When reality is starting to look just a little bit too much like a disaster-movie, there's only one thing to do – escape it entirely by doing a deep-dive into Instagram. If you're a portrait photographer, being in lockdown without any subjects is definitely far from ideal. However, you don't need to avoid your portrait photography hobby entirely. Rather than binging Netflix and becoming one with the sofa, why not research some exciting portrait photography techniques to try once lockdown has been lifted and it's safe to do so.
From dark and moody self-portraits to bright and breezy tones, we've rounded up 13 amazing portrait photographers that'll not only make you hit that follow button, but also keep you inspired with their artistry, no matter how long your lockdown lasts.
• Read more: Everything photographers need to work from home
13. Sasha Arutyunova
Sasha Arutyunova is a portrait photographer who was born in Moscow, raised in Florida and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her raw portraiture is perfect for those seeking an unfiltered alternative to what can easily become a hyper-edited Instagram feed.
12. Annie Leibovitz
As one of the most famous living portrait photographers, it should be no surprise that Annie Leibovitz is on this list. While you might know and love her work, you might not have yet realized that she's on the 'gram. Leibovitz mostly posts throwbacks to her work from the past, so we'd really recommend following her if you're a fan of photography history.
11. Tamara Williams
Tamara William's super close-up portraits are a masterclass in studio lighting and the magic of skin retouching. Beauty photography is all about striking looks and vibrant skin, and Tamara delivers that in spades with every post. If you've got some old close-up portrait photography gathering digital dust on your hard drives, why not try some skin retouching tutorials to help pass the time.
10. Laura Zelanga
Laura Zalenga is a photographer from Southern Germany who captures a beautiful array of both self portraits and portraits of other people. Her imagery is often inspired by interesting patterns and textures, with craggy rocks, abandoned tires and fallen flowers featuring in her photos. Having worked with clients such as Adobe, Disney, Sony, Fiat and FinnAir, Zalenga is a veritable well of inspiration.
09. Brandon Woelfel
No portrait photographer round-up list would be complete without Brandon Woelfel. With 3.1 million followers, Woelfel is one of the most popular photographers on Instagram. Filled with bokeh and neon lighting, his photography has sparked the inspiration of countless photographers - and there is an entire sub-genre of YouTube tutorials devoted to showing you how to mimic his iconic editing style.
08. Bella Kotak
Inspired by flowers and fairytales, Bella Kotak creates beautifully ethereal portraits that are designed to capture the most whimsical corners of your imagination. Often shooting with Phase One cameras, Kotak's attention to detail leaves no visual stone unturned. If you love basking in sheer beauty, then you'll want to follow Kotak yesterday!
07. Collier Schorr
A fashion and commercial photographer who has shot for YSL, Louis Vuitton and Dior, Collier Schorr also shoots regularly for Dazed. She's captured a number of famous faces, including Millie Bobby Brown, Zayn Malik, Scarlett Johansson, Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan (pictured above).
06. The Hearnes
For those of you who are a little more romantically minded, wedding photography has never been so good. With the sub-genre of elopement photography rapidly gaining ground, one of the best photographic teams on Instagram is comprised of wife and husband Abbi and Callen Hearnes. Their page is stuffed with incredible photos of couples in Yosemite, Alaska, Moab and more. Go forth and enjoy!
05. Elizabeth Gadd
Elizabeth Gadd is a photographer based in Vancouver, Canada who takes full advantage of her incredible surroundings to capture amazing nature-inspired self portraits. Accompanied by her adorable dog Pepper, Gadd has ventured to some of the world's most beautiful locations to make her own unique spin on it.
04. Marta Bevacqua
An Italian Paris-based photographer and director, Marta Bevacqua is known for her unique muted tones and surreal, dreamy portraits. She has shot for a wide variety of fashion heavyweights, including Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour, Dior and La Perla.
03. Nirav Patel
Nirav Patel is a San Francisco-based portrait and editorial photographer known for his dark, moody compositions and edits. Light plays a crucial role in his work, with beautifully composed chiaroscuro often making an appearance. If you want to capture portrait photography that works outside the box, Patel's work is a great source of inspiration.
02. Kate Woodman
Based in Portland, Oregon, Kate Woodman has an incredible portfolio filled to the brim with incredible colors and tones. Her portraits can be bold and brash, or subtle and sensual, but her personal style always pops off the screen.
01. Follow Me Away
Follow Me Away isn't your typical portrait photography Instagram account. The account is run by couple TJ Drysdale and Victoria Yore. While Drysdale is the photographer, Victoria models and runs the Instagram and accompanying blog Follow Me Away. This account is one of our favorites on Instagram - not only do you get to see dramatic and beautifully edited photos, but Victoria's Insta Stories are always packed with down-to-earth advice on the realities of traveling, building an Instagram following and more.
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