The world is a little more beautiful when you know how to capture it, and photographers from all over the globe use their camera as a paintbrush to fill the canvas of life with breathtaking masterpieces. Social media platforms like Instagram are tailor-made for shutterbugs to put their work out there and inspire the next generation of artists. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough talented photographers – the real issue is finding the standouts among countless amateurs and professionals.
That’s why we’re here – we’ve combed through hundreds of the top photographers online to bring you the absolute best of the best from around the world. Whether you’re a budding artist yourself, or you just appreciate perusing some stunning visuals, click “follow” on these accounts to fill your newsfeed with outstanding images.
Marcos Alberti – an advertising and fashion photographer from São Paulo currently working in New York, Alberti has recently made waves on social media with his inspired wine project, “3 Glasses Later,” which showcases subjects after zero, one, two, and three glasses of wine.
Danny Zappa – This photography superstar generates photographic content for huge brands and campaigns but exposes the intimate in all of his pieces. Whether enticing followers to try out Calvin Klein or framing Niche’s InstaMeet in imaginative artistry, Danny Zappa isn’t merely a photographer for hire – he’s a visionary with a mark to make.
Sebastião Salgado – born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Salgado formed an agency with his wife, Amazones Images, solely for his photography projects. His ethereal, visceral photography highlights global issues like the environment, drought, and unsafe living conditions. The legendary photographer has shot his current projects in stark black-and-white for maximum emphasis.
Felipe Dana – Dana is a photographer with a pulse on the real people that populate the country he loves, and his unflinching, poignant photography reflects this. His socially charged, kinetic photography highlights such issues as the gulf between the citizens of Rio and the wealthy companies settling in to host the Olympics. The movement and dynamism in his work is expertly captured.
Anna Leti Cohen – this self-made savant from Brazil has an uncanny eye for color, depth, and lighting in a way that most young photographers only wish they had. Her instantly likeable Instagram account captures the magnificent beauty of Brazilian sunsets, beaches, and oceans with rapturous adoration. See the world the way Anna does – through a kaleidoscope of sunlight.
Alexandre Urch – Urch captures the kind of images that make you whisper “wow” under your breath. His athletic photography inspires and his cityscapes are crisp and confident. Unafraid to get up close and personal, his shots never fail to capture and encapsulate a moment. Don’t let the Portuguese deter you from following all of his accounts.
Olivia Grace – this 22-year-old London-based lifestyle photographer can’t do anything wrong. Her hilarious self-deprecation can’t hide her innate aptitude for snapping magazine-worthy photos. Her Instagram feed and website are essentially a “best of” Pinterest board – nothing but absolute hits. Fashion, food, floral arrangements – whatever it is Olivia has taken an interest in, you can rely on phenomenally colorful photos.
Iain Mallory – This “true adventurer” has been to the far reaches of the globe to capture some truly exhilarating images. A frequenter of every continent (save Antarctica), Mallory is a travel photographer who can accurately convey the sweeping enormity of the world’s most exotic and remote locales. Explore all the world has to offer from the comfort of your smartphone when you follow Mallory.
Kat Williams – Otherwise known as the “Rock N Roll Bride,” Williams specializes in fantastical, out-of-the-box wedding themes and designs. She loves putting a twist on modern weddings: from festivals to flamingos, no matter what her clients want, they get. These extraordinary wedding photos are more than enough for an immediate follow, but Williams also branches out with candid social photos and selfies that radiate her signature style.
Rosie Hardy – the surreal, dreamlike work of Rosie Hardy is almost addictive. Once you experience her unique view of the world you’ll want to feast your eyes on every photo she’s snapped. Her daring nature as a photographer creates instantly iconic images that would be at home on the cover of any album of the year. Follow her – your eyeballs will thank you.
Will Burrard-Lucas – Love animals? So does Will Burrard-Lucas. A seasoned wildlife photographer, Burrard-Lucas excels at capturing the spirit of the wildlife he photographs in visually arresting frames. The snake slivers out of focus, the flying squirrel soars into frame: the animals in Burrard-Lucas’s photography are vibrantly alive. Give him a follow for kinetic wildlife in your feed.
Steve Booker – Through his photography Booker accomplishes the near impossible – accurately conveying his own personality through his framing, his subjects, and his polish. Blending nature, wildlife, fashion, and the unabashedly personal, Booker never ceases to be completely authentic in his photography. You’ll feel like you’ve made a friend when you follow Steve Booker. Beyond this, his expertise with a camera is undebatable.
Nadine Sykora – This is one photographer and vlogger who understands wanderlust. Bottling the infinite possibilities of globe gallivanting into deliciously digestible slices, the videos and photos of Sykora bring the heart of a life of travel right to your feed. Travel the world with Nadine and experience her irresistible spark from the comfort of your smartphone. Her YouTube channel has a dedicated following – jump on the Nadine train as it heads toward adventure.
Paul Nicklen – An actual wildlife photographer for National Geographic, Nicklen’s captivating portraits of endangered animals in their natural habitat seek to raise awareness of the fragile ecosystems we’re damaging. Magnificent images of polar bears, sea lions, and more are juxtaposed with facts about climate change to thaw even the coldest of hearts. When photography makes you take action, you know it’s the work of a master.
Sherry Lu – A professional wedding photographer that also gallivants around the globe to snap evocative nature photography, Lu is a patient and purposeful artist whose compelling composition and appreciation for space speaks for itself. She can illuminate the intricacies of the Oregon coastline and an In-N-Out burger in equal measure. Her Twitter feed is also full of useful tips, art recommendations, and interesting articles.
Anna Tsoulogiannis – The intricate photography of Tsoulogiannis is a feast for the eyes, bursting with detail and hues that pop. Whether it’s a floral arrangement, a multi-course breakfast, or the delightful architecture of Greece Tsoulogiannis infuses her subjects with a sense of joy not often found in lifestyle photography. Her portraits somehow cut through the camera to deliver unfiltered humanity.
Sarah May Taylor – a remarkably gifted photographer and champion of social justice, Sarah May Taylor utilizes negative space with a boldness oft reserved for the walls of respected museums. Her Instagram account looks less like a social media profile and more like a curated gallery show. Discover the audacity and richness of Taylor’s relevant and timeless photography and gain some insider street cred – she’s criminally under-followed as of now.
Edward Burtynsky – Burtynsky has made his living as a fine art photographer and filmmaker. An expert in his field, he seeks track the transformation of nature through industry in his impressive body of work. From stone to mineral to silicone, Burtynsky defines the Earth through the materials we create and discard. His work has been featured in over sixty renowned museums around the world.
Cristina Mittermeier – As Mittermeier herself says, “my camera is my passport and nature is my home.” Discover the fragility, vitality, and beauty of the world through Mittermeier’s practiced lens. A dedicated conservationist, Mittermeier documents complex issues where the needs of wildlife and humanity intersect. Winner of Nature’s Best Conservation Photographer of the Year in 2010, her work has to be seen to be believed.
Francisco Mata Rosas – Always willing to push the envelope and reinvent himself, Rosas is a constantly evolving photographer and multimedia artist whose portraits, installations, and experimental projects inspire and unnerve simultaneously. His portfolio examines death, identity, and the bustling populations of Mexico with a sense of bravado that makes his work consistently exciting and engaging
Pedro Meyer – a groundbreaking photographer throughout his illustrious career, Meyer continues to push boundaries and innovate after decades of professional work. His work extends beyond photography – he actively supports the arts and critically examines its place and function in a world facing shrinking art budgets and rising costs. Discover this national treasure of Mexico if you haven’t already
Maya Hurtado – A vivacious lifestyle and fashion photographer and blogger, Hurtado intimately understands the complex personality of Mexico that she effortlessly pinpoints with her camera. Professional anthropologists couldn’t do much better than Hurtado, who explores and examines her country’s cultural identity and transforms it into actionable fashion for her followers.
Luis Arturo Aguirre – Some photographers document life – Aguirre creates it. His riveting work explores social norms and attempts to shatter them (which it does with ease). His recent project presents images questioning the notion of standard gender identity. Your reaction, whether intrigued or startled, will incite immediate self-reflection and analysis. Aguirre’s artistry is a league of its own.
Paul Ripke – Something of a celebrity in his own right, Ripke has made a career capturing the vigor of life in his fashion, lifestyle, advertising, and sports photography. His humor and zest for fun is readily apparent in his photography, and his choice of subjects provides a snapshot of German culture. Don’t miss his Instagram account – the playboy lifestyle on display provides a natural extension of his self-titled “hedonistic” work.
Esther Teichmann – You can’t have a conversation about German photographers without discussing Esther Teichmann. Exploring the tension of “reality” in photography in arresting inky blacks and blues, Teichmann is a trailblazer determined to confound and comfort, dazzle and destroy. She branches out to new mediums and forms regularly to give her audience something else to ponder.
Achim Lippoth – The world of Lippoth’s photography is populated almost exclusively by children. Building a vast portfolio in fashion, fine art, editorial work, and more, Lippoth boils us down to more innocent, imaginative, and emotional versions of ourselves by putting kids in real world situations without a sense of kitsch or irony. His understanding of his subjects shines through in his terrific photography, whether a Calvin Klein campaign or ethereal fine art dreamscape.
Carmen Wiggisser and Ingo Leitner – This adorable duo teams up to create extraordinary wedding photography that transcends most commercial endeavors. Their secret to such captivating portraits lies in their refusal to crowd the frame with the loving couple. Sublime wide shots filled with the natural world convey the metaphorical fortitude of the marriage in a truly timeless manner.
Daniel Sannwald – Sannwald is most comfortable when displaying the uncomfortable. His work is chock full of dreamlike juxtapositions and images that defy basic interpretation. An eerie sense of a dark science-fiction dystopia pervades his iconic photographs, but there’s more to this artist than the uncanny valley and perceptions of multiple dimensions. Get lost in the odd world of Daniel Sannwald – you won’t regret.
Ellen Von Unwerth – Moving behind the camera after ten years as a fashion model, Unwerth highlights an unapologetically strong and erotic femininity that discards the male gaze to celebrate the self-determination of women’s fashion and art. Her work in advertising, fashion, and editorial photography establishes her as an industry leader, yet her Instagram is steadfastly irreverent and deliciously full of life.
Erwin Olaf – Erwin Olaf is a highly successful commercial photographer, regularly commissioned for huge campaigns for the likes of Nokia and Levi’s. But his personal photography is infused with an audacious desire to provoke, tapping into an aesthetic both erotic and clinical. The award-winning Olaf has held exhibitions around the world, and his personal brand of photography is universal yet distinctly Dutch.
You can keep up with Olaf on his website.
Anton Corbijn – Enter the wondrously expansive imagination of Anton Corbijn. His photography is like a joyous fever dream you don’t want to wake up from – full of recognizable yet alien imagery and colors that defy reality. A visionary artist that has truly flourished on the platform of Instagram, Corbijn recently shot his first commercial, for Miss Dior and starring Natalie Portman.
Viviane Sassen – An Amsterdam original, Viviane Sassen is an accomplished Dutch photographer with an eye for the evocatively personal, no matter what discipline she finds herself in. An award-winning fine artist, her editorial and commercial work has also received global critical acclaim. Noted for her motif of intertwined, abstract bodies, Sassen is still at the top of her game.
You can view some of Sassen’s work on her website.
Hendrik Kerstens – Kerstens has been photographing his daughter for the last 20 years in the style of classic Dutch painters of the 17th, but often using cheap materials like paper towels to replace the accouterment of yesteryear. The results are striking and provoke conversation. The lighting and austerity of his photos are reminiscent of the masters like Vermeer while creating a style that’s unmistakably Kerstens’.
Carla van de Puttelaar – Carla van de Puttelaar explores and exposes human sensuality by immersing the viewer in a tactile experience with feminine skin. Utilizing natural light, van de Puttelaar emphasizes the shape and structure of the frame the skin envelops to elicit specific reactions. Her work has been displayed in reputable galleries in many countries, and she recently shot a series for The New Yorker.
Discover her unique collections on her website.
Bert Teunissen – A historian by proxy, Bert Teunissen has taken it upon himself to document Western European homes built before World War II before they disappear. His photography preserves a vital part of his history, and consequently all of ours. In addition to his Domestic Landscapes series, Teunissen has helmed successful ad campaigns that prove his talent is universal.
For his latest work visit his official website.
Pierre Terdjman – An accomplished photojournalist, Pierre Terdjman focuses his craft on covering poverty, social inequality, and violence in areas like Central African Republic and Israel. Terdjman has a knack for capturing emotionally charged moments rife with human struggle and celebration. He draws attention to the turmoil in nations with unfair elections, and seeks to bring peace to these volatile regions.
William Daniels – Knowing the importance of “bearing witness” to the many atrocities plaguing modern societies, as he says, William Daniels captures raw, stirring images of the war-torn Central African Republic and other areas of the world that demand documentation. The dedicated humanitarian has contributed to TIME and National Geographic. The artful framing and brave intimacy of his work cements Daniels as one of the world’s leading documentary photographers.
Julie Sarperi and Renaud Bonnet – This delightful pair runs the popular travel blog Carnets de Traverse. The award-winning photography featured on their blog is so meticulously shot and so full of exquisite detail that it’s hardly distinguishable from the actual locales where it’s shot. Escape into the elegant and serene photography of soothing lakes and rolling hills to cleanse your palette and discover new hot spots to visit.
Carnets Parisiens – Food has never seemed as delectable or as dainty as in this pristine photography. Alternating between interior design, home fashion, and delightful confections, the images on this account elevate the typical magazine faire into an art form. Many of the pictures divulge fun locales and hot eateries in Paris and other parts of France – beyond the photography you also gain a knowledgeable tour guide.
Cédric Delsaux – Having studied cinematography and journalism at university before working in advertising and bookselling, Delsaux turned his multidisciplinary experience to photography in 2003. Also a bestselling author, he’s truly a jack-of-all-trades. His well-known series Dark Lens depicts Star Wars characters and iconography in contemporary urban landscapes, providing jarring yet dazzling juxtaposition that, upon further examination, feels right at home.
Capucine Granier-Deferre – Risking her own skin out in the field to cover the armed conflict in Ukraine or the aftermath of elections in Tunisia, Capucine Granier-Deferre defies all conventional photography constraints in her pursuit to tell complete truthful stories. Her work is comprised of moments that seem impossible – like Granier-Deferre is a literal fly on the wall during climactic events and confrontations. Don’t miss her amazing photojournalism.
Darius Arya – Italy is rich with history, and with Darius Arya as your guide you can explore it all. A Ph.D. archaeologist and documentary host for History, Discovery, and National Geographic channels (to name a few), Darius Arya frames the ancient architecture and structures of the Roman Empire with respect and care to allow viewers to experience the magnitude and awe of a bygone era.
Francesco Carrozzini – An Emmy award nominated television director, Francesco Carrozzini lends an epic cinematic style to his globally respected portrait, architecture, and landscape photography. His bold vision has graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker, among other publications. His signature use of black-and-white cloaks his work with a timeless sophistication.
Francesco Zizola – Winner of the World Press Photo of the Year in 1997 for his photograph of young land mine victims playing in the city of Kuito, Francesco Zizola is an anthropologist and photographer whose work has appeared in magazines and museums all across the world. He does not restrain himself to one style, color palette, or choice of composition – his work constantly evolves and shifts to echo the world around him.
Nicolee Drake – A photographer with a deep love for Rome and its culture, Nicolee Drake documents the histories and frivolities with a measured grace and an eye for possibility. The amount of depth and space in her photography is extraordinary – it’s as if the entire city took a holiday so she could capture it in constant serenity. To immerse yourself in Italy and take a gorgeous stroll through Rome, you can’t do better than Cucina Digitale.
Michele Palazzi – This documentary photographer won the First Prize of the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award in 2013 for his Black Gold Hotel project, which highlighted the impact of modernization in Mongolia. By honing in on the devastating effects of climate change, poverty, and urban development on impoverished workers and families, Palazzi’s photography informs and moves the viewer.
View his latest work on his website.
Alina Lebedeva – Considered a rising star in Russian photography, Alina Lebedeva’s innate understanding of form and structure allows her to create entire tapestries of beauty and eroticism with her subjects. Lebedeva shoots primarily artful nudes, fashion, and portraits, but her sense of wonder translates across disciplines. Her classic yet modern lighting casts every body in a luminous glow or a dangerous shade.
Margarita Kareva – Based in Russia, Margarita Kareva travels far and wide for her acclaimed photo shoots that fuse the magical and fantastical into stunning portraits and nature shots. Her meticulous images are finely crafted gems, lifted from a fairy tale or a storybook of yore. Also a practicing wedding and travel photographer, Kareva’s skilled camera prowess builds an imaginative playground you’ll never want to leave.
Sergey Ponomarev – A Pulitzer Prize Winner for Breaking News Photography, Sergey Ponomarev constantly travels to document such world crises as the European migrant crisis, the Beslan school siege, and the Syrian civil war. His work has been featured in countless publications, including The New York Times. The organization and movement in his pieces is phenomenal – the artistry of his photos intensifies the emotion behind each vulnerable moment.
Slava Mogutin – Branded a criminal in his native Russia for his outspoken and charged queer activism, Slava Mogutin was granted asylum in New York City where his art continues to astound. On a mission to bring his world into ours, Mogutin captures moments that are “raw, nubile, punky and downright lustful,” according to the Bay Area Reporter. His work transcends political movements – the photos of Mogutin encapsulate a way of being.
Nikita Shokhov – Approaching both “low culture” and sacred religious processions with equal enthusiasm and care, Nikita Shokhov explores his subjects with a mix of staged scenarios and candid photojournalism. The luxurious feel of his images compliment and contrast his subjects, spilling light onto scenes and communities often kept in the dark. Explore the depths of Moscow and the corners of the globe guided by Shokhov’s lens.
Alexey Titarenko – One of Russia’s finest, Alexey Titarenko began using photography as a way to criticize the Soviet Communist regime early in his career. His haunting, otherworldly photography resides in several prominent European and American museums. He crafts his final prints in the darkroom utilizing toning and bleaching to add depth and distort perception. Titarenko’s photography emblazons itself onto your psyche and is impossible to forget.
Margaret Zhang – From a young age Zhang has been thrust into the international spotlight, touted as one of the pioneering trailblazers of the global fashion industry. This moniker alone would not give her enough credit – she is an artistic juggernaut, serving as a fashion consultant, writer, creative director, and a skilled photographer across the board. Her fashion series and editorial photography are heightened by her impressively innovative flair for design.
William Patino – A photographer for only four years, William Patino’s landscape photography is overwhelming powerful and frequently mind-boggling. Far surpassing the “gasp worthy” quality of standard screensavers, Patino’s depictions of our beautiful natural world move and breathe. Already gaining steady marketing and commercial work, Patino scours Australia and the rest of the world in search of fine art in the skies, oceans, and forests of our home.
Bill Henson – A formidable talent in the world of Australian photography, Bill Henson’s work is devilishly dark yet light as a feather. In the words of his official website, Henson is a “visionary explorer of twilight zones, between nature and civilization, youth and adulthood, male and female.” His mercurial visions have been housed in the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria, and other prestigious museums.
Become a fan of Bill Henson on Facebook, and learn more at this profile.
Annette Widitz – A photographer who has effortlessly flourished in the social media era, Annette Widitz has won Mobile Photo Awards and has no plans of stopping. She reinvents her home country and provides quirky perspectives in her inventive and shimmering photography. A frequent collaborator with other prominent photographers, Widitz maintains a thrilling commitment to experimentation while remaining instantly accessible.
Matt Glastonbury – A professional photographer, videographer, illustrator, and drone pilot, Glastonbury can really do it all. His expertise with drones lends itself to mesmerizing and staggeringly wide landscapes, seascapes, and starscapes. His particular vantage point gives much of his work an aura of the divine. Even when on the ground Glastonbury’s penchant for scope, color, and composition is simply terrific.
Mick Tsikas – His diligent photojournalism allows Mick Tsikas to explore the intricacies of Australian politics, but his subjects expand far beyond men and women running for office. On staff at the Australian Associated Press, Tsikas’s voice and viewpoint is clearly communicated even in his most commercial images. Explore his social media presence for moody, charged black and white stills.
Garry Norris – Not a man to settle for one passion, Garry Norris has perfected his own brands of travel photography and food photography that are interrelated yet standalone masterpieces. His subtle, patient take on waves and morning light is as intricate and full of life as scrumptious, sumptuous snapshots of his favorite delicacies. A word of caution: you may become stir-crazy living vicariously through the eyes of Garry Norris.
Jewels Zee – Australia is chock full of fascinating photographers. In Zee’s own words, “I am not a lifestyle or adventure or travel photographer. But I do love to share moments with you.” Her moments are wrapped in sun kissed splendor and rapt curiosity. Following Jewels Zee’s photography is like traipsing around a daydream version of Australia in which every second can spring to life in glorious detail.
Hasisi Park – Producing acclaimed work for corporations like Urban Outfitters and Converse from the comfort of her studio atop a karaoke bar in Itaewon, Seoul, Hasisi Park got her start carrying around “crappy little cameras,” as she said in HUH. Magazine. Creating dreamlike, hazy photos earlier in her career, Park’s latest work is personal and affectionate, like a whisper between old friends.
Kyunghun Kim – the definitive reflection of Korean street fashion, Kim’s Halo People captures the eager and daring heart of South Korean youth with its suave-punk vibe and its deliberate clashing of styles to create something new. The photography of Halo People is not mere documentation. It’s a life force that zooms in on the essence of South Korean street fashion and frames each image for maximum verve.
Kim Tae Kyun, aka Less – Less settled on his moniker after realizing he seeks to “lessen the boundaries between the young and the grown.” An accomplished professional photographer, Less is the go-to auteur for K-pop album covers in search of more than shallow glamour. His gallery work is progressive and experimental; his commercial work is arresting and extraordinary. He’ll make you love pop art before he destroys it.
Alex Finch – A freelance photographer based out of Seoul, Alex Finch follows fashion with a relentlessly modern eye. His composed, calm, and glamorous collections display an erudite experience and tender approach. Finch has contributed to Vogue, and it’s no mystery why – each subject in his work pops from the photo, exuding a reassured bravado only Finch can convey. Follow Finch to discover a South Korea coming into its own.
Nina Ahn – The trademark sharpness and harsh lighting of Nina Ahn’s impressive body of work typifies the dreamlike lifestyle of South Korea’s youth. She captures the wanderlust and ambition of a generation ready to blaze new trails with her defiant, empowering portraits. At once both a meditation and an ignition, Ahn’s photography encapsulates the national awakening occurring in the country she loves.
Hiroaki Fukuda – Traveling the world taking gorgeous landscapes and snapshots for Nike and Christian Dior, among other brands, Hiroaki Fukuda was once a man with a day job and a dream of being a photographer. His huge Instagram following catapulted him to the stratosphere, and deservedly so. The world through Fukuda’s lens is vast and full of millions of dreams waiting to be chased. His landscapes are borderline magic, and his portraits are sumptuously sweet.
Takashi Yasui – through a delicate use of symmetry and balance, Yasui composes gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes with the care of a parent tending to their newborn child. Each photograph is work of passion; Yasui’s photography feels so intentional and complete that the viewer has an impulse to protect his vision. He transports us to a world somewhere apart from reality – a pleasant dream, or a distant memory.
Tomoyasu Koyanagi – A fast learner, Tomoyasu Koyanagi did not have an interest in photography until he bought his first iPhone a little over two years ago. Now he has a dedicated following as his simplicity and epic scope create photography that’s complexly emotional yet completely approachable. He frequently places subjects in the distant foreground, allowing them – and us – to be dwarfed and engulfed by the might and expanse of the natural world.
Mika Ninagawa – Perhaps best known for her lush and colorful landscapes as well as her vibrant photographs of flowers and goldfish, Mika Ninagawa became a highly successful commercial photographer and has recently branched out into feature film and music video direction. Her personality really shines through in her social media presence, where her knack for capturing unfiltered expression is on full display.
Ilko Allexandroff – One of the most renowned and trusted portrait photographers in all of Japan, Ilko Allexandroff has developed a fresh style in portrait photography by striving to separate himself from the competition. His off-camera lighting and his ability to perpetuate flowing movement in each portrait have become Allexandroff calling cards as his business grows. His vivid backdrops of Japan only heighten the beauty of his work.
Arati Kumar-Rao – A staggeringly talented and devoted environmental biographer who tracks the effects of land use and river use on the livelihood of the species of the world, Arati Kumar-Rao captures harrowing and eye-opening images that have been featured in The Guardian. Her documentation of the devastation to Bangladesh by climate change and commercial shipping is at once horrifying and captivating.
Siddhartha Joshi – His blog is entitled “Sid the Wanderer.” Traveling around and beyond India, Siddhartha Joshi distills the rich history and culture of one of the world’s longest-lasting civilizations into brilliant and poignant photos. The people in Joshi’s travel portraits seem to be engaged in lively, sprawling conversations with loved ones they’ve known for years – his ability to unwind and erase any artifice or barrier is uncanny.
George Koruth – Actively choosing to craft a narrative of India with his photography, this self-taught artist has been featured in The New Yorker and Huffington Post. He does not concern himself with the upscale glamour of Dubai; Koruth is drawn to the poor and the struggling, the typical Indian citizens toiling to make a better life for themselves in the world’s most populous country. His photos convey more than hopes and fears – they communicate the spirit of India.
Prateek Ahuja – One of the most intriguing aspects of Prateek Ahuja’s photography is the wide variety of styles he utilizes and subjects he photographs. His work is an eclectic and riveting composite of everything Ahuja finds compelling. He reaches beyond the ordinary to tap into the evocative qualities of everyday objects and situations. When you follow Prateek, you never what to expect. And what a miracle that is.
Vivek Soni – This hidden gem of a photographer is able to transform any landscape into a romp of layers, color, and serious depth. The movement in his work always rushes to the center and radiates toward the viewer, which is a trick all by itself. His provocative imagery is refreshingly political and demands to be seen. Every piece contains visual sleight-of-hand and is steeped in metaphor to make the viewing experience addictively active.
Don’t miss him on Instagram.
Avisha Chaudhary – This innovative fashion and lifestyle photographer proves that the new crop of “Instagram photographers” deserve the massive audiences and ample praise they accumulate. Fall through the rabbit hole and follow her on a journey to discover new food, fashion, and natural beauty. Chaudhary’s intelligence, composition, and applause-worthy post-production mark her with a patience and precision beyond her years.
Bikem Ekberzade – When the people cry out Bizem Ekberzade listens. A compassionate and fierce photojournalist, Bizem Ekberzade has been featured in The New York Times, The Associated Press, and Newsweek. When the Kosovo crisis began she moved back to Turkey to cover the flow of refugees and the actions of the military. She curates The Refugee Project, and brings the struggle of the oppressed to the mainstream.
Nasuh Mahruki – A sportsman by nature and photographer by nurture, Nasuh Mahruki is a mountain climber and adventurer whose brand of fun makes for absolutely thrilling photos. His locales aren’t the only compelling aspect of his images – Mahruki knows what makes a dynamic photo, and creates moving, layered images that are brimming with vitality. Whether scuba diving or paragliding, this human marvel is guaranteed to grab a great picture.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Not many gifted photographers have also, in the course of their career, picked up a Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival. While Ceylan is also a working film director, his photography is sublime. He lends his cinematic flair to his still subjects for phenomenal results – each image he captures seems to tell a weaving narrative the viewer can read in the placement of the subject, in the emotion of their gaze, in the saturated colors and muted edges of the frame.
Ismail Necmi – In Turkey, it seems, visionary filmmakers must be photographers and vice versa. Ismail Necmi works in Berlin and Istanbul on projects that project passion and fear onto stark black-and-white landscapes. His work has been featured in countless galleries due to his push against realism in an effort to explore sexual fantasy and the artifice of daily life. His crusade to define “the real” in Turkey is worth following.
Check him out on his website.
Okan Bayülgen – Primarily known as an actor, host, and comedian, Okan Bayülgen is also a terrific talent in the realm of photography. Regularly working the fashion circuit with his effortless charm, Bayülgen also partners the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey to produce timely and transcendent photography featuring needy children of Turkey. Not an artist to be put in a box, Bayülgen loves to develop a framework for his photography before completely shattering it and building anew.
Vivien Liu – A working architect and Harvard graduate, Liu has amassed a dedicated following on Instagram with her intuitive and transformative photography depicting the layered Hong Kong urban landscape. Her photography truly earns the label of “landscape,” packing the frame with dimension and telling a story with the natural movement of her subjects. She also takes fun portraits and candids on the street that are equally elevated in form.
Theodore Kaye – This Yale-educated polyglot and one-time Central Asian mountain guide settled into an inspiring photography career by bringing his journalism experience to his piercing documentation of the peoples of Asia. His photography captures intimate moments and grand spectacles with practiced patience and care – each shot exposes a piece of the human emotional tapestry without dictating how the viewer should feel about it.
Daniel Lau – A “rooftopping photographer,” daredevil, adventurer, and master brander, Daniel Lau captures the excitement and daring of urban thrill-seeking and captures it, like a genie in a bottle, in photographs and videos that are artfully dizzying. Don’t take the plunge into his company Exthetics’ website on an empty stomach. His official Facebook page describes him as an “athlete,” and with the skill and nerve necessary to climb where Lau does for his photography the title is well-deserved.
Wing Shya – Chosen by famed filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai as the principle photographer for many of Kar-Wai’s most acclaimed films, including In the Mood for Love and Happy Together, Wing Shya works in both photography and film. He utilizes both mediums to enrich the other, crafting cinematic stills and impossibly gorgeous cinema. His penchant for beauty and pathos gives his art a timeless aura as we, seeing it, ponder the notion that life is more spectacular than we realized.
Ren Hang – His insistent on capturing culturally taboo images in a censorship-happy China has led to notoriety for Ren Hang, a photographer who shoots entwining nude bodies and juxtaposing them with flowers and other aspects of nature. Hang insists that his work is not political, and that the perception of his bold photography is merely the product of circumstance. Whatever the context, his shots are imaginative and push boundaries in all the right ways.
Joyce Yung – Her eclectic and soulful photography is a calling card for a versatile artist: Joyce Yung can do it all with aplomb. Her steady hand never fails to capture an energetic and concentrated image that is rich with immediacy. Making her name in portrait and lifestyle photography, Yung nevertheless approaches all subjects with eagerness and a knack for knowing exactly when the image is rife with life.
Zanele Muholi – Using her photography as her instrument, Muholi brings the trials and identity of the queer community in South Africa to a mainstream audience. A photographer and visual activist, Zanele Muholi aims to empower LGBTI individuals in South Africa with visual histories and the skills training to make their own art. Her stark, moving photography is both important art and a call-to-action. We dare you to read the stories behind the photos without tearing up.
Jodi Bieber – The winner of more World Press Photo awards than any other woman, Jodi Bieber has diligently documented the turmoil of life in Africa and abroad. Growing up in South Africa, Bieber initially covered the 1994 Democratic Elections there before turning to global events and crises. Her work is heartbreaking, such as her award-winning of Bibi Aisha, a woman in Afghanistan mutilated by her husband and brother-in-law, and it’s mesmerizing, such as her portrait series of women who have all murdered their husbands.
Josie Borain – Touted frequently as “South Africa’s first supermodel,” Josie Borain is much more than beauty – she’s a fierce photographer in her own right, photographing the likes of Jared Leto and other high profile subjects in vivid, frenetic black and white. She continues to expand her tastes and experiment with various subjects, styles, and inspirations. Her Instagram feed is delightful hodgepodge of professional, sleek photographs and snapshots from her Snapchat account.
Nana Kofi Acquah – A prolific and accomplished photographer and poet, Nana Kofi Acquah stated in an interview with BBC Africa that his artistic mission is to change the narrative around African women, who are often portrayed as victims of circumstance. His stunning and effortlessly compassionate photos are accompanied with eloquent, poignant stories that reveal the commonalities of love and understanding in all of us.
Jane Hahn – Few photographers can tell a story like Jane Hahn. Based in Senegal, Hahn delves into communities affected by forced migration or disease and forces us to confront the complexities of life under these conditions. Her clients include Time, The New York Times, and Washington Post Magazine. Covering news as it develops and chronicling long term projects of deep personal meaning, Hahn always has the pulse of humanity in front of her lens.
Laura El-Tantawy – An Egyptian photographer who, as she says, “reads, writes and speaks Arabic, thinks and dreams in English, and feels both,” El-Tantawy explores her and her country’s identity through documenting social and environmental issues. She is a very successful self-publisher, and has received professional praise for her books that track a morphing political identity through a personal frame. Her hazy, minimalist style is hallucinatory and confidently unsettling.
Christina Rizk – With subjects varying from christenings in the Coptic Church to the Egyptian uprising, Rizk is a multifaceted documentary photographer who strives to break stereotypes of various regions by challenging those preconceptions with images of everyday life. Based in Egypt, Rizk covers topics like education, religion, and commuting to humanize and contextualize areas that otherwise may feel unknowable. Each photograph is a rich testament to the human spirit and Rizk’s talents.
Katie Orlinsky – A photographer and and cinematographer originally from New York City, Katie Orlinsky has traveled the world shooting projects and documentaries to raise awareness for social issues as they’re affected by international politics. Having contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Al Jazeera America, Orlinsky is a true original, always striving to communicate an emotional moment with experimental styles and affecting framing.
Laura E. Pritchett – A master of multiple mediums, Pritchett can make an indelible impression on your psyche with her elemental and dreamlike paintings and photographs. Successfully transposing a distinct color palette and aesthetic across her multiple professional projects (among them shoots for Cole Haan, Coach, and Kiehl’s), Pritchett perhaps excels most handily in her personal work, bringing fleeting everyday moments into crystalline permanence with a touch of magic.
Devin Allen – Thrust into the international spotlight when his coverage of the Baltimore riots following Freddie Gray’s death was featured on Time’s front cover, Devin Allen is a photojournalist and portrait photographer that is now experiencing the success he’s long deserved. Traveling around the world as his client list expands, Allen still gravitates to causes and topics that are meaningful to him and the wellbeing of his community in Baltimore.
Peggy Sirota – One of GQ’s star photographers and a sought-after talent for capturing the essence of celebrities in her portrait photography, Peggy Sirota work is audacious, irreverent, and endlessly inventive. American Photo recently labeled her style as “refreshingly light and unpretentious,” which helps her cut past the artifice of celebrity and expose the well of personality in each of her subjects. Never having lost the spark and joy of childhood, Sirota is a photographer for the ages.
Nina Robinson – A force to be reckoned with, Nina Robinson blurs the line between documentary photography and fine art without ever failing to probe the viewer with haunting effectiveness. She focuses on highlighting underrepresented communities to tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told. Already featured in Time and The New York Times, Robinson is a photographer who can shatter your heart and expand your mind.
Hank Willis Thomas – This visionary, photographer, and educator often explores the representation of the black male body in advertising and pop culture, engaging in a visual dialogue to question the norm. His work is highly conceptual and always razor sharp, having been featured in well-regarded museums and collections around the world. Through sculpture, mixed media, and video installments Thomas further explores questions of identity and representation.