Columbus, Ohio, has a strong fashion photography scene. In doing the research for this blog, we looked through several dozen excellent editorial, glamour, intimate, and conceptual fashion photographers. And, as always, culling our list down to the 10 best was a difficult process. Though some extremely talented individuals unfortunately did not make the cut, we are willing to stand by our list, as these creatives are certainly among the most innovative Columbus fashion photographers.
1. Adam Lowe
Adam Lowe is an editorial wedding, fashion, and commercial photographer. Shot in a mix of digital and film, his fashion photography runs the gamut from high-art editorial to a more glamorous commercial style. Best of all, his oeuvre conveys a strong storytelling element, as well as an instinct to leave the beaten path and search for the mysterious and beautiful unknown. His work shows an impeccable sense of taste, from the posing and styling, right on down to the elements of strangeness and experimentation. We love that he’s able to accomplish the commercial requirements of fashion photography –– selling a brand and look –– while also clearly pursuing the curiosities that made him interested in photography in the first place.
Bernadette Newberry is a fashion, beauty, and boudoir photographer boasting a variety of styles –– ranging from almost painterly, to more of a fairytale style, to straight-up high fashion. Her boudoir photography is very body-positive and sensual, while her other fashion photos make clever use of myths and pop-culture motifs to tell powerful, under-the-radar stories. She’s extremely technically proficient with an ability to take dramatic, perfectly composed photographs. And her post-production work is quite varied. Depending on her subject matter, she’s willing to put in the airbrushing work when it’s called for, able to lean into that natural look as well –– and we really appreciate her versatility.
Shannon Williams is a Columbus fashion photographer who focuses on portraiture and advertising. He is the principal and lead creative at 10 Speed Studios. His commercial fashion work is alluring, showcasing the looks he’s helping to sell. He’s skilled at finding the beauty and mystery in both men and women without objectifying them. Though, if the subject matter calls for provocativeness, he can achieve that in spades. He’s able to capture both innocence and experiences with a faultless sense of taste and compositional ability. Sometimes his subjects just seemed painted in shadow and light, and other times they seem as if they’re being seen just going about their everyday lives.
4. Monty and the team at Open Image Studio
The team at Open Image Studio takes genuine, authentic, and deeply personal photos of families and individuals, as well as glamour shots for brands. All of their photos show a strong sense of narrative and a wholesome, good-humored aspect. Their fashion photography, specifically, is sensual without the sexiness being the primary selling point. Every element of the photographs is tastefully chosen, from the makeup, which can occasionally be extremely creative, to the clothing and posing. And every photo is composed with a strong sense of personality.
5. Kyle Meeks of Meeks Media
Kyle Meeks has an impressive client list that includes Nike, New York Fashion Week, as well as a variety of celebrity designers. His style is mysterious, sexy, a little confrontational, and yet always fun. He shoots with a more natural look than a lot of other fashion photographers. It’s a style that’s stripped down, but his photos never lose any sheen. If we had to pinpoint the best aspect of his photography, it would be that he seems to truly let his models trust their instincts. This gives a nice sense of reality to his fashion photos, and when that sense of reality is juxtaposed with the strangest of his high-fashion conceptual work, the result is some of the most stunning photography we’ve come across.
6. Lauryn Byrdy
Lauryn Byrdy is best-known for her lifestyle and family photography, as well as commercial work. Because her specialty lies outside of the fashion realm, her fashion-focused images have a unique and bracing quality to them. They possess a friendliness that makes her photos easy on the eye, and yet a strong narrative element — a desire to get down to the personality of her subject — that makes her photos worth exploring. We love photographers who possess a natural storytelling instinct and strong compositional skills, which result in playful, attractive, and pleasantly “buttoned-up” fashion photos.
Christopher Keels is a lifestyle, portrait, commercial, and editorial fashion photographer. His photos exude a strong narrative element while having a unique, almost cinematic style that sets him apart from the other Columbus fashion photographers we’re highlighting. He takes photographs that genuinely dig down into the emotional content of his subjects. Even in his fashion work, the photos are never simple, though they’re always elegant. He’s the type of photographer we’d trust to shoot our own photos.
8. Shane Fowler of Vision Photography Studios
Shane Fowler of Vision Photography Studios shoots photography for weddings, high school seniors, and families. More than that, he’s a fashion photographer specializing in model and fitness photos. His photos all share a strong composition with playful uses of shadow and color to create dramatic works of art that make you stop and take notice. He loves to tell stories of people acting outside of their type, breaking down the stereotypes that might otherwise hold them back. In addition, his athletic photography is both inspiring and compositionally quite lovely.
9. Henry Leiter
Henry Leiter is a photographer who boasts a strong storytelling bent. In addition to photographing athletic models, individuals, and musicians, he’s an incredible documentary photographer. He seemingly burns with the desire to document every part of his own life in stunning color and black-and-white photographs. His photojournalistic work really shines, and it makes us think that he probably works best when pushed to capture authenticity. If you’re that type of client, then he’s your photographer.
10. Laura Dark
Laura Dark is an avant-garde fashion photographer with a penchant for the romantic, the dark, the Gothic, and the strange. In photo after photo, she finds a way of distilling modern life into the language of myth, with gorgeous staging, styling, and even the occasional wolf. We love that her photos range from wholesome to devious, running the full gamut of the moral and aesthetic landscape. She always does everything in a way that’s uniquely her own — and in doing so, she has made a name for herself as one of the best Columbus fashion photographers.