I follow photographers for 3 reasons:
I like finding new images that are creative and make me say "huh...I never would have thought of doing that". I look for photographers that have a career I'd enjoy having in order to research how they got there and how they run their business. Lastly, I find it a necessary motivator to see the high quality of skill that's out there and try to push myself to reach that calibre. It gives you a tangible goal to reach in a somewhat ambiguous creative world.
So! I decided to put together a list of some of the great photographers I love to follow. This by NO MEANS is a complete list. It is constantly in flux and there are TONS of amazing photographers out there that I haven't discovered yet. If you have some favorites that inspire and motivate you I would LOVE for you to share them with me :) Let's begin....
"Cleanse" by Rob Woodcox
Not only is he a crazy world traveler, but he is also a surreal conceptual photographer. Pair up some incredible locations with his creative portraiture and magic happens.
Breaking Bad Advertisement photographed by Frank Ockenfels
All hail the king of Hollywood. From top TV shows to blockbuster movie posters if you want a job done well you go to Frank. I love that on his website under the movie poster section you can also see the raw images before any of the photoshop gloss and graphics are added.
"The Golden Phoenix" by Alexia Sinclair
This Aussie artist creates amazingly complex sets to shoot in. She's very hands on and even sews the costumes herself. I love that she creates high quality mini videos of the behind the scenes for some of her photos. It really gives you a very inside look at her process.
"Michael Thurston" by Rosie Hardy
Rosie Hardy is a Brit photographer that has a very soft style to her portraits. She shoots celebrities as well as conceptual fine art portraits...actually the two often blend together. I first took note of her when I discovered that early on in her photography career she was contacted by Maroon 5 to shoot the cover of their album "Hands All Over Me". They found an older photo of hers that fit the theme well. She reshot the concept in a clean commercial style and BAM. Instant career starter.
"Free Breakers" by Erik Johnsson
Based out of Sweden and shooting around Europe Erik creates phenomenal surreal landscapes without using any 3D whatsoever. Every image is just a composite of many images shot and edited with a very high level of skill, planning, and attention to detail.
"Island of Morel" by Aaron Nace
If Frank is the king of Hollywood then Aaron Nace is the reigning king of Photoshop. He is the creator of Phlearn, a website dedicated to teaching all the ins and outs of Photoshop. You can see his goofy demeanor and professional know-how in all the tutorials he puts out including one to teach you all the behind the scenes of the image above.
Untitled by Lissy Elle
Lissy Elle got off to an incredibly young start due to her interesting home schooling situation. Photography became what she studied and practiced every day. Her style is unmistakably playful, feminine, and sometimes very dark. While she hasn't been very active online lately, she was a huge inspiration for me throughout college.
"The Secret Doorway" by Robert Cornelius
Robert is a photographer based out of Pennsylvania. I had the pleasure of meeting up and shooting with him some last year. One of the key style elements he brings to the table is a fantastic source of light used in creative ways.
Untitled by Lara Jade
Enough about kings....let's talk about the queen of fashion photography. In my opinion that's Lara Jade. She's based in the UK, but travels ALL over the world shooting covers and stories for the top fashion magazines and designers. Did I mention she's also young and incredibly gorgeous? Sigh!
So go explore!
I do follow quite a few more photographers than these, but the photographers I've listed are some of the most interesting and the ones that push me the most. The important thing is that we don't close ourselves off to the work circulating around us. Keeping our work original is something important to every artist, but following the work of others quickly pushes you to levels you didn't expect. Happy searching!