10 Photographers That Inspire Me Right Now

Jeff Bell selfie

Where do you find photography inspiration? I find it in the obvious spot – the internet, you know, because it is 2016 – however, I sometimes draw inspiration from unusual places.

Below is a list of photographers who are inspiring me right now. Followers of my blog will realize that my shots have nothing in common with some of these photographers. These people inspire me to go out and shoot and take my own shots, not necessarily copy their style or shoot like them. Their work is interesting, different, and above all, excellent.

10 Inspiring Photographers

Phil Kneen

Phil Kneen portrait

Courtesy Phll Kneen

 

My photos are absolutely nothing like Phil’s, but I love his work. His portraits are raw, straight-forward, unpretentious and bring out the best in his subjects. He shoots his personal work on film, and can do more with a disposable camera that most people can do with a Canon 1D. His website has some nudity – all tastefully done – but his sexiest photos are of his clothed models.

Matt Stuart

 

Matt is a London based photographer who shoots mostly street scenes in his home city. A master of observation, he has a keen eye for things that aren’t quite right and making it into a humorous shot. His sharp photos always put a smile on my face. Check out his color photo gallery to see what I mean.

 

Blake Andrews

Blake’s Blog, “B,” is one of the funniest photo blogs on the internet. I really love his series, “What was he thinking?” in which he interviews famous photographers about their best shots, getting the background of the photo. His website is a great place to look around on a rainy day while seeking some inspiration.

 

Jon Sanwell

Photo by Jon Sanwell

Photo by Jon Sanwell

Jon is a fellow WordPress blogger based in Hanoi, Vietnam. His street portraits and street photos from southeast Asia are superb, usually depicting photogenic locals in the context of their surroundings. My favorite shots are his street scenes from Yangon. His photos make me want to pick up my camera and go explore my winter home city of Bangkok.

 

Yanidel

 

Yanick’s street photos are what I call “slice of life” shots. His photos masterfully depict moments of life on the streets.  He is very tall – about 6 feet 5 inches – and his shots are almost all done from a high angle with shallow depth of field to give his shots a unique look.

In 2013, he spent 80 weeks traveling the world to 20 countries, and his blog has a chronicle of street photos from that epic journey. He updates his blog regularly and is currently featuring photos from Argentina where he recently moved.

 

Tavepong Pratoomwong

 

Based in Bangkok, Tavepong’s images are truly brilliant. He is a master of composition, framing everyday street scenes in a clever, often funny way. In 2014, he started a 365 photo a day challenge and has taken photos daily ever since! Check out his color gallery to see some of his best work.

 

Siegfried Hansen

Siegfried Hansen

Photo By Siegfried Hansen

Siegfried sees the world differently than you and I do. This quote from his In-Public profile sums up his approach: “Street Photography is my way to create unique images in public space by composing graphics, colours, and fascinating combinations of people and objects in a harmonic but surprising manner. I like the aesthetic of lines, patterns, and shapes. I strive to add a “second layer” to a picture for example by matching seemingly unconnected elements within my subjectively chosen frame.”

Again, my photos look nothing like his, and neither do yours, but his approach is a refreshing way to look at the world.

 

Patrick Endres

 

Patrick is my favorite Alaskan photographer, and probably has the best collection of northern lights photos anywhere on the web. His photos will make you want to book a trip to Alaska or if you are already there, grab your camera and go outside. He has several photos galleries of “100 Yearly Favorites”  which is the perfect place to go for inspiration.

 

Maciej Dakowicz

 

I recently discovered Maciej’s photos and I can’t stop looking away. Like all great street photographers, he has the gift of observation and timing, but his photos have something extra special. He uses juxtaposition, shapes and color in a creative way to tell a visual story.

 

Jack Simon

An oldie from Tokyo airport.

A post shared by Jack Simon (@jacksimon) on

 

Jack Simon’s photos make me stop and think. Although they are simple shots, they are usually surrealistic and often times leave me with more questions than answers. His free e-book, Seventy, which he dedicated to his 70th birthday, is something you should download.

 

Sabastiao Salgado

 

After a career documenting deprived societies, conflict, war, and atrocities around the world, the brilliant Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado took a break from photography. When he started shooting again, he turned his camera towards nature, staying with his classic black and white style. The results are stunning. The documentary, Salt of the Earth, features breathtaking images and tells the story of his remarkable life.


What photographers do you find inspiring?

28 Comments on “10 Photographers That Inspire Me Right Now

  1. I think I hate you right now because this means hours of my life will now disappear into exploring all their blogs and websites. You’ve given me enough of a taste that I want to see more from each of them. They all look amazing.
    And not a woman among them . . . . . . .
    Alison

  2. Thanks for this post. Goodbye next few hours while check out the sites. I am in a constant process of trying to improve my photography and now I will hopefully find some inspiration.

    • One of the best ways to improve is to look at great photos and different photos. Was there a particular photographer in this group you liked?

      • I have checked out all you had recommended and it is hard to pick one. But having said I will have to say I liked Jon Sanwell, the vibrant colors really is my thing.

  3. I think, I better not repeat what Alison said, he he 🙂

    I have already been exploring different blogs in this list for last couple of hours 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jeff, it’s truly an incredible compilation…

    Have a nice day 🙂

  4. Thank you for this post. I’ve engaged with photography like I used to for about 18 months now, but I miss it. You’ve provided me with the inspiration to find inspiration and get out there again. Lovely selection of photographs

      • Yesterday, I was going to say, but found it hard to choose one. Coming back to them again today, I have to opt for the last. It’s story is so powerful that I have an almost physiological response to it. Thanks for asking the question – I’m a little unfocused creatively at the moment in many areas and you’ve got me thinking more about the kind of photos I’d like to be taking.

      • Agreed. Salgado’s story is very amazing, and very inspiring. Hopefully you can get out of your creative rut soon!

  5. I don’t consider myself a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. I love taking photos because I’ve discovered it makes me far more observant of things around me that I might have otherwise missed.

    At the very beginning of this post, you said “These people inspire me to go out and shoot and take my own shots, not necessarily copy their style or shoot like them”. That expresses it perfectly for me.
    You are one of those who inspire me.

    • I agree that photography makes me more observant. That is probably the one thing I have gained the most. Also, it drags me out to shoot sunsets or hike that extra hilltop that I might have been too lazy to see! Thank you for the kind words.

    • No problem Jon – thanks for showing off your great photos. Thanks for the link too – there are some great shots there and I am sure I’ll be visiting that sight often.

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