Portrait Photography

Ever since the emergence of photography in the 19th century, portraiture was changed forever. Photography enabled artists to capture their models’ likeness instantly, as opposed to during several sittings for a painting. Today, portrait photography continues to develop in contemporary art, through a range of new technologies, techniques and subjects. At the same time, many portrait photographers continue to favour traditional techniques. As the French art critic, Charles Baudelaire said: “A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.”…

Rise Art represents a selection of outstanding Portrait Photography artists from around the globe. Rise Art a curated online art gallery, that means each photograph has been hand-picked by our experts. Our selection of photographic artwork for sale ranges in price, colour and size to suit each collector’s preference.

Here are the main types of fine art portrait photography within contemporary art:

Traditional portrait art photography

In traditional portrait photography, the subject will typically look directly at the camera. Often shot in a studio, this type of portrait photography is posed, and the composition tends to focus on the head and shoulders, including costume. This genre is still popular within contemporary fine art photography, although artists often give it a modern twist.

For example, Dutch artist Jenny Boot plays with the timeless aesthetic of portrait photography. Having started her career as a painter, her photography demonstrates an interest in light and capturing human emotion. Her strong female models combine classical and contemporary elements, both in their costumes and pose. She re-works traditional paintings and characters in photographs such as ‘Black girl with pearl’.


Artists frequently use self-portrait photography to explore their identity. Hong-Kong artist Cody Choi first started to take photographs whilst he was on tour as a dancer with Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake. Over the course of the three-year tour, Cody photographed his fellow dancers and their performance spaces. In his practice, he also captures the movement of himself dancing, mid-air, in works such as “Self portrait #30”.

Surreal photography

Vikram Kushwah is a London-based art and fashion photographer whose work has a romantic, and often surreal quality. His images have a strong sense of narrative, with stories inspired by memory and dreams. Often found in enchanted forest-like settings, his figures appear as fairy-take characters.

Black and white photography

Black and white photography can create a timeless feel. Ian Hoskin photographs everyday subjects which draw him in. As he explains, they “involve the viewer in a moment which might have otherwise been overlooked, and in subject matter that could be seen as mundane”. By using black and white photography, his images focus on shape, texture and movement. For example, he might highlight the folds of a woman’s blouse or space between a couple sitting in a café.

Portraits in Photojournalism

Photojournalism tells news stories through powerful photography. Some of the most notable photojournalists have captured people and communities affected by wars, famine and natural disasters around the globe. For example, British photographer Don McCullin is recognised for his iconic war photographs – including images from Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria. But he has also recorded scenes of poverty and working-class life in London’s East End and the industrial North.

Photo montage

Canadian fine art photographer, Peter Horvath, is inspired by Dada artists, including John Heartfield and Hannah Hoch, whose work was created using photo-montage. Peter Horvath’s portrait photography is produced through digital collage, and explores narrative, abstraction and the illogical. He displaces the familiar and nostalgic with unique, surreal touches.

Travel photography

Andrew Lever has won numerous awards for his fine art photography. His travel photography has been featured in publications such as the National Geographic, Rough Guides, and the Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine. From surfers on the beaches of Dorset, to cyclists in Vietnam, he captures people within specific environments and place.

You can browse art online, including portrait photography, through Rise Art’s gallery. We support emerging and mid-career artists, and the aim is to allow collectors to buy high quality art. To buy original fine art photography, you can search via medium ‘photography’ in the online art gallery. You can further select the style and subject, including ‘Portraits – female’ and ‘Portraits – male’.

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