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34 Fascinating Conceptual Photographers to Follow in 2024

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 13 min read
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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.

Astronaut portrait with flowers in her helmet
© Anya Anti (Instagram)

2. Brooke Shaden

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.

Portrait of two women in a field with flowers and backdrop
© Brooke Shaden (Instagram)

3. Jovana Rikalo

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!

Colorful woman's portrait with a parrot
© Jovana Rikalo (Instagram)


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.

Woma's portrait with red sheet flying up from face
© Dasha Pears (Instagram)

5. Adam Martinakis

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.
He creates a statue-like look in his images, visualizing every detail of the human body. His photos are highly surrealistic. And he plays with shapes, colors, and composition to express his ideas.

Abstract sculptural portrait of two figures falling back against each other
© Adam Martinakis (Instagram)

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.

A woman sitting on the back of a giant rubber ducky
© Pol Kurucz (Instagram)


7. Claire Luxton

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.

Portrait of a woman with a hedgehog on her shoulder
© Claire Luxton (Instagram)

8. Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk

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.

A woman dressed in Victorian-style with her back turned and holding an egg behind her back
© Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk

9. David LaChapelle

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.

A business man in a tattered suit walking with chrome arms around him
© David LaChapelle (Instagram)


10. Hungry (Johannes J. Jaruraak)

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.

A surreal portrait of a person wearing a crown, nose-piece, and clothes based on traditional German garb
© Hungry | Johannes J. Jaruraak (Instagram)

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.

A woman holding a violin and lounging in a chair in front of a window
© Damian Drewniak (Instagram)

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.

The back of two figures with long hair and in white flowing robes
© Patty Maher (Instagram)


13. Saga Wendotte

Saga is a conceptual child portrait photographer from Sweden. She has created several photo series based on various topics, like traveling or flowers.
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.

A stylized portrait of a young girl
© Saga Wendotte (Instagram)

14. Karen Katar (Cantuq)

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.

An astronaut posed with a sheep
© Karen Katar (Instagram)

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.
She takes self-portraits and transforms herself into otherworldly creatures. Many natural elements appear in her work, like butterflies, flowers, and birds.

A stylized headshot of a woman with a large gold leaf and makeup
© Flóra Borsi (Instagram)


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.

A woman posing with her back turned and a mirrored plant and table
© Ziqian Liu (Instagram)

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.

A hooded woman in a long strapless dress
© Jason Buff (Instagram). This was featured on PrOject Uno’s Instagram.

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.

A pilot with a scarf riding an upside-down umbrella in the sky with other umbrellas falling around him
© Joel Robison (Instagram)


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.

A profile shot of a woman wearing elaborate jewellery in front of flowers
© Bella Kotak (Instagram)

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.

Two abstract, chrome figures in boxing gloves kissing
© Auguste Lefou (Instagram)

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.

A person sitting on a car in a garage with a reindeer torso
© Kyle Thompson (Instagram)


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.

A shirtless man looking up with a octopus on his face
© Steven Gindler (Instagram)

23. Vivienne Mok

Vivienne knows how to portray the feminine side of her models. Her dreamy images look smooth as she plays with different lighting and props.
She works with many actresses and singers. And she organizes photoshoots that result in beautiful portraits.

A shirtless man with his arm above his head and a butterfly on his eye
© Vivienne Mok (Instagram)

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.

An abstract portrait of person made of paper strips
© Ade Santora (Instagram)


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.

A portrait of a woman holding a violin
© Peyman Naderi (Instagram)

26. Tom Chambers

Tom creates conceptual photomontages for which he uses his own images. He combines landscapes, skies, foregrounds, and subjects to create his composites.
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.

Portrait of a giant woman in religious garments standing on a golden country landscape with buildings
© Tom Chambers (Instagram)

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.

A woman reclining with a small bird perched on her side
© Kaat Stieber (Instagram)


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.

A side portrait of a woman with a goose hiding her face
© Juul Kraijer (Instagram)

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.

A woman doing the splits in a neon yellow jumper hanging on the side of an empty pool
© Milos Nejezchleb (Instagram)

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.

An astronaut standing in front of a car in a parking lot at night
© Cameron Burns (Instagram)


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.

A faceless person with a balloon in front of their face
© Gabriel Isak (Instagram)

32. Kseniya Vaschenko

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.

Black and white photo of a woman fashionably dressed with sideways heart-shaped ad packaging on her chest
© Kseniya Vashchenko (Instagram and Tumblr)

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.

Black-and-white image of a woman in a dress and cap, holding rope in a mountainous desert landscape with birds flying above
© Astrid Verhoef (Instagram)

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.

A girl with her arms stretched in a circle on a table with a goldfish
© Bara Prasilova (Instagram)


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!