Portrait photography experts inspire us to take better shots. Looking for new photographers to follow? Great! We’ve got a set of Top 10 lists in the works that’ll help you do just that. We’ll work our way through the major categories of photography — from wildlife, to landscapes, to street photography, to portraiture, and beyond — listing out 10 of our favorite 500px photographers in each genre.
The lists are by no means exhaustive, of course (there are many more than 10 incredible photographers on 500px for each of these genres), so don’t hesitate to drop names and links we forgot in the comments!
So far, in our quest to share some of our favorite creators on 500px, we’ve given you 10 must-follow photographers in both the wildlife and action/sports photography genres. Adrenaline spiked and heart pumping, it’s time to slow it down a bit and venture down more intimate roads. Specifically, it’s time to discover some incredible portrait photographers.
This list was, in many ways, more difficult to curate than the first two. Portrait photography is a broad category — does family photography count? what about babies? does it all have to be headshots? — which had us more than a little worried.
In the end, we decided to try and stick to portraiture in as pure a form as possible. The closer to the headshot, the better. Single people, not groups. Basically, photography where creative framing, expression, and processing choices drive the exposure, not things like background or clothing.
It is, of course, not an exact science. Which is why we encourage you to fill in gaps we left! Think we should have included Lisa Holloway or Jessica Drossin or Michael Woloszynowicz? Feel like some of the names on the list below don’t match the criteria above? That’s what the comments are for!
And if you don’t agree with the full list, we invite you to go exploring through the 500px community. Dig up unknown names and drop them in the comments, publish your own must-follow list, and then send it to us and ask us to republish it! Together, we may just be able to cover all the bases.
For now, these 10 incredibly talented bases will have to do. Enjoy!
1. Brian Ingram
Based out of Athens, GA, Brian Ingram is one of the most popular portrait photographers on 500px, and also one of the most recognizable.
His style is painted across every image he captures, be it color or black and white, and it’s a good kind of style that’s gotten him published in magazines and online photography trades including Vogue Italia and Digital SLR Photography Magazine.
As with all the photographers on this list, his work speaks for itself better than we can speak on its behalf. Scroll down and see for yourself:
2. Nina Masic
Based out of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 24-year-old Nina Masic says she lives “in the middle of nowhere, but I hope that one day I’ll end up somewhere.” She, of course, is being humble. The self-described Art/Fashion/Wedding photographer and retoucher has already accrued almost 10,000 followers between 500px, Facebook, and Instagram.
One look at her archive and you understand why.
3. Dani Diamond
Currently a 500px Guest Editor and frequent contributor at Fstoppers, Dani Diamond says he doesn’t like to confine himself to a single style of photography. If you have an interesting idea for him, he’ll consider it.
That said, his favorite types of photography are seascapes, fashion, and portraits, the last of which dominates his active and impressive 500px account.
To see more from Dani, follow him on 500px, like him on Facebook, check him out on Twitter, and visit the the Editors’ Choice page where his picks will be going up alongside the other April Guest Editors.
4. Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries street portraiture has caught a lot of peoples’ eye — most notably TIME magazine. His intense, intimate portraits of homeless people all over the world draw you in like few photographs ever do.
His journey to capture these kinds of portraits began in London in 2008, when a young homeless girl he was taking a picture of spotted him and began yelling at him.
“I could have just walked away in an embarrassed state,” he said, “or I could have gone over and apologized to her.” He ended up speaking with her, hearing her story, and taking her portrait before they parted ways. It was the beginning of something incredible for Lee.
5. Simeon Kolev
Simeon Kolev is a photo editor, designer, and amateur photographer whose work immediately caught my eye as I was browsing through tens upon tens of portrait photographers.
There’s a simplicity to it, held together by a distinct, dreamy post-processing style. He also recently made Editors’ Choice, earning him some 22K hits on a single image!
6. Dmitry Arhar
Like many of the incredibly talented Russian photographers on 500px, Dimitry Arhar is a man of few words. He prefers to let his portraits speak for themselves, and so we’ll follow his lead and do the same.
7. Maja Topcagic
One of the more popular photographers to make this list, Maja Topacgic was also born in Bosnia and Herzegovina; except if Nina Masic is on her way to making it, Maja almost certainly already has.
At 19 years old, her life was changed when a stranger gave her a camera. Now half a decade later, Maja — who has a degree in computer science and mathematics — credits her success to that kind stranger and her ability to look at the world differently than others:
I do not look at the world like others, I’m a mix of mathematics and art – as others assume. For me, mathematics is an art too. Everything that we see in nature, we can mathematically describe and write using photography. Math and art are soulmates, and using these very natural things for a human being we can describe our world and our mind.
And if you want even more of Maja, read up on her in our list of 10 Exceptional Photographers Who Sell Their Work on 500px Prime, or live a day in her shoes by reading this Day in the Life post.
8. Sam PortraitsBySam
Like Maja, Sam ‘Portraitsbysam’ has also participated in our Day in the Life series. So if you want to know how he captures these images, or just want to live a day through his eyes, be sure to check that post out by clicking here.
Given the nickname he’s chosen for himself, you can probably guess the kind of photography Sam specializes in. Given the list he’s on, you can probably guess that’s he’s pretty fantastic at it.
Based out of Rennes in France, his work ranges from straight headshots to more lifestyle-like shots both in and outside the studio. He tries to add an indoor and outdoor component to each shoot he does, making his portfolio very versatile and a joy to flip through. Speaking of which…
9. Georgiy Chernyadyev
Easily the most ‘sultry’ photographer on our list, much of Georgiy Chernyadyev‘s work is not safe for work. That being said, his portraiture — the SFW stuff — is fantastic.
The Moscow-based photog prides himself on staying at the cutting edge of post-processing, and even produces live and video tutorials that shows how he goes about retouching and otherwise editing his images in Photoshop. You’ll find links to all that after the pretty pictures below.
10. Ann Nevreva
Based out of Odessa, Ukraine, Ann Nevreva is another photographer who chooses to let her photos speak for themselves, leaving her bio blank, not setting up an official Facebook page, and otherwise just focusing on taking beautiful photos.
We’re totally, 100% okay with that, and will now shut our mouths and share her photos instead of talking about them.