Pursuit of Portraits is a global creative collective with a singular mission: Create an accessible global community of portrait-lovers through platforms to share the best of portraiture photography.
In all our projects, we work to unite portrait photographers and enthusiasts of all skill levels and backgrounds, facilitate collaboration, and foster supportive relationships within this creative community.
Our platforms include small to large scale photography-centered events and quarterly instameets, our Instagram account (@pursuitofportraits), biannual Pursuit of Portraits print magazine, and website.
Established in 2015 in New York City, Pursuit of Portraits is comprised of a diverse team of 14 creatives, led by Founder/Creative Director Saunak Shah. What started as an Instagram account to showcase portraiture photography, has grown into a multi-faceted movement that meaningfully connects thousands of creatives around the world.
Since the pursuit began just two years ago, we've crossed a quite few milestones off along the way. We published our first print magazine in Fall 2016 (and have the Spring 2017 Issue 002 to launch on Saturday, June 10th). We held 2 portrait exhibitions in W New York, Union Square and 1 at Lomography New York and an upcoming one at Warehouse Studios for our Spring Launch Event. We hosted 14 Instameets held across New York, Iceland, Chicago, Seattle, Orlando, Singapore and we're off to Los Angeles on June 17th for our next one. We formed partnerships with over 30 brands. And we grew our Instagram community to 135k followers (and counting) with over 1.5 million photos shared within #pursuitofportraits.
In 2017, we're excited to continue driving the portraiture photography movement forward by creating new and unique experiences for our growing, global creative community.
In March 2017, 12 POP creatives traveled to Austin for SXSW in partnership with Kimo Sabe Mezcal to amplify their social media campaign around "trusted friend" and built a novel story for the Millennial consumer through the eyes of influencers with the primary goal of creating brand awareness for Kimo Sabe as "The Official Mezcal Sponsor" of SXSW. In addition to the SXSW audience, over 5.4 million social media users vicariously experienced the lifestyle of Kimo Sabe through content that matters from the voices that matter to them…“influencers they trust”. Below are the metrics and some photos from this partnership.
Pursuit of Portraits was commissioned by Scotch & Soda, a fashion brand from Amsterdam, to shoot the Fall/Winter 2016 collection (#scotchfw16) for New York Fashion Week as part of a social campaign. PoP's team consisted of six photographers (@skinnywashere, @neivy, @aundre, @deejayforte, @5thphvse and @saunakspace), four models (@kaitlynmikayla, @rubysriwall, @stevenonoja and @nikhampshire), make-up artist @theoliviavelasquez and stylist @lejoursdechris. Together we created and shared a visual narrative spread out over 2 weeks. Below are the metrics and some photos from this partnership.
Pursuit of Portraits partners with W Hotels & Tumblr for the launch of PoP Up at the W; a photography takeover curated by Pursuit of Portraits (PoP) in collaboration with W New York, Union Square. Launching at the start of New York Fashion Week on Monday, February 6th, 2017, this is a first of its kind concept with five guest rooms completely transformed into an immersive photo exhibition focused on different genres of portraiture photography. Read More >
We would love to hear from you!
We would love to hear from you!
Saunak Shah is an Indian-born, New York City-based photographer and designer. With over 10 years in the advertising industry, Saunak has fueled his professional life as an Art Director, while using photography as a medium for self-expression. He is an Associate Design Director for IBM iX; passionate about the future of experience design. Saunak's work has been featured in both art exhibitions and national advertising campaigns. (IG: @saunakspace)
Kunel Gaur is a New Delhi-based Art Director, Artist, and Founder of the independent creative agency Animal. After years of working for various leading advertising firms, Kunel decided to found his own agency and has since worked with numerous clients across an extremely diverse range of industries. As an Artist, Kunel strongly believes in the beauty of erosion and mutation, and his work has been part of multiple group exhibitions. (IG: @kunelgaur)
Michael Bryan Perez is a New Jersey-based freelance Photographer and commercial Electrician who spends most of his time in New York City. Michael comes from a family of artists, which ultimately led him to first pick up his grandfather’s Sony camera. He likes his photography to be chock full of emotion with a dash of mystery and mischief. If you're walking around NYC make sure to look up, you might just spot Mike on a ledge around town. (IG: @5thphvse)
Anisha Sisodia is a photographer and designer currently residing in Chicago. Photography has always been a creative outlet in her life, but when introduced to graphic design while living in California, she found her new passion. Fresh out of college, she is constantly exploring a variety of creative fields. Anisha now works as a designer and consultant, curates an art and pizza blog, and has co-founded her own creative brand. Anisha's current obsession: making GIFs. (IG: @anishaspice)
Bryce France is a portrait photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. He always had an interest in photography since he was a kid. He began shooting portraits while in undergrad studying Fine Art. Ever since, Bryce has worked diligently at bettering his work as well as helping others pursue their creative dreams. His style originates from a mixture of fine art portraiture and lifestyle photography. When he's not photographing, he's looking for ways to meet other people who care about the craft just as much as he does. (IG: @_brycefrance_)
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Karston “Skinny” Tannis has always had an affinity for visual arts and exploration. Specializing in portraiture, Karston was introduced to photography and ﬁlm through his participation in New York City’s BMX scene as a way to document the adventure. When Karston isn’t coasting on his BMX bike in Brooklyn, he can be found capturing the essence and energy of various socialites in numerous scenes and subcultures. (IG: @skinnywashere)
Growing up in Toronto, Gemma Gaisano Ng knew from an early age that she wanted to work in the fashion industry. After completing her undergrad degree (as well as a two-year stint marketing consumer packaged goods), Gemma moved to New York City and worked in Merchandising at Ralph Lauren, and Planning at Theory. She recently relocated to San Francisco where she now works as a Merchandiser for Amour Vert. (IG: @gemmagaisano_ng)
Jessica Rosen is a Pennsylvania-born creative, currently residing in Brooklyn. Though she has loved taking pictures her entire life, Jessica only recently submerged herself into the world of photography. She is most passionate about connecting with the people behind the camera, and believes that we can all help each other learn and gain fresh perspectives, no matter how new or seasoned we may be. (IG: @mrs.jessica.rosen)
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and now based in New York City, Dennis has always been very artsy. Growing up, he excelled in drawing and won scholastic art competitions. However, it was not until May 2016 when Dennis took up photography which he now considers his true passion. When not shooting portraits all over New York and other cities, Dennis works in advertising. His resume includes working at top agencies in NYC for Fortune 50 clients like Citibank, Verizon, and Procter & Gamble.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan and now living in New Jersey, Sharmeen fell in love with photography as a child who was amazed by old family photographs and paintings created by her uncle. Growing up with a painter sister, art has always surrounded and inspired her. As a teenager, she discovered her true passion for portrait photography and is constantly exploring and adventuring to create.
Nazly Kasim is a Manhattan transplant, born and raised in Malaysia, who dived into the creative industry hoping to design mean gadgets, produce a chart-hitting band, make a movie, and perhaps create a new subculture. In addition to building more than a decade of experience as a Creative Director in advertising, Nazly’s photography of New York City and his travels has gained him recognition as one of “the best urban Instagrammers in the US” by The Guardian. (IG: @helloiamnaz)
Janeivy Hilario is a professional photographer and poet out of Connecticut who uses social media and traveling opportunities to express his creative side, capturing the world ranging from landscapes to what he calls "creative portraits". Neivy has worked with Apple, Macy’s, Philly Tourism, Vice, Palladium and many startups. He gives back by partnering with “gramforacause" to provide services to non-profits and charitable causes. (IG: @neivy)
Aundre Larrow is a Brooklyn-based artist who looks at portraits as a window into the soul. He fell in love with photography in high school, shooting portraits of his friends on his Canon Av-1 in between drama club and ultimate frisbee. Since moving to New York City, Aundre has worked with brands to tell their specific narrative through human interest stories, and has fallen in love with shooting weddings as well as watching the sunset from his Park Slope roof. (ID: @aundre)
James Creel is a born and raised Brooklyn, New York native and freelance photographer. After picking up a camera two years ago, James was hooked and his creative journey began. Being somewhat of a people watcher, he naturally gravitated toward street photography and lifestyle portraiture. Having grown up in NYC, his affection for the city is often a large presence in his work, from his street shots to his portrait photography. Currently James spends his time creating content for various brands, blogs and socialites while evolving his personal atheistic.
We at Pursuit of Portraits are a team of creatives who are passionate about portraiture photography, and give our time for no monetary gain. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please check out some of the "Areas of Interest" in the drop-down menu below. Industry professional, marketing maven, designer, social influencer, advisor, strategist or potential intern with an acumen to contribute as a collective: We would love to hear from you! We are currently actively seeking a graphic designer, videographer, publicist, event planner and media/partnerships coordinator.
Header Images by @saunakspace