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Today's hot fashion photographers

Mert Alas, Marcus Piggott, Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, Nick Knight, Craig McDean and Scott Schuman top the list.

October 18, 2009|Emili Vesilind

Of all of photography's commercial milieus, fashion is by far the most competitive. The artists at the top of the heap possess an eye for innovation, a boatload of artistic vision and serious technical chops (or, at the very least, the best photo assistants money can buy.) Here's a brief rundown of some of today's most sought-after style shooters.

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are perhaps the hottest names in fashion photography right now, thanks to their hyper-glossy, digitally bolstered images that often portray women as uber-powerful figures. They shoot long, complex fashion stories for W magazine almost monthly and have produced campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Givenchy, among others.

Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Dutch fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who frequently contribute to W magazine and have produced campaigns for Balenciaga, Gucci and Stella McCartney, among countless others, are as in demand as Alas and Piggott. But their work is warmer in tone -- imbued with a bohemian-style irreverence.

Nick Knight

British lens man Nick Knight has created envelope-pushing campaigns for the industry's most avant-garde fashion designers, including Yohji Yamamoto, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. His style -- untamed and often drenched in color -- has already influenced the next generation of style photographers, including two who were once his assistants, David Sims and Craig McDean (see below). Always on the cusp, Knight launched his own fashion and art website,, in 2000, to showcase groundbreaking art and photography. A stunning and eponymous book of his work goes on sale Oct. 27.

Craig McDean

British fashion and celebrity portrait photographer Craig McDean started his career under Nick Knight but was soon shooting for edgy London-based style bibles such as the Face and i-D, honing his muscular, often color-saturated, aesthetics. Now he regularly shoots for W and Vogue, among other major magazines, and has produced campaigns for brands including Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein.

Scott Schuman

Scott Schuman, a.k.a. "The Sartorialist," isn't a fashion photographer in the traditional sense -- he doesn't shoot fashion on models. Instead he captures outfits worn by real people on the street on his blog, the Sartorialist, and in GQ magazine -- but his crisply detailed images have set the bar for chronicling street fashion. And that bar is sky-high. He'll be signing his new book, "The Sartorialist," from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Beverly Center.

-- Emili Vesilind

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