Famous Portraiture Photographers to Inspire

Photographers to Inspire.

Since the inception of the craft, Photography has become a medium with so many ‘greats’. Photographers who explored the very early stages of photographic practice, to those of modern times. I have selected a few Photographers who have created captivating portraits. You don’t need to be a photographer to admire their work – it speaks for itself.

Each image here links back to the photographer’s website or archive when clicked on.

Yousuf Karsh:

One of my favourite portrait photographers. Yousuf Karsh photographed some of the greats, and in an astounding manner. These black and white images of icons and celebrities do more than just document a person, they each tell a story and truly show the character. The use of lighting and tone is used in a really interesting way, that make his work some of my favourite I have come across ever.

George Bernard Shaw by Yousuf Karsh
Winston Churchill by Yousuf Karsh
Georgia O’Keeffe by Yousuf Karsh
Pablo Casals by Yousuf Karsh

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is renowned for his travel photography and portraits taken all over the world. He is an American Photographer, but has worked on various assignments for Nat Geo. His most famous photograph being ‘Afghan Girl’, which featured on one of National Geographic’s covers in 1985.

Sharbat Gula has been the symbol of refugees for decades. Now she has become the face of unwanted migrants.The…

Posted by Steve McCurry – Official Page on Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I photographed this young Rinpoche ( 'precious one') at the Sakya monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India. This is today's post on Instagram. http://www.Instagram.com/stevemccurryofficial

Posted by Steve McCurry – Official Page on Tuesday, 16 May 2017

In its first partnership with the International Center of Photography, the Rubin Museum of Art will present “Steve…

Posted by Steve McCurry – Official Page on Wednesday, 2 September 2015

ExhibitionThe Empty Quarter GalleryGate Village, Bldg 02 DIFC Dubai, UAEOpens March 16, 2015

Posted by Steve McCurry – Official Page on Monday, 9 March 2015

Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon created captivating portraits and fashion photography that still inspires people today.

Samuel Beckett, Writer, Paris, France By Richard Avedon
Napalm Victim, Saigon, South Vietnam by Richard Avedon
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, by Richard Avedon
Alberto Giacometti, Sculptor By Richard Avedon
Marilyn Monroe, Actress by Richard Avedon

Philippe Halsman

With an impeccable talent to capture character, the Latvian born Philippe Halsman’s work captured the strange and unusual aspects of people. Known for his vast captures of people jumping. These images are full of life and imagination.

Salvador Dali by Philippe Halsman
From the Artists Collection by Philippe Halsman
Audrey Hepburn from the Entertainers Women collection by Philippe Halsman
The Entertainers Women Collection by Philippe Halsman
From the Jumps Series by Philippe Halsman
Jumps series By Philippe Halsman

Looking For Inspiration:

It is really inspirational to view some of the famous portraiture of history and of course that of today. I believe a portrait does more than capture or record the appearance of a person. It should inform the viewers a little about them, their character and personality too, or convey a story or mood.

The artists above proved versatile in their skill. You can see how their work grew and changed throughout their careers. This is a really big part of photography and portraiture – the ability to keep pushing for skills and interaction is what can really help a photographer develop.

Do you have a favourite photographer or a favourite portrait?

When you book in for a session, it’s a great idea to collect some work that you love to serve as inspiration, and to show your photographer.