What kind of photographer is Gunner Stahl?

Gunner Stahl is a raw rap portrait photographer who has gained notoriety for his up-close and personal photography style and the fact that he shoots on film.


Gunner Stahl is a well-known photographer who started out in the Atlanta music scene.

His career has grown and he has been established as one of the best rap portrait photographers in the world.

Who is Gunner Stahl?

Gunner Stahl is a hip-hop photographer who initially started his photography career in the West of Atlanta, photographing some of his friends who were in the music scene of the city at the time. Stahl has mentioned that he started taking photographs when he was 18 years old.

At the time, in 2011, the now-famed photographer did not yet see the potential that being a hip-hop photographer held for him and was simply taking photos of his daily life and the people around him.

He often credits his involvement in the music industry with the fact that everyone around him just happened to be involved in the industry in some way or another.

What kind of photographer is Gunner Stahl?

Since starting out as a casual photographer who just happened upon the Atlanta music scene, his notoriety in the industry has grown and he has expanded his portfolio to include some of the most notable photographs in the hip-hop industry.

He coins himself as a raw rap photographer, though his portfolio includes portraits ranging from pop artists like Miley Cyrus to producers such as Metro Boomin, who works behind the scenes in the music industry.

Gunner has also developed and released multiple showcases and exhibitions, cover photos, album covers, books, and merchandise throughout his career.

The kind of photographer that Gunner Stahl is, really comes down to a combination of factors including the equipment he uses, his inspirations, and his general approach to his photography.

What kind of equipment does Gunner Stahl use?

Although taking up-close and personal portraits of some of the most famous artists in the music industry is not necessarily a unique profession, what really sets Gunner Stahl apart from other photographers doing the same thing is his use of film photography.

Gunner mostly uses FujiFilm cameras and has a combination of colour and black and white photography in his portfolio. He has been known to use 35 mm film and 50 mm film to get the unique direct, grainy look of his photographs.

It is important to note that though Stahl has mentioned in the past that he started shooting film out of necessity because he had no money to buy a digital camera, this style has become such a signature in his photography that he continues to photograph with film cameras even after all the success that he has had.

What are Gunner Stahl’s biggest inspirations?

When Stahl speaks about his inspirations, growing up within the Atlanta music industry and being around rap culture and artists in general translates into the biggest inspirations behind his photography style and his work.

He also credits Chi Modu, who took some of the most well-renowned photos of the hip-hop industry in the 90s, with being one of the photographers who inspires him when he takes his own photographs.

According to Gunner, artists such as Kid Cudi, Amy Winehouse, and the Safdie Brothers are inspiration for him to stick to his own artistic style, while Lil Wayne and Metro Boomin inspire him to dream big and work hard in the industry.

What is Gunner Stahl’s approach to photography?

Stahl is well-known for having a reserved and laid-back approach in his photography, even when he is taking photos for big brands like Google, Red Bull, Moncler, Adidas, Stella McCartney, and PUMA.

The photographer credits his low-profile attitude for the non-posed and natural mood of his photographs, which is what makes them stand out from studio-taken highly edited and produced shoots.

Stahl also believes that the trust between the photographer and the object is what has allowed him to take so many personal photographs and photoshoots of artists, ranging from the likes of Drake to Migos, Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, Gucci Mane, Post Malone, and many others.

He is also known for working long hours in the studio with these artists to capture his now-famous style of “boring,” candid portraits of artists going about their daily lives.

Final thoughts

Gunner Stahl grew up around the Atlanta music scene and got involved in this industry by happenstance.

However, even though it was not planned, his use of equipment, his inspirations, and his approach to photography has made him one of the most acclaimed and well-known rap portrait photographers in the music industry.