- Brian Leighton
Now that you’re paying attention: Let’s note right off the bat that Brian Leighton is neither a scary sleaze nor a crystal-worshipping Woodstock refugee. He’s simply a friendly, hip-looking guy who explains that a powerful portrait sans clothes comes from “making people feel really good about themselves. It’s making somebody the subject of a piece of art.” That’s part of why clients trust him—needless to say, the vast majority aren’t regular models—and that’s how he makes such vividly imagined, crisp, personal black-and-white portraits. (At fine-art prices, too: He charges $1,000 per session for individuals and $1,600 for couples, and prints cost $25 to $250.) Leighton’s customers are 90 percent women, though the occasional male or couple will show up. (As did the production designers of Sex and the City: In the show’s fictionalized Vogue offices, Leighton’s photos—of clothed models—adorn the walls.) “The people who come to me are all in a good place,” he says, noting that his clients are often commissioning gifts for a partner. “Couples are the most fun.”
Best Nude Portrait Photographer
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.