11 Inspiring Portrait Photographers

Documentary Portrait Photographs
11 Inspiring Portrait Photographers

#11 Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange is a highly influential documentary photographer as well as an American photojournalist. She made her debut during a fundamental documentation of the Depression Era where she photographed the victims of the economic downfall. Her photos truly captured the emotional despair the crisis had on the country. Today, Lange is considered one of the top portrait photographers of her time.

#10 Angus McBean

Angus McBean

Angus McBean is a portrait photographer based out of South Wales. McBean is known best for his amazing early 1900s celebrity portrait photography. His fame lasted throughout the vintage film era and transcended into the cinematic rise as well. Some of his most coveted subjects included the Beatles, Vivien Leigh, and Audrey Hepburn.

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#9 Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is an award winning American Photojournalist. He is best known for his work in war coverage. He has captured famous portraits like the ‘Afghan Girl' which is highly compared to the Mona Lisa today. As a National Geographic photographer he is widely recognized.

#8 Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is one of the most popular American portrait photographers. Perhaps you may know some of her celebrity portraits in works like Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone Magazine amongst many other pop culture publications. Leibovitz photography is unique due to her usage of intriguing lighting, bold colors, and one of a kind model poses.

#7 Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman is a famous 20th century American portrait photographer. His work is recognized for being eccentric and out of the box. Halsman has worked with many A list celebrities and artists like Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali, and Marlon Brando.

#6 Antonin Kratochvil

Antonin Kratochvil

Antonin Kratochvil is a Czechoslovakian photojournalist and portrait photographer. His work covers a large variety of subjects ranging from war victims to celebrities. Kratochvil tends to capture his photographs in the black and white color style.

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#5 Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh is a highly recognised portrait photographer who has worked with most of the world's elite. Armenian-Canadian, Yousuf Karsh photographed everyone from celebrities to politicians to world leaders. Some of his esteemed clientele included Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway, and Helen Keller.

#4 Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus is an extremely talented black and white portrait photographer. Her realm of work is surreal photography capturing candid photos of flaws or shortcomings and debuting them as beautiful. She specializes in photographing giants, dwarfs, performers, nudists, and other marginal people.

#3 Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon pushes the envelope when it comes to the American style of portrait photography. Avedon has photographed several American icons in the pop culture realm with unique fashion. If you would like to know more - Artsy hosts a complete bio of Richard Avedon.

#2 Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts

American fashion and portrait photographer, Herb Ritts is known best for his unique black and white photos. He leans towards the styling of classical Greek Sculptures when it comes to positioning his models. His work is both prominent and intriguing in the world of style and fashion.

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#1 Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis

Edward S. Curtis is a highly esteemed photographer of the American West and its Native American peoples. Born in 1868, Curtis was one of the earliest portrait photographers. He has captured breathtaking Native American portraits that almost tell a story. Curtis was one of the most prominent photographers when it came to creating American history through visualization.

"I don't want anyone to judge the light or the palette of tones. I want my photos to be informed, provoked discussion and bring money"

Sebastian Salgado