The most striking fashion photography is surprising — it builds upon your expectations and then subverts them in subtle ways that force you to pay close attention. The top 10 Charlotte fashion photographers that we are highlighting all have an ability to tell complex stories in a single shot, as well as create evocative photos that capture the imagination and connect deeply with real people. Whether you are a brand looking for a visual storyteller to help sell your new clothing line, a model building their portfolio, or just a regular person who would love to feel glamorous for a day, we’re positive these creatives will inspire you.
Breonna T. Collier is perhaps the premier glamour and fashion portrait photographer in Charlotte. She boasts a crisp, smooth style that is both provocative and yet built upon the tradition of the fashion photographers that came before her. She is a student of the human form and composes portraits with such personality and passion that your eyes can’t help but feast on them. She also has a thriving trade in wedding photography, wherein she honed her skills of capturing the unexpected. This gives her fashion photography a liveliness and unpredictability that sets her work apart.
Ayah of Ayah’s Vision learned the basics of photography from her father. She learned what fashion photography was all about from the other side of the lens — as a model — and then combined her experience as a model and photographer to create her unique signature style. And it shows, as she really is able to rely on the experience of her models in order to create photos that are both gorgeous and mysterious. She is thoughtful, always searching for depth; she’s never content just to capture the mundane.
3. Jessica Britton of Birdi Photography
Jessica Britton is an amazing documentary photographer, and she’s also one of the best Charlotte fashion photographers. Her images have such personality to them. They are all exploring questions of nature, beauty, and the connection between what is tame and wild. She goes places in her photos that many people would be afraid to, as they would be worried about being misunderstood. Her most conceptual editorial photos offer a dynamism that comes from careful composition, as well as layers of transparency and opaqueness in the fabrics she chooses for styling. She also makes use of symmetry and negative space to the extent that we feel moved and inspired by her work.
Scott Clinton is a fashion, lifestyle, and corporate photographer working out of New York and Charlotte. He’s a talented portrait artist with an ability to capture offbeat emotions that are both true to life and yet outside of the norm for fashion photography. He is a study of the human form, finding an elegance in the gentle lines of human bodies where other people might find something more sensual or feral. We’re in awe of his photos as they radiate so much heart.
Advertising and editorial photographer Jessica Milligan has a playful photographic style that experiments with light and shadow to create sensual photographs, of which the lines between foreground and background blur together. The effect is a tighter focus on expression and gesture, making her models somehow stand out even more. What sets her apart from other Charlotte fashion photographers is her ability to craft a message without diminishing her minimalist aesthetic.
Millennial Photography is husband-and-wife team Rachel and James. Together, they shoot family photos, senior portraits, and editorial fashion photography. Everything they do is universally excellent and well-balanced, as well as shares a unique perspective. Though fashion photography is not one of the listed specialties on their website, their glamorous portraiture stands out for its ability to capture beauty without attempting to hide any of the details that other photographers might airbrush over.
Raleigh-area photographer Yesenia Bocanegra is a tireless educator, mentor, traveler, and one the most well-respected of North Carolina’s fashion photographers. She has a particular skill for capturing reality —stripped down of any artificial glitz — without ever missing the humor and beauty in the everyday. She’s a photographer’s photographer, technically excellent without ever needing to show off. Her photographs are always extremely natural, yet unparalleled in their beauty.
8. Jason Hart
Jason Hart helps aspiring models build their portfolios and social media presences in order to create long-lasting careers. His glamorous photos tell the types of compelling stories that get models noticed. His team is incredibly talented at styling and set design, as they understand that setting the perfect scene can mean the difference between a truly good fashion photograph and one that’s truly great.
Brandy NicCole is a personable and talented artist. From the moment she meets her model, she begins to get to know them, then goes to work creating a visionary scene that will bring out the very best in them. Every model deserves a photographer whom they can feel at ease with. Brandy can create impeccable imagery all while guiding her models with a very gentle hand.
10. Steve Huff
Steve Huff has made a name for himself as a photographer who can bring the best out of established models. In addition, he can guide new models and help them find their voice. When you are coming up in the modeling world, nothing is more important than your portfolio. Steve understands that your career is in his hands, and so he approaches every shoot with a conscientious intention to surpass himself. And that is exactly what you should expect from the fashion photographers you choose to work with.
Charlotte is a great American city — a melting pot of intellectuals, artists, foodies, and business people tucked away in the glorious state of North Carolina. If you are a young model, Charlotte is a wonderful place to be. It is filled with talent and feels far less cutthroat than some of the big metropolises. And, frankly, it is just a great place to live. That’s why it’s no surprise these wildly talented Charlotte fashion photographers have chosen to call it home.