The 10 Most Exciting & Promising Photographers Under 30
Although the moments captured on film may last for ages, time will always catch up with the current crop of veteran photographers. Soon, they will be replaced by a new batch of budding visual artists, journalists, and storytellers. These up-and-comers hold all the potential that guarantees an exciting future for the world of photography.
Starting off the list is the 26-year-old Lebanese dream-catcher Lara Zankoul. Having received a formal education in the American University of Beirut with a Master’s Degree in Economics, she balances her research-based career with her passion for fine arts photography. Dealing with cold hard facts in her day job moves her to escape to the surreal in her symbolic compositions of feminine reverie.
At only 20 years old, French self-taught photographer Alexandra Sophie has already traveled the world and understood the beauty of being a mother. She might not have obtained much of schooling, but she draws from a deep well of experiences in both observing the people around her and living life itself. Her search for innocence and beauty in the female form and its important stages of growth is reflected elegantly in her photographs.
22-year-old Rosie Hardy was born in Manchester, UK. At the age of 16, her journey into the world of photography started with a simple desire to look pretty. After joining the 365 Days project by Flickr, the interest turned into passion.
Learning by experience, she sought new locations, techniques, equipment, and subjects. Now, she has an elaborate portfolio of the simple and the magical, earning her a full-time career working for various clients and building up galleries.
At the tender age of 16, Ciril Jazbec has been showered with acclaim for his photographic acumen, winning awards in his homeland of Slovenia and across Europe. Now based in London and at 25 years old, he is sought after by international publications and businesses looking to feature his work or promote theirs. He focuses on the inherent magnetism of people for his compositions, showcasing their emotions amidst striking backgrounds.
California kid Cameron Rad is living the wild, beautiful and fun life that the City of Angels brings, and he manages to contain all that youthful energy in his photos. He even accomplishes this without the help of artificial lighting, showing a masterful handling of his composition’s environments. His subjects, mostly being very pretty women, are made even prettier with how he frames them under natural light, accentuating their femininity.
As the youngest on this list at just 18 years old, Belgian photographer/illustrator Ruth Govaerts has a boldness that lets her explore a range of emotions evocative in the pictures she takes. Perhaps it’s in the way she plays with light and colors, sometimes stark in its richness and sometimes ethereal in the fade. Three years of experience has helped her refine her art, giving her much more confidence in the staging of her compositions. It’s exciting to think what heights she’ll reach considering her skill at such an age.
From the undercurrent racial and class divide of his home city in Cincinnati, Ohio to the violence and everyday struggle in the oil-soaked lands and rivers of Nigeria, 26-year-old Samuel James has found the stories of inequality in both places. With a camera and a keen eye for powerful moments, he brings light to the plight of the people of the Niger Delta, hoping to move the world to change for a better future for all.
This young photographer finds a good balance of work and personal fulfillment in servicing clients through documenting their events and in servicing her own pursuit of artistry through her conceptual portraits. In the former, she displays the intimacy in the bonds between loved ones, and in the latter, she brings to life the real touched by the unreal. Not bad for a 20-year-old.
The beautiful people that Peruvian-American Mariana Quevedo shoots aren’t just static images of dolled-up mannequins. From the curves of their lips to the flash of their eyes to the weight of their pose, they breathe dynamic. Quevedo traces this love for capturing the essence of man and woman in film to her uncle taking a photo of her and her cousins back when she was 12.
Rounding out the list is Pari Dukovic, the oldest at 29 years, and arguably the most accomplished. Born and raised in Istanbul with Greek blood in him, Dukovic started his journey in photography taking photos of street life. After moving to New York City, he embraced its cultural diversity and channeled its energy to improve his craft through capturing the iconic, the subversive, and the ordinary. This way, he has come to understand people and their many passions. This visual insight has landed his work on many a prestigious publication.