Basically, who inspires you? One answer per post please. A link to some images would be cool too...

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    This is a rhetorical question used solely to start a discussion, but this is not a discussion board and discussion lists aren't really what we want.
    – Roger Pate
    Jul 16, 2010 at 3:49
  • Yup, that's fair. Should have read the faq's more closely... Jul 16, 2010 at 4:08
  • There is, admittedly, not very much guidance in this way, so I'm not faulting you. We need to set an example with early questions to provide that guidance, which especially means not having discussion lists.
    – Roger Pate
    Jul 16, 2010 at 4:32
  • @Roger True, but the first thing I read in the link you posted was that we should try to avoid 'subjective' questions... well, I tagged mine as such :) Anyway, no sweat. Jul 16, 2010 at 4:37
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    I find this a helpful question. The answers have introduced me to photographers of whom I had not previously heard. Photography as an art is inherently subjective, so we are going to have to tolerate some subjectivity. The hard part is knowing when it's helpful and when it isn't. +1
    – AJ Finch
    Jul 16, 2010 at 10:38

17 Answers 17


Henri Cartier-Bresson

I like street photography a lot and therefore Henri Cartier-Bresson is my hero: http://www.photoquotes.com/showphotographs.aspx?id=98&name=Cartier-Bresson,Henri


Ansel Adams, hands down ... I love his treatment of nature in black & white. I've used his work as inspiration for a number of my projects.


Zack Arias's free weekend course on creativeLIVE was really cool. He really got into the nitty-gritty of how to take photos in a studio setting.

  • Bought and seen the course, just great!!
    – Sam
    Jul 28, 2010 at 11:44
  • Agreed! That was a great course!
    – Don
    Aug 16, 2010 at 22:46

Joe McNally (http://www.joemcnally.com/)

His down-to-earth and goofiness and personable-ness won me over. Of course also the masterful use of light and making simple poses to be a masterful creation.


Terje Hellesø, some of his pictures change how you think of photography. For example his picture of a rabbit that is just a silhouette.

  • Really nice stuff in that link you posted... thanks! Jul 23, 2010 at 21:04

I've been following Scott Bourne's tweets recently and like his commentary.


Trey Ratcliff (http://www.stuckincustoms.com/)

I do a lot of HDR shooting myself, and I pretty much use Trey's tutorial as the basis for a lot of my work. Additionally, I am a fan of the "surrealistic" style of HDR and that is right in Trey's wheelhouse. I know that not everyone likes surrealistic HDR looking images, so my guess is not everyone will like his stuff.


Aside from Ansel Adams, I really don't have favorite photographers that are well known.

My favorite wedding photographer is Stacy Reeves in Dallas, TX. Her photos often rise above the rest. If it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't have even considered buying Canon's 50 f/1.2 (which I love!).



John Wright


I love his attitude. I love the style of his photos. I would like to emulate some of both.
I was especially inspired by John's recent guest post on Scott Kelby's blog.



Clearly not one single photographer, but has been the home of some of the world's preeminent photographers since it was founded.


Nick Turpin

A stellar street photographer, and a public champion of the form in general.

Also a founding member of in-public, which is worth a collective mention as well.


David Doubilet

He's made underwater photography my favourite type. I especially love the fact he built a special camera with two lenses for under/above water photos.


Jane Bown

Portrait photographer for the Observer (UK Sunday newspaper) for the last 60 years. It's an amazing career, defined by a simple, untechnical approach but a real instinct for the moment and skilful use of natural light.



Frank Hurley

(Not for his dubious photo-journalism (compositing shots), his treatment of the natives of Papua and the Torres Strait or his abandonment of his family. To modern eyes, these were disappointing.)

More for the conditions under which he took many of his photos.

Particularly, his remarkable photographs taken while marooned in the Antarctic on Shackleton's disastrous voyage (6 months living under a long-boat during the Antarctic winter, if I recall correctly), including dramatic images of their ship being crushed by ice.


When I first got into photography, it was partly because of Ansel Adams work. I think it was less his photography and more his work ethic. As I have begun to learn more about photography and explore more and more, I've encountered many other photographers work.

This question is difficult to answer as there are a variety of major kinds of photography. You have nature photography, portraits, architectural, abstract, and possibly a few other kinds. I have not really formulated a particular favorite artist for all of these. However, given that Nature photography is my own past time, I have encountered some phenomenal artists who's work and style I absolutely love:

  • Andy Mumford
    • A very talented photographer, his work is particularly inspiring. He has an understanding of nature and landscape composition that has taught me a lot.
  • John Parminter
    • Phenomenal skill for finding amazing, intriguing light. His work is amazingly crisp and clear, and always of something stunning.

I'll probably update this answer with more photographers in other areas, as I am continually finding new people with such phenomenal talent.


Not one specific person (if I had to name only one, it'd likely be George Lepp), but I just did an extended piece on the photographers that have and continue to influence my photography:



Chase Jarvis

I like the fact that his photographs tell a story.. and most of the time he'll blog about what goes into taking a particular picture. Very informative and inspiring.

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