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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.

Artist 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

Warren Agee
United States
1966
Warren Agee, born 1966 in Buffalo, NY, USA, is a fine art photographer whose practice explores his connection with the natural world. After attempting many different creative careers including drawing, architecture, jewelry-making and the fiber arts, Warren accidentally discovered photography in the mid 1990s while making color transparencies of his jewelry to submit to juried art fairs. He soon pointed his camera to everything growing in his yard and never looked back. He fully embraced digital technologies in the early 2000s. He works primarily in monochrome. "Unless it is the focal point of an image, I find color tends to distract from form and content. My photographer's eye primarily sees structure, composition, and texture." His work has been exhibited in various galleries including Middlebury, VT. and Minneapolis, MN, as well as receiving honorable mentions in the 2021 Monovisions Awards. He currently resides in Petaluma, CA, USA. Statement The slopes of Mt. Tamalpais ("Mt. Tam"), which rises over 2500 feet above Marin County just north of San Francisco, consists of a vast and varied landscape of rolling grasslands, meadows, canyons, lakes, waterfalls, and redwood forests. Marine fog rolls in off the Pacific coast and supplies moisture year-round, creating what seems to be a tropical rainforest complete with moss-covered oaks and boulders. It is an unlikely setting for a region located a mere 20 miles from a bustling city. The average age of the redwoods on Mt. Tam is 600-800 years, a mind-boggling number to consider as you stand underneath them. These images attempt to portray the otherworld quality of Mt. Tamalpais., where one half-expects fairies and trolls to greet you as you hike along the trails.
Rogan Coles
South Africa/United Kingdom
1954
I was born in 1954. Photography is what I do. The stories lie therein. In presenting this body of work I want to explore something that is often overlooked - as in the intrinsic value of photography. As one of his mantras, Jack Ma, the founder and now former CEO of Alibaba and a person whose tenacity I admire, said this, "I always look 10 years ahead". While I'm not going to suggested that this is what I do with my photography or when I am about to embark on a project. But and quite often, there's something prescient in what I do and how I approach my work as a photographer. When I set out to document Smithfield Market in London, this is more or less what happened. Besides all the talk of closing down the market, there were suggestions that the market was going to be refurbished and, in the process, brought up to European Union health standards. At around this time, I used to take a short cut through the market's precinct as I walked from one side of the city to the other. Of course, during the day, there was nothing there. Well, let me qualify, there were no people there. Working hours were from just around midnight until the early hours of the morning. With these various stories doing the rounds, I wanted to investigate. In the process I made contact with the market's management. As a result, I was granted to two week window to document the market and the activities there. This was back in April of 1991. Yes, nearly 30 years ago. This is what I mean, the "intrinsic value of photography". I don't know what these images are worth. I have never exhibited them or ever had them published in any form. No real reason. Then as now, perhaps I didn't have a compelling enough story that publications or curators could buy into. "Intrinsic value" is not going to see this work through to anything significant. Perhaps something like "British working class heroes", "End of an era" or "Times are a changing" may have done it. But, we live on in hope. I have long admired photography of Vivien Maier and see her work in much the same way - and that is, for its intrinsic value. Through her work, Maier more or less defined the Chicago of a particular era. Another photographer's work who I much admire is Max Yavno. Again, the strength of his work lies in its intrinsic value. Through his work, he more or less defined Los Angeles and San Francisco of an era and, to some degree, Cairo. His work is iconic - just as is Maier's.
Diana Markosian
Russia
1989
Diana Markosian is an American and Russian artist of Armenian descent, working as a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker. She is known for her photo essays, including Inventing My Father, about her relationship with her father, and 1915, about the Armenian genocide. Markosian was born in Moscow. In 1996, she moved to California with her mother and her brother, while her father remained in Russia. She had no contact with him until 23, when she found her father in Armenia, after 15 years of being apart. Markosian graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of arts in history and international studies in 2008, and earned a Master of Science from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2010 at the age of 20. In 2011, Markosian was sent to Azerbaijan as a photojournalist for Bloomberg News, but she was denied entrance to the country, which was at war with Armenia at the time. Markosian is of Armenian descent but not a citizen of Armenia. The authorities said they couldn't provide her with the "security" she would need because of her Armenian last name. Markosian began her career at 20. Her editorial and personal work has taken her to some of the most remote corners of the world. She worked on assignments for publications including National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times. For her first assignment for National Geographic Magazine in 2015, she was commissioned to explore the power and legacy of the Virgin Mary. This ability to photograph "things that are no longer there" has become a signature of her work. Her images have since been published by the Financial Times, World Policy Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Times, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, amongst other publications. She won the Columbia School of Journalism's annual photography prize, and was chosen as a duPont Fellow. She was selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass from World Press Photo and was the winner of the Magnum Emerging Photographer Fund in 2013. In 2015, she was selected as the first recipient of the Chris Hondros Emerging Photographer Award. The same year, the British Journal of Photography selected her in its global survey of "Ones to Watch". In 2016, Markosian became a nominee member of Magnum Photos. In 2018, she was awarded the Elliott Erwitt Fellowship to travel to Cuba, where she documented the coming of age of young girls in Havana. The work she created was exhibited as a solo show at the Grand Palais in Paris Photo and Photo Espana. She was awarded 1st Place in Contemporary Issues from World Press Photo for an image of Pura, a young girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child, and was photographed celebrating her quinceanera. Source: Wikipedia About 1915 "Holding a cane in his right hand, Movses Haneshyan, 105, slowly approaches a life-size landscape. He pauses, looks at the image, and begins to sing, 'My home... My Armenia.' It's the first time Movses is seeing his home in 98 years. A century ago, the Ottomans initiated a policy of deportations, mass murder and rape to destroy the Armenian presence in the Ottoman Empire. By the war's end, more than a million people, from what is now modern-day Turkey, were eliminated. It was one of first genocides of the 20th century, one that Turkish authorities deny to this day. Movses and his father survived. I traveled to Armenia to meet Movses and other survivors to ask them about their last memories of their early home. I then retraced their steps in Turkey to retrieve a piece of their lost homeland. One hundred years after having fled his birthplace, Movses caresses its image, as if by holding it close he will be taken back to the place he called home many years ago. This is his story, and those of other survivors. A story of home - everything they had, everything they lost. And what they have found again." -- Diana Markosian
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After completing a modern dance education at the Higher School for Arts in Arnhem, she graduated in 1998 from the Royal Academy of Arts, from the photography department. Susanne specializes in portrait and theater-dance photography. Susanne exhibited a.o. at Soho Photo Gallery in Soho, New York, Deelen Art in Rotterdam, Reflex Modern Art Gallery in Amsterdam, Smelijk en Stokking and gallery Hollandsche Maagd in Gouda and galerie Fontana Fortuna in Amsterdam. She won several awards a.o. the Canon Master, International Photo Awards, Trierenberg Super Circuit 2019 - gold Susanne's work concerns people and their feelings. Being human, concerning life. She does not want to make a statement, or be judgmental, but show how she is touched by people, and what she sees in them. If someone can be true to their nature, and not pretend to be anything other them themselves it is almost always beautiful. Then people show their openness, vulnerability and love.That is what she wishes to voice in her work. Statement "In my portraits I am looking for honesty and vulnerability. I believe that vulnerability makes us nicer human beings and that this makes the world a little more friendly and more understanding. People who show themselves vulnerable give the other the confidence that they themselves may be who they are. I am most fascinated when I can see opposite qualities of a person at the same moment. I find this exciting because people are complex. I hope that the portrait touches something of the viewer himself." -- Susanne Middelberg
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