With over 14 years in the photography world, we’ve featured a vast number of photographers on our site. Many of them got a major boost to their careers after we featured them. And a category that we’ve strayed away from is Fashion Photography. We love what the most influential fashion photographers do and all the creativity that they put into their work. Our interviews and features are often on those who are much more creative, ethereal, magical, and those who don’t use a lot of Photoshop. And in this roundup of the best fashion photographers that we’ve put the spotlight on, you’ll see why we love them.
All images were used with the permission of the best fashion photographers in our interviews.
Table of Contents
Who doesn’t like film fashion photography? Well, photographer Lena Pogrebnaya does! And the fun of this is reflected in the fashion photographs she makes. Go ahead and check out Lena Pogrebnaya’s website for more.
“The reason I stick with analog is because I want to resist to this sort of “photoshop culture” that seems to be dominating fashion photography for instance. I’d like to be in a position where I could do portraits for a brand or company and show them that a photographer with talent and thought into his work will add more to the model showing off their products.”
Read more in our interview and check out his Instagram. His ethics on not using Photoshop in his fashion portraits is something that so many influential fashion photographers should heed. It’s very important and underlooked in the fashion world.
Nairobi-based Osborne Macharia is a colorful inspiration working with male models for both fans and practitioners of fashion photography. According to Osborne, Kevo’s father was a fashion visionary who rallied his friends and colleagues to brighten the tailoring industry in the ghetto. To do this, they fused their own designs with readily available pieces and collections sourced from thrift stores. You can see more in our interview.
I think one of the most common misconceptions about fashion/lifestyle photography is that you need expensive camera gear to take good photos. You’d be surprised by how often I pull out my iPhone to take photos — I’ve even posted a few on my Instagram
That quote should be in the ears of aspiring fashion photographers everywhere. American Photographer Derrick Freske in our interview featuring his bold lighting and fashion images. Then check out his website.
Fog is to me like paper to a painter: It’s the white space where I arrange the picture elements. And I like the mysterious quality of fog moods.
Fashion Photographer Jvdas Berra has shot for renounced companies like Vogue, ELLE, Nylon, Marie Claire, InStyle, Image Amplified, Vanidades, Photography Master Class, and NatGeo, among others. And we’ve talked him about his many fine art and fashion productions, but here’s one interview.
Underwater fashion shoots evolved from my desire to constantly practice and create. I started out shooting in swimming pools with swim team friends and lifeguards mainly as a way to test out my underwater photography gear and practice different techniques for shooting in the ocean. This grew into experimenting with my wife, who does some fitness modeling.
Photographer Ken Kiefer uses surreal aesthetics to make his underwater photos. He foregoes white paper backdrops for the beauty that water gives us. Indeed, he’s unusual amongst fashion photographers, but still absolutely incredible. And you can find out more in our interview with him.
Professional Photographer Elizaveta Porodina is widely adored for her work in the fashion world. At the moment of publishing this, she has an exhibit in Fotographiska here in NYC. Her work takes inspiration from vintage aesthetics, bold lighting, and so much more. You can check out this incredible work in our feature.
I’m mostly always involved in what my subjects wear, 90% of the time. I style most of my shoots, or have suggested what the person should wear. I love styling people and I’m really good at it. I try to pull out the best colors, clothing, shapes based on the person and the type of shoot. I encourage my subjects to feel powerful, beautiful, strong in the clothing they’re wearing.
Check out our interview with Chantel. As you can see in our feature and her website, her fashion portraits aren’t always in the studio. She’s one of our favorite fashion photographers because she uses magical elements that add just a bit of extra sparkle to make you fall in love with her photos.
I don’t intentionally create dramatic images. However, I do intend to strip a certain facade from my collaborators, which is oftentimes a forced smile or laugh. I don’t speak to a person while I’m shooting them. Instead, I offer a safe and internal space which can sometimes garner a more serious or dramatic look. It’s a scary thing to open oneself to a truth.
Mark DePaola is one of those famous fashion photographers that you can’t help but adore. He hates doing post-production. Despite that being a big trend, his work has been in Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, Gucci, McQueen, Miyake, and other brands! This freelance photographer will truly blow you away! Of course, it’s not all just him. He’s huge on giving credit to his producer, Sage, and the various make up artists they work with. We think you’ll love one of our interviews with him.
Marta’s photography is absolutely beautiful! There are elements that harken back to Avedon’s early career and the many shoots you might see in Harper’s Bazaar or other magazines! You can see more on her Instagram and in our feature on her. Marta is definitely one of the contemporary fashion photographers you don’t want to miss out on.
I think my conceptual frameworks usually come from something very personal, like working out past traumas. But for visuals, I look at other people’s pictures, paintings, sculptures, films, fiction, architecture renderings, music experiences, real-life relationships, and travel. I’m constantly curious about how people use visuals to express what they express.
It’s easy to fall in love with Fashion Photographer Michelle Watt’s portfolio. In our mind, she’s one of the most brilliant minds around when it comes to using color effectively in fashion shoots. She uses a storytelling technique like no other. No wonder she’s one of the fashion photographers that’s worked for renounced companies like ELLE, Time, and a slew of others. Take a look at our interview with her spotlight her fashion photography and her backstory!
I ended up getting into fashion, my true passion, by building a personal portfolio on my own time and using that to connect with the people I wanted to work alongside. I actually started calling myself a fashion photographer before I had even shot anything fashion; I played the part long enough to fall into it. It was incredibly scary but so rewarding.
Living the dream, right? Getting into fashion photography was always the goal for this one! Photographer Gina Manning is a high-concept fashion photographer that brings a cinematic quality to every shoot she designs–and many of her photos remind us of comic books and similar stylizations. You can see more in our interview with her.
C. Stephen Hurst
The human face. It is more complex and striking than any landscape I have come across. I started out shooting street photography but became frustrated with how many ‘decisive moments’ I missed. I couldn’t go up to the stranger on the street and ask them for a redo. ‘Sir, could you walk around the corner just like you did fifteen seconds ago, chewing veraciously on that toothpick, but this time turn your face toward the refracted light beam coming from the building across the street. Let me shoot three to six frames of you as you catch me, disapprovingly, out of the corner of your eye.’
C. Stephen Hurst is a fashion photographer based in Brooklyn, NY that is behind one of the more popular features that we’ve done on our site over the years. Photographers that do great fashion photography in the NYC subway are always appealing because of how random the shoots can get.
Lately I have been trying to plan them a bit more, at the very least roughly research the location and I have to say it’s been paying off. However, a lot of my shoots are totally spontaneous. I rarely do story boards. If anything, I have a couple of pre visualized shots in my head, but in the end most of it is improvised. I’m not good at planning and like it that way.
Fashion Photographer Luc Kordas has been featured on our site a few times. He thinks the fashion world is kind of superficial. And he often does a lot of work outside of the fashion industry that includes street photography, dance photography, and more. His fashion photography work is truly fascinating and hypnotic.
I shoot the stories I see in my head, the images that want to manifest themselves onto a page. They mostly have a life, voice and shape of their own.
I mean, how do we have a list without this absolute queen among famous fashion photographers today? Photographer Ingrid Alice hails from South Africa and incorporates a fairy tale aesthetic into her photos via costume and art direction. We’ve interviewed her a few times over the years and helped her even get her career a jumpstart to working with advertising companies and more. Her fashion photography work continues to be the star in the sky that I want to stare at all night.
Ilona D. Veresk
I can tell this it is more psychology than pro skills or something else. As well I can take pictures of the flowers and enjoy my life. But the work with a big team teaches you to be calm and balanced because you are the head of the whole process and if you start to get nervous or panic – all your efforts go down the drain.
I hate blues, I think a lot of my images have very minimal blues haha. It might not be super noticeable at times but I almost ALWAYS turn those down. But also I love lines in images so I always try and get those vanishing lines.
Photographer John Kingston is a creative that takes many elements of defining American visual culture and incorporates them into his fashion photography. You’ll see influences from movies, paintings, and more here. Take a look at our interview!
In terms of visual inspiration, I love collecting old issues of Vogue magazine to page through and regularly scan Ebay for stacks of old fashion magazines. I also have an extensive collection of the magazine Black and White (also found on Ebay). All of my mood boards are built on Pinterest.
Photographer Shanyn Fiske is an academic and studied tons of different important fashion photographers over the years. Specifically, she’s studied a lot of looks in the fashion industry that come through in her work. These days she’s creating very stunning fashion photographs. You can see more in our interview with her. Sooner or later, she’ll be one of those famous fashion photographers you read about in text books.
I never know what I’m gonna do until I get there. It’s the energy on set, the people, the artist, the talent that start to give me life. I do what compliments it all, from the clothes, the makeup and the hair to the light that suits the model the most.
Solmaz Saberi is one of those awesome German Fashion Photographers that would love digging through her mother’s closet to play dress up. This inevitably lead to her getting into fashion photography. See more in our interview with her.
Photographer Benjo Arwas is one of the many fashion photographers that takes inspiration from retro and vintage aesthetics. In fact, he uses Kodak Tri-X at times to get the look that we highlighted in our feature. The look runs holistically through his fashion photography work (and the fashion industry in general) via the art direction and the well produced videos being done with 8mm film. Go look!
When I was a fashion editor, I was responsible for editing all the film and it’s a skill I bring to my own work. There are images that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. A photograph must have a certain kind of magic, be elevated, and show a level of excellence. I juror a lot of shows for different organizations and I am keenly aware of what photographs rise to the top.
It’s really hard to not like Aline Smithson’s Fashion Photography. Take a look through our interview, and you’ll see a gorgeous retro aesthetic running through all the photos. She’s an incredible photographer that’s had her work in Harper’s Bazaar and is now the Editor in Chief of Lenscratch. But before this, she worked with some of the most famous fashion photographers and a Fashion Editor. Fun fact: there was no costume designer involved with the photos we look at. You’ll see!
What we really love about fashion photographers like Elena Iv-skaya is how her work promotes reasonable standards of beauty. This is more important than we think in fashion photography. You can see exactly what we mean in her feature on our site.
Create and don’t stop. Be passionate and obsessed with your work, not money or people. Write down your goals and look at them daily. Find the root style and subject you want to create. Don’t obsess over other photographers.
Photographer Bliss Katherine started out in the fashion industry very young. She grabbed her father’s camera and her photography begun to attract a lot of important names. Eventually, she became a very in-demand freelance photographer working for advertising companies and more. You can see more of her story in our interview with her.
Marissa’s work has been published in Freedom Magazine, Boredom Magazine, and Lucy’s Magazine, as well as exhibited in New York and Paris. Her work was inspired and influenced by the most famous fashion photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, and Alexi Lubomirski. With a mix of folks like that, how can you go wrong? Check out our feature on her.
In our feature, we really talk about Thiago’s use of colors. He’s one of our favorite fhasion photographers from Brazil with a diverse collection of work. Check out the rest of Thiago Botelho’s work on his Behance portfolio
Sonia doesn’t really work in a photography studio. Instead, she’s one of those fashion photographers that goes out into the world and creates intriguing compositons with what she has. You can see this in our feature. Check out Sonia Szóstak’s website for more.
Submit Your Fashion Photography to Us!
We’d love to consider featuring your fashion photography. As you see in this roundup, we try to do a lot differently. These are some of the best fashion photographers that we’ve featured over the years. Who do you think is the best? Is it you? Show us your work and let us know why it’s some of the best in the photography world.