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Author Topic: The best Portrait Photographer?  (Read 17602 times)
Abdulrahman Aljabri
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« on: April 23, 2010, 01:44:54 PM »
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Who are the best portrait photographers? By portrait i am strictly referring to a picture made to present a person, no life style, nude, fashion, etc; its all about the person in the picture and it can be studio or location.

What, I am looking for are the most elegant well made photos of people. The sort of photos that make you stare in awe not just for their beauty but also for the fact that the photographer was able to transform your average ceo, activist, politician etc into an interesting figure. I am referring to pictures that show a blend of excellent lighting, posing, setting and expression to create the best portrait.

So, who are the best portrait photographers? And just to make it simple think in terms of best business portrait or family portrait photographer etc.

Thanks in advance!
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 01:49:38 PM »
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Richard Avedon, period. He is probably better known his (excellent) fashion photography, but he's done some of the best portraits of celebrities and some outstanding photos of laypeople.

I especially like his photos of Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot.
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BJNY
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 02:03:21 PM »
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Guillermo
Abdulrahman Aljabri
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 02:07:03 PM »
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Thanks feppe,


I am not sure why people keep mentioning Avedon. I understand he had an impact on photography in his time, but relative to what is being produced today his pictures do not have much impact.  Just to use the two pictures as an example, they don't come across as amazing. Am I missing something?

On the other hand, Patrick Demarchelier produces amazing beauty and fashion Pictures. I am looking for photographers at his caliber but in portrait.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 02:11:24 PM by Abdulrahman Aljabri » Logged

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BFoto
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 02:11:46 PM »
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one of my favs

http://www.marcogrob.com/portfolio/portraits/index.php

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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 02:36:17 PM »
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Abdulrahman

You are really pushing the boat out here: nearly all the current portrait people I can think of are associated with fashion/celebrity shooting. If you seek older generation ones - then you could do worse than look at Cecil Beaton who, of course, also did fashion and theatre.

You mention Avedon with a touch of disappointment - which I share - and I also feel little affection for the work of Karsh (of Ottowa, even!); with the former because I sense a touch of cruelty and for the latter because he might as well be shooting jet engines or giant turbines. He is, to me, the industrial photographer of portraiture.

I suppose the problem with your quest is that you are excluding the very markets/genres that do use portrait photographers...

Rob C
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feppe
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 02:57:28 PM »
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Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
I am not sure why people keep mentioning Avedon. I understand he had an impact on photography in his time, but relative to what is being produced today his pictures do not have much impact.  Just to use the two pictures as an example, they don't come across as amazing. Am I missing something?


You're definitely missing something if the Monroe picture doesn't speak to you. It's not me, either, as that photo is one of the best-known portraits of Marilyn - and there are literally thousands of those out there. For example, it's in the top 10 of google image search for her.

The photo to me is more of Norma Jeane Mortenson than Marilyn Monroe. Avedon explained background to the photo in some documentary they were showing at one of his recent exhibitions: she spent the day in his studio acting like Marilyn Monroe in front of the camera. After the shoot was over, she was sitting alone in a corner, with the facade gone. Avedon approached her with a camera, and she allowed him to take a photo of her in that state. And that's what's clearly captured. He explicitly said he wouldn't have even taken the photo if she didn't acknowledge his presence beforehand.

That should also put rest to Rob's critique about Avedon's alleged cruelty.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 03:01:11 PM by feppe » Logged

TMARK
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2010, 03:13:03 PM »
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Nadar, Karsh, Irving Penn, Avedon, Beaton.  

I do like Platon, Dan Winters, Ben Watts, and Martin Schoeller, but they are pop editorial, and not in the same league as the A list of dead guys I listed above.

Abdul, I think the problem you will have with this post is that portraits are very much a matter of taste and the psychology of the viewer. as an example, I don't like Patrick Demachelier at all, fashion, portrait, whatever, but I can see the appeal.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2010, 03:14:37 PM »
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Jane Brown. Superb portrait 'tog.

clicky
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ivokwee
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 03:28:12 PM »
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My list

Historical: Irving Penn
Editorial: George Lange http://www.langephoto.com
Dutch contemporary:  Frank Ruiter http://www.frankruiter.nl/
Classic portraiture: Tim Kelly  http://www.timkellyportraits.com/
Enchanting: Joyce Tenneson http://www.joycetenneson.com
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tesfoto
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 04:23:40 PM »
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Quote from: TMARK
Nadar, Karsh, Irving Penn, Avedon, Beaton.  

I do like Platon, Dan Winters, Ben Watts, and Martin Schoeller, but they are pop editorial, and not in the same league as the A list of dead guys I listed above.

Abdul, I think the problem you will have with this post is that portraits are very much a matter of taste and the psychology of the viewer. as an example, I don't like Patrick Demachelier at all, fashion, portrait, whatever, but I can see the appeal.


TMARK - We do have similar taste, I would like to add:

Fazal Sheikh a portrait photographer with empathy his books Moksha and Ladli are masterpieces: http://www.fazalsheikh.org/

August Sander should not be forgotten, for his impact on modern photography for artist like Avedon (American West)

Paolo Roversi love some of his close up portraits: http://www.paoloroversi.com/diaporama/photographs.html

Nancy Burson - for her pioneer work on computer manipulated photography in the 1980 and her aging machine, where would Loretta Lux and Desiree Dolron be without her:
http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/first-and-second-beauty/

Nicholas Nixon his body of work on the Brown Sisters: http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation...FTOKEN=70953879

Sally Man, Rineke Dijkstra, Bill Viola, Chuck Close, Thomas Struth, Hellen van Meene, the list is endless...................

I like this guy too:

http://www.yossimilogallery.com/exhibition...2_09-torb_eske/
http://www.plgallery.dk/default.asp?Doc=190

I discovered this photographer today, I like the work:

http://www.birthepiontek.com/work/the_idea_of_north


Cheers

TES



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Lightbox
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 05:30:31 PM »
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A few of my modern favourites -

Mark Tucker

Dan Winters

Patrick Hoelck


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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 06:15:04 PM »
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Sally Mann was the first who came to mind
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pschefz
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 06:24:22 PM »
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penn
penn
penn



helmuth newton has great portraits
nadav kander (everytime i see more, i admire him more)
anton corbijn (pretty much "made" the band photo)
and really this list should have annie on it as well....she really defined at least a decade (like it or not)
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 10:50:14 PM »
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Definitely! She is my favorite too~ I love her b/w portrait works, but her recent works seems too abstract and more like paintings but not photography.
Dustblue

Quote from: Graham Mitchell
Sally Mann was the first who came to mind
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TMARK
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2010, 11:58:00 PM »
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I would add everyone on your list as well.  I never think of Paolo R and Sally Mann  as portratists.  Of course they are, but their work seems beyond a portrayal of a person.  

Quote from: tesfoto
TMARK - We do have similar taste, I would like to add:

Fazal Sheikh a portrait photographer with empathy his books Moksha and Ladli are masterpieces: http://www.fazalsheikh.org/

August Sander should not be forgotten, for his impact on modern photography for artist like Avedon (American West)

Paolo Roversi love some of his close up portraits: http://www.paoloroversi.com/diaporama/photographs.html

Nancy Burson - for her pioneer work on computer manipulated photography in the 1980 and her aging machine, where would Loretta Lux and Desiree Dolron be without her:
http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/first-and-second-beauty/

Nicholas Nixon his body of work on the Brown Sisters: http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation...FTOKEN=70953879

Sally Man, Rineke Dijkstra, Bill Viola, Chuck Close, Thomas Struth, Hellen van Meene, the list is endless...................

I like this guy too:

http://www.yossimilogallery.com/exhibition...2_09-torb_eske/
http://www.plgallery.dk/default.asp?Doc=190

I discovered this photographer today, I like the work:

http://www.birthepiontek.com/work/the_idea_of_north


Cheers

TES
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TMARK
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2010, 12:00:38 AM »
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Newton, Nadav, Corbijn and Annie too.

Annie WAS 1985 to 2001 for US editorial portraits.  Many are really amazing.  Her show was fantastic, and A Photographer's Life was a great book.

Quote from: pschefz
penn
penn
penn



helmuth newton has great portraits
nadav kander (everytime i see more, i admire him more)
anton corbijn (pretty much "made" the band photo)
and really this list should have annie on it as well....she really defined at least a decade (like it or not)
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Kumar
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2010, 12:08:14 AM »
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Arnold Newman
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tesfoto
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2010, 02:52:58 AM »
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Quote from:  Abdulrahman Aljabri
I am not sure why people keep mentioning Avedon. I understand he had an impact on photography in his time, but relative to what is being produced today his pictures do not have much impact.  Just to use the two pictures as an example, they don't come across as amazing. Am I missing something?


For me Avedons best work is his personal work, I like the series about his father the most:

http://www.richardavedon.com/#s=0&a=0&...mp;p=8&at=0


Talking abouth fathers, here is an amazing project by Phillip Toledano:

http://www.dayswithmyfather.com/



I am mostly into personal project about portraits, but I also enjoy good editorial or commercial photographers:

Jim Rakete: http://www.eyed.de

Brigitte Lacombe: http://www.brigittelacombe.com/index.php

Marco Grob, Dan Winters, Nadav, Annie like others have mentioned


Older and historical portraits:

Nadar, Julie Margaret Cameron, UMBO,




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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2010, 03:25:54 AM »
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I am not familiar with the work of any of the photographers mentioned... but has anyone seen any work by Constantine?

I saw some of her work on a pub wall in Port Isaac, and she captures the character of her subjects well... of course you would only appreciate this if you knew the people depicted.
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