Strike a Pose – Top Fashion Photographers to Know

Kerry Pieri

Photo: Greg Kadel for Numero

From Irving Penn to Man Ray, photographers have always had a resonating importance in fashion. With highly-trafficked blogs and websites from Fashion Gone Rogue to Le Fashion Image now dedicated to the medium, the stock of the men and women behind the lens continues to rise.

Get in on the conversation with our list of who’s who in fashion photography right now. Some have already been christened by one Vogue or another, while others are working their way up via the alternative mag route. But each are putting their unique stamp on the business, while making designer wares and model visages appear even prettier.

1. Greg Kadel (above)
Kadel studied marine biology and fine art at university, and the diverse education may have been just the perfect preparation for shooting fashion’s fauna. A bevy of top models (and not the Tyra Banks kind) have posed for his keen eye for the pages of i-D, AnOther magazine, Numero, Harper’s Bazaar and multiple editions of Vogue. Tack on adverts for Louis Vuitton, Lancome and DVF, and his edgy, often black-and-white images, have established a standard that’s consistently cool.

91235 1272389149 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photos: Greg Kadel, Numero

2. Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
91181 1272309965 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Inez & Vinoodh, French Vogue

These Dutchies, who are partners both in life and professionally, are highly respected on the fashion block for their artful approach to photography, which is often laced with a sort of social commentary. Brands including YSL and Balenciaga have tapped the duo to shoot their ad campaigns, and their work has been exhibited in nearly every major fashion magazine to date. Inez and Vindoodh‘s Girl on Motorbike-inspired spread featuring Kate Moss for French Vogue is one of our favorite-ever fashion editorials. The golden lighting is the stuff that separates top of their profession photogs from wannabes.

91229 1272388577 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Inez & Vinoodh, French Vogue

3. Driu & Tiago

91183 1272310146 486x Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Driu & Tiago, Citizen K

Driu & Tiago are making waves all over Europe and Asia with avante garde spreads for like-minded fashion publications like Citizen K Russia and Metropolis. They love keeping an eye on the boys, and often produce gender bending work for men’s mags. Watch for them to make a big splash stateside soon. Can you say V magazine editorial?

91230 1272388634 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Driu & Tiago, Excess magazine

4. Steven Meisel
91184 1272310218 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia

Steven Meisel is arguably the reigning king of fashion photography. He shot Madonna’s book Sex, risqu in both title and content, and is most notable for his work in Italian and U.S. Vogues (he has an unprecedented exclusive on the former’s covers). Infamously private, this lensmen is nonetheless prolific, shooting consecutive campaigns for Prada since 2004, as well as ads for Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace. However, Meisel’s greatest claim to fame is as model-maker, having been credited with launching the careers of greats from Naomi Campbell to Coco Rocha, with scores of grateful tall girls in-between.

91232 1272388914 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Steven Meisel

5. Ellen von Unwerth

91186 1272310450 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Ellen von Unwerth, GQ

Ellen von Unwerth wasn’t listening when it was proclaimed that fashion photography is very much a man’s world. This former model took to life behind the lens seamlessly, finding fame when she photographed Claudia Schiffer for Guess? Jeans, and went on to shoot for major mags like Interview and Vanity Fair. Recognized for her celebration of femininity with an erotic bent, she’s a bit of a music maven as well von Unwerth is responsible for album covers featuring the likes of Duran Duran, Janet Jackson and fashion-favorite Rihanna.

91237 1272389570 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Ellen von Unwerth, Vogue Italia

6. Mikael Jansson
91180 1272309776 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Mikael Jansson, Interview

An Interview magazine favorite, Mikael Jansson has also shot a range of adverts for major labels from Chloe to Calvin Klein. He studied at the feet of photog great Richard Avedon in the mid-Eighties and has built a name for himself globally in fashion photography, shooting for British, Japanese, American and French Vogues with images that often reflect the aesthetics of portraiture (a nod to his mentor), by focusing on the model as subject.

91238 1272389787 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Mikael Jansson for Chloe

7. Sebastian Kim
91188 1272310967 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Sebastian Kim, Numero

Another Avedon prodigy, Sebastian Kim also assisted Steven Meisel while training for his chosen trade. This Vietnamese-born, Paris and Cali-bred, New York-based lensmen has shot for Teen Vogue, Numero and The New York Times Magazine and lensed editorials for Calvin Klein, Nina Ricci and “It”-kid Alexander Wang. His bold images call to mind a more subdued Guy Bourdin the much-loved, iconic Paris photog who changed fashion photography for the better in the Sixties.

91239 1272389912 Strike a Pose   Top Fashion Photographers to Know
Photo: Sebastian Kim, Numero

Which photographer’s work makes their way into your inspiration folder the most? Or is there one we missed you’d like to nominate? Let us know in the comments!

share