An ongoing list of influential PHOTOGRAPHERS

This is the place for me to start documenting photographers who've influenced me over the years. If you've been in the photography world for a while several of these names you'll already know. There will be many others that you may have never heard of. Regardless of their level of "fame" all of these people have created quality imagery and have made a positive difference in my life. This page is to show them respect and gratitude as well as a resource for others to hopefully find new inspiration.

Bookmark this page, check back, and make sure to dig further into their work. Last update 5/3/24


Of course, if you're a nature photographer you've likely heard of the great Ansel Adams. Known for his dramatic landscapes, patience to capture the best light, and a keen sense of darkroom enhancements, Ansel influenced countless photographers over the past century and is credited with bringing attention to the beauty of the United States' National Parks to the masses . He is also an author of technical books such as The Camera , The Negative , and The Print where he goes into great depth on the subjects. Ansel Adams was also considered one of the earliest photographers to have his work considered on a Fine Art level and his photos have hung amongst other masterpieces of art throughout the world. For me personally it was his precision in composition, his dedication to "chasing the light", and use of darkroom enhancements to create more dramatic lighting that influenced me the most. I had the great honor of meeting and watching a live presentation about his life by his grand daughter, Sarah J. Adams at the Little Rock PhotoExpo '22. Find out more about Ansel Adams at

Sarah J Adams, legendary photographer Ansel Adam's granddaughter and commercial photographer, Alex Kent both with smiles

Ansel Adam's granddaughter, Sarah Adams and me. Image by Rachel O Smith

Scott Kelby

Legendary photographer and educator, Scott Kelby is probably best known for his books and online learning platform, Kelby One as well as the "Worldwide Photowalk". For me his books and articles on learning Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom were most influential and probably taught me more than any other outside resource. Sure, learning software from a book is not the most exciting, but his writing is concise and thorough at the same time. I'd highly recommend them as a resource to have close at hand and he has MANY others on topics such as iPhoneography, digital photography, etc. I probably started reading his software books around 2006 or 2007, so it was a MASSIVE HONOR to "open" for him a decade later at the 2016 PhotoExpo Little Rock as well as introduce him for his keynote. Backstage before his presentation he showed kindness and grace while I woofed down a quick dinner because I hadn't eaten all day. Haha!

Pro photographer and educators, Alex Kent (left) and Scott Kelby (right) pose with smiles at PhotoExpo Little Rock '16

The legendary photographer and educator, Scott Kelby and myself at the PhotoExpo 2016

This will be an ongoing blog post with details of photographers' work and lives that will be added over time. The following are photographers that will be included in future updates.


World-renowned photographers from the past that have paved the way as well as inspired me and countless others.

  • Galen Rowell
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Edward Weston
  • Irving Penn
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Richard Avedon
  • Diane Arbus
  • W. Eugene Smith
  • Edward Curtis
  • Kolb Brothers

Living ledengs

Inspirational and highly talented photographers that I hope to have the honor of meeting in person one day.

  • Ami Vitale
  • Steve McCurry
  • Nick Brandt
  • Von Wong
  • Frans Lanting
  • Andy Goldsworthy (sculptural/installation artist, but documented a lot of his own work with photography in a highly aesthetic way)
  • Jimmy Chin
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Erin Babnik
  • Sebastiao Salgado
  • Brian Duffy
  • Bryan Peterson
  • James Balog

Photo friends

This is a list of influential professional photographers that I've had the honor to spend time with in person. A few were just a casual short conversation, others a meal shared, and some have developed into great friends/mentors/colleagues. Some of these people are known worldwide and others maybe you've never heard of, but all are worthy of checking out their incredible photography.

  • Sam Abell
  • Elia Locardi
  • Lindsay Adler
  • Nancy Nolan
  • Donna Pinckley
  • Rita Henry
  • Matt Kloskowki
  • Robert Trawick
  • Cig Harvey
  • Wesley Hitt
  • Alexandra Dugan
  • Tony Krup
  • Jerry Ghionis
  • Dixie Dixon
  • Sue Bryce
  • Bobby Burton
  • Patrick Murphy-Racey
  • Rick Sammon
  • Julie Bird
  • Julie Gayler
  • Brennen Nicole
  • Joe McNally
  • Randy Bacon
  • Dave Black
  • Moose Peterson
  • Jeremy Smith
  • Matthew Dyson
  • Larry Millican
  • Beth Hall
  • Sara Blancett
  • Margo Duvall
  • Julie Gayler
  • Bobbi Lane
  • Ryan Brown
  • Nate Disarro (Content Titan, owner/director/videographer)
  • Dero Sanford
  • Tim Hursley
  • Jason Burt
  • Corey Rich
  • George Lepp
  • Linda Henderson
  • Jeff Rose
  • Ed Cooley
  • Tim Ernst
  • Tim Donar
  • David Lewis
  • Sandy Skoglund
  • Pam Stukenborg
  • Jeanne Carter-Hadley
  • David Rackley
  • Brian Gregory Wilson
  • Judy Host
  • Sharon Prislipsky
  • Kirk Jordan
  • Lori Sparkman
  • Donald M Falls
  • Kurt Jones
  • Brandon Jennings

Just to name a few! Haha

Check back! More to come with details on these incredible photographers and others!

Last Update 5/3/24

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