The constant accessibility to iPhone cameras and other phones with fancy camera phones leaves many people feeling as if their photography skills are on point. Portrait mode is turning every new mom and Instagram husband into a superstar photographer these days. However beautiful Instagram grids make iPhone photos appear, though, it’s the professional photographers of the world who are getting paid the big bucks to take photos that leave viewers breathless. It’s a skill that can be learned, but some of the wealthiest photographers in the world just have an eye for beauty – and they know how to capture that on film. They are true artists.
20. George Steinmetz (Net Worth: $100,000 to $1 million)
Born in 1957, George Steinmetz is an American photographer. He is also known as The Flying Photographer and is famous for aerial photography at a low altitude. His work incorporates layers of details that reveal themselves the longer you look at an image. He got into motorized paragliding in 1997 to be able to take photographs from the air. He prefers the paraglider over a plane as it is more comfortable and enables him to take more creative photos. His recent work on Feeding China was featured in National Geographic and shows how China manages to feed its massive population with limited arable land.
19. Nick Brandt (Net Worth: $100,000 to $1 million)
Born in 1966, Nick Brandt is a photographer who works exclusively in Africa. His work is unique from that of other photographers as they are black-and-white and powerfully convey the message. His theme is usually about the natural world and how it is gradually being destroyed by humanity. His latest world is entitled This Empty World. This is a series of photos that are not typical for him. Rather than using the black-and-white photography he is so famous for, they are shot in color.
18. Nick Veasey (Net Worth: $1-5 million)
The British artist works with images that are made from x-ray imaging. Some of the works are created using x-ray images in photoshop, and he has worked with many digital artists to create his creations. The artist has a unique approach to photography and has a unique and very different signature from other photographs and artists. His work strips away the top layers of reality to reveal the beauty that lies underneath.
17. GMB Akash (Net Worth: $1-5 million)
The Bangladesh photographer focuses on the people who are living at the edge of society. His work has been featured in more than 100 major publications such as Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Vogue, and The Guardian. His work has also been exhibited worldwide, and he has received more than a hundred international awards in photography. He has a unique perspective about society and the people living at the very edge of it. These are the people we barely notice on a daily basis as we go about our lives distracted and in a hurry. The images capture the essence of the human fight for existence and the spirit that keeps people alive even when their conditions are not ideal.
16. Joe McNally (Net Worth: $1.1 million)
The American photographer has been working with the National Geographic Society since 1987. He works from New York City and lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut. His work has gained a lot of recognition for his work, and he has won four awards from World Press Photo. He has captured the Afghan war, which was covered in the New York Times.
15. Zhang Jinghua (Net Worth: $1-3 million)
Popularly known as Zemotion, the Chinese-Singaporean photographer has had her work appear on several editions of the Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. She also appeared on the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list in 2018 and is one of the highest-paid photographers in the world. She has clients like Mercedes Benz and Lancome. Her experience in fine arts has influenced her fashion photography in a significant way.
14. Jeremy Cowart (Net Worth: $1.5 million)
Jeremy started as a painter and immediately developed a passion for the creative process. He went on to study graphic design in college and started his own company. His photographs are a work of art and gained the attention of celebrities and photographers worldwide. He has worked with big names like the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, and Tim Tebow. He spends most of his time on community projects and addresses major issues in society.
13. Steve McCurry (Net Worth: $1.5 million)
Steve’s work covers endangered cultures of the world, ancient traditions, conflicts, and contemporary cultures. The American photographer’s work has appeared on the cover of the National Geographic several times. His work includes color photography which shows human emotion. He has been moving around the world for more than 30 years capturing traditions and culture.
12. Lee Jeffries (Net Worth: $1.5 million)
In his free time, Lee Jeffries takes photos of homeless people all over the world. However, he has a full-time accounting job near Manchester. His work is outstanding, and he manages to capture the people who are down and out, living a life they never imagined, and hoping their luck changes. Born in 1971, Jeffries has received international recognition for his captivating portraits of homeless people.
11. Marco Grob (Net Worth: $1.5 million)
The photographer’s primary focus is on portrait and people photography. He has worked with various actors such as George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey, etc. He has also worked with famous musicians such as Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, and Sir Elton John, as well as major corporations such as Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, and MARVEL. Many famous movie posters include his work “TRON: Legacy” and “The Avengers.”
10. Timothy Allen (Net Worth: $1.6 million)
The travel photographer is known for traveling worldwide to capture the indigenous and isolated communities of the world. He has powerful story-telling skills, which are evident in the photographs that he takes when in these situations.
9. Lynsey Addario (Net Worth: $1-5 million)
The American photojournalist works on capturing human rights issues on camera. She works to present the role of women in traditional societies, which is evident in the different wars she has captured. She was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer prize for International Reporting and has been known to capture women in very candid moments.
8. Peter Lik (Net Worth: $2 million)
The photographer from Australia is known for capturing nature with panoramic landscape images. For more than 35 years, he has been pushing the boundaries of fine art with his photographs. He is self-taught and one of the pioneers of landscape photography which makes him popular with clients. Nature and landscapes are often ignored aspects of photography, and there are not many participants in this field.
7. Jimmy Nelson (Net Worth: $3.7 million)
Born in 1967, Jimmy Nelson has been interested in photography since 1987. He is famous for his photos of indigenous people and tribes that are slowly becoming smaller and less populated.
6. Mario Testino (Net Worth: $17 million)
Mario Testino is a famous fashion photographer whose work has come to define fashion. He is known for a style known as “luxury realism” as he captures his subjects in moments of candid behavior. Many contemporary fashion photographers have been used to emotionless photos of their subjects. In contrast, Mario Testino captures the expression of emotions and other feelings in his photography.
5. Morgan Norman (Net Worth: $18 million)
The photographer was born in Stockholm in 1976 and mainly focused on celebrity and fashion portraits. He was raised in the north of Sweden and graduated with a degree in Social Science. He was recognized as the “International Top Newcomer” in 2009 by Hasselblad and has been working with clients from all over the world. His work appears on many magazine covers as well as many advertisements.
4. Andreas Gursky (Net Worth: $30 million)
The German photographer and university professor is known for landscape color as well as large format architecture photographs. His photographs are about the modern world and the different changes in architecture and landscapes that have occurred throughout the years. On January 15, 1955, he was born in Leipzig, and his digitally manipulated photographs perfectly capture contemporary culture.
3. Gilles Bensimon (Net Worth: $30 million)
A former creative director at Elle magazine, the French fashion photographer is involved in America’s Next Top Model TV series. He has also worked with many celebrities and captured Haute Couture. He grew up with a passion and interest for photography which later developed to become a fully-fledged career as he was able to refine his skills.
2. Cindy Sherman (Net Worth: $35 million)
The American artist is usually the subject of her portraits. She is famous for her self-portraits. She has also worked with high fashion brands, magazines, and makeup companies who love her exceptional work. Sherman uses a green screen in her self-portraits. She mainly works alone as the model, stylist, and photographer of many of her works, but this enables her to feel more free in her work. As a result, she has been known to produce some of the best works working in her studio alone.
1. Annie Leibovitz (Net Worth: $440 million)
The American portrait photographer was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, and grew up all over the world. She worked for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, which marked the start of her career. The Walt Disney Company hired her in 2007 for the Year of a Million Dreams campaign, which was a huge accomplishment. Her engaging portraits of celebrities are some of her most famous in the world. She is also known for her lighting and vivid color. She is arguably the most famous fashion photographer in the world, as well as the wealthiest. Anyone who has worked with Leibovitz is honored to have done so, and she is almost more of a celebrity than her celebrity models when it comes to her work.