Portrait Photographers

Portrait photographers capture the personality of a person or group of people by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. Know about famous portrait photographers, such as Vivian Maier, Amanda de Cadenet, Mathew Brady, Aaron Ruell, Yousuf Karsh and many more.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: November 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Floral Park, New York, United States
Died: March 18, 1989

Best known for his black and white photographs, Robert Mapplethorpe chose homoerotic themes to express himself. His male nudes reflected the gay BDSM subculture of New York. His works also included flowers, still lifes, and portraits of celebrities. The gay photographer-artist eventually died of aids.

 2 Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: February 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: April 21, 2009

Vivian Maier was an American street photographer whose works received critical acclaim after her death. Maier's photographs were unpublished during her lifetime. However, her works went viral on the internet when it was published on Flickr five months after her death. Vivian Maier's life and work have inspired documentary films like Finding Vivian Maier.

 3 iO Tillett Wright

iO Tillett Wright
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Famous As: Television host
Birthdate: September 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York

iO Tillett Wright is an American photographer, author, activist, TV and podcast host. He is credited with founding the now-defunct international street art magazine Overspray for which he served as the editor-in-chief until 2009. His podcast The Ballad Of Billy Balls was counted among the best of 2019 and was considered for television development.

 4 Melissa Auf der Maur

Melissa Auf der Maur
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

 5 Amanda de Cadenet

Amanda de Cadenet
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England

Amanda de Cadenet is an English author, photographer, and media personality. As a photographer, De Cadenet has worked for popular magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Jane, and Spin. Amanda de Cadenet has also appeared in a couple of films like Grace of My Heart and The Rachel Papers.

 6 Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 18, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warren County, New York, United States
Died: January 15, 1896

Mathew Brady was an American photographer who captured the American Civil War through his lenses. One of the earliest photographers in the history of the US, Brady is credited with taking pictures of prominent personalities like Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Andrew Jackson. Dubbed the father of photojournalism, Mathew Brady was the most renowned American photographer during the 19th century.   

 7 Aaron Ruell

Aaron Ruell
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: June 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fresno, California, United States
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 8 Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh
3
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: December 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mardin, Turkey
Died: July 13, 2002

 9 Sylvia Plachy

Sylvia Plachy
3
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

 10 Shanna Besson

Shanna Besson
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France

Shanna Besson is a French photographer and actress who started her acting career at age 10 when she played a girl forced into acting by her mother in I'm an Actress, which marked the directorial debut of Besson's mother Maïwenn. Besson later established a career in film-making, working with her parents as a still photographer in films like Taken 2.

 11 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: September 18, 1939

 12 James Van Der Zee

James Van Der Zee
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 29, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1983

 13 Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé
3
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: 1935 AD
Birthplace: Soloba, Mali
Died: April 14, 2016

 14 Marian Hooper Adams

Marian Hooper Adams
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Famous As: Socialite
Birthdate: September 13, 1843
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 6, 1885

 15 Martine Franck

Martine Franck
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: August 16, 2012

 16 Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis
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Famous As: French photographer
Birthdate: August 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 12, 2009

 17 Carlo Dolci

Carlo Dolci
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Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 25, 1616
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 17, 1686

 18 André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri

André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: March 28, 1819
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 4, 1889

 19 Charles Nègre

Charles Nègre
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 9, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Grasse, France
Died: January 16, 1880

 20 Lotte Jacobi

Lotte Jacobi
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: August 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Torun, Poland
Died: May 6, 1990

Lotte Jacobi was a photojournalist and portrait photographer. She was trained at the Bavarian State Academy of Photography and was famous for her high-contrast black-and-white portrait photography. Her subjects were both common people and high-profile figures, and she tended to delve deeper into the traits of her subjects than in traditional portraiture. She was married to publisher Erich Reiss.  

 21 Samuel Fosso

Samuel Fosso
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kumba, Cameroon

 22 Heinz Schubert

Heinz Schubert
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 12, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 12, 1999

 23 Mariana Yampolsky

Mariana Yampolsky
1
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: September 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 3, 2002

 24 Horacio Coppola

Horacio Coppola
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 31, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: June 18, 2012

 25 Humphrey Spender

Humphrey Spender
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 11, 2005

Humphrey Spender was an English painter, photographer, and designer best remembered for his commercial photography. Spender worked for popular publications like The Daily Mirror and Harper's Bazaar. With the advent of the Second World War, Humphrey Spender also served as an official war photographer and was associated with the Royal Army Service Corps.

 26 Otto Steinert

Otto Steinert
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saarbrücken, Germany
Died: March 3, 1978

Otto Steinert was a German photographer. He is credited with co-founding an avant-garde photography group called Fotoform. Apart from being a photographer, Steinert also worked as a teacher. He taught at the Folkwang Hochschule school in Essen from 1959 until his death in 1978.

 27 Jerome Liebling

Jerome Liebling
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: April 16, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: July 27, 2011

 28 Bob Willoughby

Bob Willoughby
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 30, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: December 18, 2009

 29 Ellen Auerbach

Ellen Auerbach
1
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: May 20, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: July 30, 2004

Ellen Auerbach was a photographer best remembered for her work with the ringl+pit studio in Berlin, which she co-founded with Argentine photographer Grete Stern. The studio, which specialized in fashion, advertising, and portrait photography, was one of the first female-run photographic businesses in the world. 

 30 Hugo Erfurth

Hugo Erfurth
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: October 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halle, Germany
Died: February 14, 1948

Hugo Erfurth was a German photographer best remembered for his portraits of cultural figures and celebrities of the early-20th century. He is credited with co-founding an exhibiting group called Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbildner, where he played a major role in the development of the group.

 31 Bob Fitch

Bob Fitch
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 20, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: April 29, 2016

 32 Kurt Iswarienko

Kurt Iswarienko
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: June 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States

 33 Brendan North

Brendan North
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: November 14, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
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