Hey, Memphis. We love you. You won’t willingly take the backseat to anyone. Consistently, in all of our showcases, you surprise us with the number of your high-quality artists, given the size of your city. Perhaps it is your history, or there’s just something in the water. But from West Memphis across the bridge, to Downtown, Uptown, Midtown, Orange Mound — even Germantown –– y’all are flush with talent and genius. Just take a look at the 10 Memphis fashion photographers on this list, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Given that Michael Allen’s a huge name in wedding photography, not just in Memphis, but like, for the whole South — we would’ve loved to have included him on our list of the best wedding photographers in the city. But, the secret is that we wanted the opportunity to showcase Allen’s equally incredible fashion photography. He and his team are incredible stylists –– from makeup, to outfits, to staging, to post-production, he and his team are consummate professionals who have never stopped seeking the perfect shot, despite a list of accolades longer than my arm. His style is elegant, always completely tailored to his subject. And his ability to convey a scene’s worth of information in a single flawlessly composed frame is nearly unparalleled.
2. Keara Suckra
Keara Suckra is an aspiring Memphis fashion photographer, and, though she’s still waiting on her big break –– from looking at her portfolio, we believe she’s already one of the most talented photographers in the city. She has a strong sense of color, drawing narrative ideas and inspiration from a variety of other sources, from other photographers, to anime, to music photography, to DayGlo stuff. And, as she also moonlights as a graphic designer, she has amazing touch-up work, creating some of the most intricately textured work of any of the artists on this list.
Crys Tucker is a Dallas and Memphis fashion photographer who also shoots boudoir photos and super-creative corporate-branding photos. All of her work has an elegant, sexy, openhearted editorial bent, creating quick and surprisingly deep connections between her models and her audience. Her boudoir work is especially stunning. There’s just something so moving about anyone who’s truly comfortable in their own skin. Who among us would know how to strip away all the fear, all the worries about seeing the way we want to be seen, and simply allow ourselves to be ourselves? We wish we could always be as free and as self-possessed as the women in her photographs.
Loreana Rojas is a Memphis fashion photographer with an adept ability to create a mood with her photos with just the right outfit and a few simple set pieces. Her in-studio work is the perfect mix of stripped-down minimalism, and a sort of consumer-friendly futurism — such that her work gives the very strong impression that there is a way forward to a better life. Her photos are both friendly and remarkably neutral in a way we find ourselves strangely attracted to. It’s hard to put our finger on it. She just manages to draw out something quite spectacular from all of her models.
5. Jonathan Christian of JMC Photoart
Jonathan Christian of JMC Photoart is a well-known fitness and fashion photographer with an eye for raw masculine sensuality. Before you look through his portfolio — or most of these portfolios for that matter — you should probably know they’re borderline NSFW. Thus being said, these photos are stunning, capturing both the vulnerability and the lion-esque hunger of beautiful men from all walks of life. Some are a little goofy and shy, others seem used to being adored. And under Jonathan’s direction and gaze, they all seem simply to be waiting to be seen. These are powerful photographs.
Travis Burns is a Memphis fashion photographer with a focus on the actual art side of fashion –– and a little less focus on the editorial side. Instead of chasing the uncanny, mysterious, and unrestrained, Travis’s photos focus on good threads worn well. His portfolio is full of high-quality and sexy street wear, fitness wear, and swimwear, with only a little attention paid to the cumbersome, impractical runway wear that has dominated most of our lists. Frankly, that’s a breath of fresh air to us –– and he does this extremely well. You’d not be surprised to see his photos run as ads in Vanity Fair or Vogue. His images show not just how to wear these clothes well or how to dress yourself properly, but they point to how good taste can change lives.
7. Jody Lynch
Jody Lynch of HarVtography is an editorial and fashion photographer with an eye for the uncanny moment hidden within the expected, everyday occurrence. The strange beauty of discarded things. The angelic faces of people who do not know they’re being watched as they take a whiff of a sweet flower or a fresh cup of coffee. Jody captures the vulnerability of intimacy, that it’s not something strange or rare. It is something that is occurring around us constantly –– if only we could make ourselves open to seeing it, vulnerable to being moved by its sudden beauty.
We’ll never really shake our love for the strangest of the strange. There’s something in all strange things that we can’t help but connect with ourselves –– with the numinous of our spirits. There’s some logic behind all the madness that might one day make all the suffering around us, all our suffering even, seem beautiful and worth while. Perhaps that’s why we love the work of artists such as Brian Anderson. He seeks out decay, corruption, collapse, hardness; he and his models find simple, striking ways of making beauty out of it all. Every photograph is a peek into an inner struggle –– which may not be Brian’s own inner struggle, of course, though it is rendered with remarkable sincerity and intimacy.
9. Sam Beasley
Sam Beasley is a fine art and editorial photographer who splits time between Memphis and Miami. His work is stripped down, introspective, and probing. Even without reading his résumé –– just by looking at his work — it’s easy to understand he’s a lifelong student of photography, as well as an artist who ponders deeply on the questions of his own intentions and reactions to the world. Sam is asking some important questions, and he’s returning from his searches with significant insights. His editorial photography, while perhaps not as outwardly probing as his fine-art work, is deeply influenced by his history of self-analysis.
Tristan Duplichain is a multi-talented photographer who’s actually from Mississippi, but she regularly works in the Memphis area. She shoots weddings, fashion photography, and family photography, all in a highly narrative style. As someone who cut her teeth taking wedding and family photography, she has a highly refined ability to distill powerful emotions — to seek out and bring to the surface the hidden innocence of her subjects. When you consider Tristan’s strong sense of style, impeccable taste, technical excellence with the camera, and post-production wizardry, you realize she’s a photographer with no perceivable weaknesses.
Memphis, if you want us to stop with all the flattery, you’re going to have to cool it with all the gorgeousness, the genius, and the devastating works of art. If you can’t do that, you can bet we’ll be back again soon to highlight even more of your best photographers. To the 10 photographers we singled out here as the most talented Memphis fashion photographers — we can’t wait to see your newest work. Don’t hesitate, get that stuff up on Instagram as soon as humanly possible. You can bet we’ll be watching and waiting. Much love!