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Michele Zousmer
Michele Zousmer
Michele Zousmer

Michele Zousmer

Country: United States

Michele Zousmer is a humanitarian and fine art photographer. The camera is her tool to give voice to marginalized communities and witness the human experience. Michele's work celebrates each individual's strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. They are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy.

Michele believes a photograph can create a lasting impression of emotion, curiosity, love, and ultimately hope of mankind. It can help people heal, give them dignity, and feel empowered. Her photographs reveal insights into the lives of people we wouldn't otherwise meet. Through her world travels, Michele meets people from different walks of life, listening to their stories and sharing intimate moments with them. The permission they grant and openness they offer by inviting them into their world never ceases to move Michele. The soulfulness of her images comes from developing relationships with the people she engages with. Michele truly believes that even though we may have differences on the outside, inside we are all the same. The images are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy.

Statement
"My mind, my eyes, and my heart have been opened by my experiences. My life has been forever changed. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly. Engaging in the world and becoming open to different cultures and traditions allows for more conversation on diversity and equality. Photographs hold the power to connect people and create understanding. This is why I do what I do." - Michele Zousmer
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Marc Gordon
United States
Marc Gordon is a photographer who focuses on unposed portraiture and photo documentary. He was trained at the International Center for Photography in New York City and studied street photography with Harvey Stein. He spent several years doing advertising photography at Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in the Berkshires, starting in 2009. Afterwards he turned to documentary and portraiture. All of his photographs try to capture unposed expressive moments, and to show people as they are without interpretation. A documentary series on the Gay Pride Parades in New York City has appeared in L'Oeil de la Photographie and was featured on the Social Documentary Network in late 2020. In addition to documentary and portraiture, Marc also explores landscape photography. As in portraiture, he tries to avoid interpretation and seeks instead to reveal Nature's complex patterns. He currently lives in New Mexico and will exhibit a series of landscapes at the Abiquiu Inn as soon as it is safe again to gather indoors. Marc was trained as a research mathematician and worked for many years on quantitative trading strategies before becoming a photographer. Joy and Confrontation These photos attempt to capture the spirit of the Gay Pride parades in New York City in the years since gay marriage was legalized in the United States. The collection begins with portraits of people encountered in the streets around the parades. Their joyful celebration is challenged by Christian demonstrators carrying offensive and provocative signs who came to condemn homosexuality and warn of divine retribution. Reactions range from mockery to dancing, heated argument, lewd gestures, outrage, and anger. I am grateful to have spent time with these young gay people and to have had the chance to photograph them. For any questions, you can contact Marc Gordon at marcgor@msn.com.
Norman Parkinson
United Kingdom
1913 | † 1990
Sir Norman Parkinson, CBE (21 April 1913 – 15 February 1990) was a celebrated English portrait and fashion photographer.Parkinson (birth name Ronald William Parkinson Smith) was born in London, and educated at Westminster School. He began his career in 1931 as an apprentice to the court photographers Speaight and Sons Ltd. In 1934 he opened his own studio together with Norman Kibblewhite. From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper's Bazaar and The Bystander magazines. During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force. In 1947 he married the actress and model Wenda Rogerson. From 1945 to 1960 he was employed as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue. From 1960 to 1964 he was an Associate Contributing Editor of Queen magazine. In 1963 he moved to Tobago, although frequently returned to London, and from 1964 until his death he worked as a freelance photographer.Parkinson always maintained he was a craftsman and not an artist. From his early days as a photographer up to his death he remained one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. His work, following the lead of Martin Munkacsi at Harper's Bazaar, revolutionised the world of British fashion photography in the '40s by bringing his models from the rigid studio environment into a far more dynamic outdoor setting. Humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself. As well as magazine work he also created celebrated calendars featuring glamorous young women.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Mariska Karto
Netherlands
Mariska Karto is an artist/ fine art-photographer born in Suriname (South-America) and raised in the Netherlands. In this age of rapidity and technical development, in which human is exposed to impersonal detachment of current technical era, Mariska Karto creates the vulnerable and intensive dimensions of human feelings and emotions. This all happens in the dreamworld she has created with her technique in which past and present have found their way to each other, in this era of transformation.She talks to you in a language without words using symbolism in a dreamworld of historic paintings atmosphere.Mystique, tragic and erotic are the keywords for her work. Her work are like old stories escaped from an old world of eternal dreams, eternal emotions and eternal feelings that existed for hundred of years but still repeats themselves as in a pattern of an earthy rite, in this new modern contemporary era.Her works are like poems and thoughts, restless ones but are also like whispers of thoughtless experiences, floating in a centuries long movement in time.Artist Statement"My work is based on a period in which photography did not exist, It was not until the end of the 18th century that it was invented. As a result of this, people thought that photography would make the art of painting disappear, especially in the post modern era, the traditional art had to make way for new technical developments. In my work I seek and found a respectful connection of technique and traditional craft through a striking contradiction. Painters in the Baroque/renaissance time were trying to paint as true-to-life with painting-techniques and color applications. What a camera does is portray the world in its realistic colors. That’s the contradiction in my work, it’s the other way around. I shoot realistic images and through an intensive transformation process, the work is changed, true-to-life in the characteristic Baroque colors and style of that time. Eventually, this says nothing about photography and technique, but more about the great masters of that gone era, they were able to be as realistic and accurate as possible with brush and paint the world in all its reality… That’s the great contradiction in my work, I’m leaving the visible reality of our current time, and bring the invisible realism of the past forward in my work. As a result of this, I pull away present time from its structure and then time appears to be just a definition, which slowly fades away, when current and past becomes interwoven with each other.” More background info: "I mix skills from different worlds together. It is a blend of skills of my (I'm originally a painter and sketcher, textiles - I was a textile artist some years ago, photography and image processing) that ultimately meets each other in this form of art. A main factor are also social emotional influences in my life which developed how I see, learn and finally understand things in an essential (psychological) way. All these (artistic) elements from different areas and personal influences come together in a work of mine."
Thomas Struth
Germany
1954
Thomas Struth was born 1954 in Geldern, Germany and currently lives and works in Berlin. He is best known for his genre-defying photographs, though he began originally with painting before he enrolled at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1973. Struth has developed his individual photographic practice, often penetrating places of the human imagination in order to scrutinize the landscape of invention, technology, and beyond (as in his recent CERN and Animal images). Celebrated for his diverse body of work-Unconscious Places, Familienleben (Family Life), Museum Photographs, New Pictures from Paradise and Nature & Politics-Struth continues to advance his vocabulary with each new series, while maintaining the same principles core to his practice. Recent comprehensive exhibitions of Struth's work include the major touring exhibition Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics exhibited at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany, the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; the Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, Texas; the St. Louis Museum of Art, Missouri and the MAST Foundation Bolgna, Italy (2016-2019) as well as Figure Ground which opened at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany and traveled to the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (2017-2019). Other recent exhibitions have been shown at: Hilti Art Foundation, Vaduz, Lichtenstein (2019); Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado (2018); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014); and a major traveling retrospective which traveled from the Museu Serralves, Portugal to the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and the Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland (2010-2012). In 2018 Struth received the Honorary Magister Artium Gandensis from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), Ghent, Belgium. In 2016 he was elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the Centenary Medal and Honorary Membership from The Royal Photographic Society, London. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is the winner of the Spectrum-International Prize for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony (1997) and the Werner Mantz Prize for Photography, The Netherlands (1992). He has participated in numerous international group exhibitions including Common Ground, Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), Future Dimension, the Venice Biennial (1990) and Documenta IX (1992). Source: Marian Goodman Gallery
Christian Vizl
Mexico
1972
CHRISTIAN VIZL was born in México City and has been a photographer for over three decades. He has won dozens of international professional awards including Wildlife Photographer of the year, International photographer of the year and Sony World Photography awards. He has served as judge in several international underwater photography contests and his images have been published in numerous outlets including National Geographic and Ocean Geographic. Artist Statement "Every since I was a kid, as far back as I can remember, I was attracted to the sea. I dreamt about what lay beneath the waves, and how would it look if suddenly all the water vanished, leaving in stasis all the animals and living creatures. In this way, I could walk inside the ocean and see them all, suspended for a moment in time and space. I have devoted my life to exploring and contemplate the amazing beauty of the ocean and it has been an incredible journey that has brought me a deep feeling of connection with nature, but sadly during my lifetime I have witness the ever-increasing devastation that we humans are creating in this planet. Today the world's Ocean is in grave danger. Overfishing, pollution, plastics, radiation, climate change, acidification and other human pressures threaten the fundamental nature of the ocean and it's animals are being pushed to near extinction. The time to act and reverse our negative impact is now, before it's too late risking loosing everything. The majority of humans see marine animals merely as tons of food, but I see them as so much more than that. They don't have a voice that we can understand, so the higher purpose of my images is to be a voice of the ocean and for the ocean, hoping that people can get a glimpse of who they really are, beautiful sentient individuals, with feelings and different personalities, with complex behaviors and interesting lives that science is only starting to understand. I believe Photography is capable of real service to humanity, promoting empathy and initiating change, so my main purpose as a photographer is to create poetic images showing the incredible beauty of these animals knowing they carry the power of changing our perception and spark the love and empathy that we all have inside. If we want to have a future in this planet, we need to understand that our lives are interconnected to all living animals, and our own well being is directly linked to the well being of these animals. As Dr. Sylvia Earl stated, "No blue no green, if the oceans die, we die" All the images where taken in their natural environment, with great respect to the animals, and for postproduction I only use basic settings in Lightroom." Photography is all about light, and in my opinion, it is the single most important aspect when it comes to creating appealing, inspiring and touching images. Beyond technical issues, what's most important is how I apply and manipulate the light that's available in order to create pictures with dramatic effect, carrying depths of emotion and using contrast and tonalities as means to emphasize form and structure of the scenery. I focus on the emotional impact of the final shot that will connect on a deeper level with the people that observe these photographs. Just as a poet uses words to create poetry, a photographer uses light to create images. So when I'm underwater taking pictures, one of my goals is to create poetic images through the use of light. I try to capture sublime moments of the marine environment, the essence of being there, in that experience and in the presence of that particular animal, capturing their splendor and soul. It's sheer beauty and poetry with images that inspire, make us vibrate through the beauty in every corner of the ocean, an epic sight that make us dream of a better world, where we value and care for all expressions of life.
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