Best Portrait Photographers

Hello everybody, hope you’re all doing well and have managed to have a good week. It’s been eventful not only in politics but also for me and my family. You honestly won’t believe me when I tell you that my dad ended up breaking his hand last Wednesday (on his birthday of all days) so we spent most of the morning at the hospital to have it seen to, and then on Thursday my sister informed us that my nephew broke his leg (his first broken bone bless him), and to finish last week off this next thing that happened is minor compared to what my dad and nephew went through …on Friday whilst I was out shopping in my wheelchair, I was appalled on how many people smacked into my chair without so much as issuing an apology after, speaking on behalf as a wheelchair user and for people with pushchairs/prams, please be careful of others whether you are inside or out, as we’re all trying to get somewhere, there’s no need to smash into other people and hurt someone, if you bump into somebody by accident, please don’t forget to say you’re sorry as an apology really does go a long way.

Anyway moving on from that, let’s move on with today’s post…One of the more common types of photography, especially in the digital age of the “selfie“, is portrait photography. Also known as portraiture, portrait photography is the art of taking a photo of a single person or group of people, capturing their most real mood and emotion. 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.

George Hurrell

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 became acquainted with the camera while in art school, because students typically photographed various indoor and outdoor scenes to use as reference while painting. It was his good friend Pancho who convinced him to take a photography job working for MGM when he was offered one in early October 1929. At first he hesitated, thinking that he’d play ‘hard to get.’ Also, he was an independent type person, and didn’t immediately warm to the idea of working for anyone — even if it was MGM. But then in late October, the stock market crashed. People lost fortunes over night, and even stock brokers were jumping out of windows in desperation. It was the start of the Great Depression. Pancho encouraged her friend to take the job. She even offered to fly him up to Culver City to MGM’s employment office so he could sign his employment contract. Hurrell took her advice. Pancho flew him to his meeting, and on the flight back to Laguna Beach, Hurrell ‘wing walked’ on her plane in celebration.

Veronica Lake by George Hurrell

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.

To view more of George’s Photo’s click on the link ><

Yousuf Karsh

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. Throughout his life, Karsh photographed “anyone who was anyone.” By the time he retired in 1992, more than 20 of his photos had appeared on the cover of Life magazine. Karsh’s photos were known for their use of dramatic lighting, which became the hallmark of his portrait style. He had studied it with both Garo in Boston and at the Ottawa Little Theatre, of which he was a member. Before a sitting, Karsh researched his subjects and talked to them.

Winston Churchill by Yousuf Karsh

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.

To view more of Yousuf’s photo’s click the link ><

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus was an American photographer. She photographed a wide range of subjects including strippers, carnival performers, nudists, people with dwarfism, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families. She photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, and in the park. Arbus’s style is said to be “direct and unadorned, a frontal portrait centered in a square format. Her pioneering use of flash in daylight isolated the subjects from the background, which contributed to the photos’ surreal quality.” Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years.

Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967 by Diane Arbus

She has been called “a seminal figure in modern-day photography and an influence on three generations of photographers” and is widely considered to be among the most influential artists of the last century. When the film The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick, was released to cinemas worldwide in 1980 and became hugely successful, millions of moviegoers experienced Diane Arbus’ legacy without realizing it. The movie’s recurring characters of identical twin girls who are wearing identical dresses appear on-screen as a result of a suggestion Kubrick received from crew member Leon Vitali. Not only did Vitali videotape and interview 5,000 kids to find [the right child actor to portray] Jack Nicholson’s [character’s] son, Danny, but he was also responsible for discovering the creepy twin sisters on the final day of auditions. The pair, in fact, weren’t twins in Kubrick’s script, and it was Vitali who immediately suggested Diane Arbus’ infamous photo of two identical twin sisters as a point of reference.

To view more of Diane’s photo’s click the link ><

Richard Avedon

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. In 1946, Avedon set up his own studio and began providing images for magazines including Vogue and Life. He became the chief photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. From 1950, he also contributed photographs to Look and Graphis. In 1952, he became staff editor/photographer for Theatre Arts Magazine. However, towards the end of the 1950s, he became dissatisfied with daylight photography and open-air locations and so turned to studio photography, using strobe lighting.

Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon

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 was always interested in how portraiture captures the personality and soul of its subject. As his reputation as a photographer became widely known, he photographed many public figures in his studio with a large-format 8×10 view camera. His subjects include Buster Keaton, Marian Anderson, Marilyn Monroe, Ezra Pound, Isak Dinesen, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Andy Warhol, and the Chicago Seven.

To view more of Richard’s photo’s click the link ><

David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle

Starting from the ’80s, David became one of the most famous portrait photographers. As a teenager, David worked as a photographer for Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. David’s unique perception of popular culture and comical hyperbolized realism is typically referred to as “kitsch pop surrealism.” His first photograph was of his mother Helga on a family vacation in Puerto Rico. LaChapelle credits his mother for influencing his art direction in the way she set up scenes for family photos in his youth.

Elton John by David LaChapelle

There is a hidden meaning in the way he exaggerates the colors, styles, and ideas. David photographed the leading stars of the modern music industry such as Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Tupac Shakur, and athletes such as Lance Armstrong and Muhammad Ali. LaChapelle’s images “both bizarre and gorgeous have forged a singular style that is unique, original, and perfectly unmistakable. His photographs have been collected in a number of books. Once called the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has worked for international publications and has had his work exhibited in commercial galleries and institutions around the world.

To view more of David’s photo’s click the link ><

Annie Leibovitz

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. 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.

Susan Sarandon by Annie Leibovitz

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. A great number of Vogue covers were also created under her guidance. She was called one of the top portrait photographers of the second half of the 20th century due to the popular culture vibe reflected in her imagery.

To view more of Annie’s photo’s click the link ><

Mario Testino

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. In his portraits, Mario recreates certain day-to-day scenes while involving big groups of people in order to make the shot as realistic as possible.

Princess Diana by Mario Testino

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. His primary achievement includes more than 40 exhibitions all around the world. When Mario achieved recognition as a celebrity portrait photographer, he decided to try his hand at other roles such as businessman, museum founder, creative director, and art enthusiast.

To view more of Mario’s photo’s click the link ><

Arnold Newman

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. Newman is often credited with being the photographer who articulated and who consistently employed the genre of environmental portraiture, in which the photographer uses a carefully framed and lit setting, and its contents, to symbolize the individual’s life and work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene.

Pablo Picasso by Arnold Newman

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. Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer.

To view more of Arnold’s photo’s click the link ><

Julia Margaret Cameron

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.

Charles Darwin by Julia Margaret Cameron

She was a pioneer in this field, which is truly exceptional for a woman at that time. She received a camera later in life, at age 48, and begin photographing as a hobby. 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. Because she never desired to open and run a commercial studio, she developed a style quite unique and opposite of the portrait photographers of the era. As such, her work was criticized by her peers as out of focus and poor quality.

To view more of Julia’s photo’s click the link ><

Peter Lindbergh

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. Peter’s peculiar style is characterized by minimalism. In his images, models are shot in the studio, on a neutral background, wearing conservative outfits, with simply styled hair and barely visible makeup.

Kate Moss by Peter Lindbergh

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. His works are clearly inspired by the 1920s expressionistic German school of film photographers. The recognizable and ageless looks that he demonstrates in his shots, make Peter an absolutely famous portrait photographer.

To view more of Peter’s photo’s click the link ><

Philippe Halsman

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. When Halsman left Austria for France, he began contributing photographs to fashion magazines such as Vogue, and soon gained a reputation as one of the best portrait photographers in France, renowned for images that were sharp rather than in soft focus as was often used, and closely cropped.

Salvador Dali by Philippe Halsman

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. In 1951 Halsman was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Groucho Marx, and Bob Hope. While photographing the comedians doing their acts, he captured many of the comedians jumping, in mid-air, which went on to inspire many later jump pictures of celebrities including the Ford family, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marilyn Monroe, María Félix and Richard Nixon. As well as Salvador Dali, prominent subjects include Albert Einstein and Muhammad Ali. His skill behind the camera also led to a career as a fashion photographer.

To view more of Philippe’s photo’s click the link ><

Portrait photographers take pictures of people showing their emotions and feelings. Contemporary portrait photographers take fashion portrait photos; photos of strangers, friends, children, family members, or even self-portraits. If you are going to become a professional portrait shooter, I hope you found inspiration from this list.

Thank you for coming to my blog and reading today’s post, I hope you all have a lovely week and I shall see you next time!

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