1. Joel Robison
Take a moment and step into the sweet and surreal world of Joel Robison. Known as Boy_Wonder on the popular photo sharing site Flickr, the 29-year-old is a British Columbia-based photographer known for creatively blending fantasy with reality using Photoshop. Last year, Coca-Cola noticed Robison’s “refreshing” take on the world and presented him with an incredible opportunity – they asked him to go on a world tour, led by Coca-Cola and FIFA, sharing through social media what life is like in over 80 different countries. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, so far, Robison has traveled almost 200 days and visited a total of 68 countries.
2. Alex Stoddard
Follow the work of Alex Stoddard and be prepared to be blown away by his stunningly surreal photos. Year after year, Stoddard has grown in his ability to tell compelling stories through his strong imagery. Stoddard focuses on the human form and its complicated relationship with nature. The 20-year-old fine art photographer, who now lives and works in Los Angeles, has inspired a legion of young photographers to follow in their own dreams in pursuing photography as their full-time career.
3. Jordan Matter
Jordan Matter is one of those photographers who seems to be able to find the joy in everyday life. His uplifting series Dancers Among Us shows photo after photo of trained dancers jumping, spinning and dancing on city streets, beaches and parks. Inspired by his then three-year-old son, the photographer aims to create images that show people alive and in the moment, celebrating life. Unbelievably, there is no photoshopping done to any of his pictures. Matter captures only real moments that are sure to bring a smile to your face. In late 2012, Matter came out with a book called Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in Everyday Life. Instantly, it landed on the New York Times bestseller list and stayed there for several months.
4. David Engledow
While many parents only want to share the so-called “perfect” photo of their child, photographer Dave Engledow is one who likes to keep things real. His World’s Best Fatherseries shows his daughter Alice Bee and Dave in some hilarious situations like Alice vacuuming the floor as Dave points to a spot she missed, Dave drinking his hot cocoa while Alice stands in the rain outside, and Alice crying in agony while Dave wears noise cancelling headphones and reads, in wonderment, the latest chapter of Twilight. You can’t help but laugh at Dave’s incredibly creative parent and child photos.
5. Natsumi Hayashi
“Today’s Levitation” Natsumi Hayashi, courtesy MEM, Tokyo
Japanese artist Natumi Hayashi takes head-scratching self-portraits of herself levitating in mid-air. Back in September 2010, she took her first levitation photo and since then her photos have been shared worldwide. Last year, she exhibited a selection of her works in Tokyo. When asked by the New York Times’ Lens blog why she levitates, she stated, “I wanted to express myself as an honest person ‘whose feet are not firmly planted on the ground’ by shooting myself being free of the gravity of the Earth. When I am free of the gravity inside the picture, I feel free of any obligation to the society and live without being bound to many things.”
6. Aneta Ivanova
Bulgaria-based photographer Aneta Ivanova shows us what magic can be achieved by blending architecture and landscapes with the human body. The 21-year-old self-taught photographer creates photos that look and feel beautifully poetic. Each of her images is filled with imagination and wonder. Her dreamy double exposures are made not in camera but with the help of Photoshop.