10 Modern photographers who inspire

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Hello fellow artists!

(and hopefully a good day to ya)

I Hope that your journey to mastering photography has been bountiful for you. I know personally I've been trying to push the boundaries a little bit on my photography, and what it means to be a "great photographer". And I think the best way (and in my opinion the fastest) to grow with photography is to study photographers and the photos they show the world.

And let me clarify, I'm not talking about your best friends sister who posts photos she takes about her mcdonald food the willy nilly, but about the great artists of our time, the ones who can awe and inspire people to do better.

Examining their techniches and how they take the photo, so you can become the photographer you want to be.

Now, I'll be the first to admit: this isn't a list of the most amazing photographers of all tome. These are the artists that inspire me , ones that are well known (and some lesser) that have brought me to this point in my journey. You'll notice that all of these really don't specialize in one thing, but experiment in all, which is something that I hope you can do after looking at these people.

Here are the top 10 artists who will motivate and inspire you to your next big thing.

#1. Maria Svarbova

A Hasselblad master and fine-art photographer from Slovakia. Her project titled “In The Swimming Pools” is so dang cool and impressive. I don’t know how to describe it, you just must check it out and follow her on Instagram too.

Maria Svarbova was born in 1988; she currently lives in Slovakia. Despite studying restoration and archeology, her preferred artistic medium is photography. From 2010 to the present, the immediacy of Maria’s photographic instinct continues to garner international acclaim and is setting new precedents in photographic expression. The recipient of several prestigious awards, her solo and group exhibitions have placed her among the vanguard of her contemporaries, attracting features in Vogue, Forbes, The Guardian, and publications around the world; her work is frequently in the limelight of social media. Maria’s reputation also earned her a commission for a billboard-sized promotion on the massive Taipei 101 tower, in Taiwan.

Visit her portfolio here.

#2. Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon is an icon and a hard-working photographer who has constantly reinvented himself throughout his long illustrious career. His classic BW large format, white background portraits of celebrities and everyday people alike are simple in the most complex way possible.

Do yourself a huge favor and read his biography Something Personal, It’s an amazing inside consider the workings of a legendary photographer.

(May 15, 1923 – October 1, 2004) was an American fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”.

Visit his portfolio here.

#3. James Nachtwey

He was the first photographer I discovered early on that combined art and journalism into his work. I am still amazed at how he can tell a story and create a piece of art, all in one picture and in the most extreme situations.

An American photojournalist and war photographer. He has been awarded the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Capa Gold Medal five times and two World Press Photo awards. In 2003, Nachtwey was injured in a grenade attack on his convoy while working in Baghdad, from which he made a full recovery.

Visit his portfolio here.

#4. Ami Vitale

Vitale is an assignment photographer for National Geographic and she’s covered a bit of everything but what I gravitate to most about her work is her stories about animals. I’m an animal person as well and her passion for animals shines through in her compelling and creative stories.

Ami Vitale (born 1971) is an American photojournalist and documentary film maker, based in Montana. Vitale’s photographs have been published in National Geographic, for which she is a contract photographer, most recently covering the wild side of pandas and the fragile peace in Sri Lanka. She is also a Nikon Ambassador.

Visit her portfolio here.

#5. Sebastião Salgado

His projects and books are epic. He is the master at extremely long term projects shot in BW focused on environmental and social issues.

Sebastião Salgado born February 8, 1944) is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist.

He has traveled in over 120 countries for his photographic projects. Most of these have appeared in numerous press publications and books. Touring exhibitions of this work have been presented throughout the world. ”

Visit his portfolio here.

#6. Magnum Agency

I know this isn’t a photographer but I made an exception here for an exceptional agency. The most prestigious documentary and storytelling collective in history. They have an all-star team of photographer, you can spend hours on their website being influenced.

Magnum Photos is an international photographic cooperative owned by its photographer-members, with offices in New York City, Paris, London and Tokyo. According to co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson, “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”

Visit its portfolio here.

#7. Benjamin Lowy

I especially look up to his versatility and that he always tries to reinvent himself.

Not that he doesn’t get a lot of attention, he was a guest on the Daily Show with John Stewart, but that only happened because he was there on an assignment and after they got to talking to him they realize how impressive he was and later invited him on as a guest.

He’s covered the wars in the Middle East, shot for ESPN The Magazine, and now he seems to be fascinated with photographing sharks and he does this all at the highest level.

Benjamin Lowy (born 1979) is an American photojournalist. He is best known for his work as a photographer in war zones, and is one of the early adopters of and a vocal proponent for mobile photography.

Visit his portfolio here (and Instagram here).

#8. Chrisman Studios

Erin and Ben Chrisman are leaders in the wedding industry both in the USA and internationally. They are in demand globally because of how creative they are with every aspect of wedding photography including portraits, candid, details, etc. They are simply bada** and cutting edge.

Chrisman Studios is a collective of four photographers and one videographer who love the art of photography and film and are dedicated to being better every single weekend.

Visit their portfolio here.

An image of Greg Constantine’s documentary photography portfolio website.

#9. Greg Constantine

Salgado might be the master of the BW long-term project but Greg is the master of the lifelong project. Greg is a dear friend and I love his passion and commitment to his work. If you haven’t seen his work “Nowhere People”, prepare to be impressed. His work doesn’t end when he finishes shooting his project, he travels the world giving lectures, teaching, and promoting awareness to the worldwide refugee crisis.

Greg Constantine is a documentary photographer who works almost exclusively on projects that focus on human rights, injustice and inequality. After working years in jobs related to the music industry, he changed careers in 2002 and began working on long-term documentary projects. In 2005, he moved to Asia and began work on his long-term project, Nowhere People, which documents the struggles and plight of stateless communities around the world. Constantine has spent the past ten years documenting stateless communities from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Serbia, Italy, Holland, Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon.

Visit his portfolio here.

#10. Hiroji Kubota

A magnum photographer best described by his quote in his portfolio. “I love beautiful things, and I want to make pictures that lift people’s spirits. I see the giving and receiving of photographs as something beautiful and personal.”

Hiroji Kubota (久保田博二 Kubota Hiroji, born 2 August 1939) is a Japanese photographer, a member of Magnum Photos who has specialized in photographing the far east. Born in Kanda (Tokyo), Kubota studied politics at Waseda University, graduating in 1962. In 1961 he met the Magnum photographers René Burri, Elliott Erwitt, and Burt Glinn. He then studied journalism and international politics at the University of Chicago, and became an assistant to Erwitt and Cornell Capa, in 1965, a freelance photographer.

Visit his portfolio here.

Thanks For reading! If you think anyone else can use this knowledge, then don't forget to share it. Don't forget to check our Instagram and to spread the word on photo motivation on our Facebook. If you're interested in other photography Tips, Tricks, and photo Inspiration, then check out the links below:

> Camera 101: Understanding the basics to master your camera

> 9 ways to capture beautiful portraits

> 20 MOTIVATING QUOTES from Inspiring photographers

>8 Tips to Jumpstart you on your photography Journey

Till Next time,

Dallin Spence

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