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Oliver Curtis
Oliver Curtis
Oliver Curtis

Oliver Curtis

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1963

Brought up in the Cotswolds, Curtis began his photographic education studying photography at the renowned course at Filton Technical College in Bristol. He went on to study film and television at the London College of Printing and has been balancing work in stills and moving image ever since. Curtis continues to produce stills portraiture for major broadcasters as well as generating his own projects for exhibition and publication. He sites as key influences William Eggleston, Saul Leiter and Paul Graham.

He continues to plough a distinctly idiosyncratic path as Director of Photography on feature films as diverse as Clare Kilner's The Wedding Date, Frank Oz's Death At A Funeral and Joanna Hogg's Unrelated as well as experimental gallery-based installations such as Gideon Koppel's Borth. He remains in great demand worldwide shooting commercials for high profile clients such as Pantene, L'Oreal, La Perla, Ferragamo, Palmolive, Rimmel, Coca Cola, Sony, Guinness, Canon and Cadbury's.

About Volte-Face:
On visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo in 2012, Oliver Curtis turned away and looked back in the direction he had come from. What he saw fascinated him so much that he has since made a point of turning his back on some of world's most photographed monuments and historic sites, looking at their counter-views and forgotten faces.

Taken over a period of four years, Volte-face is an invitation to turn around and see a new aspect of the over-photographed sites of the world - to send our gaze elsewhere and to favour the incidental over the monumental...

Curtis feels that despite the landmark not being present in the photograph, the images are still suffused with the aura of the construction. The camera lens effectively acts as a nodal point and, by giving the photograph the title of the unseen partner, this duality becomes a virtue.

Volte-face will be published by Dewi Lewis featuring an essay by Geoff Dyer: https://www.dewilewis.com/collections/new-titles/products/volte-face

The first exhibition of the Volte-face project was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London, Sept 2016. The collection has received a great deal of acclaim worldwide and has featured in the Financial Times Magazine (UK), NPR Radio New Hampshire (USA), Liberation (France) Wired.com and BBC World Update amongst many others.

 

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Eugenio Recuenco
Eugenio Recuenco was born in Madrid in May of 1968, in the middle of student protests that had spread out from Paris. As he himself would say: " I heard all that to-do, and was in a rush to be born and see what was going on."He studied fine art, graduating with a degree in painting from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Without a space in which to create his large-scale paintings, he began to collaborate with fashion magazines - first in Spain and later in Paris, where he habitually spent long periods - while waiting to be able to devote himself to painting. Vogue Espana, Madame Figaro, Wad, Vogue UK, Spoon, Planet, Vanity Fair, Stern, Kult, Twill, GQ, and Zink are some of the magazines he's worked with.It was in Paris that he produced his first advertising piece for Boucheron. From that moment, many brands would begin to call him to create their images, including Nina Ricci, Diesel, Shanghai Tang, Yves Saint Laurent, Sony Playstation, Custo, Le Bon Marché, BSI Lugano and Pernod Ricard.In 2007 he was invited to create the Lavazza Calendar and from the US he was called to conceive, together withe Eric Dover, the set design and staging the opera, Les Huguenots, at the Richard B. Fisher Center in New York City.Paris became the city that established his rhythm. It is there where he also created his first advertising spot. This time it was for "Nina" by Nina Ricci. This newly-opened avenue quickly lead to opportunities with other brands such as Loewe, Freixenet, Mango, Codormiú,Chivas Regal, Regione Campania, Vanderbilt, and Motorola among others.In 2008 his video, Essence of a Seduction, won the award for best advertisement of the year in Spain and the award for best short film at the Mexico City International Film Week. From that moment, he continued to create short films and video clips, such as Rammstein's Mein Herz Brennt, for example. He is now preparing his first full length film.Although his photographs had already been shown at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, the BAC (Barcelona Arte Contemporáneo), the Naardeen Photo Festival, the FEM (Festival Edición Madrid), Les Rencontres d'Arles, PhotoEspana, Art Toronto, and the Spanish National Library, it was once again in Paris where he would have his first solo exhibit, "Dream and Storm" at the Bertin-Toublanc Gallery.In 2004 he was given the ABC National Photography Award, in 2009 he won Gold and Bronze Awards at the Sol Festival, and in 2006 and 2013 his photographs won Gold Lions at the Cannes Lions Festival.In 2013 teNeues approached him to create his first solo book, Revue, whose launch will coincide with an exhibit at Camera Work Contemporary in Berlin.Eugenio Recuendo currently lives behind a camera.All about Eugenio Recuendo:AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?To be honest I only have my intuition.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I think since I was born. Another question is from what moment afterwards and I began taking pictures. Light and its effects have a great influence on me; I was always conscious of what was happening around me. I think that’s the first need a photographer must have.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were some household pictures that I took after my dad finally let me borrow his camera. It was during a school-trip. Those pictures were horrible; and, however they were really symbolic and full of emotions. That’s what magic is all about.AAP: What or who inspires you?Life inspires me.AAP: How would you describe your style?I have no clue. I don’t frown upon a specific style; I just go along doing what I feel is best. I don’t tell myself that things have to be a certain determined way. I start building and end up doing it in a certain way. But it’s all about circumstances, your vibes and needs and priorities when it comes down to transmitting them that end up paving a style for each series.AAP: Do you have favorite pictures or series?I’ve hated all of them at one point or another for not being loyal to what I expected them to be like; and all of them are favorites because there is something from me in all.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?It depends on each cases. Now more digital, Canon and with Hasselblad; always old ones and which treat the image with honesty. That is why I like old ones, ones that have a less forced definition.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?It depends. It's all in the take. After that it's all a question of taking out defects and over all working on the texture and what it looks like in the end.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?A lot of them. For example I love Paolo Ventura.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot and shoot. Above all to shoot what you feel; not what is in fashion.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Trying to go too fast and do what is currently succesful. Because when doing that, success will be in another type of photography.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?(W)Hole time. A project I would like to take to movie-making. AAP: What are your projects?A book with 365 pictures, it is a poetry about the world we live in and the full-length film that I mentioned before.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?When I stumble upon a photograph I didn't mean to do.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?Deal with creative managers who don't have a clear concept of their idea. It happens quite often.AAP:If you were someone else who would it be?I don't know. 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Ellen Cantor
United States
Michal Cala
Poland
1948
Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers. Relatively unknown outside of his native country, his work is in several museum collections in Poland; in the Silesian Museum of Katowice, the Silesian Library in Katowice, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze as well as local government building in Duisburg in the Ruhr (Germany) and various private collections. His work has received much acclaim and won numerus awards; among which are the Grand Prix at the Polish Landscape Biennale in Kielce twice, 1979 and 1983 and won the first prise at the Pilsner International Photo Awards in the Industrial category in 2007. His work from Galicia series and the Paysages de Pologne exhibition was shown in France in 1980's. The Silesia exhibition was shown widely in Katowice (1984, 2002, 2008), Krakow (1986, 2006), Warsaw (1986, 2009), in Enschede, the Netherlands, (2012), at the Photo Biennale Mannheim – Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg (2007) and part of group project at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands (2008). In 2007 he was classified as one of most important Polish photographers in last century and participated in the group exhibition Polish Photography in XX Century (Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania). In the same year, Cala's photography was featured in British Journal of Photography and Foto8 magazine. Publications on his work include The Anthology of Polish Photography 1839 – 1989, The Masters of Polish Landscape and The Polish Photography in the 20th Century. His past exhibition Metropolis on Silesian urban landscapes was held at the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2013 and a solo show Silesia and Galicia in the Museum of History of Photography in 2016 in Krakow (Poland). His photo book based on the same series was recently selected in the Open Submission at Belfast and Athens Photo Festivals respectively (2017). The latest solo exhibition at MMX Gallery; SILESIA 1975-1985, was the first time his work has been shown in UK.MMX Gallery about the exhibition Silesia 1975-1985 Michal Cala is regarded as one of the most important Polish photographers of the last century. Cala started taking pictures in his youth and has been working professionally as a photographer for nearly 40 years. Silesia is an industrial district in Poland which at the time of 1970's and early 1980's was experiencing its peak of development and activity. Although providing massive employment for the area, the environmental issues were ignored. Stepping off the train, Cala encountered the other-worldly landscape for the first time and decided this is what he wanted to make of photographic record of. Fascinated by the subject matter, he devoted himself to photographing the Silesian landscape between 1975 – 1992, which resulted in the series entitled Silesia (Śląsk in Polish). Cala's photography took on various influences ranging from surrealism, which inspired a movement in Poland called "fotografia kreacyjna" (creative photography), and the realism of British New Wave cinema of the late 1950's and early 1960's. Poland's isolation during the Cold War made it very difficult for photographers to obtain artistic publications. However, some Czech and Polish magazines were publishing Western photographers work such as Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus who acted as a window for inspiration. Cala was influenced by landscape, reportage and social documentary photography, which he always portrayed in his personally stylised images. In Poland, political and material conditions were harsh under Soviet influence. Using a basic 35mm Exa 500 camera, he managed to produce images of such a lyrical beauty only to be emphasised again with a dark graphic printing style, to further enhance his vision of the sometimes-apocalyptic looking landscape before him. A single house surrounded by huge cooling towers, majestic slagheaps, lonely figures microscopic when compared to the massive scale of industrial surroundings are subtle metaphors of living in a communist reality. The majority of photographs in the exhibition are vintage silver gelatin prints, made by Cala at the time they were taken.Source: MMX Gallery
Cally Whitham
New Zealand
Taking an idealistic view of the world, Cally Whitham records the ordinary, transforming it into a surreal image, reflecting the way things are perceived and altered through nostalgia and memory. Driven by a desire to remember, Whitham uses her camera to collect images, which allows her to preserve her surroundings forever. At the age of 11, she spent Christmas using her first roll of film shooting her favourite things, including her aunt's farm, an old house she wanted to live in and a big tree at the beach. As an adult she returns to similar subjects recaptured in shadows of times past. Based in New Zealand, Whitham finds the subtle, forgotten and overlooked in these locations, which are touched with beauty through their ordinariness and familiarity. Layering her photographs with emotion, the works explore the ways in which personal milieus are captured. Source: www.cally.co.nz The New Zealand photographer Cally Whitham focuses her artistic research on the depiction of everyday life She began photography at 11 years old when accompanying her father who was a painter. He roamed the countryside to do sketches of forests and farms. From an early age she therefore had painting as an artistic reference and mastered the techniques of the Beaux Arts. Source: Yellow Korner Interview With Cally Whitham: AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? "When I was about 16 I think. I took a class at school and was hooked." AAP: Where did you study photography? "I studied at the Design School, which has since become Unitech." AAP: How long have you been a photographer? "21 years, with a few years break in the middle." AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? "The first photo I ever took was of my grandparents and brother at a beach. I couldn't believe I was allowed to take a photo!" AAP: What or who inspires you? "Light inspires me. When the quality of light is just right anything seems possible; the unworthy becomes photogenic." AAP: How could you describe your style? "Pictorialism" AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? "Wow, too hard to choose!" AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? "Yes I do. The initial photo is just a part of the process in creating an image. Post production is the place where the image and the vision I had come together. I don't photograph reality but rather create a potential or ideal reality and that potential is added in post production." AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? "Alfred steiglitz in his early days and Julia Margaret Cameron." AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? "Have a back job to pay the bills - it's a tough industry now to try to pay a mortgage on." AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? "Not understanding the business, tax and admin side of being a photographer." AAP: Your best memory has a photographer? "The moments I have realized I was on to something during a shoot."
André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
France
1819 | † 1889
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (French: 28 March 1819 - 4 October 1889) was a French photographer who started his photographic career as a daguerreotypist but gained greater fame for patenting his version of the carte de visite, a small photographic image which was mounted on a card. Disdéri, a brilliant showman, made this system of mass-production portraiture world famous. Disdéri began his working life in a number of occupations, while also studying art. He started as a daguerreotypist in Brest in 1848 or 1849 but in December 1852 or January 1853 he moved to Nîmes. There he received assistance from Édouard Boyer and Joseph Jean Pierre Laurent with his photography-related chemistry experiments. After a year in Nîmes he moved to Paris, enabling easy access to people who would be the subjects of his cartes de visite. Photographs had previously served as calling cards,[6] but Disdéri's invention of the paper carte de visite (i.e. "visiting card") photograph second enabled the mass production of photographs. On 27 November 1854 he patented the system of printing ten photographs on a single sheet (although there is no evidence that a system printing more than eight actually materialized). This was the first patent ever for a carte de visite. Disdéri's's cartes de visite were 6X9 cm, about the size of conventional (nonphotographic) visiting cards of the time, and were made by a camera with four lenses and a sliding plate holder; a design inspired by the stereoscopic cameras. The novelty quickly spread throughout the world. According to a German visitor, Disdéri's studio became "really the Temple of Photography - a place unique in its luxury and elegance. Daily he sells three to four thousand francs worth of portraits". The fact that these photos could be reproduced inexpensively and in great quantity brought about the decline of the daguerreotype and ushered in a carte de visite craze as they became enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States. So great was the publicity that all of Paris wanted portraits. Disdéri also invented the twin-lens reflex camera. The great French photographer Nadar, who was Disdéri's competitor, wrote about the new invention in his autobiographical "Quand j'étais photographe", "about the appearance of Disdéri and Carte de Visite... It spelled disaster. Either you had to succumb - that is to say, follow the trend - or resign." At the pinnacle of his career, Disdéri was extremely wealthy and renowned; but like another famous photographer, Mathew Brady, he is reported to have died in near poverty. By the end of his life, Disdéri had become penniless. He died on 4 October 1889 in the Hôpital Ste. Anne in Paris, "an institution for indigents, alcoholics, and the mentally ill". He was a victim of his own invention. The system which he invented and popularized was so easy to imitate that photographers all over the world took advantage of it.
Martin Schoeller
Germany
1968
Martin Schoeller (born March 12, 1968) is a New York-based photographer whose style of "hyper-detailed close ups" is distinguished by similar treatment of all subjects whether they are celebrities or unknown. His most recognizable work are his portraits, shot with similar lighting, backdrop, and tone. His work appears in The New Yorker, Outside Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Time, GQ, Esquire, and Vogue. He has been a staff photographer at The New Yorker since 1999. Schoeller studied photography at Lette Verein in Berlin. Schoeller started his career in Germany, and came to New York in 1993 and worked as an assistant for Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996, here he developed his "big head" portrait technique, a term coined by him, of his style of "hyper-detailed close ups", which later gave him worldwide acclaim. He left in 1996 to pursue his freelancing career. Soon his street portraits started getting published in Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and W. In 1999, Schoeller joined Richard Avedon, as a contributing portrait photographer to The New Yorker since then. Over the year, his large-scale portraits have been exhibited at various galleries. A book of his portraits was published by teNeues in 2005: "Close Up: Portraits 1998-2005", consisting of 75 tight portraits, put together from over 300 shoots with various celebrities. Another, "Female Bodybuilders," was published by Pond Press in 2008. Stern published a portfolio of his work, "Fotographie Portfolio #54", also in 2008. His work is in the Permanent Collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. He shot the controversial cover of the May 21, 2012 issue of Time magazine about attachment parenting. In his latest book "Identical: Portraits of Twins" again by teNeues he examines 40 sets of identical twins and multiples in his distinctive close-up style. (Source: wikipedia.org)
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