The 10 Best Memphis Portrait Photographers

In search of the best Memphis portrait photographers? Then you’ve come to the right place! As the largest online marketplace for hourly venue rentals, Peerspace works with photographers every day. Helping creatives secure unique, professional spaces to develop their projects is our passion. And we’ve been lucky enough to see some incredible portrait work. This article aims to help you discover a professional portrait photographer in Memphis whom you look forward to working with for your portrait needs.

Everyone knows Memphis is awash in history, but many overlook the city’s rich history of powerful photography. Prodigious talents like Eggleston and Withers may have helped cement Memphis’s photographic legacy, but today there is an entirely new crop of artists working their hearts out to produce the very best work they can. Our list of the best Memphis portrait photographers covers a healthy mix of specialties and styles. Each of these creative professionals shares an appreciation of what photography can really do. Let’s check them out.

1. Antoine Lever

Out of all the other Memphis portrait photographers, Antoine Lever is a true stand-out for his myriad creative talents. While his portraiture is mainly lifestyle-based, it is also highly fashionable and clearly powered by a photographer with a creative eye. His portfolio includes headshots, branding portraits, maternity portraits, and weddings. Aside from his portraiture Instagram, Antoine also has accounts dedicated to vegan food, maternity robe rentals, and his Pose901 selfie studio photobooth rental.

2. Jessie Trotter Photography

Jessie Trotter is a Memphis native whose passion is to snap stunning family, maternity, and children’s portraits. Her portraits are sunny and warm, a perfect combination when you want to capture treasured memories heirloom style. But that’s not all she’s known for. Jessie also has her own vintage 1972 VW photo booth bus that she has decorated with boho touches that you can rent for your portrait session.

3. Houston Cofield

Houston Cofield differs from most of the photographers on this list in that he’s primarily an editorial photographer, but one who’s perhaps best-known for his striking portraits, which have been featured in such venerable publications as The New York Times and TIME. He often employs an editing style characterized by high-contrast and thoroughly saturated warm tones, lending his photojournalistic work a refreshing dose of personality.

When it suits the particular project, he’s also a superstar at adopting a vintage style that serves to connect his subjects to the past, situating them in the present on a timeline that — we are invited to feel, even if we’re not told — extends well into the past. It’s not quite like any other editorial or documentary work that’s being done today.

4. Donnie and Kerry of Smith Artisan

Donnie and Kerry — a creative power couple — got serious about photography relatively late in their careers. However, you wouldn’t know it from their portfolio. They have an excellent sense of lines and angles, and their portraiture is characterized by bright, bold, well-saturated colors. They’re very well-rounded talents who can take care of any portrait needs, whether it’s professional headshots, senior portraits, or personal branding photos.

5. Ethan Carpenter of Ethant5i

Ethan Carpenter represents everything that’s exciting about young Memphis artists. His photos are fashionable, tapping into the post-processing styles that are taking the Internet by storm. But it’s also real, varied, and distinctly Memphis. Even though most of his frames are dominated firmly by his subjects, you still never lose the feeling of looking in on an authentic scene. This holds true whether that’s college kids killing time walking around downtown, behind the scenes at a rap video shoot, or a breezy Mississippi riverside Instagram session.

6. Steve Jones

Steve Jones’s versatility sets him firmly among the best Memphis portrait photographers. His images have a smooth commercial sheen, a polished quality that’s the obvious mark of a seasoned professional. And much of his work is for the commercial world, including advertising, editorial, and documentary photography. When he applies that same skill set to portraiture, the results are striking. While his work includes classic portraiture, it’s his documentary-style photography that reveals his true artistic intentions.

7. Chelle Gross of Stroud Photography

Chelle Gross is an Olive Branch-based portrait photographer who shoots both in and out of the studio. She makes good use of creative depth of field and clever Photoshop work to put her own unique spin on types of photography that can become repetitive — like senior portraits, which often feature kids lying in the grass or leaning against trees in the same old poses.

8. Sam Bumpers

Sam Bumpers is a wedding and lifestyle photographer whose portraiture has a minimalist, vintage look with a faded, limited color palette. The effect is very chic and fashion-forward, understated. It’s graceful without trying too hard. In short, it’s much more stylish than the work of your average photog, so check her out. If you dig her style, she’s your best bet in town and you should hire her asap.

9. Susan Heard

Susan Heard is a fine art portrait photographer specializing in studio portraits. If you like classic, traditional portrait photography, don’t miss her. This is the modern version of the kind of portrait people have been taking for decades — the subjects dramatically but not harshly lit, often posing behind paint-brushed earth-toned backdrops. In keeping with the style, Heard’s photos employ classical compositions to create timeless images.

We also love Susan’s spot-on philosophy that explains how crucial a great headshot is these days. “First impressions are often not in person, but on a brochure or on our website. My promise is that you will look your best, the first time, every time. Our Memphis photography studio exists to empower your business with impactful images that will help you grow.”

10. Maddie Moree

Maddie Moree (who, if you’re from around here, you might also know as Madison Yen) is a rockstar. Whether it’s fashion, wedding, food photography, or anything else, she’s going to bring something to the table, and it’s going to be awesome. Her work is technically precise but also full of life, sometimes a little wild in an indefinable way. We suspect it’s that she’s having fun and that it bleeds through into the work in delightful ways.

Bonus: Igor Mazor Photography

Igor B Mazor is a Ukrainian portrait photographer whose work has made quite a splash in Memphis. He has been a professional photographer for decades, and this experience shows in all his images. Although he has a talented team as part of his studio, it is Igor himself who snaps your portraits and has a hand in every aspect of your experience, from start to print.

His love of portraiture stems from his love of people. In his own words: “Although I’ve worked with various types of photography over the years, I can say with certainty that my passion for this work comes from people. From personalities and moods to deep-rooted feelings, it’s these meaningful and intangible things that elicit emotions and reactions from my audiences. It’s what separates simple snapshots from powerful photographs; appealing to more than just our sense of sight.”

Memphis portrait photographers + Peerspace = magic

Indoor Photoshoot Locations in Memphis
Source: Peerspace

There’s no other Southern city like Memphis, and the best Memphis portrait photographers create work that’s not like any other work. As the city’s creative community continues to grow and shape itself, look out for Memphis to continue surprising the rest of the country in new and exciting ways. We hope you have found your dream portrait photographer on this list! And once you book them, come back here to Peerspace and book a venue that is as unique as you are. We have hundreds of spaces in Memphis, all of which are available by the hour.

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