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Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio

Mauro De Bettio

Country: Italy

I was born and raised in a little village in the Italian Alps, now based in Barcelona.

Although it is difficult to express, I think that the photograph represents my way of speaking and what I try to do through my language is to capture the sense of what I breathe. Not only in appearance but also, and especially, in the essence; trying to express nuances and subtleties contained in a single frame. I think that's part of my personality and my work fully expresses what I am. My story, my soul.

Despite often the conditions and situations in which I am, are not easy, I always do my best to capture smiles and glances. It's extremely important for me to show those particular emotions because they represent strength and resilience. I am convinced It's a source of inspiration for all of us because it shows that anything is possible when you face something with the hearth and the courage from within. The determination these people show, in the images I take, is an extraordinary example of how every challenge can be converted into opportunity.

Reproducing all these different moods into images is to evoke an emotion in someone else. Draw public attention to real-life situations. Stop people and make them think. His pictures are a visual story able to highlight unseen or ignored realities. A vital tool that can help bring about social changes.

Photography is a fantastic storytelling medium. Just ask yourself what story you want to tell and photography can bring you there.
 

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Ed Sievers
United States
1932 | † 2002
Ed Sievers was born in 1932 in St. Louis, MO, the son of a family doctor that made house calls and an aspiring opera singer. He attended Grinnell College, graduating with a degree in Speech in 1954. His first job was as a creative writer for Hallmark Cards. The slogans he penned were notable for the wry wit and wisdom with which he commented on the human condition. At the same time, his interest in the arts was expanding from the literary to the visual, and would ultimately lead him in a new direction. In 1966 he was accepted into the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design to study photography with Harry Callahan. Upon graduation in 1968 he joined the faculty of California State University, Northridge, as a specialist in fine art photography. He took up residence in the Carlton Hotel in Venice Beach and soon realized he had walked into a street photographer's dream. Originally designed as a resort community modeled after its Italian namesake, Venice had fallen on hard times. Buildings were in disrepair and rents were cheap. Influenced by the Bohemian lifestyle of its poets, artists, students and a struggling lower class, the boardwalk suddenly sprang to life. There were musicians, dancers, jugglers, mimes, magicians, comedians, roller skaters, fortune tellers, gritty street people and colorful hippies. And, of course, there was the sprawling nude beach. Throngs of gapers flocked from throughout Southern California to enjoy the expressive spirit of the moment. But that was only on weekends. A quieter, more sensitive mood prevailed during the week. The gentle gestures of holocaust survivors at the Israel Levin Center. The recovering alcoholics quietly heading home after Al-Anon meetings. The homeless searching for food and drink. The once cheerful cottages longing for attention. The iconic murals. The myopic murals. The motions of a people not sure of what lay ahead. Within a decade the Venice that Ed knew had been swallowed up by rampant commercialism and the inexorable influx of the nouveau riche. Upon his death in 2002, the Edwin R. Sievers Memorial Award was established to share his vision with future students; "His approach to photography was straight forward: use the nuances of available light to enhance the subject, whatever that may be: ordinary, quirky, or sublime." Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Robert Doisneau
France
1912 | † 1994
Born in April 1912 in an upper middle class family, in the Parisian suburbs (Gentilly), Robert Doisneau started showing an immoderate interest in the arts at a very early age. Robert Doisneau lost his parents at an early age and was raised by an unloving aunt. Aged 14, he enroled at the Ecole Estienne a craft school where he graduated in 1929 with diplomas in engraving and lithography. A year later, he started working for « Atelier Ullmann » as a publicity photographer. In 1931, Robert Doisneau met his future wife Pierrette Chaumaison, with whom he will have three children and also started working as an assistant for modernist photographer, André Vigneau. André Vigneau will introduce Robert Doisneau to a « new objectivity in Photography ». In 1932, Robert Doisneau sold his first photographic story to Excelsior magazine. In 1934, car manufacturer Renault hired Robert Doisneau as an industrial photographer in the Boulogne Billancourt factory. He was fired in 1939 as he was consistantly late. Without a job, Robert Doisneau became a freelance photographer trying to earn his living in advertising, engraving and in the postcard industry. Shortly before WWII, Robert Doisneau was hired by Charles Rado, founder of the Rapho Agency. His first photographic report on canoeing in Dordogne was abruptly interrupted by the war declaration. Drafted into the French army as soldier and photographer he was relieved from duty in 1940. Until the end of the war, he used his skills to forge passports and identification papers for the French Resistance. After the war, Robert Doisneau became a freelance photographer and rejoined with the Rapho agency (1946). It is probably at this time that mutual influence with Jacques-Henri Lartigue found its origin. He started producing numerous photographic stories on various subjects: Parisian news, popular Paris, foreign countries (USSR, United-States...). Some of his stories will be published in prestigious magazines, LIFE, PARIS MATCH, REALITES... In 1947, Robert Doisneau met Robert Giraud with whom he will have a life long friendship and a fruitful collaboration. Doisneau will publish more than 30 albums such as “La Banlieue de Paris” (The suburbs of Paris, Seghers 1949) with texts written by French Author Blaise Cendrars. From 1948 to 1953, Robert Doisneau also worked for Vogue Magazine as a fashion photographer. It is also at that time that he joined Group XV and participated alongside Rene Jacques, Willy Ronis and Pierre Jahan in promoting photography and its heritage preservation. In 1950, Robert Doisneau created his most recognizable work, le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville for Life magazine. Although Doisneau’s most recognized work dates from the 1950’s and old style magazine interest was declining in Europe in the early 1970’s, Doisneau continued to produce children’s books, advertising photography and celebrity portraits. His talent as a photographer has been rewarded on numerous occasions: Kodak prize 1947 Niepce Prize recipient in 1956 In 1960, he held his first solo exhibition in Chicago (Museum of Modern Art) In 1975 he is the guest of honour of les “Rencontres d’Arles” Grand prix National de la Photographie 1983 Balzac Prize recipient 1986 In 1991, the Royal Photographic Society awarded Robert Doisneau an Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) Robert Doisneau died in 1994, six months after his wife. He is buried alongside her in Raizeux.
Mary Anne Mitchell
United States
Mary Anne Mitchell is a fine art photographer working primarily with analog processes. Her most recent series Meet me In my Dreams is shot using wet plate collodion. The images depict situations, often mysterious, which evoke her southern roots. She recently was a finalist in the 8th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards and has been invited to exhibit some of this series in the 4th Biennial of Photography to be held in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the country and can be found in private and corporate collections across the US, Dubai, Taiwan, and Canada. She lives in Atlanta, GA. Source: www.maryannemitchellphotography.com About Meet Me in My Dreams, 2018 "This series is inspired by my poem Meet Me in My Dreams. The setting for many of the images is a fairytale landscape. My use of the young people celebrates the universal feeling of limitless potential that most people experience in their youth. The ghostlike figures are reflections of the later years when beauty and youth begin to fade. They suggest the feeling that one is becoming invisible and yet still present and powerful. The work speaks to family, memory, and the ethereal passage of time. The images are created using wet plate collodion. I scan and enlarge them to enhance the organic qualities of the medium. These are the elements of my dreams." -- Mary Anne Mitchell Meet Me in My Dreams Walking through the forest of my dreams I see a varied cast of characters. Some are known And some are strangers. Some are real, Some imagined. I catch a glimpse of something yet I look again and nothing is there, perhaps scattered by the wind. My eyes are tricked by the play of light on each and every tree. I sometimes sense I am not alone and someone watches me. The stories told are mine alone. Imagination fuels my memories and my vision is revealed. I invite you to come and meet me in my dreams. Interview with Mary Anne Mitchell All About Photo:I am a Georgia native and have exhibited my work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. My photographs have been featured in online publications such as Burn and Plates to Pixels and can be found in private and corporate collections around the country. AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?As a freshman in college, I bought a 35mm camera and took a class to learn how to use it and fell in love! AAP: Where did you study photography?Received a BFA from UGA in Athens, GA AAP: What or who inspires you?I always loved Edward Weston and Cartier Bresson as far as the masters of photography. My kids are currently my muses. AAP: How could you describe your style?Much of my work captures authentic moments in atmospheric b/w. AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I shoot film and use mostly 35mm Nikon cameras or Holga or Blackbird Fly plastic cameras. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?In darkroom some dodging and burning. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I always loved Edward Weston and Cartier Bresson as far as the masters of photography. There are so many contemporary photographers doing amazing work...hard to pick... really love Vivian Maier and her whole backstory is so fascinating. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot constantly but selectively. AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?Strolling anywhere in Europe, camera in hand! AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?A soaking wet Nikon and lens after being knocked over in a canoe while trying to get an incredible shot!
Tariq Zaidi
United Kingdom
Tariq Zaidi is a freelance photographer currently based out of London, UK. In January 2014, he gave up an executive management position to pursue his passion of capturing the dignity, strength and soul of people, within their environment. His photography focuses on documenting social issues, inequality, traditions and endangered communities around the world. Tariq's stories, images and videos from Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Cambodia, Chad, DRC, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea, Republic of the Congo & South Sudan have been featured internationally in over 900 magazines / newspapers / websites (in more than 90 countries) including The Guardian, BBC, CNN, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Der Spiegel, El Pais Semanal, Geo, Independent On Sunday, National Geographic Traveler, GQ, Marie Claire, Vogue, GQ Style, Esquire, PDN, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 Mois, Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveler, Global Times China, Internazionale, Feature Shoot, China Daily, People's Daily, China, Deutsche Welle, Das Erste/ARD, Hindustan Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy Magazine and Times of London among other respected international titles. Tariq has won many major international photography awards (POYi, UNICEF, NPPA, PDN, IPA, AI-AP, AAPA etc). His work has been shown in 80 international exhibitions and he has worked on projects and assignments in 21 countries across 4 continents. He is a self-taught photographer, holds an M.Sc. (Master of Science) from University College London and is an Eddie Adams Worksop 2015 Alumini. In Feb 2018, Tariq was awarded one of the Premier Awards in POY75 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) - "Photographer of the Year" Award of Excellence for his work from North Korea, Congo and Brazil and also for 2nd place in the Feature Category in the same year. He was also a winner of PDN Photo Annual 2018 (Photojournalism / Documentary Category) and was awarded The Marty Forscher Fellowship Fund for outstanding achievement in Humanistic Photography, presented by PDN and Parsons School of Design, USA. In 2019, he was nominated to the Prix Pictet. In 2020, his work from Congo, El Salvador and Georgia was recognised 5 times by POY77 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) including 1st place for Portraits Series, 2nd place Spot News and 3rd Place Issue Reporting. His work from El Salvador has also been honoured as a 2020 Amnesty International Media Awards finalist (Photojournalism category) in recognition of his commitment to human rights. In Sep 2020, Tariq's work entitled Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo was shown at Visa Pour L'image, International Festival of Photojournalism. Tariq is currently working on a long-term personal project entitled Capturing the Human Spirit - a visual anthology about hope, dignity and community in some of the poorest regions in the world. The first 3 chapters of this work from the slum communities of Haiti, Brazil and Cambodia was featured at Visa Pour L'image, International Festival of Photojournalism, in September 2018. His first book Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo was published in September 2020. Tariq Zaidi's Exclusive Interview
Billy & Hells
Billy and Hells are two photographers: Anke Linz, Billy (Nürnberg, 1965) and Andreas Oettinger, Hells (Munich, 1963). They met in 1986, found a shared interest in photography and became partners in life and work. Inspired by the photographs of Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, Billy und Hells started to work in the field of fashion photography. Accidentally, they came across a technique that would define their future works. By forgetting to take a black and white negative out of a Wühltisch developer, they developed a beautiful Baryt picture. This process is now known as a Lithprint. Later on they discovered that combining a black and white slidefrom a colour negative with a colour picture, a beautiful photograph emerged with fantastic effects. Because of this technique, the colours are reduced but give an intense effect. This technique reduces the colours but results simultaneously in an intensity, which they were unable to reach with regular photography. The results were unexpected but very satisfying. In 1999 they started working professionally for adverting campaigns and magazines. However, this branch of photography did not provide them for the artistic freedom they were looking for. In 2000 they settled in Berlin and started a studio there. This is also the year that they started to work with digital cameras, taking advantage of all the benefits these provide. Amongst others they exhibited in Tokyo and Berlin. One of their photographs, Nabil, was used in a fashion exhibition on the Ideal Man in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Another work, Sophia, featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s advertisement campaign for the exhibition of the Photographic Portrait Prize 2007. Source: Morren Galleries Billy & Hells’ photographs exist in a world of in-betweens. Their deceptively simple, straightforward portraits convey a certain complexity. The archetypal characters depicted in their photographs—mothers, soldiers, cowboys, nurses, and teachers— possess an underlying sense of mystery, hinting at the duality of the sitter as well as the fictional world they inhabit. Although Billy & Hells’ images call upon historical and art historical references, their portraits are not burdened by the stipulations of historical recreations. Instead, seamlessly blending past and present, reality and fantasy, their photographs become a nostalgic diary, purposefully left open for interpretation. The duo discovered what has become their signature visual style via a typical lab-accident story— by forgetting to take a black and white negative out of the developer, they inadvertently produced an intense image with colors that appear simultaneously rich and muted. Their portraits combine elaborate, hand-painted backgrounds and draw inspiration from countless samples of fabrics, color compositions, and clothing that generate the distinct mood for each portrait. In a special issue on Young German Photography, Deutsch magazine described the experience of viewing a Billy & Hells photograph as the following, “Inevitably, without warning, you enter a unique world of images. Each scene becomes a kind of pseudo-dwelling for the person contemplating it. The situations seem to be familiar, but you are never absolutely sure just what is happening in front of you, who the characters are, where to place the individual scenes. The commonplace is bristling with exceptions, the direction of narrative changes continually and leads you astray. Trivial things are combined with the bizarre. The mixture deriving from this casts a spell on us.” (Deutsch, “Young German Photography”, 2000 Published by Kruse Verlag, Hamburg) Billy & Hells were nominated in 2007 for The National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait. The series Blue Moon was recently featured in the photographic quarterly Eyemazing. Their work has been exhibited and collected internationally. Anke Linz and Andreas Oettinger live and work in Berlin.Source: Fahey/Klein Gallery
John R. Pepper
John Randolph Pepper, (1958) is an Italian photographer, screenwriter, theatre and film director, the son of sculptress Beverly Pepper and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, editor of Newsweek and manager of its Rome office. He was born and raised in Rome; lives in Palermo and works worldwide. Pepper started his career in Black & White analogical photography with an apprenticeship to Ugo Mulas at 14. He published his first photograph at 15 and had his first show at 17. He studied History of Art at Princeton University, where he was also the youngest member of the exclusive painting program, '185 Nassau Street'. He then became a 'Directing Fellow' at The American Film Institute, (Los Angeles) and subsequently worked as a director in theatre and film for 20 years. For thirty years, he dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film. During that time he continued to take photographs with his Leica camera always using the same Ilford HP5 film stock. John R. Pepper, represented by the Art of Foto Gallery (St. Petersburg, Russia) and The Empty Quarter Gallery (Dubai, UAE), is a 'Cultural Ambassador' of numerous Italian Institutes of Culture in may parts of the world. Since 2008 he has exhibited his different projects 'Rome: 1969 - An Homage to Italian Neo-Realist Cinema', 'Sans Papier', 'Evaporations' in the United States, France, Italy, the Middle East and Russia. He has published three books and is represented in several major museums around the world. Since 2015 Pepper has been working on his project 'Inhabited Deserts', where he explores deserts and their effect on time, history and people. 'Inhabited Deserts' debuted in Paris in November 2017; in September 2018, with the support of the Italian Embassy in Iran and the Italian Foreign Ministry, Pepper exhibited at the Aaran Projects Gallery in Tehran where he was one of the first Italian photographers since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In November 2018, after participating at Paris Photo with the Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, 'Inhabited Deserts' went to Tel Aviv, Israel, representing Italy at the 6th International Photo Festival 'Photo Is:Rael'. From December 12th 2018 to February 15th Inhabited Deserts was presented at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, U.A.E. with curatorial text by Kirill Petrin. Subsequently the show opened on March 19, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Art of Foto Gallery and shortly thereafter, on April 18th, it returned to Tel Aviv at the NOX Contemporary Gallery. In 2020 Inhabited Deserts will be seen in the United States and Italy. Per John Pepper "When talking about photography, we're talking about time. The image is fixed in time. We also talk about black and white and color, digital and film, reality and punctum - the critical concept of the French philosopher Roland Barthes, denoting the wounding, personally touching detail, which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. Is a photographer an artist or not? The ones who feel they are, modestly define themselves as artisans. Still others, who do not think of themselves as photographers will snap photos relying on destiny's outcome. Finally, there are the ones who fantasize conceptual sequences snapped in extravagant situations - most of which without interest. About photography, much has been said. There are established masters, schools of thought, and many hopes. Yet whoever is sufficiently open to a vision within himself, who has cherished and assimilated the masters, will emerge with something new. Passion triumphs when backed by culture. When looking at one of John Pepper's photographs - the one with the group of people, friends and family, in front of their home, for example - I think of Paul Strand's image in his book, published with Zavattini 'Un paese' del 1955. There is a similar gathering of characters at the doorstep of their home. Time here is not just in the shutter time and lens aperture - a sixtieth of a second at eight - but in the transformation of the people, in the process of revealing themselves. With John, however, the appearances differ from those of Strand - moved up in time as evident in the shoes and pants, the motorcycle helmet, the technology of the wheelchair and the modern necklace of the young girl. They appear happy and to be speaking to the photographer. Despite some apparently expensive upper-class possessions, we perceive they are of a modest condition. In Strand's photograph, there is no doubt they are of peasant culture. Motionless, they stare at the photographer with a serious gaze, though ignorant of the world of images. Today, image is consumerism. It goes beyond diffidence. Everyone can have a camera, a motorcycle helmet and Nike shoes. People are well nurtured; they have even grown in height. With John the scene is of movement. The characters interact with ease, and the photographer is part of the game. He uses black and white film enhanced by the fine art of printing - images stemming from classical photography. John was just a boy when he came to my house in Milan, in piazza Castello, above the studio that once belonged to Ugo. I like to think that the darkroom at that time influenced him. Who knows? However, I do believe that Ugo's work helped him to become a photographer. His reportage in Italy is filtered through the memory of many great photographers - Diane Arbus, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, the first Richard Avedon, and William Klein to name a few. He has also traveled through Italy, in the streets and byways of youth, finding dramatic, enlightened faces in the theater of life. His portrait of the religious procession is most beautiful, with a perfect, compact, composition, among astonished angels and those bearing a religious float against a sharp background of light. John lives and works in Palermo, an outward antithesis of New York. An American born and raised in Italy, it is as an Italian that he grasps the vital spirit, the soul, and the humanity of people. His choice to live in a region like Sicily, so full of contradictions and archaic values, will surely help him in chronicling the history of change in our era. Then, apart from making art, he will have absorbed it as his own - a part of his life that will recur in defining time, space, and the evolution of the human condition." Antonia Mulas, Todi, May 5, 2012
Mona Kuhn
Brazil
1969
Acclaimed for her contemporary depictions, Kuhn is considered a leading artist in the world of figurative discourse. Throughout a career spanning more than twenty years, the underlying theme of her work is her reflection on humanity's longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. As she solidified her photographic style, Kuhn created a notable approach to the nude by developing friendships with her subjects, and employing a range of playful visual strategies that use natural light and minimalist settings to evoke a sublime sense of comfort between the human figure and its environment. Her work is natural, restful, and a reinterpretation of the nude in the canon of contemporary art. For the past two decades, the Los-Angeles based artist's works have been shown steadily, revealing an astonishing consistency in technique, of subject and of purpose. In 2001, Kuhn's photographs were first seen by an influential audience during the exhibition at Charles Cowles Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Kuhn's distinct aesthetic has propelled her as one of the most collectible contemporary art photographers-her work is in private and public collections worldwide and she is represented by galleries across the United States, Europe and Asia. Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent. In 1989, Kuhn moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Occasionally, Mona teaches at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Mona Kuhn's first monograph, Photographs, was debuted by Steidl in 2004; followed by Evidence (2007), Native (2010), Bordeaux Series (2011), Private (2014), and She Disappeared into Complete Silence (2018/19). In addition, Kuhn's monograph titled Bushes and Succulents has been published by Stanley/Barker Editions, with a debut at Jeu de Paume in Paris, in 2019. A stunning career retrospective of Mona Kuhn's Works has been published by Thames & Hudson, Spring 2021. Kuhn's forthcoming publication Kings Road, will be published and released by Steid this Spring 2022. Mona Kuhn's work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan. Kuhn's work has been exhibited at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London; Musée de l'Elysée in Switzerland; Leopold Museum in Vienna Austria, The Polygon Gallery in Vancouver Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan and Australian Centre for Photography. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles. I'm most comfortable representing the nude as minimal and timeless. I like to cherish the body as a source of inspiration, as a platform for metaphors, for intimacy and complexities of human nature. It is my way of investigating the deepest questions about life.
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