Portrait photography is special. The process of making a person’s portrait is always intimate, no matter the style you’re looking for. The subject invites a photographer to analyze them, to stare at them, and to make a record of what they see. You’ll seldom find such a connection in other walks of life. Being a portrait photographer comes with a lot of pressure, which is why only the best succeed. Below is a round-up of some of our favorite portrait photographers that have excelled at the craft.
Gear Used for Portrait Photography
Below is a list of the gear used by the photographers in this round-up. Each photographer has their reason for using a particular system, and it’s cool to see what gear each one likes. You will also find links to each piece of gear listed below. For transparency, if you buy something using the link, The Phoblographer gets a little cut. This helps the writing team do what we love and ensures we can keep EIC Chris Gampat stocked with Nutella.
Portrait Photography from the Portrait Kitchen
Working from home is the new normal. For two portrait photographers, home is where they make most of their high-level portraits. Home studios are not a new concept; many portrait photographers use a spare room to do their work. However, The Portrait Kitchen turned to a less used part of the house. The clue is in the name, but if you’re yet to drink coffee, they make portraits in their kitchen! The duo’s main focus is millinery photography. This results in a portfolio rich in class and sophistication. Take a look at the work here.
Mark Edward Harris’ Portrait Photography Has a Loveable Subject
Portraits of humans are cool and all, but they don’t make us scrunch up in a ball of cuteness quite as much as animals do. Mark Edward Harris directed his lens at orangutans, a lovable but not often documented species. His photos show a strong connection between subject and photographer. Some of the orangutans came from horrendous conditions, so it was heartwarming to see Harris document them in a more natural environment. See the work here.
Fat Cats Portrait Photography
We wouldn’t describe cats as being natural extroverts. They like to do their thing and only tend to interact with humans when they want something (food). Well, it seems the cats in this series have had plenty of human interaction. Fat Cats is a series created by Peter Thorne and features plenty of plus-sized models. Although the images are cute, the message is much deeper. Thorne wanted to emphasize that all body types can be beautiful and healthy. Read more about the series here.
Matteo Verre’s Self Portraits Make You Look Twice
Matteo Verre did something more portrait photographers should do: he directed his lens at himself. Creating a series of self-portraits, Verre went on a journey of deep discovery while trying to understand the complexities of his identity. At first glance, some of the portraits seem bizarre, and maybe they are. But if you stick with them, you’ll likely see yourself in the images, as Verre highlights the diversity of the human mind. Take a look here.
Audrey Woulard on Creating The Photograph
Creating The Photograph is our long-running series that looks deeper into how photographs are made. Audrey Woulard is a Nikon ambassador, and she kindly let us look behind the curtain in 2020. In this article, Woulard takes us through each step of her series, Girl in the Woods. From coming up with the concept to doing post-production, you’ll learn how professional portrait photography is made. Read about it here.
Portrait photography is clearly a rewarding genre and one you should try if you haven’t already. Which was your favorite photographer from the above selection? Do you have some work of your own we should see? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.
Lead photo by Mark Edward Harris. All images used with permission.
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