The 11 Best Portrait Photographers in Toronto

Are you looking for the most talented Toronto portrait photographers? Then you’re at the right place! As the largest online marketplace for hourly creative venue rentals, we at Peerspace work with photographers every day. They utilize our platform to secure one-of-a-kind hidden gems in the GTA, and we get to see the results of their amazing work. Perhaps needless to say, we’ve seen a lot of amazing portraits. The following Toronto portrait photographers are among the most talented we’ve come across thus far. We can’t wait for you to see their stunning work!

1. Quinton Cruickshanks

With a focus on gender fluidity through a queer lens, Quinton Cruickshanks is one heck of a photographer. He’s known throughout Toronto for his bright and pop art-style portraits of drag performers and gender-questioning models. But he’s also gained national attention with art projects like In Your Skin.

Quinton is inspired by Annie Leibovitz, and his blog, Queer Me Out, is a fantastic mix of his stunning photography and Toronto’s finest LGBTQ+ voices.

2. Samuel Engelking

Samuel Engelking is one of our favorite Toronto portrait photographers for his impactful, modern style. He was fascinated with photography from an early age after his interest in the medium was ignited by the works of artists like Man Ray and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

As well as his portraits, he dabbles in all manner of photography niches, from fashion and editorial to commercial. As a staff photographer at Now Magazine, Samuel has photographed plenty of notable Canadians, from Margaret Atwood to Sarah Polley. Check out his Instagram to get a better sense of his truly distinct style.

3. Draga Jovanovic of Front Row Images

Toronto-based lifestyle photographer Draga Jovanovic is the artist behind the lens of Front Row Images. With a master’s in photography and fine art, Draga has an artist’s vision with a trained photographer’s technical skill. Having exhibited photography all over the world, she’s called Toronto home for the last few years. We love Draga’s family portraits in particular as they capture those memories we’re all too good at forgetting to savor.

Her focus these days is on family portraiture and is truly passionate about the genre. In her own words, “As a family photographer, my goal is simple – to turn your everyday lives and those precious family moments and milestones into photographs that will serve as an archive of fond memories and important personal landmarks.I want you to have gorgeous family portraits that will even outlive you!”

4. Siva Renuka

Freelance photographer Siva Renuka’s deep, dreamy, and detailed portraits leap right off the page. This portrait stood out to us in particular. So much so, that even though Siva seems to be redoing his photography Instagram account, we couldn’t not include him in this list of Toronto portrait photographers.

That’s how sublime we think it is. It shows his command not only of light versus shadow but is a silent masterclass on how to compose a picture that highlights an individual. As a result, we’re psyched to see more, since we believe his future is blindingly bright.

5. Jah Grey

Self-taught photographer and visual philosopher Jah Grey’s portraits give us a vulnerable, bold look into the stories behind his subjects. With his art, he explores his own personal experience of being a Black man by allowing others to step in front of his lens to do the same. Jah focuses on subjects who don’t fit into traditionally hypermasculine or gendered boxes. As a result, his work allows people to challenge society and for society to challenge it back.

6. YB Photography

Whether he’s taking up-close-and-personal portraits or those on location, YB Kim’s candid, film-esque style is captivating. Something he’s really great at doing is mixing his portraiture with urban photography. In doing so, he manages to capture a great snapshot of Toronto. In many of his photos, the city looks as big a character as his subjects yet — thanks to his expert frames — never overtakes them.

7. Riley Stewart

Saskatchewan native Riley Stewart is another of the Toronto portrait photographers whose editorial work caught our eye. While as fond of the deeply contrasted style seen in a lot of wedding portraiture, we love a little film grain. Shooting fashion editorials as well as portraits, Riley has shot for big-time magazines like ELLE and Globe. He also works with commercial brands like L’Oréal Paris and Harry Rosen. And honestly, one look at his portfolio, and we’re not surprised.

8. Katherine of Barcsay Photography

Katherine Barcsay is an award-winning photographer based between LA and Toronto. Raised by a family of photographers, she picked up the art herself pretty early on in her life. Since founding her business, Barcsay Photography, in 2009, she’s worked with tons of clients, from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts to Oceana. We love the editorial style of all her images. Even her portraits look like they’re from the pages of a fashion magazine. A few of her clients include UCLA, Magic Hat Brewing, Ontario Hydro, Rolex, and Salesforce.

9. Jaclyn Vogl Photography

Jaclyn Vogl met her true love — storytelling — a decade ago. With a background in film and television, she’d been around cameras most of her adult life. But once she embarked on her photography journey, there was no slowing down. Jac approaches photography in the same way she does filmmaking. Each picture, even her portraits, needs to tell the onlooker a story. Looking at her portfolio, we’d say she’s definitely succeeding.

We also love how Jac characterizes her work: “Part of my calling is to help liberate others, from behind the lens, and hold space for those on their own personal journey of empowerment.”

10. Adam Moco

While Adam Moco is Canadian, he discovered his passion for photography while traveling throughout Europe and Asia. He got his start as a model, but that was a career he left as soon as he returned home.

Adam’s extensive experience in seeing the world inspired him to take interest in the people around him — all of which culminated in his portrait project, Tryst Pic. With Tryst, Adam connects with fellow gay men via apps like Grindr, photographing them with the aim of challenging the status quo of hookup culture.

11. Shak of Studio Six Toronto

Shakil Hossain (also known as “Shak”) is one of the lenses behind award-winning photography studio, Studio Six Toronto. Alongside fellow photographer, Jackson Carvalho, he aims to mix commercial photography with artistic portraits. With experience in photography, business, and music alike, Shak has a unique and experienced creative eye. We love how he shoots in both black and white and color, which makes for a stylized portfolio. His portraits are beautifully toned and composed, reeling you into his world.

Bonus: David Chang

David Chang is one of the most popular Toronto portrait photographers and is especially well known for his compelling headshot work. His expertise extends to corporate, real estate, actor, and branding portraiture. He knows that not having a professional headshot just isn’t an option these days. And when you work with him, it’s a guarantee that yours will showcase who you are while you look confident, capable, and truly you.

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The best Toronto portrait photographers produce evocative images that reveal the soul of their subject. This list includes some of Toronto’s finest creative professionals, and we look forward to seeing what they create in the future. If you’re ready to partner up with one or more of them, do so as soon as possible! After you book them, come back to Peerspace and book a one-of-a-kind photoshoot location that captures who you are. We have hundreds of hidden gem spaces in Toronto, all of which are available to book by the hour.

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