Gregory Heisler, award-winning portraitist of leaders in business, government, science, sports, and the arts. Over 70 TIME Magazine covers. Private commissions. Corporate, advertising, and editorial portraiture.
Gregory Heisler is a New York-based photographer who is renowned for his technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness. It has been said that he combines “the eye of an artist, the mind of a scientist, and the heart of a journalist.”
He is perhaps best known for his more than seventy TIME magazine cover portraits. He created their first photographic “Person of the Year” cover portrait (a rather controversial image of President George H.W. Bush) in 1991, and has photographed eight more such covers subsequently for the magazine. His iconic portraits and innovative essays have often graced the covers and pages of many magazines, including LIFE, ESQUIRE, GENTLEMEN’S QUATERLY, GEO, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, ESPN, and THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. He is also proud of the advertising campaigns he has photographed for such clients as American Express, Benson & Hedges, Dewar’s, Merrill Lynch, Nike, and Zocor.
Among the kudos he has received are the Alfred Eisenstadt Award, the Leica Medal of Excellence, and the ASMP Corporate Photographer of the Year Award. In addition, Gregory has been profiled in AMERICAN PHOTO, COMMUNICATION ARTS, ESQUIRE, LIFE, and numerous industry periodicals.
Private potrait commissions have become an increasingly important focus of Gregory’s work since 1990, when the City of New York broke with its time-honored tradition of oil paintings by selecting his portrait of Mayor Edward I. Koch. It was the first photographic commemorative portrait (translated to ink-on-paper as a fine art lithograph) and is now permanently on display alongside the prior works-on-canvas in City Hall. The New York Public Library followed suit, commissioning Gregory to create their first photographic portrait of a retiring chairperson. His large-format giclee print is exhibited among the earlier oil portraits in the Library’s Main Branch at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue. Most recently, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg commissioned a portrait by Gregory for the atrium of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
As a sought-after speaker and educator, Gregory has taught at the International Center of Photography, the New School for Social Research, The School of Visual Arts (Master of Fine Arts Program), Parsons School of Design, The Smithsonian Institution (Masters of Still Photography Series), and the National Geographic Society, as well as scores of workshops ans seminars throughout the country and overseas.
While his principal focus is portraiture, Gregory’s enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive continue to bring him an unconventional range of projects. His love of the craft, manifested in his “hands-on” approach to every aspect of the photographic process, keeps him intimately involved in the creation of his imagery. He feels especially fortunate to be working at the confluence of nineteenth century tradition and twenty-first century technology; excited to work with the latest tools yet powerfully informed by a rich photographic heritage.