Portrait photography is a dynamic craft that captures individual essence within a frame. With every image, emotions and stories unfold, creating a visual narrative. It's about preserving fleeting moments that convey authenticity and depth. It takes a true artist to make elevated, high-quality portraits. From lighting to posing to coaxing a relaxed facial expression – portrait photography requires many skills. We’ve gathered a list of outstanding portrait photographers and Sony shooters for inspiration. Armed with cameras such as the Sony Alpha 7R V and lenses like the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II, these photographers have refined the art of portrait photography. Tag your own images with #SonyAlpha for your chance to be featured. And for more inspiring photography, follow @SonyAlpha on Instagram.
Enhance your visual vocabulary and get inspired by following these photographers who are advancing the art of portrait photography.
Lizzy Gadd – @elizabethgadd
Sony Brand Ambassador Lizzy Gadd is known as a self portrait artist, creating magical images of herself that feel just out of a fairy tale. Gadd is deeply passionate about the outdoors and incorporates it into her imagery. In her caption, Gadd describes some of the background of her work, “90% of my work is completely spontaneous when faced with what's directly in front of me. This image is now a reminder to me to not hold on so tightly to the ideas of what I want to create - but to embrace what's given to me in each moment and let the flow take me to places I never expected.”
Dane Isaac – @dane.isaac
Dane Isaac, a commercial, portrait and street photographer as well as a Sony Brand Ambassador. He focuses on the usage of light and storytelling. For example, the portraits in the IG Reel below tell the story of Medusa, a character in Greek mythology who has venomous snakes in place of hair and those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. We love seeing his setup as well as the resulting images. Using one off camera light and a bounce, Dane has created a well-lit minimalistic scene. Dane was shooting with the Sony Alpha 7R III and Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.
Paola Franqui – @monaris_
Paola Franqui is a Sony Brand Ambassador and photographer. Combining her passion for visual storytelling and photography, Monaris has developed a distinct creative style focused on composition and color theory that lives to transform brief instances of reality into movie-like scenes. Her artist statement draws out the feeling we get from this image when she states the “[I am] always curious, and wondering what the people I capture are experiencing, what emotions they are going through, and I try to share their stories. A snapshot of a passing moment that will never happen again.” Many of these snapshots lead to intimate portraits, like the one below. Paola shot this one with the Sony Alpha 7R III and Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master.
Miguel Quiles – @miguelquilesjr
Miguel Quiles is a beauty and portrait photographer and a Sony Brand Ambassador. In addition to his own photography, Miguel teaches on his YouTube Channel and the Sony Alpha Universe YouTube Channel. You can see fun and informative videos like on tpoics like portrait tips for beginners or surprisingly unique lenses for portraiture. We love the intensity and the lighting in the shot below, made with the Sony Alpha 7R V and Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II.
Joshua Kissi – @joshuakissi
Joshua Kissi is a and a skilled portrait photographer. His distinctive approach to photography is evident in the vibrant colors he embraces and the confident poses he employs with his subjects. These elements have played a significant role in shaping his unique and easily identifiable artistic style. He did a shoot with tennis legend Serena Williams for the cover Insider magazine. As you can see below, the shots are stunning.
Virgo Haan – @virgohaan
Virgo Haan is a creator of cinemagraphs and living photos who is known for his high-end commercial work for social media marketing campaigns. Cinemagraphs blend still photography and motion. To make one, a creator shoots motion of a scene then takes a still image from the scene and makes some part of it “move” from the motion footage. The effect, when done well, causes a viewer to stop in their visual tracks while their brain unpacks the discordant image. Because they are part still and part motion, cinemagraph makers use gear, especially cameras, that excel at both. That’s why Virgo uses the Sony Alpha 7S III and a variety of G Master lenses.
Andrea Frazzetta – @andrea_frazzetta
Andrea is a contributing photographer to The New York Times Magazine and to National Geographic. He uses photography as a means of discovery and storytelling. He travels and works as a photojournalist, mainly in Africa, South America, and the Mediterranean area. He has worked on personal projects and assignments in more than 60 countries around the world. Through his documentary work, he has mastered in-the-field portraits, like the one below. These photos were created while he was on assignment for the New York Times Magazine.
Taylor Ballantyne – @taylorbphoto
Taylor Ballantyne is a photographer and director based in Nashville, Tennessee. Ballantyne has a knack for capturing authentic portraits. She builds a connection with the subject and that feeling comes through in her images. She recently photographed the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for the cover of Sports Illustrated. Not only is the cover beautifully shot, we loved seeing this behind-the-scenes video.
MaryBel – @marybelphotography
Fine art and self-portrait photographer Mary Bel was awarded an Alpha Female Grant for her project, “A representation of oneself or viewed by oneself; COVID-19’s impact on mental health." For the project, Bel stepped in front of the camera to create moody and painterly self-portraits that tell a story and demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of individuals as a society by visualizing its impact. Throughout her career, Mary Bel has become known for her painterly images, beautifully blending fine art and photography.