Inspirational: Annie Leibovitz
I'm not one to particularly follow other photographers. As in, know names etc. Like singers and actors, I just don't really remember names or have any particular favourites.
However there are always the odd few. In photography, possibly the only person whose name I know, is Annie Leibovitz. She takes celebrity portraits for magazines and the like, except her portraits are not the big, fancy, fashion shoots you come to expect. They are intimate, personal, almost private. She has captured Barak Obama, Heath Ledger, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, even the Royal Family. Her portraits are very simple - no fancy filters. Of course I say simple; she'd probably used 8 different strobes and 3 reflectors! But they look very natural.
The ones that caught my eye the most is (understandably) the Disney "Year Of A Million Dreams" series. Various celebrities became Disney characters in her amazing photographs. And one of my favourite things is that some of the images have behind-the-scenes shots available to view! I love seeing how photos are set up.
**Disclaimer - I did not take and do not own any of the following images. These were created by Annie Leibovitz. I got them from Google**
My favourite of the series is Ursula, purely for the amount of effort it clearly took! The set is huge, the lights are numerous, and the octopus prop is crazy! Queen Latifa must have had a lot of patience to be in that model. Then there is the post-production. A lot went into each photo, but I think with the water that this one may have been the most complicated.
These images show what you can do with the right lighting and processing techniques. One day I hope to produce images to this quality. I have a long way to go!