The fantasy genre has the power to transport us to another world. Whether that’s books, films, or art, they ignite our imagination.
Great works of fantasy allow us to suspend disbelief. They encourage us to believe what we want to believe, not just what’s real. Our dreams become a reality. And our world is different and new.
Fantasy Photography is no different. Fantasy photographers create images where reality has been re-imagined. They tell stories and take us on magical journeys.
Becoming a Fantasy Photographer: What is Fantasy Photography?
Fantasy Photography is a genre that uses photography to create another world. The photographers use strong elements of imagination and surrealism.
Fantasy Photography is connected to other forms of fantasy art, like literature and film. You see many of the same themes and motifs throughout the fantasy genre.
Much of the imagery comes from folklore and fairy tales. There are elements of magic and mythology. Fantasy photographers use recognisable tropes to transport us to a different reality.
Fantasy photographers elaborate costumes and intricate settings to set their scenes. And they also use many photo manipulation techniques to strengthen the magical elements within their work.
25 Influential Fantasy Photographers
If you’re still unsure of what fantasy photography can offer you, then check out our list of the 25 most influential fantasy photographers.
If you’re already a big fan of fantasy photography, keep reading. We’re sure you’ll find something new and exciting on our list!
Platon Yurich is a photographer and mixed media artist that has strong fantasy elements within his work. He has a cinematic style of photography. And he does do work for film and other forms of visual art.
His fantasy work is surreal. But it also has a gritty realism. The shots have a dream-like quality. But the dream isn’t too far from reality. And you’re not sure if it’s a good dream or a bad dream.
Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer based in Prague. His fantasy photography often involves landscapes and rural scenes. He doesn’t create other worlds. But he does twist and contort our world.
He uses expert photo manipulation techniques to bend reality. And his work has a subtle yet sharp sense of humour.
His Instagram is an excellent source of inspiration. Not only is it full of his work, but he has loads of behind-the-scenes content too. He lets you see how the magic happens.
When many people think of fantasy, they’ll imagine unicorns and princesses. But Nicolas Bruno takes his fantasy photographs in a darker direction.
He plays with peoples’ fears and anxieties. His images often feature fire and water, two destructive elements. And the models are often wearing smart clothes in bad condition.
These combinations hint at the idea of ruin. It’s the fear of losing everything. They’re bad dreams and nightmares.
Jovana takes transports us to a magical world. She uses bold and intricate costumes and props. Her images are powerful and well-crafted. There’s magic and mystery, like we’re in a fairytale. But the images are also grounded and real. We’re not looking at another world. The magic has broken though into our world.
Fantasy portraits make up most of her work. And her subjects are young women wearing beautiful dresses. We think of princesses and fairies. It’s all intensely feminine. But there’s an rough edge to the frills and flowers. She also produces stunning self-portraits.
Jovana shares her magical secrets in her brilliant Fairytale Portraits course. We’re proud to say it was a collaboration between Jovana Rikalo and Expert Photography. You have to see it to believe it.
Rosie Hardy is a self-portrait photographer that works in the realm of fantasy. She uses excellent image manipulation techniques. But it’s the elaborate costumes and settings that make her work stand out.
Her photos harness the imagery of classical tales of princesses and castles. She takes us into an enchanted world of chivalry and heroism.
Some of her work is more playful, with modern connections. But there is always a sense of wonder and mystery.
Natacha Einat is a fantasy photographer and visual artist based in Paris. She uses clever photography tricks and post-processing techniques to change reality.
Animals and nature play a strong role in her fantasy work. When you look at her work as a whole, you can see a sense of spirituality. She implies that all life on earth is intertwined.
The night sky also features heavily. The stars and the planets often take center stage. It gives you the impression she wants to go beyond our terrestrial reality.
Bella Kotak is a fine art photographer that has a big fantasy influence. Her shots are incredibly detailed and considered. The costumes she uses are elaborate and exquisite.
Her scenes are natural, with intense floral designs. And her portraits feel enchanted and magical. The models appear to be royalty of the forest. Or they are the human embodiment of the forest itself.
Her images are rich in color and lush in texture. There’s a blend of modern fashion photography and classical paintings. And her work is reminiscent of John Everett Millais’s Ophelia.
Joel Robison is a Canadian artist who brings a sense of fun into his fantasy photography. He has a wonderful imagination. And he’s a superb technical artist.
Miniature self-portraits are a common feature in his collection. Using his post-production skills, he shrinks himself to the size of a mouse. It allows us to imagine life from the perspective of the very small.
His fantasy photographs are whimsical and lighthearted. There’s a sense of magic. And a sense of humour. Looking through his gallery is like reading a children’s story.
We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Joel on his incredible Fantastic Photo Adventures course. It gives you all the insider information you need to create your own fantasy photography.
Luisa Azevedo is an illustrator and fantasy photographer. She’s a lover of magic. And that is clear in her style of photography.
Luisa loves nature and the natural world. Animals feature prominently throughout her collection. And they’re often fused and blended with the natural landscape.
She uses a soft color palette. And her work has a soft and gentle sentimentality, which matches her vision of the world. It’s a world at peace, where nature flourishes and magic abounds.
Herri Susanto is a Photoshop fantasy artist with a tremendous set of photo manipulation skills.
Herri sticks to the real world. He doesn’t ask us to go to Narnia or The Shire. He uses his Photoshop skills to change the world we already know. He manipulates and cracks our standard reality into something new.
He has a cinematic style of photography. He nods to themes from disaster movies we’re familiar with. And some of his work has an implied message, such as pollution or global warming.
Julian Majin is a visual artist that has a love for science fiction. His realm of fantasy is amongst the stars.
He has a cinematic style that calls on traditional sci-fi motifs. He borrows images from films and appropriates them using excellent editing skills. He combines images to create futuristic fantasy scenes.
The colors are pale and faded. But the photographs remain dark, with a sense of foreboding. His gallery reminds you of the idea that everything changes. Things will not always be as they are now.
Katerina Plotnikova is a fantasy photographer with a love for fairytales. And she uses her photography to create her own mystical tales.
Her images use classic fantasy imagery and themes. Much of her work is portraits of women dressed in fairy-like costumes. And the subject is also interacting with an animal. Animals hold a special place in works of fantasy. And Katerina’s photography is no different.
She shoots in fabulous locations. And they provide a soft and natural color scheme for her images. Meadows and woodland bring their own sense of wonder and mystery, which she uses in her fantasy photography.
Fabiola is a visual artist with a passion for old stories and romantic tales. Books are a common feature in her work. And you can also feel it in her work.
There are hints of traditional fantasy imagery. But her style of fantasy photography is very modern. Her photos are bright and colorful. And the settings are often sweetened real-life locations.
She expresses herself through self-portraits. She uses multiple Photoshop techniques. And she shrinks herself down for miniature self-portraits. There’s a lot of joy in her work. And the joy is infectious.
Adam Martinakis isn’t strictly a fantasy photographer. But his work does include elements of fantasy and surrealism.
Much of his work uses human forms. But they are often abstract and featureless. There’s a sense of science fiction. Perhaps there’s a prediction of a future dominated by AI. He explored the humanity of a technological world.
His work has the theme of human connection. But the relationship is strained and sometimes broken. He presents an alternate reality. It’s grey and sterile. But traces of humanity remain.
Anya Anti is a Ukrainian photographer based in the United States. She’s a fantasy photographer that uses self-portraits to express herself. She becomes the character in a story all her own.
She uses a cold color palette, with a lot of blues and whites. And you’ll also find a lot of ice and snow in her work. It creates a feeling of fragility in her photos. And there’s a sense of loneliness in there too.
It was our pleasure to help Anya Anti produce her incredible Creative Portrait Concepts ebook. It gives you never-seen-before insight into her work. And it’ll help you creature stunning fantasy portraits like hers.
Kirsty Mitchell is a British fine art photographer with a passion for fantasy imagery. Whether working on location or in the studio, she creates an incredible wonderland.
Every fantasy photograph is meticulously detailed. The costumes are elaborate and exquisite. And the set design is equally as impressive. It’s fantasy photography to its fullest extent.
If you’re interested in set and costume design, you should look at her Instagram page. The table of contents gives you a look behind the wizard’s curtain. There are loads of behind-the-scenes photos and videos.
Stanislav Istratov is a Ukrainian photographer with a bold style that incorporates fantasy imagery and ideas.
His work is mainly portraits and fashion photography. His sets and customers are highly stylised. And his images are full of fantasy and science-fiction motifs. There’s a hint of erotica in there too.
The imagery is set in fantasy. But the photographs have the glossy finish of modern fashion photography. He combines imagery and style to create a unique blend that wouldn’t look out of place in a fashion editorial.
Alice Alinary | @alice_alinari
Alice Alinary is a Russian with a distinct style of fantasy portraits. She brings classic symbols and themes from fantasy into her portrait photography.
Her sets and costumes are detailed and decorative. And her photographs embrace the splendour and elegance of stories of princesses and queens. Her subjects become the female protagonists of fairy tales and myths.
There is a hint of fashion photography in her style of shooting. And every shoot has a clear vision. The sets and costumes all have a clear color scheme that sends a message.
Maia Flore is a visual artist and photographer from the United States. Unlike many other fantasy photographers, she doesn’t create different worlds. Rather, she brings a sprinkle of magic into our world.
Maia does use some Photoshop and post-processing effects. But much of her work relies on excellent composition and structure. She has a great sense of colouring too. Her images are bright and vibrant.
Many of her photographs are self-portraits. But her face is always hidden. It adds intrigue to her collections. And it heightens the dream-like quality in her fantasy photos.
Laurent Chéhére is a French photographer living and working in Paris. He’s an accomplished street and documentary photographer. But his series on flying houses is most definitely a work of fantasy.
This series of images celebrates the Parisian neighbourhood in which Laurent lived as a child. The houses, isolated and floating in the sky, appeal to our desire to escape. It’s a feeling we’ve all experienced in our lives. The desire to fly away and find somewhere new.
Anil Saxena is a visual artist with a playful sense of humour. He pulls and twists and bends reality with his surreal digital art. He has excellent Photoshop skills. And he’s able to express a unique vision of the world.
Many of his images center around the theme of creation. His fantasy work explores how our world is created. Or he changes the fabric of reality. He creates a surreal landscape where people can manipulate their environment.
He combines photography and digital art. And this blend of media blurs the line between reality and fantasy. We’re not sure where one begins and the other ends.
Tommy Ingberg is a Swedish photographer and visual artist. His photography style isn’t strictly fantasy. But his images are surreal, and his photographs warp reality.
There’s a clear Dada influence in Tommy’s work. He uses black and white, which aligns his work with traditional surrealism. And the influence from surrealist painting can’t go unnoticed either. You get visual echoes of Dali and Magritte.
We can also see elements of fantasy in his images. He often uses balloons and birds. And faces are obscured or removed. These are common tropes in a lot of fantasy art.
Kylli Sparre is an Estonian visual storyteller and mixed media artist. Her work embraces symbolism. And her images possess a dream-like atmosphere. The combination of visual techniques makes you question what’s real.
Kylli’s photography work has a strong fine art influence. Her photographs are reminiscent of 18th and 19th-century paintings, with a hint of Gothic. The pictures are colorful. But the tone is dark. Things look faded or distant.
The composition of her images is striking. She constructs her photographs like paintings. Everything is intentional, and nothing is left out.
Gabe Tomoiaga is a photographer and illustrator from the United States. He combines these media to tell stories and create fantasy worlds.
Children feature predominantly in his work. And fatherhood has had a big impact on his life. That is clear in his artistic work.
One central theme that stands out is innocence. Particularly the innocence of children and animals. In his images, he juxtaposes children with wild animals. Usually, they are animals we fear. But his images express no fear. The children are never in danger. For them, the world is still magical.
Jairo Alvarez is an Argentine photographer, artist, and craftsman. His photography features many themes and symbols from fantasy. And many of the objects in his photographs are handmade.
Some of his work consists of product-style photography, featuring re-appropriated or re-imagined objects. You can see the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s Objet Trouvé movement in the photographs. And there’s a hint of Dali’s lobster telephone.
He also does photography on location with human subjects. But whether in the studio or on location, Jairo continues the tradition of Dadaism and surrealist art.
Logan Zillmer is a professional photographer from the United States. His work varies in styles and disciplines, ranging from product to fashion photography. And, of course, fantasy.
His fantasy images are fun. They are humorous with a sense of social commentary. And he’s able to add elements of surrealism into his more serious work. He takes standard advertisement shots and injects a bit of fantasy.
His Instagram account is excellent for behind-the-scenes content. He gives you a look at how studio photography operates.
That’s our list of the most 25 most influential fantasy photographers to follow! We hope you’ll find plenty of great fantasy photography to inspire you.
You can create your own world. You can imagine new characters and tell unique stories. Or you can bring elements of fantasy into other areas of photography.
Let your imagination run wild and lose yourself in a world of pure imagination.