Inspiration in photography is often hard to find because there are so many photographers hoping to make a name for themselves. I’ve discovered some truly amazing photographers throughout the years who I believe everyone should follow for photographic insight and creative inspiration. Here is a list of my favorite photographers, in order of who I think is absolutely phenomenal to who I think is still pretty amazing, along with some honorable mentions.
*disclaimer: all opinions are my own I think each of these photographers is amazing and they’ve all helped me grow in separate ways, take these ratings with a grain of salt. These are also only my favorite photographers from this era, this does not include the greats I’ve made multiple blog posts on them in previous years.*
Peter Lik is one of the most amazing photographers ever to exist. His image Phantom sold for a record-breaking $6.5 million and for good reason, because his work is absolutely phenomenal. Lik creates landscapes that make you feel as though you are standing right there in front of whatever he photographs. His images are reminiscent of Ansel Adams in terms of skill level. I was lucky enough to visit one of his galleries in Houston and I was blown away by his work I had to keep telling myself that everything was real because it was so astounding.
BEST overall PHOTOGRAPHER
Joey Lawrence, in my opinion, is the best photographer of 2018. Lawrence’s photographs are stunning, each one is crafted with an artistic touch and each photograph tells a different story than the others. He has been featured in many magazines for his extraordinary work as well as being a photographer in Jessica Kobeissi’s 4 photographers shoot the same model series.
@joeyldotcom on Instagram
BEST millennial PHOTOGRAPHER
Longnecker is an outdoor/landscape photographer who focuses on creating emotion and telling a story simply through landscapes. His landscape work is amazing, with gorgeous colors, beautiful use of composition and the ability to draw an almost abstract quality into all of his images.
@ryanlongnecker on Instagram
BEST current LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
Platon is a British photographer often known for his ability to capture emotion simply through the eyes of his subject. Many of you may already know Platon from his Netflix episode on the show “Abstract”. Platon primarily photographs world leaders, celebrities, and politicians showing a different side of them than the public eye might see.
@platon on Instagram
BEST current PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
Daniel Inskeep + Rachel Gulotta
Daniel Inskeep and Rachel Gulotta are a photographic duo often referred to as Mango Street on Youtube. Their images are thought-provoking, often using odd poses, clothing or makeup to evoke a unique tone in all of their images. They often are referred to as “VSCO photographers” because many believe their images are very Instagram ready and coincide with a theme similar to one that might be seen on the app VSCO. Mango Street has inspired me a lot as a photographer in the way I edit and their tutorials quick and informative so they won’t waste your time.
@rachelgulotta, @danielinskeep & @mangostreetlab on Instagram
BEST TUTORIALS & MOST EYE CATCHING
Petra Collins is a young and vibrant photographer based out of Canada. Collins photographs portraits of women to emphasize their femininity and power. Collins is known for photographing shocking images that some might find innapropriatte. She looks for emotion and beauty no matter what body part that might come from. I love that she is not afraid to break barriers in her work and motivate women in the process. Her style is very hazy and dreamlike which creates a nice juxtaposition between her subjects. She is well noted in the creative community as she has shot for Selena Gomez, Zendaya and Yara Shahadi.
@petrafcollins on Instagram
Jessica Kobeissi is another photographer who is mostly found on Youtube and is well known for her “4 Photographers Shoot the Same Model” series that has drawn a great audience with some videos accumulating up to 4 million views. Kobeissi is predominately a fashion photographer who’s style of portraiture is easily recognized. I personally enjoy Kobeissi’s multiple challenge videos that help me to draw creativity when I’m in a rut.
@jessicakobeissi on Instagram
MOST HELPFUL YOUTUBER
After her series entitled “Bikini in the Snow” went viral, Sorelle Amore quickly rose to become one of the most notable photographers in the creative community due to what she calls her Advanced Selfies. Sorelle is strictly a self-portrait photographer who photographs her travels across the world in different dynamic poses. She is also a Youtuber but she is mostly known for her beautiful Instagram portfolio filled with her jaw-dropping self-portraits. I love Sorelle’s editing style and her innovative take on self-portraiture, she is definitely a photographer to watch out for.
@sorelleamore on Instagram
Derrick Freske is an up and coming fashion photographer who in the past year has had work featured in many magazines and editorial pieces. Freske has a very distinct style where he often incorporates brightly colored lights in his images to light his models along with dynamic poses that catch the eye of all viewers. Freske has grown to become one of my favorite photographers of this year.
@dfreske on Instagram
Jessica Whitaker is one of the most knowledgeable photographers currently in the photography community. She is a photographer based out of Seattle, New York and Paris who shoots primarily lifestyle photos. Whitaker has a Facebook group called Build + Bloom that is extremely helpful for growing photographers such as myself. She is also a YouTuber who makes video content from behind the scenes videos to tips on how to grow your brand.
@jessicawhitaker on Instagram
MOST INFORMATIVE YOUTUBER
Erika Astrid is a fashion and editorial photographer based out of Portland and Los Angeles. Astrid has been featured in many magazines from Factice to Blanc and for good reason. Astrid uses models that would seem unusual to many, models who have gaps in their teeth or have an overall different look to them and creates beautiful images because of her odd style.
@erikaastrid on Instagram
BEST EMOTION & ANGLES
Jerry Maestas is a fashion photographer who shoots with a retro style and incorporates it into his editing process. One look at Maesta’s Instagram or portfolio will display his distinctive style. Many of his images are very warm toned with a hazy edit to them to create a film like quality to his portfolio of work.
@jerrymaestas on Instagram
MOST NOTABLE STYLE
Rudnyk, along with many photographers from this list is also a Youtuber who photographs mostly editorial and fashion images. Rudnyk stands out because of her distinct style of portraiture. She has a fascination with beauty, fantasy, and feminity and she shows that in each and every one of her portraits. Her images all look as though they are out of a fairytale as they each have this surrealistic allure to them that stands out an image of hers.
@irenerudyk on Instagram
MOST BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS
Ron Dadon has two portfolio’s of work, I personally prefer her second book of work that is all black and white. The contrast and story in each of the images are breathtaking and reminds one of a portrait from many years ago. Each of her black and white has a timeless, film-like quality that won’t ever go out of style. Ron is also a singer/songwriter!
MOST FILM LIKE
- Brandon Woelfel
- Phil Shaw
- Mark Singerman
- Riley Taylor
- Dani Diamond
- Katie + Joe Bauer
- Abigail Berger
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