I like the following photographers for different reasons. Some I like because I like their work. Some for who they are as a person. Some for their availability and generosity to the photography community. Some for any combination of the above.
Antonin Kratochvil is probably the favorite photographer of mine who’s influenced my work, and the way I approach it the most.
He is one of the founding members of VII, one of the world’s most distinguished documentary photography agencies. He's an award winning photographer who's covered conflicts as well as worked on commercial campaigns.
I’ve liked Antonin Kratochvil and his work for as long as I can remember being interested in photography. His raw images, the way he constructs and deconstructs them, his composition … to me they are unlike any other. Some images, it seems there is not one thing in focus. Very unique!
I met Antonin at a workshop he taught in Brooklyn in 2007, and had a chance to see who he was like in person. His no-BS persona, say-it-as-it-is attitude was to me just as appealing as his work.
Here are some of my favorite images of his.
Eugene Richards is a photographer, writer, filmmaker.
For decades, he’s worked on documenting the American family, his first wife’s battle with cancer, social issues drug addiction, poverty, racial tensions.
I love his intimate, personal, up-close images. A lot of times, looking at his photographs I’m thinking to myself, “Man, that took balls to be so close and photograph!"
Jeremy Coward has a pretty cool story how he became a photographer, and how he got to where he is. He got rejected, he was told he had no talent. Now he is one of the most influential photographers in America.
He also founded Help Portrait, an organization making portraits of people in local communities who otherwise may never have their pictures taken. He is also a founder of See University, an online platform where he teaches what he’s learned throughout his career.
Joe McNally is seen as one of the most versatile photographers today. He’s worked for clients such as National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New York, The New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Shortly after 9/11, Joe made Faces of Ground Zero – Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th, a collection of 246 large portraits shot in the Moby c Studio near Ground Zero. A book made of these images helped raise over $2 million for the 9/11-relief effort.
To me, Joe McNally is a master painter painting with light who is able to transform any scene in front of him into a beautiful image. And he shares his craft and skill with other on his blog. His blog is a big source of inspiration and knowledge for me.
Marting Schoeller is portrait photographer know primarily for his hyper-detailed close-ups, big head portraits styled and made all in a similar way.
I love people, I like being with people, getting to know them, and to me that means being close to them. I also believe that the closer you are the better the images.
Richard Avedon was a fashion and portrait photographer who created work for numerous magazines as well as worked on commercial campaigns. He also created portraits of celebrities, politicians as well as ordinary people.
I fell in love with his work when I stumbled upon his In The American West, a book featuring portraits of drifters, miners, cowboys, housewives and others made in state fair rodeos, carnivals, coal mines, oil fields, slaughter houses and prisons throughout the western US. I love the simplicity yet depth of the way the portraits were made, the vulnerability of the subjects portrayed. According to some, In The Americas West is the best body of work Avedon created.