Still life photography is a tricky genre. If you don’t do it right, you can end up with a sad-looking bunch of inanimate objects and boring images. Do it well, and you turn your still life images into art pieces! But how can you master still life photography?
You need to find inspiration and outstanding examples you can follow. Read our list of ten contemporary still life photographers you must see to find the right path to better still life images.
10 Contemporary Still Life Photographers to Follow
Here are 10 still life photographers to get some inspiration from. Each person has their own unique style. Visit their websites or follow their social media for still life photography ideas and compositions to try yourself.
Jonathan is an outstanding advertising photographer specializing in still life photography. He has a unique style and lighting technique. His work won him several awards, and Jonathan worked with clients like Coca-Cola, Smirnoff, Nescafé, and Guinness.
“When I was eight years old, I was awestruck by Harold Edgerton’s iconic milk splash image, which was on the wall of my school science laboratory… I carried this inspiration with me. When I bought my first camera, two of the frames on my first roll of film were of splashing milk.”
Jenny is an award-winning still life photographer from Sydney. Today, she is working and living in London. Her images are quirky, fun, and innovative. And she has quite a reputable clientele like Apple, Nike, Audie, and Hermes.
She also took up painting a few years ago and started to create paintings showcasing bananas during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.
Mat is a British contemporary artist who also creates still life photography. He attended Goldsmiths’ College and has had solo and group exhibitions over the past three decades.
Collishaw’s work is showcased in many famous art institutions. Places include the Center Georges Pompidou, Paris Museum of Contemporary Art, and Tate, London.
His work is often confronting, and you need to take a second look to understand what is happening in his images.
Henry is a Brooklyn-based contemporary photographer. He’s famous for his still life and food photography. He was born in New Zealand and then moved to Manhattan. He was a bartender and professional model, modeling for Prada, Hermes, and Lacoste.
He learned about photography techniques working with other photographers and experimented a lot. His still life photography focuses on food and often has a funny, edgy message.
Henry’s photography was featured at the Venice Biennale, the MAXXI in Rome, and The Lunch Box Gallery in Miami, Florida.
Evelyn is a visual creative from Bratislava, Slovakia. She specializes in photography and art direction. Evelyn studied at the University for Applied Arts, Vienna.
She uses a visual language that is full of symbolic elements. This way, the viewer looks at her still life photography for a long time, trying to understand its various depths. Evelyn’s images are always more than meets the eye.
Evelyn worked with clients like Gucci, Cartier, and Nehera. She won several awards. And her work appeared in Vogue Portugal, Vogue Spain, and Elle magazines.
Tatiana is a hobby photographer from Kyiv, Ukraine. Her beautiful still-life photographs look like Renaissance still life paintings. She has a great eye for choosing subjects and playing with the light.
Shihya is a still-life photographer from Japan. Her still-life images look dreamy and fragile because she mostly captures natural objects.
Robert Sulkin is an outstanding photographer from the US. He has a BA in History and an MA and MFA in Art. He taught photography for 39 years at Hollins University.
He has had several solo and group exhibitions during his career. Sulkin also received many awards. He won Best in Show in Photospiva, Joplin, MO (2008), and the Academy of Fine Arts National Juried Photography Exhibition, Lynchburg, VA (2013).
Sulkin claimed this about his own art. “… (it) deals with the futility of the individual attempting to cope in a technology-driven world spinning out of control.”
Krista is one of the best still life photographers from the Netherlands. She studied in Amsterdam and participated in many group exhibitions.
Her clients include prestigious Dutch names. They include Dutch Design Week, Erasmus Universiteti, and Volkskrant Magazine.
10. Olivia Parker
Olivia is a professional photographer from the US, specializing in still life photography. She was focusing on silver prints photographs until a ski accident in 1995. Her injured leg didn’t allow her to work in a dark room or a studio. So she turned to digital photography.
“Digital allows me total freedom to experiment without worrying about film usage or precise camera setup… (but film was) a much better teacher for me… It made me slow down, consider image edges and think about the dynamics of what falls between the edges.”
Olivia has had more than 100 solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. Her husband has Alzheimer’s disease, which inspired one of her series.
Conclusion: Contemporary Still Life Photographers
Still life photography is a niche that requires an excellent eye for lighting and composition. Looking at experienced photographers’ art is an excellent way to learn more about still life.
Find inspiration from other still life photographers and share your work to inspire your fellow artists. And if you want to become an expert in creative still life photography? Why not check out our eBook, The Magical Photography Spellbook, next?