The visual market is over saturated with 95 million photos and videos being shared on Instagram per day. This is a very difficult area to become noticed in, even for young photographers who have the knowledge and the content.
How much more difficult must it be for those young photographers who break through the net? Here we have 20 of the best young contemporary photographers. They are all under 30 years old, most of them are under 25 and they have made waves in the photographic world.
You will see fashion, documentary and fine art photographers who, against all odds, have made names for themselves on social media. Enjoy!
20. Silvia Grav
Silvia Grav is a photographer who utilises photographic manipulation to create dreamy/nightmarish images. She is as creative as she is knowledgeable in getting her ideas and concepts to fruition.
Her black and white images are powerful, showing impressions and feelings of those she photographs. Her images bring out ideas of life, living, loss and memory.
19. Camila Falquez
Camila Falquez’s style is split into two parts. On one side, she is a fashion photographer, setting up her subjects in a well-dressed studio space.
Her other side is where she keeps her eyes open to the candid scenes of the world. She gained my interest, and now she has my full attention.
18. David Uzochukwu
David Uzochukwu is a self-taught fine art and portrait photographer, coming from Innsbruck, Austria. His images break the convention of identity, whether simple, straight shots or photographically manipulated.
They are so powerful they became part of Adobe, Dior, and Nike advertising campaigns.
17. Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is an English photographer who sees a lot of variety in his shooting locations. He cleverly mixes documentary and fashion photography for a fresh look at both styles.
He started young, and finally managed to move to the city to open his own studio, where he operates today. That’s if he isn’t shooting identical twin gatherings or jewellery in a boxing club.
Alecsandra Dragoi hails from Romania. Now, like most portrait photographers, finds herself in London. She works as a freelance photographer, has had her work published in National Geographic and the Guardian. Numerous awards sit under her belt, such as the prestigious Sony Awards.
Thankfully, this brings her images to an ever-increasing audience. Her simple yet cultural images of Romanian traditional dress are powerful and well worth a gander.
15. Nadine Ijewere
Nadine Ijewere actually started out by studying medicine in her home town, London. Photography was her break from science and maths, and it was a good decision. She now shoots for Vogue and the likes of Stella McCartney.
Her images of diverse subjects for her portrait series are striking. Enough so that she was named one of the best emerging African photographers.
Nicholas Scarpinato is a fine art photographer of high standing. Based in Los Angeles, his work emanates a vivid, emotive and somewhat surreal feeling. He likes to incorporate drawings and paintings into his work, which really creates a unique image.
His creative works have netted him very important awards. Top 10 young and talented photographers from My Modern Met and 20 most talented photographers under 20 by Flickr are just a few.
13. Zev Hoover
Zev Hoover is best known for his ‘Littlefolk’ series. He spends hours creating unimaginably beautiful and seamless montages of little people in big settings.
His images were so successful that he was one of Flickr’s 20 most successful photographers under 20, in 2014. His focus is shifting ideas and visions of reality.
This makes him very much a photographer who follows his creative passions.
12. Oliver Charles
Oliver Charles is a photographer in his early twenties. His age hasn’t stopped him from working with Ralph & Russo, one of the largest British Haute Couture houses in the world.
He creates emotional and whimsical images, capturing subjects in dream-like scenarios. the use of natural environments make these lines between dreaming and reality very romantic and idealised.
11. Rachel Baran
Rachel Baran is a fine art photographer, who often captures herself through the act of self-portraiture. She is self-taught and uses photo manipulation on some of her most simple studio shots.
She changes our perspective on identity and how her subjects relate to their emotions and settings.
10. Katharina Jung
What brought Katharina Jung to the main stage was her underwater photography. You may have also seen her shared and published in many places all over the world wide web.
She is a fine-art and portrait photographer, coming at you from Hermeskeil in Germany. Her amazing imagery reflects her daydreams, where her determination has created photographic realities.
Alex Stoddard is a name that many of us in the photography industry know only too well. His Facebook sees almost 300k followers, and his Instagram account reaches over 40k. Elements of fantasy and dreamlike scenes fill his photographic images. They even touch upon concepts with a darker sensibility.
They are emotive works, bringing out your own connotations to help explain the concepts and ideas used. He can capture a great self-portrait, and even the titles of the images work perfectly. The title of the below image is A reflection on the state of things.
8. Ailera Stone
Ailera Stone is a Lithuanian photographer, now based in London. Her images of mainly female subjects show the natural beauty without going overboard.
Her work is impressive, and you can tell books, music and movies influence her work. They have an element of fantasy, helped by her creative use of lens flares and reflections.
She captures moments she can see herself escaping into.
7. Evan Atwood
His big start came from pursuing (and finishing) a 365-day photography challenge a few years back. It concentrated on his exploration of himself through self-portraiture. And he never looked back.
He likes to represent the darker side of human emotions, working with water and vegetation. As he says himself, his work often contains a strong element of hope. He depicts simple moments with a cinematic quality in a way that’s captivating.
Diane Sagnier is a talented photographer who won the Picto Young Fashion Photography prize. Recently, she was one of the top 15 successful photographers under 25 by Defrozo.com.
Her fashion photography follows natural light. This is reminiscent of long gone eras, overshadowed by modern studio fashion photography. They are dreamy and, more importantly, realistic.
5. Alex Benetel
Alex Benetel is a photographer and educator in Sydney, in her early twenties. She was one of the 20 best artists under the age of 20 on Flickr. She has had an exhibition in New York, which is the rite of passage for any photographer.
Her work is dreamy and changes our perspective on reality. She taps into literature and the outdoors, capturing her emotions and feelings through her photographed subjects.
As a fine art photographer, she sets the bar high for others.
4. Isaac Hector
Isaac is our one and only dedicated street photographer on this list. A Cuban in his early twenties, living in Miami, Flordia. He became a hobbyist after needing something to take his mind from his work with computers and school time.
He has no preference over b&w or colour, nor whether flash is used or not. His images try to capture whatever is in his mind. If it works, great! If it doesn’t, he moves on. He places himself at the right place at the right time, and his stunning work shows these little idiosyncrasies in everyday life.
Petra Collins is an editorial photographer who has seen more than her fair share of cover shots. She has photographed for the likes of I-D, Allure and Vogue.
Creative and raw are the keywords that fit her work best.
Amanda Mustard is our documentary photographer on the list. She is an independent photojournalist based in Bangkok, Thailand, and previously Cairo, Egypt. In 2014, she was selected as one of the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers for artpil, and the same for PDN in 2015.
Her photography documents the lives around her during her time in Asia, whether focusing on tiger sanctuaries or doll manufacturing.
1. Olivia Bee
Olivia Bee is yet another recipient of Flickr’s ‘20 Under 20’ award. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, now based in Brooklyn, New York, she also frequents and works in Los Angeles, California. She is intrigued by the beauty of everyday life and how the beauty of memories (real or imagined) touches us.
She has given TED talks and worked with brands such as Apple, Nike and Disney.
Looking for more young photographers? Check out our new post Top 20 Young Photographers 2019!