Brent Herrig Portraits Photographer in orange & black
Chef Portraits of 4 different chefs from Chef Photographer Brent Herrig's portrait portfolio.


Portraiture is all about energy. Think about it: There are photographs of people doing things. And then there are portraits of people showing that special something. That’s the difference between photography and portraiture: Portraits are about personality. And emotion. They contrast a human being against… everything else.



Portrait photography is an area of professional photography where individuals or small groups of people take focus. But it’s not just about shooting a person standing against a blank wall. The best portraits show the individual within a scene that conveys their greater story: Chefs are surrounded by their kitchens or dining rooms. We see athletes that seem fresh from the field. Employees reflect the energy and ethos of their company’s offices.

Portraits are then used to convey individual and brand stories on websites and for editorial articles in magazines. They’re also vital for advertising and marketing campaigns, and social media platforms.

One of the best things about portrait photography is all of the subtle thing that make up a perfect portraiture.   A professional photographer will assist with picking out the perfect location, or advising on the attire to be worn to portray the right mode, and even bring props that will enhance the photos! But there’s one thing we recommend every single time: Get in front of a camera with someone who knows what they are doing. The right photographer will know how to make sure that all your individual quirks shine through (like those beautiful freckles!), while also capturing an environmental setting or mood for context.


A portrait photographer knows that portraits aren’t just about photographing people. They need to engage the audience by conveying each subject’s unique energy. They must capture the feeling that something exciting just happened before the shutter clicked. Or that something exciting might happen at any moment.

With its focus on people, portraiture is an intimate area of photography. Some people are uncomfortable getting their photographs taken, and need encouragement. Some professionals are used to the spotlight, and breathing new life into their business portraits becomes the challenge. Hiring a professional portrait photographer ready for all is vital to your campaign’s success. 

Professional portraiture requires different skill sets than those used for lifestyle or food photography, too. Rather than incorporating people into a story or scene, a portrait photographer focuses all on the individuals: They frame environmental aspects around the people. They use props only to highlight the person, never to distract from them. Lighting helps to define their overall story. Shutter speed captures action or evokes calm. 

Altogether, a successful portrait shoot documents feeling, mood, and attitude altogether. It captures people as the heart of companies and brands.

6 different examples of portrait photography.


Portrait photography was Brent’s first professional photography love—he’s been shooting portraits for 15 years! He found his love of telling a subject’s story through personality-driven portraits at college. Today, he still gets a thrill of capturing that “special something” about a person. His portraits are about capturing a moment and locking it in time

Brent’s a true people person. His genuine rapport helps subjects open up and feel comfortable in front of his lens. And so his team creates a friendly atmosphere at portrait shoots that encourages creativity. He observes and incorporates items around the subject’s environment to help illustrate their internal energy. And for stories requiring editorial photography, he coaxes energy and play so to bring humor, style, and adventure to the scene.

Brent has three goals as a professional portrait photographer.  He wants to always capture beautiful lighting. He wants to share a subject’s personality in a really unique way. And he wants to make sure his portraits tell a story. (He’s also passionate about making sure portraits don’t look staged—that’s his sign someone’s hired an unprofessional photographer.) To achieve these, he looks to each shoot as its own unique project, every time.

For example, capturing Michael Chernow and Donna Hemmingsen Chernow for GQ Magazine’s  “Gentleman’s Quarter’s” required aspects of environmental portraiture. Inviting the audience into their Brooklyn apartment, Brent leaned into the space’s abundance of natural light. He highlighted the couple’s love of design foraging, incorporating interesting angles and various textiles. And he captured the couple in natural physical postures as they moved through their space. His final photographs mirror their clean, colorful, creative, energized style. 

Chef Michael Chernow with his arms crossed poses for his portrait in his home kitchen.
For a “We Chat With…” food feature for Serious Eats, Brent contributed various portraits of chef Ignacio Mattos. Supporting the pensive and gentle interview conversation, he encouraged Mattos to stay relaxed in thought. The resulting chef portrait shows someone who contributes far more than just food to his profession.
Chef Ignacio Mattos sits at a table with his chin resting in his hand, looking off into the distance.


A professional New York portrait photographer, Brent has created stunning portraits for large companies and small brands worldwide. He approaches each shoot ready to put the person center stage. He specializes in chef portraits as one of his food photography services. But his portraiture passions are expansive. And his friendly, collaborative approach has clients returning to work with him again and again. Here are a few notable publications, restaurants, and brands that have trusted his food photography services:


  • GQ Magazine
  • Serious Eats
  • New Jersey Monthly Magazine
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • American Express
  • The Barclays Center
  • Departures Magazine
  • Fleishers Butcher


As a portrait photographer, Brent’s team is always excited to partner with new companies. Ready to discuss even the first steps of your next project? Or curious about how portrait photography can bring your brand to the next level? 

Get in touch

Cinemagraph Portrait Photography with a Beverage

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