If there’s one city that radiates fashion worldwide, it must be New York. Its bright lights, massive size, and busy streets exude the hustle toward success inherent in the high-energy world of fashion, and since the 20th century, many styles now find their origins in NYC. However, this wasn’t always the case. The Fashion Week that New York is famed for hosting actually began in Paris in 1943, but with World War 2 at its height, Americans could not travel to Europe to participate, which led to the creation of a fashion week in New York. By the late 90s, American fashion had distinguished itself on the international stage and NYC has become its hub. Around 900 fashion companies are based in the city, making for an estimated 180,000 jobs, which is 6% of New York’s workforce. Fashion photographers in NYC are easily found not only because of their specialty’s establishment as a mainstay in the local economy but also because the most cutting-edge and experimental design work is being done there as well. The city itself has a unique and constant influx of artists coming in from around the world to try their luck as one of their time’s next great visionaries, making it the perfect place for a budding NYC fashion photographer to do the same.
At Wonderful Machine, fashion photography emphasizes clothes, shoes, and accessories, usually worn by professional models. Here are the best fashion photographers in NYC on the scene right now.
Often blending her specialties in fashion, lifestyle, and portrait photography, Marsha Bernstein’s work is sharp and streetwise. Enjoying the storytelling element of photography, her subjects often strike a dramatic pose in a way that adds a creative and mysterious element to her work. Marsha also uses the location of her shoot itself to compliment the styles being modeled in her fashion photography, whether it be an ornate studio room, a stark backstage corner, or even on the sidewalk. With everything she shoots, Marsha reveals the character of her subject in a particular moment, engaging our curiosity and making it easy to want to know more.
With a career just ready to take over the world of fashion, Andrew Zaeh began working in the music industry and ultimately headed the visual branding of megastars including Jay-Z, Janelle Monae, and Bruno Mars. Taking this ability to translate a brand into something visual, Andrew made a natural move into photography and directing, even scoring nominations at MTV’s Video Music Awards. His roots in visual branding show through careful consideration of a location that highlights and celebrates the personalities of his subjects. Often working with celebrities, Andrew has mastered bringing out the unique character of everyone he shoots with natural emotions and moments being captured, exploring all of it in various styles being documented in his work.
Karen Epstein is a 20-year veteran of photography as well as a seasoned stylist. This shows in the relationship her work has with the designs she is capturing, giving the personality of the fashion designer center stage. Vivid colors are often employed within the background and props around a model. This both highlights and compliments the colors of the styles being worn by her subjects, which she further accentuates with bright use of indoor lighting as well as sunny afternoons outdoors. To add yet more to her expertise as an NYC fashion photographer, she also works with a talented team to provide post-production services, making her operation a complete one from start to finish.
Working across fashion, entertainment, and music, Nora Griffel found an early start after graduating with a degree in computer art. Being discovered for her talents in visual branding within the music industry, Nora has since worked as a personal photographer for multiple fashion and music moguls. Her multidisciplinary approach is cinematic, often employing the use of striking lighting and color to capture an intense mood. Sometimes it’s playful, and she’ll have every part of the room working with the patterns of the designers her subjects are modeling. Other times it’s dark and neon-lit, evocative of a futuristic film. With work published in many magazines worldwide, Noa is one of the most exciting fashion photographers in NYC.
Originally coming from Watkinsville, Georgia, Jayme Thornton developed a love for photography by shooting landscapes of his hometown while in high school. After going to school for theater, Jayme worked in the Minneapolis scene and rediscovered his love of photography by capturing the neon signs that lit up the street. Catching a big break in New York, Jayme now runs his own studio and shoots for high-end clients including Jason Wu, Christian Louboutin, and Hugo Boss. Often using bright lighting to accentuate the fashions being modeled by his subjects, Jayme also uses his theatrical background to utilize their movement as a major aspect of his work.
Working for 18 years across the specialties of fashion, lifestyle, advertising, and more, Melinda DiMauro has worked in both New York and on the West Coast, spending years in San Francisco and LA. Now back in NYC, Melinda brings the sunny warmth of the Pacific to a lot of her work, conducting many shoots outdoors and in stunning international locations. Often she will find a location with a lot of diversity within it as far as stairwells, panoramic balcony views, and sidewalks by bodies of water – basically, she takes you on an adventure. Throughout it, a model will show off various looks from a designer, revealing the many ways the aesthetic of the clothing interacts with the world around it.
Originally from California, Adrianna Favero is an NYC-based photographer who shoots all over the world to create images of fashion and beauty. Focusing the most on her subjects, Adrianna often uses a sparse background to capture her models in multiple angles and outfits from a designer to showcase the dynamic personality within their work. This puts all of the attention on the craft of the products themselves as well as what they are like in the action of sitting in them, twirling in them, and going out into the world with them. The lighting is often bright to give a clear image, while the moods range from playful to pensive as we exist with her models as they explore their reality in the designs they are wearing. Through this, Adrianna brings a level of humanity to her work as a fashion photographer in NYC that makes her stand out as something special.
With its high number of retail outlets, schools, studios, and organizations, New York City will always be hard to match as the fashion capital of the world. And this will likely stay the case, as any New Yorker can tell you that change is a constant in NYC. As the concept of what’s “new” is endlessly reinvented every day, photographers need to be just as effective in documenting these creative achievements, many of which go on to influence the rest of the world. With these fashion photographers in NYC, you not only have seasoned professionals who have created lauded imagery worldwide that does exactly that but also range within them as to how many remarkable ways this documenting can be done.