30 Most Influential Wedding & Portrait Photographers

30 Most Influential Wedding & Portrait Photographers

As most wedding and portrait photographers know, the annual WPPI conference in Las Vegas is right around the corner from February 27 - March 6. While at the conference you'll see a few photographers that have a following, literally treated like rock stars filling a packed stadium of adoring fans. I remember last year I saw one photographer who had a group of about 20 people follow him all over. But what about those that do a lot for the industry, though often fly under the radar.

Today I learned that Brandsmash released their list of The 30 Most Influential Wedding & Portrait Photographers. As they state on their website this list was created "because there are many people who aren’t flashy and are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make our photography industry better. Most of them have never been on Creative Live. Their work and passion for teaching others is truly amazing."

A few of the names on the list include:
Anne Almasy
David A Williams
Huy Nguyen
Jen Bebb
Neil Van Niekerk
+25 others

You can find the whole list here on the Brandsmash website with links to each of the photographer's websites. Brandsmash is a site that was started by the talented photographer Mike Allebach and is a new marketing resource for small business owners.

The list has some names you'll surely recognize and other names that you won't. Check it out though as it might lead you to some great inspiration for your own business.

This leads me to the following question. Who is out there doing amazing things for our industry that deserves to get some extra attention?

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28 Comments

This is too awesome! Some of the names have been doing lots to help others without asking for anything. Congrats to everyone on the list!

In some of these cases it looks like popularity = influential. I am surprised Joey L isn't on that list though.

I tried to put as many unknown influencers as I could in. The people that create change behind the scenes.

Just out of curiosity, how are you defining influential in this sense?

I just sat down and wrote. I didn't check facebook stats or klout scores. I just wrote. People that were personally influential, people that secretly are and people that influence my friends. It was a good process at 2am this morning.

its missing Scott Robert Lim, Bob Davis, Frank Salas, Sal Cincotta, etc
but still its a good list :-)

Scott Robert?!? Sells cheap Chinese flashes re-purposed under his brand for three times the amount!!! Great photographer. Takes advantage of newbies big time!!

Isn't that called running a business? Don't we all markup 4xs?

Good call.

Congrats on making the list, Trevor!

'30 photographers who are popular on internet photography blogs, plus a few actual decent ones'

You, sir, nailed it exactly!

bwahahahaha!

This is the opposite critique of most. Most told me they only knew of Joe McNally and David Hobby. I picked more behind the scenes people who make the world move and shake.

Very honored and chuffed to be on this list. I just wrote to Mike saying that it was for the 'Cycles & Echoes' presentation on the family that received that response rather than the wedding work. I remain very touched that Mike included me on that list.

Did you really just publish an article about a list that includes you, but fail to mention that the list includes you? That's the kind of little detail that an author, no matter how humble, is sort of expected to disclose. (Or were you perhaps added after you wrote your article?) It would have been much better to start with something disclosing your connection, e.g. with "Holy cow, I'm so honored to have made this list!". It's a great list to be included on. Congratulations.

The list had Trevor's name on it from the get go. Just thought I'd clarify.

Congrats to all the fabulous talents on Mike's list. I'm humbled to be considered amongst such great company!

So.. some guy who has a blog names 30 photographers he considers most influential. Influential to whom, may I ask? Only a couple of the photographers on the list are relevant to me, or likely, most other photographers. It is a stretch to think that you can narrow down a list to 30 and consider those as "the most influential".. I nominate www.victorzerga.com

People online like to get mad at lists like this, and it reality, it's stupid to get mad about it. Saying that person A shouldn't be on the list and person B should be is pointless. If you someone inspires you, whether they are on a list like this or not, that's awesome, let them keep inspiring you. If someone doesn't, no big deal. There are SOOO many photographers out there, and a ton of them are doing incredible work, but not getting online or blog recognition for it, because they don't seek it, which is fine. They are happy, and their clients are happy. At the end of the day those are the only two people we really have to answer to.

"Influential", "most Influential", sounds like focus group words.... it should read, "most influential to me". I am sure we all could make our own list of "most influential" but then again I'm not a communications & marketing director. Well done Mike, you have them hooked, now reel them in :-)

The article goes like "I created this list..." What if I create a list now? If they would have had some kind of system to measure the influence of photographers or an election by professional photographers.. But what do I care about a guy on the internet that created a list?

Michael Comeau's picture

Anyone on Twitter all day is not behind the scenes. The article feels like it was written with the intention of getting the people on the list to promote it.

If you want influential and behind the scenes (which is somewhat contradictory), then you really want to look at people like Craig McDean and Steven Meisel, who do amazing work for major publications and brands, but don't really promote themselves as personalities.

Robert Hunter's picture

Great list and I can't take anything away from anyone on there, but I just wanted to mention a few of my faves:

Joey L (L is for Lawrence, but not the actor) - http://www.joeyl.com/ - Wow! Did he really just do that?

Joel Grimes - http://joelgrimes.com/ - Hard worker and I want to be him when I grow up. There are great videos of his process on youtube.

John Keatley - http://www.keatleyphoto.com/ - He makes you just stare at your screen.

Sue Bryce - http://inbedwithsue.com/ - She's been on creativeLIVE more than anyone, but who cares. I think you would be hard pressed to find a lady who wouldn't the Sue Bryce Experience.

Bogdan Condor's picture

This article should've been titled "I have a buddy who put together a list with photographers, and he put me on the list too, because, you know, we're buddies....Now I'm returning the favor and write this article so more people go to his site..."

Here is one that I like as well: :) http://www.lavenderbouquetphotography.com/

Why there's no Jerry Ghionis, I think he's 8x champion.