Portrait Photographers


It is by no means a comprehensive list, and so I welcome the mention of any others I have missed out, but I have relentlessly searched for striking photographers. Photographers with a unique style, who put together interesting series that strike sparks inside my mind. I yearn to be moved, dazzled, wowed, and so over time I have bookmarked these in the hope to share them with others, to give people some of the delight I have found with the following list of photographers at the forefront of this art form today (with just a couple of older photographers slipped inside the list).  

1.   Christophe Agou

2.   Nick Ballon

3.   Jeff Bark

4.   Celine Clanet

5.   Dyland Collard

6.   Charlie Crane

7.   Doug Dubois

8.   Max Farago

9.   Vincent Fournier

10. Daniel George

11. Jim Goldberg

12. Yulia Gorodinski

13. Yann Gross

14. Adrienne Grunwald

15. Mattias Heiderich

16. Nadav Kander

17. Henrik Knudsen

18. Kalpesh Lathigra

19. Vivian Maier

20. Edgar Martins

21. Kiran Master

22. Michel Mazzoni

23. Nick Meek

24. Zed Nelson

25. Anders Petersen

26. Alex Prager

27. Richard Rowland

28. Denis Rouvre

29. Stefan Ruiz

30. David Ryle

31. Viviane Sassen

32. Lina Scheynius

33. Steffen Schragle

34. Aaron Schuman

35. Shaw and Shaw

36. Mike Sinclair

37. Alec Soth

38. David Stewart

39. Larry Sultan

40. Phil Toledano

41. Massimo Vitali


A documentary I would love to shed some light on is the profoundly beautiful 'What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann'. It is a tender, insightful film into an incredible photographer with an enthralling, poetic eye. Last year I saw her work at the Photographers Gallery, in London, and was mesmerized. The collection included 'Immediate Family' (1984 – 94), a series, shot over ten years, of her children (which caused controversy amongst conservative Americans). 'Deep South' (1996 – 98), which consisted of a collection of ghost-like, haunting images shot at different battlefields in the American Civil War. The exhibition finished with 'What Remains' (2000-04), a series of decomposing bodies, at a research centre, in Tennesse. But these pictures are not there to shock, that is evident in the huge prints. What instead happens is that we, the audience, is confronted with the reality of death, of what happens to our physical bodies when we pass away, dissolving back into the land in which we lived in.

Throughout her work is the recurrent theme of life and death, where she has an unflinching eye, and a huge amount of courage in focusing her life's work on this.  Uncomfortable to some, though utterly essential, I believe, as it makes me think of what Henry Miller wrote in his book 'The Wisdom of the Heart':

"Life has to be given meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning. Something has to be created, as a healing and goading intention, between life and death, because the conclusion that life points to is death and to that conclusive fact man instinctively and persistently shuts his eyes. The sense of mystery, which is at the bottom of all art, is the amalgam of all the nameless terrors which the cruel reality of death inspires. Death then has to be defeated - or disguised, or transmogrified. But in an attempt to defeat death man has been inevitably obliged to defeat life, for the two are inextricably related. Life moves onto death, and to deny one is to deny the other."


About the documentary 'Somewhere to Disappear': "Laure flammarion and Arnaud Uyttenhove, two young European filmmakers, followed the American photographer Alec Soth all over America during winter 2008, summer 2008 and spring 2009. Riding in the back of the artist's van, they drove more than 20,000 miles together going from one state to another, and from one season to another. The result is a 57 minutes movie about the photographer and his project, which was called 'How to disappear in America', about people who decided to withdraw themselves from society. The road trip offers a series of incredible meetings but it also tells the story of an introspective journey."

I am eagerly awaiting to see this, a new documentary about the phenominal photographer Alec Soth. I have been enthralled by Alec's photography ever since first seeing 'Sleeping by the Mississippi'. He has such a tender, beautiful eye, and captures some of the greatest pictures and portraits I have seen in our times.

Alec Soth-Portrait-Sleeping by the Mississippi
Alec Soth-Portrait-Sleeping by the Mississippi