The Most Inspiring Female Self Portrait Photographers in 2021
Had I never discovered the mesmerizing photographs of other self portrait artists, I doubt I would have ever started diving into the genre.
But those often very emotive, creative portraits moved something within me.
Inspired by what I saw online, artistic self portraits became my preferred way of expressing my deepest self.
Especially female self portrait photographers had a big influence on me – which is why today, I’d like to share their magic with you and introduce you to some of the best self portrait artists I know.
10 Inspiring Female Self Portrait Photographers
1. Laura Zalenga
I couldn’t start with anyone else but her: Laura is a German portrait photographer whose self portrait art has accompanied me from the very beginning. I was fortunate enough to get to know her beautiful personality during several Flickr meetups long ago (oh, the golden days). Since then, she has only kept growing in her artistic expression. She has refined her signature style of emotional portraits, often featuring expressive, dancer-like poses of the human body.
Nowadays, her minimalistic, yet insanely powerful art is infused with an additional layer of meaning and depth. Through her photographs, Laura often raises awareness for vulnerable topics, such as social taboos and discrimination. The way she uses her voice to make the world a better place is ever-inspiring to me, not to mention the captivating visual beauty of her self portraits.
2. Elizabeth Gadd
If I could choose one female self portrait artist’s photos to live in, it certainly would be the breathtaking visual world of Canadian photographer Elizabeth Gadd. With a passion for the outdoors, she photographs herself in magical, wild landscapes. She appears as a female, solitary figure in flowing dresses, immersed in nature’s most beautiful light spectacles. Full of vivid colors, her art has the power to fill you with a deep longing to experience the exhilarating freedom of the wilderness. Through her self portraits, she powerfully communicates the calm and peace she finds in nature.
3. Chantal Convertini
Also known as paeulini, this Swiss self portrait photographer prominently explores the female body in her art. She frequently criticizes the censorship put onto tasteful, artistic nudity through social media as well as society. Chantal’s sensual photographs, taken on film, prove that you do not need any spectacular surroundings to create moving visuals. Many of her self portraits are taken in a plain room, creatively playing with the light coming in through the windows. She also shares self-written poems along with her self portraits and I deeply admire her for so vulnerably expressing herself, through images and words.
4. Rosie Hardy
Welcome to fantasy world. Rosie is a master at crafting conceptual self portraits that carry you away into the land of dreams. Her unique concepts and visual language have inspired me for many years. The UK photographer uses impressive photo manipulation skills to make her visions come alive, but they’re not all fantasy: Despite the surreal look, her self portraits often speak of her own hardships and feelings, sharing her life very openly online and allowing an intimate connection with those who follow her personal journey. Last but not least, Rosie is also a talented wedding photographer, making even weddings feel like a dream come true.
5. Brooke DiDonato
US-American Brooke DiDonato’s self portraits call a very distinctive style her own. Often using everyday architecture and homes as a backdrop, her photographs are carefully staged. Her art has a very clean, realistic look, yet there is something strange going on – little surreal twists and poses that perplex the viewer. Brooke’s pastel-toned photographs, often faceless portraits, pose more questions than they answer and are guaranteed to leave you with a lasting impression.
6. Amelie Satzger
Another female photographer from Germany, Amelie has made bold colors her signature move. Her work is full of patterns and clever photo manipulations, creating a world of colorful illusions. Sometimes, Amelie appears several times within one image or merges completely within her surroundings. Most of her latest self portraits have been taken indoors, inspiring others on how to get creative with simple everyday objects that you would easily find in your household.
7. Brooke Shaden
It’s safe to say that Brooke Shaden has influenced a whole generation of self portrait photographers. Certainly, she was the sole reason I started cropping my photos square and experimented with textures in the beginning of my photography journey. Brooke Shaden is a passionate storyteller. Her somber self portraits challenge fears and often cause strong reactions in the viewers. However, her intention is not to scare people, quite the opposite: For years, she has inspired people to pursue their (creative) passions and to let their light shine. I think it is this stark contrast between darkness and light that makes Brooke’s work so special.
8. Sophie Eggert
Even though Sophie has been creating self portraits for many years, I discovered her beautiful work rather late. And I must say I’ve been in love ever since. Her work radiates a touching feeling of solitude, often showing her only as a female figure in the distance, dancing in the elements of nature. Sophie’s delicate self portraits do not require many words, they speak for themselves.
9. Anya Anti
Ukrainian-born photographer Anya creates surrealistic female self portraits that are more than just a beautiful image. Through fine art photography, she tells imaginative stories that are rich in detail and flawlessly edited. I’d especially like to highlight her series ‘2.5 seconds’, a call to action to the world: Anya’s compelling images address the urgency of climate change, making the many faces of damage visible. Set in beautiful Iceland, the series serves as a reminder of the natural beauty we are losing second by second.
10. Taysa Jorge
Taysa’s photography is an ode to the night. She works with the stunning natural surroundings of her home, the Canary Islands, and illuminates them with mysterious, often ball-shaped light sources that add a mystical, surreal look to her photographs. Often, a lone female figure appears in those desolate landscapes – Taysa’s curiosity for the exploration of consciousness also infuses her self portraits. She does not say much about her photographs, leaving the interpretation of the scenes up to the viewer who remains with a beautiful sense of mystery.
The list of inspiring self portrait artists definitely does not end there (but the space on this page does).
I am forever grateful for the female photographers I have come along throughout my self portrait journey, whether in person, through online friendships, or in distant admiration. To this day, they continue to amaze me with the visual beauty they craft and the powerful messages they send out into the world.
Which female self portrait photographers have inspired you?