• September 17, 2013

Martin Schoeller on Intimate Portraiture

“Photographing things the same way and then building a platform … invites people to compare, that enables the viewer to look at eyes in a different way.”
—Martin Schoeller

Twin sisters Eva and Johanna Gill
Twin sisters Eva, left, and Johanna Gill, from the January 2012 National Geographic story “A Thing or Two About Twins”

Martin Schoeller is known for his distinctive, close-up portraits. He says that this style of portraiture makes it all about the person and removes unnecessary distractions such as clothes, environment, or background. Though his concept of portraiture is simple, he has taken complex and intimate photographs of people from around the world. Schoeller’s portraits of the Hadza people in Tanzania and of numerous sets of twins have appeared in National Geographic magazine. Schoeller was an assistant to photographer Annie Leibovitz and worked alongside Richard Avedon at the New Yorker.—Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Follow Martin Schoeller on his website.

Photographer: Martin Schoeller
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Mika Chance, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM

There are 23 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. sajjadbutt
    December 19, 2014

    sir i am a pakistani photographer pls my advice a nice porject in work at pakistan i am work on unesco porject in pakistan pls my potrait advise in light and face different look .thanks

  2. anahi amayo
    August 26, 2014

    Hi.. I’m really in love with your pictures and it would be an honor to see how you work. :) I’m doing senior project and I will love to shadow please contact me… I really want to take pictures like you ..
    Thank you

  3. sahrish
    July 16, 2014

    Sir, im a Asian Muslim girl i m willing to be a wildlife photographer,kindly guide me in this regards how to get into, please give me idea hoe to enter in this feild from initial level.

  4. hamza
    June 12, 2014

    Mavi my life is sweeter memories

  5. roberto rodriguez
    June 12, 2014

    what camera do you guys use?

  6. or
    May 31, 2014

    Like you shooting but i have one qustion..How you protect your cammera from being destroyd and stuff like that?? plz email me back i realy want to know.

  7. amit thorat
    May 13, 2014

    i am a small photographer. i want to chance to work with you,sir.

  8. Krushna Shelake
    May 9, 2014

    Best fhotogarfhar

  9. Kaushik borchetia
    May 8, 2014

    Dear sir,please give me a chance to learn photography with you.

  10. Der Kaiser
    April 29, 2014

    can i know your gear

  11. Junaid MP
    March 26, 2014

    You are one of the best Photographer in the world!

  12. fernando caceres
    March 18, 2014

    it is interenting how a photograph invites us to see the world in a different perspective. all diciplines in photography is an art indeed. i would love to fulfill a dream of mine to do work just as successful as Martin Schoeller’s

  13. Abhik Chatterjee
    February 23, 2014

    Martin Schoeller he is a real Artist.
    His Portraits depicts the life, the feeling ,the subject is having and it inspires me and make me enjoy and feel the art of Photography from my heart.
    Its My Dream Working With Nat Geo and Working with an artist like him.

  14. arun
    February 22, 2014

    ohhh nice pics brother

  15. Amit Sharma
    February 10, 2014

    Dear sir i’m a indian boy and i want to become a superb wild life photograher so please give me a one chance to learn photography with you

  16. Hosam samir
    December 28, 2013

    Genius photographer

  17. Elizabeth Redpath
    November 28, 2013

    I also am interested in taking part in a multiracial project. My dad is 100% white European and my mom was Filipino. I love looking at portraits of mixed race people. They are beautiful!

  18. Jennifer
    November 13, 2013

    If you’re still doing the multiracial portraits, I would love to be part. I am Black/White but look Dominican or Black with some White features. Cool mix! :-)

  19. Mimi
    October 13, 2013

    Would like to know if you’d be interested in my grandsons as multiracial models. They are very interesting and you are very good. Thank you.

  20. Myra Sommers
    October 6, 2013

    Martin: You are an artist for Humans.
    I am so proud of you ! Myra

    September 27, 2013

    You’re quite the artist
    I’ve got to think of a portrait

  22. melanie chapman
    September 23, 2013

    I stumbled upon Mr Schoeller’s Twins work at a gallery this summer and had the BEST time looking at his photographs, including the proof sheets that lined the walls.
    Love the work, love this video.

  23. Ernie DeMoss
    September 18, 2013

    I would like to how Mr. Schoeller gets the ‘cat-eye’ effect in his portraits. It certainly is a signature.

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