Fashion photographers are fearless and love experimenting. They inspire people to be bold and to express themselves.
There are many aspiring and professional famous photographers in the world right now. That leads to the question: who is the most famous of them all and why?
Here are 11 of the most notable photographers in the fashion industry right now.
11. Ellen von Unwerth
German photographer Ellen von Unwerth is a fashion editorial photographer. She has taken photos of iconic women like Rihanna, Madonna, and Naomi Campbell. Most of her photos focus exclusively on women.
Ellen likes to experiment with vibrant colours and high contrast. She easily adapts to different locations, outfits, and models. As a result, she’s one of the most important figures in the fashion industry.
Ellen believes that technicality is important, but she prefers emotions over camera settings. She prioritises dreaminess in her work, which is what makes her images so unique.
10. Nick Knight
Nicholas David Gordon (Nick Knight) is a British photographer and director. He has taken photos for musicians, actors, and important figures in society. In addition to that, he has directed music videos for artists like Kanye West and Lady Gaga.
Nick is also the founder of SHOWstudio, a fashion website. He was one of the first people to document fashion with digital film. You’ll find many creative fashion videos on his website.
Nick’s portfolio bursts with colour and strangeness. Unlike many fashion photographers, he embraces digital manipulation. His choice in models is also unique and adds to the surrealism in his pictures.
9. Peter Lindbergh
Peter Lindbergh was a German photographer and film director. He used simple locations and props to capture his models’ personalities. He took many iconic photos throughout his career. The photo above is one of his most popular ones.
Peter’s entire gallery mostly features black & white images. This is uncommon in fashion photography, but it’s something that Peter embraced. He did this without taking the spotlight away from his models’ clothes.
Peter didn’t believe in heavy retouching or selfies. He preferred to keep his fashion photography as raw as possible. Because of this, all of his photos look authentic.
Peter passed away in September of 2019. However, his Instagram account is still active. You’ll find lots of famous and unreleased photos there.
8. Lara Jade
Lara Jade has won many awards for her eye-catching fashion photos. She has photographed celebrities like Daisy Ridley and Lucy Boynton.
Lara wasn’t always a fashion photography icon. In fact, she started out in a different photography genre: self-portraiture. This helped her understand what it was like to be in front of the camera. As a result, she knows how to empathise with her models.
Lara works as easily in a DIY studio as she does in the great outdoors. Her portraits are elegant and simple, but that’s what makes them so effective.
7. Mario Testino
Peruvian photographer Mario Testino became a household name many years ago. He regularly contributes photos to Vanity Fair and publishes his own photography books.
Even photographers who are unfamiliar with fashion are aware of Mario’s strong presence. His images are often candid and joyful. They capture the very best of humanity without looking inauthentic. Mario does this with a lot of love, as is evident in his interviews.
Mario likes to experiment with vibrant colours, harsh light, and high contrast. He embraces different cultures, races, and fashion choices in his work. Because of this, his gallery is one of the most colourful ones you’ll see in the fashion world.
6. Annie Leibovitz
American photographer Annie Leibovitz has a diverse portfolio. She has photographed musicians, actors, notable people, and members of the royal family. Her client list is as impressive as it is inspiring.
One of the most common words used to describe Annie’s work is ‘painterly’. Instead of using simple studios, she prefers wide landscapes and storytelling. Because of this, she stands out from other fashion photographers.
Annie’s photographs work so well because she loves people. Her appreciation for humanity helps her connect with everyone she photographs. Her fashion photos don’t just focus on the beauty of clothes, but on the beauty of the human spirit.
5. Patrick Demarchelier
Patrick Demarchelier is a French photographer. If you’re not familiar with his name, it’s likely that you’re still familiar with many of his iconic photos. He’s well known for his photos of Princess Diana, Prince, and Leonardo Dicaprio.
Patrick’s fashion photos have an undeniable sense of intimacy. In order to achieve this, a photographer must be trustworthy and comfortable to work with. It’s clear that Patrick is exactly that.
Many of Patrick’s photos are black & white. His approach is similar to Peter Lindbergh’s. He’s able to capture the essence of fashion without needing to use colours all the time.
4. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott (Mert and Marcus)
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are Turkish photographers. They started building their portfolios over 20 years ago. Since then, they’ve worked with celebrities like Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid. In addition to that, they’ve directed several music videos.
This brave fashion photography duo knows how to make their models look confident. However, vulnerability is also an important element in their photos.
Their versatility is noticeable at every stage in their careers. Given all of this, it’s not a surprise that they’re some of the trendiest photographers in the world right now.
3. Steven Meisel
American photographer Steven Meisel is a force to be reckoned with. The photos he has taken for Vogue remain some of the most iconic photos in the fashion industry. He’s also known for his photos of Madonna and his abstract photos of supermodels.
Steven’s fashion photography is glamorous and delicate. Many of his portraits are black & white. This lets him focus on his models’ emotions, which is an important quality in the world of fashion. He’s also an expert at creating artistic motion blur.
Steven is also responsible for starting many of his models’ careers. His photos have helped many supermodels rise to fame.
2. Steven Klein
Steven Klein is an American photographer and filmmaker based in New York City. He has worked with Tom Ford, Chanel, Vogue, and many other well-known companies. His work is haunting and often features low key lighting.
Steven started his career as a painter. When that didn’t work out, he decided to pursue photography. Despite this, he still finds inspiration in classical art. As a result of his art education, many of his fashion photos resemble paintings.
Fashion photography is often meant to be alluring and joyful in some way. Steven goes against those ideals with his work. You can use words like ‘moody’ and ‘gloomy’ to describe his photos.
1. Tim Walker
Tim Walker has an astounding portfolio. He’s a British photographer who’s known for his imaginative pictures. He has worked with almost every famous publication and fashion house you can think of.
Tim’s work is dreamy. He likes to use real props and locations in his photoshoots. He’s also fearless when it comes to unusual angles, makeup, and clothing. His photos are positively bizarre. They’re something you’d find in a vibrant book of illustrations or in a movie like Alice In Wonderland.
Many people look up to Tim because of his fearless approach to fashion photography. He rarely uses conventional photography techniques. Instead, he often breaks rules and takes unforgettable photos in the process.
There are millions of fashion photographers in the world, but only a few become famous. The photographers on this list know when to break rules. They understand how to capture emotions and advertise clothing at the same time. These skills make them powerful forces in the fashion photography industry.
So what can you learn from these people? Start with observation. Study each photographer’s portfolio and figure out why it’s impactful. Then, experiment with different techniques, break the rules, and develop your style.
Once you have a few photos you’re proud of, you can start building a fashion portfolio using a website like Format. It’s a platform that can elevate your fashion photos and help you take your business to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fashion photographers make anywhere from $10 to $40 per hour. Their annual income ranges from $20,000 to $80,000. However, the most famous fashion photographers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per project.
Fashion photographers use a variety of digital and analogue cameras. For example, some of the most popular ones are Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, Pentax 67, and Canon 5D.