In today's blog I'm going to write about some of my favourite photographers. There will likely be a second post at some point because there's just so many fantastic photographers that I love. You'll probably notice some patterns in the photographers that appeal to me, but the styles are really quite different.
One of the photographers that inspired me to start photography, Eugenio Recuenco combines dark, surreal elements with high fashion aesthetics, creating some beautifully distinctive work. One of my favourite bands is the german band Rammstein, and for a couple of years I was a fan of both Recuenco and Rammstein and didn't realise they had worked together a few times. Recuenco's work has moved further into the fashion realm in recent years, but still maintaining a surreal approach. His book Revue, the only book of his work to date, is full of incredible images of his work so far.
You might find a slight trend amongst my favourite photographers, but Erwin Olaf is another photographer that uses high fashion and surrealism in his work. Olaf's work is very slick, and everything looks perfected, but most of his work is fine art, with the occasional collaboration with the fashion world. Olaf has a number of books of his work available, but the most recent is Erwin Olaf: Volume II.
I do not know a fashion photographer who doesn't list Tim Walker as one of their favourites. Tim Walker is the kind of person that makes you wonder how so much creativity can come out of one person. His catalogue of work is staggering both in size and scope. His sets and props are jaw-dropping, and every image of his is so well considered. I had the immense pleasure of seeing an exhibition of his work at Somerset House a couple of years ago. The rooms were full of his photographs and props, including a plane used in one of his images. If he exhibits anywhere near you, do not hesitate to visit. Walker has five books available, but my favourite is Pictures, and I'm hoping to get Tim Walker: Story Teller soon.
A relative newcomer compared to some other photographers on this list, I'm so excited to see what Vijat Mohindra does next. Vijat's main focus is as a celebrity and fashion photographer, his work is bold and colourful, yet there's a softness to it.
Another photographer with some surreal influence, Guy Bourdin was ahead of his time. His provocative images were ground breaking, and are now held in museum and gallery collections, in addition to being exhibited widely. His contemporaries were Surrealist artists Magritte, Balthus, Buñuel and he was mentored by Man Ray. Such a strong surrealist influence is evident in most of his work. The Tate Modern in London has one of the largest permanent exhibitions of his work, which I can really recommend. There's a number of books on Bourdin's work, and a new book Guy Bourdin: Untouched shows some of his early black and white work for the first time.
Possibly one of the most well known, and controversial, photographers alive today, David LaChapelle is a commercial and fine art photographer. His work has reference social issues, art history and pop culture. He used to focus on big, dramatic, colourful fashion and celebrity shoots, but in recent years has produced still life and landscape work, but retains his signature style. Again, there's a number of books of LaChapelle's work, but LaChapelle: Heaven To Hell is a great place to start.
A photographer in stark contrast to the others on this list, Herb Ritts work is beautiful and classic. His style is very simple, yet inimitable. He's well known for his celebrity portraits, with a strong fashion influence, and has taken some of the most iconic images we see today. There is a fine art and surreal element to his work, but it is much more subtle than some of the other photographers mentioned. Again, there's a number of books of his work, and Herb Ritts | L.A. Style is a fantastic selection of images.
Cregory Crewdson's work is much more realist compared with the other photographer's on this list. This is perhaps ironic, as his work has a high degree of staging and art direction - many of the houses or scenes are constructed. In contrast to the other photographers, he's also solely a fine art photographer with no fashion work. I think his work appeals to me because of it's cinematic feel - like it's a still from a film and you wonder what happened to the characters in the image. He has released a number of books of his work, by I particularly recommend Twilight: Photographs by Gregory Crewdson, which also contains some behind the scenes images.
Self portraits are easy to come by in photography, but Juno Calypso's work takes them to a whole new level. It was such a struggle to narrow down her portraits to just post two because they're so beautiful, yet haunting. Her work feels feminine yet sinister, my favourite combination! You can see her work on her website and her Instagram.