Every artist needs inspiration. We’ve talked about sources of inspiration outside of photography, but this week we asked 5 professional photographers who inspires them within the photography business. Here’s what they had to say:

Sue Bryce
Portrait Photographer

“Annie Leibovitz — because she’s a genius. She’s why I wanted to learn to use a deep dish strobe. Her work highly influences me due to its beauty and subtle lighting. I love all of her work. This is a photo where I used a deep dish strobe to create that ‘Annie lighting’ — I absolutely love it.”

Sue Bryce

Kelly Brown
Newborn Photographer

I have been inspired by so many photographers and artists over the past 12 years, but I would have to say that Anne Geddes was my biggest inspiration when photographing babies. When I first started working with newborns nine years ago, Anne was the leader in this genre — she was the only photographer creating images like hers. Today she continues to influence so many photographers, myself included. Some of my favorite images have been influenced by her.

Kelly Brown

Jerry Ghionis
Wedding Photographer

“My main sources of inspiration for my photography come from movies, music, and fashion. But one photographer who definitely influenced me is Herb Ritts. I’m a big fan for his beauty, simplicity, and his in-camera artistry.

“I used to look at his images that were taken on high key backgrounds in full sun and admire how simple and strong they were. It made me dream of having an outdoor studio one day where I would be able to shoot strong daylight portraits like he did. I can definitely say that dream has come true, because years later, my wife and I live in California for part of the year and we have a beautiful outdoor rooftop studio where I can shoot and have been working on some great projects.”

Jerry Ghionis

Tamara Lackey
Children’s and Portrait Photographer

“I know it’s not a lesser-known photographer, but I have always admired the work of Annie Leibovitz. She inspires me not only because of her exceptional work but because of just how many trends that she has started in the editorial and commercial field, without ever necessarily being credited. I don’t find my style so much influenced by her photography as my desire to keep re-thinking my work, inspired by how often she has and by the fact that she became such a renowned figure in the industry when not that many women were. Still aren’t.”

“I remember photographing then-Senator Obama at a campaign event once for a magazine, and I was onstage behind him when I suddenly realized that other photographer on stage, shooting right next in front of me, was Annie Leibovitz. I was so starstruck, I stopped photographing him and started photographing the back of her head instead.”

Tamara Lackey

Jen Rozenbaum
Boudoir Photographer

“This is a tough one for me. I try not to be influenced by other photographers, really. At least not for their photography — work/life balance would be a different story. If that can be an answer, I truly admire Tamara Lackey. She is an amazing role model for work-life balance and following your passion — all while taking care of yourself and your relationships.”

Jen Lightful
(Image by Jen Lightful)

If you want a little more inspiration, take a look at the best advice pro photographers ever got. Or take a moment to let us know who inspires your work in the comments or in our Facebook photography group, the Animoto Video Marketing Challenge.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE