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  • Writer's pictureMorgyn Goff

21 LGBT+ Photographers for 2021

February is LGBT+ History month here in the UK, and to honour that I wanted to highlight 21 LGBT+ photographers whose work I enjoy. The photographers below have a range of photographic practices and all bring themselves into their work. Do you have recommendations of other photographers to look at? Drop me a line in the comments to let me know!




"hobbes ginsberg is a lesbian photographer and filmmaker based in new haven, making vulnerable, hyper-saturated work about the evolution of self.

once called a "shabby, self taught formalist", hobbes’ photos are candid, mythical, and ask important questions: “who am i? why am i here? do u love me bb?”" - hhobbess.com


It's Nice That states that Ryan Duffin "photographs are nuanced and humorous, embracing the quirks of his subjects and the outtakes of life, elevating those he documents to “make them look like pop stars, even if they aren’t already”, and this is certainly the feeling I take from his images. The feel of the lighting that is a trend through his images is soft, but highlights the subtleties of the subject of the photograph, both in his portraits and still lives.


NOLA.com said about Meg Turner's"Tuff Enuff" that "Like many of Turner’s subjects themselves, the photographs exist in an “in-between” space" and her images printed as tintypes certainly give the idea we are looking images from a by-gone era. The process relying on the subject to pose for 20 seconds allows them to settle into themselves in front of the camera and that sense gravitas comes through the image.


Dan Govan is a photographer I discovered on Instagram a few years ago and have followed since. His work is creative, colourful and fun. With a starting point in documenting queer nightlife, his focus has moved onto doing portraits where one can have fun celebrating vulnerability, absurdity and joy.


"In 2014, Brown worked with a group of LGBTQ youth on a project called New Alternatives. The title of the series is drawn from a youth advocacy program through which Brown volunteered and came to know her subjects, most of whom were homeless or identified as at-risk. Working in a church sanctuary, Brown asked her subjects to present themselves as they wanted to be seen.

Against a striking blank white backdrop that evokes commercial fashion shoots, these characters pose alone, or with friends and lovers who represent their chosen families (groups of people who deliberately choose to play critical and symbolic roles in one another’s lives, even though they are not biologically or legally related). The portraits that emerge are playful, defiant, and seductive." - hyperallergic.com


"Shoog McDaniel is a fat, queer, Floridian freak who has been creating art in the swamps since early age. They are inspired by Florida flora and fauna and the beautiful fatties they photograph. They love color and patterns and creating alternative worlds to escape the one they're in. They are a photographer by trade and themes of nature worship and fat liberation can be seen throughout their work." - shoogmcdaniel.com


Sofia Colvin's photography links fashion and landscapes producing images that link another feel otherworldly. The images feel like a link between our world and something only just beyond the looking glass. A place where the modern world feels a little more aware of the nature around us.


"Drucker’s work, in both photography and film, is dreamy, beautiful, and cinematic, highlighting the vision and the care behind creating the lives of trans people. She often collaborates with other artists, working with Amos Mac to produce the series Distance is where the heart is, home is where you hang your heart, and again with Rhys Ernst on the series Relationship (first exhibited at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and then released as a book)." - hyperallergic.com


"My work is informed by my lived experiences as a chronically ill, non-binary transgender artist coming of age amid the rise of social media. Gaining an interest in image-making in my teenage years, I have since used photography as space to both experiment with, and document identity as it comes to be expressed through gender.

My practice celebrates trans existence and studies identity as a space in constant flux via high-saturated, cinematic, vulnerable images. Through a process of mutual [and self] care, my photographs humanize identities that have been historically marginalized, and act as a love letter to my community." - www.laurencephilomene.com


The work "I’m asking that you be quiet and that you listen carefully" explores the transition of Mikaela's twin, Vuk, when he came out as a trans man and their relationship. It is an interesting look at the ever-changing nature of our identities


"LANEE BIRD is an indigenous queer photographer, colorist and video editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Through her personal work of photography she reveals the intersections of fine art, fashion and fetishism. She is also highly experienced within the commercial advertising industry as a post-production artist." - www.laneebird.com


“A queer perspective feels incredibly integral to how I express myself in every aspect of my life, although I would love to focus on making a series solely devoted to dyke representation. I have always generally just shot my friends (many of which are queer) but to create a body of work with the specific intention of bringing more visibility to the lesbian community is something that I really aspire to do this year”, she says. The visual history of the movement is something Niamani is also very interested in: “I’m such a sucker for nostalgic dyke imagery. In particular, I’ve become a little obsessed with dyke relics from the 90s. I recently bought a copy of Love Bites by Della Grace on eBay and I really like Catherine Opie’s work. I’m also currently on the hunt for old issues of Girlfriends and On Our Backs magazines.” - dazeddigital.com


Jeff Sheng's work in the last 10 years has focused on the 21st century LGBT rights movement within the USA. His work has covered "out" teenage athletes, transgender men and women in the military and Don't Ask, Don't tell. He is now working on a follow up to his Don't Ask, Don't Tell project as well as a series on LGBT+ teenage suicide rates. It is a fantastic and touching body of work that has helped further conversations on LGBT+ rights.


Muholi is a visual activist and photographer born in Umlazi, Durban, and living in Johannesburg. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is ‘to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’. - stevenson.info


Masculinity, sensuality, homosexuality, lightning, textures; these are few of the main aspects that characterise the works of Caruthers, who says all of them come naturally for him because of who he is and how he feels. Settled between San Francisco and New York, the young photographer has had to overcome teenage struggles through artistic creation, which has provided us with beautiful, relatable imagery. - metalmagazine.eu


David Uzochukwu is an Austrian-Nigerian photographer. In his teenage years, he delved into self portraiture. He pursues fantastical and raw visuals, speaking on resilience and belonging: digitally reconfigured landscapes become a refuge for stripped down bodies seeming both strong and vulnerable. - galerienumber8.com


Kay Tobin Lahusen is considered the firstly openly gay photojournalist. When her partner, Barbara Gritting, took over The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the US, Lahusen was determine to improve the quality of images on the front cover. Her main ambition to show a full face portrait on the cover was realised in 1966.


Diana Davies is another photographer who was at the forefront the documenting the LGBT+ movement in the US. Artsy.com writes that Davies "aligned with the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and Radicalesbians. As Baumann points out, while Lahusen advocated to make space for LGBTQ+ individuals within society, Davies’s political affiliations “called for the radical questioning of society as a whole.” Davies, too, contributed images to the gay press—namely in Come Out!, a magazine published by the GLF. Despite having opposing viewpoints about how to advocate for queer rights, both women had an indelible impact on the broader movement."


"Charmaine Poh works across photography, film, and performance to create spaces for narratives that often lie in the margins. Central to her practice is considering the performativity of the everyday, and the ways tenderness can be a form of resistance and rebuilding of worlds. Her practice often employs ethnographic methods in working with communities to establish processes of co-authorship and sharing." - charmainepoh.com


Savana's biography onsite describes her style perfectly;

"Humor, beauty, and pop culture are frequently explored in Savana's work through a campy, colorful, and textural lens. Her goal is to tell the most wacky and surreal stories possible."


"Opie invokes viewer empathy at the shores of the familiar through a novel blend of art historical reference and contemporary frankness, positioning her lens as a window to experience that simultaneously mirrors and agitates American heteronormativity. It’s in this liminal space that she trains her gaze on the searing humanity in marginalia, drawing us into society’s most clandestine corners and transgressive points of flux. Resisting simplistic voyeurism en route to elegant, confrontational authenticity, Opie’s lens stops short of exoticizing the other, inviting the viewer to come closer, instead." - artspace.com

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