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Iris Brito Stevens
Iris Brito Stevens
Iris Brito Stevens

Iris Brito Stevens

Country: United States

I was born and raised in Salinas, California (U.S.), a farming community known for its lettuce. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I became aware of, and sensitive to, the differences between the immigrant and non-immigrant communities and their perspectives, which at times felt narrow and somewhat limiting. Growing up surrounded by family grounded me deeply, yet an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning about the world beyond me, called out. I spread my wings and traveled to destinations that were completely foreign, often under the auspices of humanitarian and educational endeavors. The lens through which I saw the world opened-up and expanded my perspective, just like a camera. Through first-hand experience, I became aware of the lives and conditions of marginalized and oppressed peoples globally. This new dimensionality helped me to confront certain realities, to grow, and to self-reflect on what it means to be human. It also led me toward activism and social documentary photography, which enabled me to blend visual narrative with the stories of other people through projects or partnerships in Uganda, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Spain, San Francisco and more. My photographic work is my passion, and it serves to create awareness and a more intimate human connection, by encouraging a path that looks beyond our limited and inherent perceptions and conditioning.

Statement
In America, we place so much value on individuality and independence, that we forget how truly interdependent we are on one another, both on a local and global scale. We have become hyper-focused on the self and are losing our ability to empathize and see the intense vulnerability around us—though considering recent events, this appears to be shifting. As a social documentary photographer, I am drawn towards people and the conditions that are relevant in their lives, as individuals and as members of a family, community, or society. Our perception of the world can be limited to our own multi-faceted forms of conditioning; I utilize the impact of visual narrative to bring awareness of the human condition worldwide. There is so much beauty in diversity. I want to validate that diversity through photography, to help others grow in that appreciation, to demonstrate that we are all a part of something collectively - that life's experience doesn't begin and end with us, as individuals. Dominance consciousness is so pervasive in society; it's like a box with thick walls and nothing to see, nowhere to go, devoid of any inspiration. It kills curiosity and ideas. I want us all to be inspired and curious by the diversity we see and experience in everyday life. Diversity is beautiful.
 

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Patrick Morarescu
Statement:Due to the natural dynamic and complexity of the individual, I have always been drawn to portraiture. I photograph persons to whom I feel an initial attraction and try to reflect this force in images. A power that you cannot describe in words or in rational concepts but it captures the attention and creates a strong curiosity, a sort of addiction not only to body shapes, eyes, skin tonalities, but to what is behind: the thoughts and the mental state of that persons. And I feel a sort of instinct of possession, a desire to materialize the moment that this person is living. The human presence, with it’s emotionality, is some times too strong; it is almost insulting, shouting to get all the attention: Like a red dot in the green, like a flash in the darkness. To balance that force I need the background, the space that as a negative form defines the contour of the figure. Through that supplementary space I create a whole story. The key of my research lies in the dialogue between the person and its background; sometimes I think I am not portraying a person with a background, but the background with a person; sometimes it is the opposite. The background speaks about fear, happiness, peace, desperation; it speaks about the circumstances through an atmosphere. There is one basic element that is crucial to bring all the elements together: The light. Like a thread that creates structure and consistence in a tissue; the magical substance of photography. It is a physical condition that contains many extraordinary qualities. The photography is a chemical reaction in which the light is transcripted in a plain surface, creating a code that by the eyes suggest reality; but photography is not reality itself but an abstraction of it. And this is the point that fascinates me; the possibility of recreating the reality through the chemical process.
Graeme Williams
South Africa
1961
I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era, when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens. My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished. My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects. In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay, highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
Annette LeMay Burke
United States
1964
Annette LeMay Burke (b. 1964) is a photographic artist and Northern California native who lives in the heart of Silicon Valley. Numerous family road trips throughout California and the West honed her eye for observing the landscape. By eight years old, she had her own Instamatic camera and graduated to a Minolta X-700 as a teen. While earning a BA in Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley, she took her first darkroom class. After a career in high-tech, and studying design, Annette has now merged her interests. Her artistic practice focuses on how we interact with the natural world and the landscapes constructed by the artifacts of technology. Annette's first book, Fauxliage (Daylight Books, Spring 2021), documents the proliferation of disguised cell phone towers in the American West and how new technologies are modifying our landscapes with idiosyncratic results. Her work has been exhibited at institutions such as Center for Photographic Arts, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Griffin Museum of Photography, Texas Photographic Society, The Center for Fine Art Photography, and Photographic Center Northwest. In 2017, she was a finalist for Photolucida's Critical Mass. Fauxliage - Disguised Cell Phone Towers of the American West Fauxliage documents the proliferation of disguised cell phone towers in the American West. For me, the fake foliage of the trees draws more attention than camouflage. The often-farcical tower disguises belie the equipment's covert ability to collect all the phone calls and digital information passing through them, to be bought and sold by advertisers and stored by the NSA. From the very start, cell towers were considered eyesores. Plastic leaves were attached in an attempt to hide the visual pollution. Over time, the disguises have evolved from primitive palms and evergreens into more elaborate costumes. The towers now masquerade as flagpoles, crosses, water towers, and cacti. Over time, as our demand for five bars of connectivity has increased, the charade has remained. I was initially drawn to the towers' whimsical appearances. The more I photographed, the more disconcerted I felt that technology was clandestinely modifying our environment. I explore how this manufactured nature is imposing a contrived aesthetic in our neighborhoods. My photographs expose the towers' idiosyncratic disguises, highlight the variety of forms, and show how ubiquitous they are in our daily lives. Their appearance is now an inescapable part of the iconic western road trip and the eight states I visited for this project. As the fifth generation (5G) of cellular technology continues to roll out, the cell tower terrain will be changing. 5G utilizes smaller equipment that is easier to hide - think fat streetlight poles. Perhaps elaborately disguised 'fauxliage' towers will begin disappearing and be considered an anachronism of the early 21st century. The decorated towers could join drive-up photo kiosks, phone booths, news stands, and drive-in movie theaters as architectural relics of the past. More about Fauxliage
Alice De Kruijs
The Netherlands
1981
Alice de Kruijs is a fine-art photographer based in The Netherlands. She frequently touches the subject of identity and diversity and aims to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds, her work is a celebration of these differences in culture. As her way of life, she loves to conceptually and symbolically tell stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life struggles. Born in 1981 in the east of The Netherlands she grew up in an artistic family. Nevertheless her true artistic passion in photography started in her late twenties. After graduating from Internation Fashion Design and later on from Applied Photography Design with a specialisation in Fine-art portraits she dedicated her life to conceptual photography. In her early thirties she gradually moved to fine-art photography in combination with story telling photography. Family Member(s) In this serie I honour my beloved grandmother. She has been a friend and inspiration my entire life. Although she passed away in 1994, when I was just 13 year old my memories are vibrant. This year (2020), August 2nd she would have celebrated her 100th birthday. On this day, I have publish the complete body of work existing of 18 images plus 10 original images. In some images, I copied the old photo from our family photo books. The story starts with an images from my great grandma before and after pregnancy of her 5 children (see family picture), following with an image of my grandmother at age 3. It continues with images of her when she was a young teenager and as a young adult just before World war II. During the war, not many pictures were taken of her. The first image after WWII is the marriage photo. She struggled with a lot of miscarriages in the late 1940's but finally my father was born in May 1950, I would be her only child. During the 1980's she started having breast cancer and later on bone cancer. After many years trying to fulfill life as much as possible, she died from bone bone cancer at age 74. The last image represents her death. As this is a very personal project and shot during COVID 19 period I only photographed myself or my direct family members for the duo image. This created an even stronger bound. This serie is dedicated to Jeanne Margaretha de Kruijs - Slotboom 02/08/1920 - 14/01/1994
Mark Tuschman
United States
Over the years I have become more motivated to use my photography to communicate in a more socially conscious way—in a way that exposes people to both the degree of human suffering that exists in today’s world and to the courage and fortitude that people manifest to overcome it. In my travels I can easily imagine that I could have been born into completely different circumstances and my worldview would have been radically different, having been influenced by a completely, radically dissimilar environment and culture. Indeed, I know I have been privileged and fortunate to have been born into an affluent culture with tremendous opportunities. I believe that it is especially important for people in our society to understand other cultures and the enormous difficulties that people in other countries face daily in order to simply survive. The human condition is wrought with great uncertainty and suffering, and yet the human spirit and the hope for a better life can grow stronger in the face of adversity. I am constantly inspired by the profound fortitude of people living in difficult conditions and the empathy and commitment of the many who give counsel and aid to those less fortunate. I believe it as my moral obligation to use whatever talents I have as a photographer to transcend our limited worldviews and to help bridge the gap between cultures of affluence and poverty. Photography is a universal language and it is my hope that my images will move viewers to respond not only with empathy, but also with action. It is my intention to photograph people with compassion and dignity in the hope of communicating our interrelatedness. In the words of Sebastiao Salgado whose work I greatly admire, “If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.”
Anthony Goicolea
United States/Cuba
1971
Anthony Goicolea is a New York-based fine art photographer. Goicolea's photographs frequently deal with issues of androgyny, homosexuality, and child sexuality. Goicolea, Cuban-American and gay, was educated at the University of Georgia and studied painting, photography, and sculpture at that institution. He holds an MFA in fine arts from the Pratt Institute. He made his debut in 1999, and now shows work with Postmasters gallery in New York and Aurel Scheibler in Berlin, Germany. In 2005, he received the BMW-Award for Photography. Some of his work features photographs of "pre- to barely pubescent boys" (Art in America, Dec, 2001) in elaborately staged tableau settings, commonly showing multiple boys wearing traditional private school uniforms either engaged in school-life or recreation after school — but with often transgressive and erotic twists in their activities. Of great interest in these compositions is the fact that Goicolea himself portrays all of the boys in his photographs through the astute use of costumes, wigs, make-up, and post-production editing via the software Adobe Photoshop; "always looking uncannily like a boy on the edge of puberty" (The Advocate, August 14, 2001). Therefore, despite having numerous figures in them, Goicolea's photographs are actually very complex large-scale self-portraits, and are always done in a flawlessly realist manner. The pioneering fine-art photographer Cindy Sherman is an apparent influence on Goicolea's work, given her own extensive use of self-portraits and emphasis on sexually-charged narrative topics. Sherman and Goicolea have also had several joint exhibitions. His work can be strongly compared to similar manipulated and/or staged art photography featuring children and adolescents, such as that of Bernard Faucon, Loretta Lux, and Justine Kurland. Recently, Goicolea has also been producing and exhibiting his drawings, which follow much of the same subject matter as his photographs. He has also published several books. Goicolea is also represented by Gow Langsford Gallery based in Auckland, New Zealand.Source Wikipedia
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