Our article lists 34 fascinating conceptual photographers. And believe us—it’s worth following them!
Conceptual portrait photography is, without a doubt, one of the most popular photography niches. This is partly because of the variety it has to offer. There are so many ways to capture humans and their personalities. And these conceptual portrait photographers give us a taste of what’s possible!
What Do Conceptual Photographers Shoot?
Conceptual photographers shoot conceptual photography, a genre that portrays an idea. It usually has a narrative or a hidden meaning behind the image. The photographer decides on the concept before taking the image and tries to illustrate it in the most accurate way possible.
Conceptual portrait photography often involves abstract faces, geometric shapes, vividly captured colors, and surreal details. It is not rare that artists use conceptual portraits to express their own struggles or emotions through images.
The niche strongly connects to Photoshop art, as unique post-processing styles represent many ideas. Several artists who take self-portraits turn them into conceptual art.
34 Fascinating Conceptual Portrait Photographers
Let’s dive into the work of these amazing conceptual portrait photographers!
1. Anya Anti
Anya is a fine-art conceptual and lifestyle portrait photographer. She works mainly with self-portraits, placing herself in gorgeous locations and situations.
Many of her photos revolve around her connection to the Earth and nature. She portrays herself as part of her surroundings while creating a universal cold and moody style in her art.
Brooke describes herself as someone who stands for radical self-reflection. This is probably the best way to outline her work as an artist.
She works with various models—primarily women—to capture their often dark emotions. Strong personalities and traumatic experiences shine through her photos. Her conceptual images have a disturbing yet beautiful look.
Jovana is a brilliant fine art portrait photographer from Serbia who uniquely captures miniature stories in single images. She creates magical scenes that depict dream-like scenarios.
You can tell from her pictures that she spends most of her time planning shoots. As you can see, this planning pays off!
4. Dasha Pears
Dasha is a visual storyteller who captures stories and ideas with her photos. Her concepts are minimalistic and exceptionally well executed.
She sometimes uses geometric shapes and Photoshop overlays to emphasize her subjects’ stories. Her images revolve around inner fights and finding our places in the world.
Creating sculptures has been a way of depicting humans for thousands of years. So it is unsurprising that Adam chose a similar way to capture how he sees humanity.
6. Pol Kurucz
Pol redefines the concept of beauty with his conceptual portraits. His models aren’t perfect. They have their flaws, as every human does.
Pol has several photo series dedicated to different ideas. Poor Billionaires, Angry Dolls, Hair Stories, and Bored in NYC are some of Pol’s photo concepts. The images are colorful and full of unexpected elements and expressions.
Claire is a multidisciplinary artist, combining conceptual portraits and Photoshop art. She often takes self-portraits. And she transforms them into photos that perfectly capture her emotions and struggles.
Her images illustrate concepts like hope, truth, and dreams. And they are executed colorfully with a touch of nature.
Gemmy is a fine-art portrait photographer creating images that remind us of a historical era. The studio setting, costumes, makeup, and posing all contribute to the nostalgic feeling of her photos.
The images reflect the Renaissance, Baroque, or Victorian eras. She also manages to recreate the dark atmosphere of old portrait paintings.
David is one of the most well-known conceptual portrait photographers out there. He creates Biblical, historical, or sometimes even modern composites. And he uses a sense of humor to spice up his images.
He has stories to tell and knows precisely how to tell them. His imagination is outstanding. But his technical knowledge allows him to bring that imagination to life.
Hungry’s conceptual portraits are based on the creative use of makeup and costumes. The results are surreal. The models barely look human afterward.
These portraits show us a twisted version of humanity. The colorful makeup combined with the model’s serious expression leaves the viewer with a pretty dark impression.
11. Damian Drewniak
Damian is a Polish visual artist who specializes in fine-art conceptual portraits. He speaks to you with images that capture atmospheres and concepts everyone can relate to.
The only difference is that he captures everything with a high sense of aesthetics and sophistication. This drags you into his world.
12. Patty Maher
Patty is a Canadian conceptual portrait photographer who focuses on female portraiture. She doesn’t show the faces of the models. They are either disguised or facing away from the camera.
She uses postures, colors, and symbols to convey emotions and stories. Her work balances the boundaries of the real world and surrealism.
13. Saga Wendotte
Her Little People series captures children in a meaningful yet disturbing setting. She captures controversial topics, contrasting the world’s cruelty and the children’s innocence.
Karen took up Photoshop art and conceptual portraits to express her inner world. She uses art for self-therapy, as she creates highly surrealistic composites.
Her photos look as if a child’s imagination has come true. The colorful images look like paintings and uniquely illustrate the world of animals.
15. Flóra Borsi
Flóra is a Hungarian Photoshop artist who has worked with the program for over 16 years. This is visible in her images, as she knows exactly how to make refined conceptual portraits.
16. Ziqian Liu
Ziqian, like many others on our list, also works with self-portraits. What differentiates her from the other artists is that she barely ever captures whole portraits.
Instead, she uses body parts, mirrors, reflections, and creative blur to create mystical and minimalistic portraits. Check out her account if you are looking for a unique, feminine style of conceptual portraits.
17. PrOject Uno
The PrOject Uno is a photography community involving and featuring many contemporary portrait artists. Many images are dark and surreal.
These conceptual photos illustrate the darkest corners of the human soul. You can find several different styles and atmospheres in the mixture of various artists’ work.
18. Joel Robison
Joel is a portrait photographer and Photoshop artist, working mainly with self-portraits. He uses his creativity and artistic skills to capture his conceptual visions and ideas.
His images are often fairytale-like. They feature Joel as a giant, a tiny man, or someone with magical abilities. He has a smooth and consistent style that he applies during his editing. And you can learn his techniques through his Fantastic Photo Adventures video course.
19. Bella Kotak
Bella describes herself as a fairytale fine-art photographer. This accurately describes her style. She mainly works with women, creating genuinely magical images in various locations.
The costumes, makeup, and accessories resemble the fairy tales we all grew up with. Bella uses the power of nature to bring a unique atmosphere into her photos.
20. Auguste Lefou
Auguste has probably the most modern photography style on our list. He captures humans merging with technology, often looking like robots and emotionless beings.
His images address many contemporary issues, like social media addiction and consumer society. The models’ faces are barely visible and unrecognizable. This helps the viewer focus on the message each photo conveys.
21. Kyle Thompson
Kyle is an American photographer who has worked primarily with self-portraits. His work’s emphasis is more on the message than the visuals. He’s taken a break from photography. But his work still inspires.
His most popular photo series, titled Sinking Ship, is where he visits an abandoned American town. He takes pictures full of self-reflection and hidden emotions. And he embraces his portraits’ vulnerability.
22. Steve Gindler
You should check out Steve’s account if you are looking for a conceptual portrait artist with relatable and touching photos. He captures his model’s raw emotions and fears with honest portraits.
These conceptual pictures are often set in an abandoned environment. He uses various disturbing settings and poses. And they often reflect pain and hopelessness.
23. Vivienne Mok
She works with many actresses and singers. And she organizes photoshoots that result in beautiful portraits.
24. Ade Santora
Ade is an Indonesian artist who creates twisted portraiture. His work is an excellent combination of digital art and conceptual portraits. Ade takes photos exclusively with his iPhone and edits all his images with mobile apps.
He shows a surreal side of humanity, tearing and reattaching faces in his pictures. So his subjects are sometimes unrecognizable, depicted darkly and disturbingly. But some are also beautiful and ethereal.
25. Peyman Naderi
Peyman is an international multi-award-winning photographer from Persia. His goal is to represent his unique way of looking at various concepts.
He creates his portraits in a studio setting, bringing several creative ideas to life. His portraits have a surreal look. And they involve nature, fish tanks, strong makeup, and nostalgic props.
26. Tom Chambers
He often works with children and young adults, showing them in a rural setting. And Tom’s work has been published and exhibited several times over his career.
27. Kaat Stieber
Kaat is a fine art photographer from the Netherlands who brings surrealism and Dutch art elements into her images. She aims to create images that look like paintings.
She does so through photography, costume-making, and brainstorming about new concepts. Her photos give you the feeling of looking at a classical painting.
28. Juul Kraijer
Juul is a Dutch visual artist widely recognized professionally in her country. She has dozens of exhibitions consisting of her conceptual portraits.
She combines drawings and sculptures with photography to create an extremely surreal look. The atmosphere of her images is dark. And her conceptual images show emotions and struggles through how she poses her models.
29. Milos Nejezchleb
Milos is a Czech, multi-award-winning photographer and visual artist. He often chooses current social issues as an inspiration for his images.
He plays with colors and shapes to create a minimalistic style and convey the message he aims to deliver. Many of his portraits involve several models whose interactions are key elements of his photos.
30. Cameron Burns
Cameron is a 3D artist who uses digital technology to make his conceptual portraits come true. The primary models in his photos are an astronaut, a “ghost,” or another figure. And they participate in seemingly everyday activities in mostly mundane settings.
He addresses topics that concern everyone in their daily lives. These include isolation, the therapeutic effect of music, and burnout from overworking.
31. Gabriel Isak
Gabriel creates surreal and melancholic scenes that symbolize the human unconscious. He uses colors and strong symbols, like birds, stairs, or blindfolds, to capture what is going on in the human psyche.
His photos are very minimalistic. And they often showcase faceless models in simple settings.
Kseniya’s images are a mixture of conceptual photography and fashion portraits. She uses twisted positions and dark coloring to express the agony and emotions of her models. In her work, feminine sexuality makes for sophisticated yet powerful results.
33. Astrid Verhoef
Astrid’s images teeter on the edge of surrealism and fine art portraiture. She places subjects in unusual surroundings to create landscapes unfamiliar to the human eye.
Using juxtaposition, her images greatly contrast technology and nature, humans and still objects.
34. Bara Prasilova
Bara Prasilova creates surreal conceptual photos that have you second-guessing each image. Look at the way she frames and composes each image. It instantly makes the subject stand out and sets the scene nicely for odd encounters.
I like how particular she is, down to the small details, including the color pallet she uses.
Conclusion: Influential Conceptual Photographers
Conceptual portrait photography has many faces and includes several different niches. Whether you’re looking for Photoshop art, minimalist, or detailed portrait shots, our article features exceptional artists in their fields.
Do you agree with our list? Please comment with your favorite conceptual portrait photographer under this post! And check out our Creative Portrait Concepts eBook to jumpstart your photo-taking and editing processes!