not shy when it comes to post-production techniques. But he also has a collection of minimalist portraits that are just as impressive.

portrait of a woman in floral swimming cap
(Model Unknown) Erik Almas

30. Lee Jeffries

Close up portrait in black and white
Frankie by Lee Jeffries

Perhaps more than any other portrait photographer, Lee Jeffries has an appreciation for the human face. His portraits are character studies. He examines every detail of the face, leaving nothing unseen.

Jeffries’s style is intense. He often uses extreme close-ups with a razor-sharp focus. And lighting is used to intensify the lines of the faces. Each portrait is a punch of personality. They’re almost intimidating!

Portrait in an abandoned building
Latoria by Lee Jeffries

31. Nirav Patel

Woman standing in the smoky light of a window
Britta Bug by Nirav Patel

Nirav Patel is a fine art photographer based in San Francisco. Portraits play a huge part in her dramatic photography, as she explores human emotion.

Patel’s portraits have a cinematic tone. Each shot is meticulously constructed to evoke emotion. Patel uses natural and soft lighting to create deeply atmospheric images. The color palette is rich and dark. But the photos buzz with energy.

Portrait of a woman with blue eyes
Eileen Field by Nirav Patel

Rising Stars of Portrait Photography

Now we’re moving on to the next generation of portrait photographers. These are the artists currently making a name for themselves in the portrait photography arena. They’re the portrait photographers to pay attention to.

32. Rosie Matheson

Close portrait of a man in a red hood
(Model Unknown) Rosie Matheson

Rosie Matheson is fast becoming one of the UK’s top portrait photographers. Her award-winning work continues to grab attention in the photography world. Matheson has turned to film photography, mainly using medium format cameras.

Matheson has a casual style of portrait. Her subjects are always relaxed like they’re hanging out with friends. She likes pastel colors and faded tones. Combined with a soft-focus, her portraits are warm and personal.

portrait of two brothers, one in focus and one out of focus
Elliott & Christian by Rosie Matheson

33. Sasha Aruntyunova

Profile portrait of Senator Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren by Sasha Aruntyunova

Sasha Aruntyunova is a Russian-American photographer currently living in Paris. Despite her young age, she’s heading straight to the top of the portrait photography world. Her subjects have included Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Sasha uses natural light to create deep and moody portraits. Although light is sometimes at a premium, her atmospheres remain joyful and warm. This approach to light gives us portraits that seem honest and authentic.

portrait of a girl in a pink jumper and hat
Chioma Ebinama by Sasha Aruntyunova

34. Justin Hogan

Portrait of DaBaby in cap and expensive jewelry
DaBaby by Justin Hogan

Justin Hogan is one of the finest young portrait photographers working with musicians and singers. He also has a collection of sports photography projects worthy of your attention.

For his portrait photography, Hogan mainly works in black and white. The deep tones of his work create warmth in his photos. Many of his shots are staged and planned, but they still have a sense of honesty.

Close up portrait of a man
Lil Yachty by Justin Hogan

35. Ire Chernova

Portrait of a woman with her face against a reflective surface
Maylisa by Ire Chernova

Ire Chernova is one of today’s best portrait photographers. She’s experimental and daring with her ideas. But she holds true to the original concepts of the genre. She gets to the heart of her subjects with warm and personal portraits.

Her compositions are bold. And she confronts interesting themes in her work. But her portraits are always humane with a soft affection. She always gives her subjects the respect they deserve. And this is repaid with openness from her subjects.

a shirtless man wearing three silver chains
IDK by Ire Chernova

36. Rhiannon Adam

Close up of a shirtless man under a tree
Lindsay by Rhiannon Adam

Rhiannon Adam is an Irish portrait photographer based in London. Her photography combines travel and photojournalism. Portraits play a huge role in her work, as she documents the people she encounters on the road.

Adam has an honest and authentic style. She photographs people as they are. There’s no fancy trickery or effects. There’s a bond between her camera and her subjects. This approach allows her to give an honest portrayal of real people. Writing also plays an important role in her work, and she’s as skilled with a pen as she is with a camera.

Portrait of bearded man in a collared shirt
Michael by Rhiannon Adam

37. Manny Librodo

portrait of a young girl in traditional dress
(Model Unknown) Manny Librodo

Manny Librodo uses portrait photography to celebrate different cultures around the world. His shots are stylized and constructed. But they are true and respectful to the traditions they depict.

His color palette is deep and rich. And he enhances the colors of traditional clothing to make his portraits stand out. Librodo’s portraits photos are full of details, with everything deliberate and considered. His library will take you on a trip around the world.

Close up portrait of girl in shawl
(Model Unknown) Manny Librodo

38. J. Flynn

Portrait of blond girl
Ambar Driscoll by J. Flynn

J. Flynn is a London-based photographer. And he’s fast becoming one of the most exciting and in-demand portrait photographers in the UK.

His portraits have a casual style. Every shot seems candid and natural. The focus is slightly soft. And the color tones are muted, giving his images a rich but soft finish. The rapport he has with his subjects is clear in every portrait. You feel as if you’re in the company of friends.

Studio portrait of man in pink hoodie
J. Appiah by J. Flynn

39. Olivia Bee

portrait of a girl with pig tails outside
Maggie Rogers by Olivia Bee

If you’re into the alternative music scene in the USA, you might be familiar with Bee’s work already. She’s a rising star in music photography, with her portraits appearing on album covers and in Billboard magazine.

Her portrait style is earthy and honest. It invokes the portraits of folk and country stars of past ages. Her portraits are down to earth with a hint of 21st-century reverie.

portrait of a man in cowboy hat in the desert
Brandon Flowers by Olivia Bee

40. Kelly Ann Bobb

Portrait of man and woman
Jabari Quashie and Analise Cleopatra by Kelly Ann Bobb

Kelly Ann Bobb is a professional portrait photographer from Trinidad. She’s new, but she’s already turning heads with her vibrant approach.

She takes a traditional approach to portraits. She shoots in film, using 35mm and larger format cameras. And her studio compositions echo the portraits of photographers from the early 20th century. Her location work embraces her culture and her environment. She celebrates Trinidad with her photography.

Black and white full-body portrait
Kegan Gulstan by Kelly Ann Bobb

41. David Lazar

portrait of a balinese dancer in traditional clothes
Balinese Dancer by David Lazar

David Lazar is a young travel photographer from Australia. He has many spectacular landscape and travel shots. But his portraits are the jewels on the crown.

Lazar uses portraits to explore cultures all around the world. He goes on journeys, but it’s about the people he meets. More than any landscape, the people are his subject.

portrait of an old man smoking a pipe
Burmese Man by David Lazar

42. Clement Pascal

Man sitting in a waiting room
Samuel by Clement Pascal

Clement Pascal is setting new trends in the world of portrait photographers. He’s new to the fashion business, but his portrait style is becoming more and more popular.

His portraits have a gentle feel. All the lighting is natural, and he loves muted color tones. It gives his portraits a feeling of familiarity. The subjects are relaxed and natural, making the viewer feel the same.

portrait of a woman in a big jumper
Amy by Clement Pascal

43. Omar Victor Diop

Man sitting in suit with green bow tie
Self Portrait by Omar Victor Diop

Omar Victor Diop is a master of self-portraits. More often than not, he’s his own subject. But he also takes excellent portraits of others. His distinct style is turning heads across Europe and America.

His portraits have a 19th-century influence, often resembling paintings of that period. And there’s a knowing nod to Orientalism in his designs. The stunning portraits are alive with color, using bright reds, yellows, and greens. It’s humorous and celebrates traditional cultures.

A composite of the same man in different cardigans
Adama Boudoir by Omar Victor Diop

44. Nina Masic

Close up of woman's face
Joyce Almeida by Nina Masic

Nina Masic is a young German photographer breaking into the fashion business with her elegant and stylish portraits. Her profile is quickly on the rise.

Masic has a clean and fresh style of portrait. She uses closely-cropped compositions. And she’s able to match everything in her photos to the skin tones of her subjects. It comes together for a styled yet natural-looking portrait.

portrait of a woman touching her neck with her fingers
Daria Skrygina by Nina Masic

45. Zhamak Fullad

portrait of a man with a gold chain taking a bubble bath
Evan Mock by Zhamak Fullad

She may be young, but Zhamak Fullad is becoming one of the hottest portrait photographers around. Her candid, anarchic style is making her popular with top brands like Calvin Klein and Puma.

Her portraits are characterized by a high-energy and chaotic atmosphere. It’s as if nothing is planned and everything is done on the fly. The DIY appearance also comes from her mixed media approach, as she sometimes uses film and Polaroid cameras.

Woman sitting on a blanket outside
Reignjudge by Zhamak Fullad

46. Caroline Mackintosh

portrait of a girl with her hands in the air
“Lilac Dreams” by Caroline Mackintosh

Caroline Mackintosh combines fine art and portrait photography, creating fabulous images that promote freedom and openness. And there’s a hint of cultural studies in there too.

Her style is all-natural. The light is natural and everything is shot outdoors. The colors come from the environment and the subjects are in harmony with them. Her work is a celebration of the natural world and our place in it.

portrait of a girl in yellow dress on the beach
Bee Beardsworth by Caroline Mackintosh

Conclusion

That was our list of the best portrait photographers of past, present, and future. Their portraits have excited and enticed us for more than a century. And the rising stars of portrait photography are setting new standards.

This list is packed full of portraits to get you inspired. Check out their work and think about incorporating some of their styles into your own portraits!

Check out our Fairytale Portraits course from Jovana Rikalo—one of the photographers on this list— to get amazing inspiration and instruction for your next portrait!

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