The Pacific Northwest is breathtaking, and so are the things some of its creative inhabitants make. Portland is widely known for its creative professionals, well-developed sense of style and design, and preference for the unique and eclectic. A developing fashion scene is a natural step in the city’s cultural growth, making Portland a new spot to watch for mold-breaking fashion work. The best Portland fashion photographers boast distinct styles and proven track records. Our list of the 12 best Portland fashion photographers includes both old hands and rising talents, as well as shooters with a wide variety of visual styles.
Danelle Painter has a background in fine art and illustration, and this may be why her work tends to have a noticeably narrative quality. In fashion studio photography, often the strategy is to keep the models and setting subdued, allowing the clothing to speak the loudest. But Painter’s scenes mimic the voice of the clothing. When it’s loud and brash, that energy is reflected in the expression of the models and the grunge of the backgrounds. Much of her work is in black and white, which she handles well, achieving a clear contrast with some dynamic range without washing out or over-darkening the photos.
2. Suzy Labbé
One of Suzy Labbé’s greatest creative strengths is in her retouching proficiency, a skill with a long history in fashion photography. When done right, it doesn’t create falsehood. Rather, it accentuates the messaging and tone the image is communicating. Everything about the image, after all, is composed and deliberate. Labbé’s studio work is brightly lit and smooth as butter, bold and confident. She excels at choosing a limited color palette and then making that key color pop.
Miranda Kelton is a well-rounded photographer who does editorial and branding work on top of fashion photography. Much of her fashion photography falls under the category of “lifestyle” photography, in which the model is shown in a scene outside of a studio, so that the look and clothing are associated with — well, a lifestyle. There’s a fine balance to making this look slick yet natural, and Kelton nails it. Her eye for natural light is formidable, a must-have skill for this type of outdoors photography. Her work in the studio is just as polished. Regardless of where she is, her work tends towards a vintage, film-like post-processing style, something that’s hip and on-trend.
4. Addie Mannan
Addie Mannan does a lot of travel photography, and while she’s doing it, she’s soaking up style from around the world. That gives her a good sense of perspective that serves her art well. And it probably also gives her a good sense of perspective on life in general — Mannan’s personality is bubbly and laid-back, free of the ego sometimes found in the fashion industry. And that attitude leads to quirky, candid moments on set that occasionally bleed through into the work. Her work is super-stylish, but she’s not tethered to any particular techniques in color or processing; each shoot looks like its own project.
5. Gia Goodrich
Gia Goodrich is all about pushing creative boundaries and expanding rigid beauty norms. Her work lives large, and it’s celebratory of women of all shapes, colors, and orientations. Give her the space to get creative with concept and colors, and she’ll do jaw-dropping work for you. But if your brand needs her to adhere to a more reserved and conventional look for something like a look book, she’ll execute on that with style and grace, too. No matter the context, her portraits are timeless and evocative.
Myles Katherine was named the “Best Fashion Photographer of 2018-2019” by the PDX Fashion and Style awards, which is nothing to shake a stick at. And whatever Katherine’s work is, it’s never boring. If you’re noticing that some of Katherine’s work has an indefinably retro, lo-fi quality, that’s probably owing to her deep love of film, especially the Holga. That aesthetic is hard to truly reproduce, yet it fits her work beautifully. Her creativity, passion, and technical execution place her firmly among the best fashion photographers in Portland.
Becca Blevins does brand photography in addition to fashion photography, but it’s her fashion work that really stands out for us. Out in the field, she harnesses natural light like a true pro to shoot soft, lovely images that would look perfect as the splash image for any hip clothing line’s website. But in the studio is where she really differentiates herself, as her work sometimes has a dramatic, fine-art vibe that we can’t get enough of.
Dustin Rowley’s fashion photography tends towards chic, sexy, and glamorous. It’s the stuff of magazine ads and ultra-hip look books, more restrained and commercial than wild or experimental. Rowley’s a busy man, often booked well in advance by brands, and that’s a testament to his professionalism and consistency.
Yvette Velasquez is a fashion photographer and co-founder of Papillon Magazine –– which incorporates the streets and landscapes of the Portland area, as well as studio photography. Her fashion industry professional experience is impressive, to say the least. Her studio work is tack-sharp and expertly executed, and her natural light work may be even better. We love her images in which she juxtaposes elegantly dressed, impeccably styled models with run-down, overgrown surroundings.
10. Nicole Mason
Nicole Mason is the founder of The Portland Studio. Just like the studio, her work at large is minimalist and fad-free, the kind of honest, gorgeous photography that will never go out of style. Sometimes it feels nostalgic, vintage, though nothing about it is. It’s all in the craft. Mason isn’t just one of the best Portland fashion photographers, though — her continued efforts to grow Portland’s creative community make her an invaluable asset to the community.
11. Michael Verity
Michael Verity took his first photographs at the age of 10 while using his mother’s camera, and his father instilled a love of photography in him from there. He’s been at it ever since. And now, much of his work is with children, a specialization not many excel at. His adult fashion work is approachable and bright, very much the kind of thing you’d see in a brand catalog, which makes him commercially desirable.