Top 10 Fine Art Photographers in Chicago
When looking at a fine art photograph, you’re viewing the creative expression of the artist behind the camera. It’s not always a true depiction of reality but an expression of their thoughts, emotions, or an interpretation of an idea.
Combining a big city feel with a unique character, Chicago has attracted some of the best fine art photographers in the country. In this list, we’ve selected 10 who are at the top of the game in fields that range from wedding to architecture and aerial photography.
Scott Fishman specializes in cityscape fine art and is renowned for his photos documenting the Windy City from multiple angles. He captures stunning images of Chicago landmarks that are regularly transformed into wall art and he accepts commissions from clients who have particular photographic needs.
Helicopters or rooftops are used to capture his impressive aerial photographs and he delivers compelling architectural shots of both structures and spaces. Aside from his images of Chicago, Scott has an outstanding portfolio of photographs captured in Cuba.
Influenced by names such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, and Annie Liebovitz, Stephanie Wood is passionate about capturing “micro-bits of life, flickers of fate, and glimpses of eternal happiness”.
Her fine art images draw on a documentary style of shooting to capture genuine moments, whether she’s photographing weddings, engagement sessions, or beautiful black and white bridal portraits. Thanks to her use of muted colors and monochrome, Stephanie’s images have a timeless quality and are a pleasure to behold.
Marian Kraus’ fine art photography focuses on architecture and man-made spaces, whether it’s industrial settings, interiors, or lifestyle shoots. He also captures stunning images of natural scenes, documenting distant mountains and cloud-filled skies above expansive landscapes.
In describing his architectural work, he says: “It provides facets of boundless beauty and harmony in their most essential and perfect forms and endless manifestations” and it’s understandable why many choose his images as wall art.
Common Fine Art Photography
Based out of a loft studio in Chicago’s West Town, Common Fine Art Photography specializes in capturing contemporary lifestyle portraits with a fine art aesthetic. They regularly work with clients on personal branding assignments, as well as capturing images for small businesses.
Common Fine Art Photography has also garnered a reputation for its gorgeous newborn portraits, maternity sessions, and family photos, with a knack for documenting the tiniest details in the most engaging way.
Igor Menaker describes photography as “an expression of my imagination, my personal reality. When I create a photograph I am not capturing an objective reality and I am not sure if it even exists.” He strives to create images that reflect his creative visions, rather than being a snapshot of something that’s true-to-life.
Igor's particularly talented in the field of architectural fine art photography, with his portfolio including striking images captured in Chicago, New York City, Houston, and Italy. His use of black and white enables the viewer to really focus on the patterns and lines of the structures he is documenting.
Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Morgan is a Chicago-based photographer specializing in commercial and fine art photography. His emphasis is on lifestyle and environmental portraits, with his use of natural colors and light giving his images an “untouched” feel.
Morgan believes that every project is an opportunity to deepen his understanding and every image is an opportunity to transcend what he has already seen and done. It’s this constant striving for improvement that gives him an edge and why he makes our list of the top fine art photographers in Chicago.
Tricia Koning is the lead photographer at Chicago Photo Art, an Illinois-based studio that specializes in commercial portraiture, weddings, and newborn shoots with a fine art edge. She’s passionate about celebrating the successes of life, whether it’s the joy of families or corporate events.
Tricia heads a team of three photographers who travel throughout the Chicago area working on assignments with businesses, individuals, architects, and realtors. Tricia draws on more than 20 years of experience and regularly works out of her boutique studio near Roscoe Village.
Rachel Mandel has long-established family roots in the photography industry, with her great-grandfather selling one-minute exposure shots in downtown Chicago nearly a century ago. She’s established a reputation as one of the top fine art wedding photographers in Chicago by capturing images that are natural, genuine, and undeniably beautiful. Drawing on natural light, Rachel strives to make her couples glow with radiance, and her images have a timeless feel about them.
Aside from being an incredibly talented fine art wedding photographer, Nicole Kilday is all about sharing moments and telling love stories, with all of their emotions, twists, and turns. Her images have a film-like quality and she captures shots in black and white, just as much as she does in color. Nicole expertly experiments with the use of shadows and exposure levels while her subdued color palette adds to the classic feel of her images.
Capturing weddings, families, and pets, Candice Cusic is a Chicago-based fine art photographer who draws on more than 20 years of experience as a photojournalist (and with a Pulitzer Prize under her belt). She specializes in what she calls “moment-driven photography”, with a documentary-style of shooting, rather than heavily posed images. Aside from running a successful studio in downtown Chicago, Candice also teaches photojournalism at Northwestern University and has worked as a staff photographer at the “Chicago Tribune.”