From still-life-inspired photos of the animal world to vintage medium-format film images, fine art photography reveals itself in many forms. While it’s incredibly broad in its subject matter, at its core, it’s about aesthetic appreciation and an emotional connection between the image, the photographer, and the viewer.
As a major artistic hub, San Francisco is home to no shortage of talented fine art photographers who are inspired by the city’s visual appeal and its natural surroundings. In this list, we’ve featured eight of the best whose work ranges from minimalist to impressionist and everything in between.
Originally from Orange County, Peter Samuels initially worked as a product still-life photographer before meeting his “muse” (a dog named Leica) in 2009. It was then that he discovered his passion for fine art photography, with a focus on the animal world. Drawing on his product lighting experience, he captures stunning and emotionally compelling portraits of cats, dogs, and horses in his studio space. He has worked with clients such as The SPCA, the Bideawee Pet Hospital, and Natures’ Recipes, and has received multiple awards from American Photography, the PDN, and the APA National Awards.
Rent a location for your next film or photo shoot project on Giggster – A better way to book locations.
Based in San Francisco, Dan Kurtzman is primarily a fine art landscape photographer who is inspired by the Bay Area in general. He was originally trained as a photojournalist and is talented at telling vivid stories, as well as being skilled in his use of light and shadow. Dan sees photography as a “powerful tool for bringing people together and forging community” while also helping to “broaden perspectives”. He has worked as an editor for the books “New York City on Instagram” and “San Francisco on Instagram” books and showcases some of the platform’s most talented artists through his @wildbayarea, @wildcalifornia_ and @wildnewyork accounts.
Currently based in San Francisco, Adam Jacobs is an internationally renowned photographer and a global ambassador for Manfrotto and Gitzo. He has photographed sporting events across the globe and taken engaging portraits of icons such as Nelson Mandela and Mick Jagger. Originally from London, Adam was awarded the Best Licentiate by the British Institute and Photography for his original style, which uses saturated colors and often depicts repetitive patterns to create abstract images. His “Abandoned Spaces” series is particularly impressive and illustrates the unusual beauty of urban decay.
Born and raised in Bulgaria, Radostina Boseva worked as a graphic designer and art director in the Czech Republic where she discovered her passion for film photography. She now resides in San Francisco where she has established a reputation as a fine art wedding photographer, with a timeless style that’s rooted in simplicity and minimalism. Her images often feature clean, white lines and neutral tones, with plenty of negative space that allows her subjects to shine. There’s something highly organic about her work, which has drawn the attention of brides and grooms in both the United States and Europe.
Hailing from Mississauga, Canada, Christopher Dydyk moved to California when he was eight years old and picked up his first camera five years later. Recognizing his talent, Christopher’s grandmother gifted him his grandfather’s camera equipment and he built a darkroom in his bedroom closet. His romantic interpretations of the modern world have garnered him acclaim, with images that are reminiscent of Impressionist paintings. With blurred scenes and dynamic colors, you feel transported into the hustle and bustle of the city streets or immersed in the movement of the natural world. His photographs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Magazine Headquarters and the Sofitel in Redwood City, as well as at the CK Contemporary Gallery and the SF MoMa Artist Gallery.
Daniel Grant Photography
Daniel Grant’s ethereal images depict the experiences he has been a part of, from his years traveling through the United States, Mexico, and Europe to his encounters with love. He’s largely inspired by vintage, medium-format film cameras, which were first produced in the 1960s and have been revived with a cult-like following by photographers for their “lack of precision, control and focus”. Daniel says that: “By taking away the technical aspect of picture making, a sincere representation of the subject matter and vision of the photographer becomes evident.”
Originally introduced to fine art photography at The Center of the Eye in Aspen, Colorado, Ron Starr has been creating his abstract black and white images ever since. He’s studied with names such as Nathan Lyons, Minor White, and Pirkle Jones and has had his work exhibited as part of “The Land” exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He explains: “My work is not about photographing what I see, but rather listening to what is humming just below the surface.” He likens his photographic process to an archaeologist making discoveries, with the result being photos that are enigmatic and anything but conventional.
While predominantly a fine art figurative sculptor, Karina Furhman also works in the photographic medium and blends the two in her portrait series “Sculpted from Life”. She grew up in Riga, Latvia, and studied for a decade with Stephen Perkins in San Francisco, as well as with Jon DeMartin and Dan Thompson in New York. Karina’s work has been exhibited by the National Sculpture Society and has appeared in “Artist Portfolio Magazine”, as well as being part of the 1st Black Lives Matter Art Exhibition MCLA Gallery 51 MA.