16 Portrait Photographers With Photos Well Worth Your Admiration

All images in this post are used with permission. Lead photo by C. Stephen Hurst.

Portrait photography is a fine balance between communication, creative vision, mise-en-scene and knowledge on how to produce particular effects in a photo. And over the years, the Phoblographer has interviewed a ton of great portrait photographers. We went back in our archives to showcase their work in his awesome roundup just for you.

Paul Van Bueren

Modern Fifties: Waiting Model: Elena MUA + Styling on set: Ingeborg Soolsma Wardrope Styling: Paulien Suykerbuyk Cambo SC-1 Kodak Portra 160 NC 4×5″

The thing about film is that the small format stuff is cheap, easy to use, and can give you really beautiful results in the right hands–but photographers like Paul van Bueren show that it’s the large format photographers that are the real masters here. I found his work on Behance, and immediately became smitten with his telling portraits of people. I was further enthused to learn that they’re all done with analog cameras; and that Paul thoroughly enjoys the organic process involved in creating the images he does.

Read more in our interview.

John Kingston

When it comes to lifestyle portrait photography, photographer John Kingston is one that lives the dream of many. He gets to travel, come up with creative concepts, work with cool people and use his creative vision. Lots of his work finds a way to combine landscapes and portraiture into one, and beyond that he’s also incredibly conscious of color palettes.

Read more over at our Interview.

C. Stephen Hurst

“The real turning point though was when I was diagnosed with cancer.” says C. Stephen Hurst about how he got into photography. I accepted the possibility that the lymphoma would kill me but I couldn’t accept that my work as photographer, and not a painter, would end.” Indeed, when you’re on a deadline like this, you try to do as much as you can in the time that you have left.

Read more in our interview.

Matt Hamon

Matt Hamon is a harvest hunter in Montana, meaning he hunts as a primary source of meat for his family – not for sport. One day while searching for information on butchering wild game, Hamon came across a blog about the Buffalo Scavenging Project. “Each year they attend the Native American treaty hunt on the boundary of Yellowstone National Park and assist Native American hunters with field dressing and packing of buffalo.” Hamon tells the Phoblographer about his project The Gleaners. The discovery inspired Hamon to reach out to the scavengers about coming out to their annual camp to capture the event. Long story short, they accepted his offer/request.

Read more over at our interview.

Lester Cannon

Lester Cannon is one of the more inspirational photographers I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing. You see, Lester is on our list of the most inspirational photographers of the year–and he’s all about shooting film when he can for his personal work, though he also works in digital. He also believes that digital cameras are creating impotent photographers–which I completely agree with. But above all, Lester understands that when it comes to creating portraits, it’s about your subject, not you.

Read more over at our interview.

Jonathan Moore

“I think I’ve been multi-talented in the arts for a long time and photography just stuck with me.” says photographer Jonathan Moore in an email to the Phoblographer. “I grew up in a few small towns in Tennessee. After high school, I worked odd jobs and toured the southeast playing guitar in a hardcore band.” Art stuck with and evolved with Jon quite a bit: from music into graphic design and then photography. Jon’s photographs draw obvious inspiration from movies and you can see influences from Stranger Things and Lord of the Rings for sure.

Read more over at our interview.

Steffen Stranden

Steffen Stranden is a photography enthusiast that hails from Norway. We ran into his photos on the Analog subreddit and fell in love with the scenes. Steffen worked on a self-portraiture series that brings humanity back to nature while also incorporating eerie yet almost hidden elements to the images that reminds us of dark fantasies from childhood that grew up and evolved to incorporate more mature themes.

We chatted a bit with Steffen about the photo series and why he made the creative choices that he did.

Read more over at our interview.

Kate Hook

Photographer Kate Hook was always into film photography–it stems from when she was really young. When she went to college, her friends never understood film and how to use it. But like a number of us millenials, Kate grew up in a world that started out with film, then went digital and is now going back to film. In college, she was the one who had to teach all her colleagues how to use it. Kate went digital for a while and then went back to film with the belief that you don’t need a whole lot of gear to create the best photos; just the right gear for you.

Read more over at our interview.

Dave Kai Piper

Photographer Dave Kai-Piper is a Commercial and Editorial photographer based in London; and his photography has grown and evolved a lot over the past couple of years; which includes a sponsorship with Fujifilm. Part of every photographer’s career involves experimentation; and for Dave this involves doing nude portraiture. This form helped him combine many parts of his creative self: specifically blending his love of Rock music, photography, and the human form.

To Dave, a nude person is just a nude person.

Read more of our interview.

Anastasiya Egonyan

After looking through the Behance profile of Anastasiya Egonyan, one sees not only intimate and very good portraiture, but a sense of respect for the models and their beauty. The images show a sense of admiration for the human body as well as interesting ideas and use of lighting. Combine this with Ms. Egonyan’s use of grain, and you’ve got a winning combo.

Read more over at our interview.

Bruno Massao

Photographer Bruno Massao is a 29 years old half-Brazilian half-Japanese creative that has been shooting for over 10 years.

He first got into photography from his great grandfather–who was more of a videographer. But the affinity for the art form stayed in his family and he did it in school with support from his father. Bruno’s dad loved photography and still does even though now he just uses his phone. However, Bruno sticks to the analogue ways.

Read more over at our interview.

Ingrid Alice

Ingrid Alice is a Creative Director by trade, but is also smitten for photography. Her experiences help her to mold specific visions in her images and she is a photographer that firmly believes that light is everything.

I found her work on Behance, and after going through her Lost in Yonkers project as well as various others, I found her work to be unique, captivating, and refreshing. Fashion photography for many years had a big emphasis on being a large scale production with the exception of some of the more street style jobs that we see today. Like the old school of wedding photography, there were lots of chefs at the pot working to ensure that the best of the best was created and nothing more.

Read more at our interview.

Carl Jeffers

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

“A lot of my inspiration for a shoot comes from the actual location.” says Photographer Carl Jeffers–the winner for our Natural Light Portrait mission with EyeEm. “I spend a lot of time exploring and researching my locations, even down to where the light will fall at that specific point in the day.” The 27 year old photographer hails from Preston in the UK. Like many of us, he’s started out by photographing friends and finding ways to make them look great.

Read more in our interview.

Alex Kolodyazhni

Ukranian photographer Alex Kolodyazhni is creating stunning beauty, lingerie and fashion portraiture all over the world. Kolodyazhni’s work, or much of it, at any rate, has this very well processed and cinematic look with an intimate lifestyle feeling to it.

Bright, yet soft, window light in a home, apartment or hotel; these are some of the trademarks of Kolodyazhni’s work and some of what caught our attention. But beyond this, the almost cinematic quality to the processed images also really take these images up from your standard lifestyle in-home look and take it up a notch.

You can check out more in our interview.

Kartin Viil

“I’ve always been a creative mind.” explains photographer Katrin Viil. “First taking photos of myself, then friends, models, clients etc. I started out with self portraits and male nudes.” Katrin hails from Amsterdam and considers herself a fine art photographer specializing in couples, fetish, fashion, erotica and portraits. Indeed, for Katrin the traditional genres were way too boring.

Read more over at our interview.

Michael Afonso

I found photographer Michael Afonso years ago on Flickr and other photo forums when he was still cutting his teeth as a portrait shooter. He would often ask for advice on how to make his images better in the same ways that others do. Today, he’s a Graphic Designer, Photographer and Videographer. “Currently living in Florida, my true home is surrounded by trees and nature without the tropical appeal. For the past several years i’ve been doing what I love most.” says Michael.

Read more in our interview.