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Joseph Rafferty
'Visigoth' (Self Portrait). 2020
Joseph Rafferty
Joseph Rafferty

Joseph Rafferty

Country: United States
Birth: 1976

Joseph Rafferty's projects are his artistic statements.

When he was eight, his mother died. She went on vacation to Hawaii, and returned in a coffin. The boy was immediately uprooted from free and love-filled life, and forced to live with a freshly born-again Christian father, who became Joseph's newly self-appointed spiritual leader. An environmental lawyer who didn't ensure the safety of his own child's environment. Joseph's father silenced individuality, demanded polite compliance, and along with his stepmother, kept a still-grieving child tethered to linear thinking, Joseph did not develop the art of verbal expression. He quickly learned to swallow truth and hide pain. Photography became a powerful thread of connection to his emotion and spiritual ideas, laced with the harsh realities of a flawed culture, and the ironies within his family's worldview. Photography was an open window in his prison, giving fresh breath to a starving soul, and it became a pivotal foundation in his metamorphosis. It provided the theatre of the mind with a stage, creating space for growth and transformation beyond the stifling shell that threatened to entomb.

Thriving on the sunshine of his bohemian mother's love. Joseph's nonlinear and free imprinting is counterculture's birthplace, San Francisco a land of a thousand languages, a thousand sexualities. This critical period of exposure deep seeded beliefs and values into the young child's subconsciousness he loved to see love.

When his mom passed - her fashion colleagues & community sent words of condolences + small gifts of money. During his military enlistment Joseph would return to the photography store his mom frequented. With the small gifts of cash from letters of condolence he purchased large & medium format cameras and tripods. If I purchase cameras she's always with me. In doing so, he channels her instrumental spirit - a spirit guiding him from the pain and anger of his youth, and led to light. Through loving memory of her unconditional support, Joseph's found a peace and purpose in life, grounded in relationships with his partner and their children, mindful of certain pitfalls in our culture, and dedicated to the unedited, true expression of unique experience.

Photography has been a life-line of expression during Joseph's stay on earth, feeling most grounded when his ideas materialize to visual imagery. Motivated by a passion for social justice, Joseph lives in a realm of beauty amongst pain. His visual linguistics are sculpted props and drawings, through which his visceral experiences emerge as a visual tapestry. Weaving images that provoke emotion and encourage empathy for others despite differences, Joseph's visuals are moments of "things as they are experienced psychologically, rather than things as they are scientifically" (William Mortensen).

His body of work also influenced by early foundational years among the Redwood trees, his service in the United States Military, and his education at Art Center College of Design. Heavily inspired by Arnold Newman's manipulation of existing light, Joseph captures images with all formats of cameras. His photographic subjects begin with an idea explored through sketches further developed through research (literature, current events, locations, and style), and are materialized through intuitively sculpting of props. Each detail becomes a tool in building a landscape of meaning.
 

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George Zimbel
United States / Canada
1929
George S. Zimbel (born July 15, 1929) is an American-Canadian documentary photographer. He has worked professionally since the late 1940s, mainly as a freelancer. He was part of the Photo League and is one of its last surviving members. Born in Massachusetts, he settled in Canada about 1971. His works have been shown with increasing frequency since 2000, and examples of his work are part of several permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. George Zimbel has been described as a humanist. He has published several books of his photographs and in 2016 was the subject of a documentary retrospective film co-directed by his son Matt Zimbel and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. Born George Sydney Zimbel in Woburn, Massachusetts, son of a dry goods store owner, he attended Woburn High School and was the school's yearbook photographer. He later studied at the Photo League under John Ebstel. George Zimbel then enrolled in Columbia University in New York where he became the school's news photographer. There he met art student Garry Winogrand and introduced Winogrand to photography. They used the school's darkroom late at night to avoid crowding at other times of the day, and they called themselves the "Midnight to Dawn Club". Both Zimbel and Winogrand later both studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research on scholarships in 1951. He next met Edward Steichen, the then curator of the Museum of Modern Art who showed Zimbel original prints by early masters of photography, and this sealed his decision to take up photography as a career. On Steichen's advice, he had a stint as a photographer with the US Army and spent 2 years in Europe during the restoration period following World War II. On his return to America, he became a freelance photographer. One of his early opportunities was the famous Marilyn Monroe shoot on Lexington Avenue in 1954 to promote her film The Seven Year Itch, at which Monroe wore her famous white dress. Zimbel never sold any of these images and packed them away until 1976, whereupon he printed them and began to show them in solo exhibitions. He was married to Elaine Sernovitz in 1955. A professional writer, she has collaborated with George Zimbel on travelogues and other works. George and Elaine Zimbel had four children including jazz musician Matt Zimbel, founder of Manteca. Matt Zimbel co-produced and co-directed (with Jean-Francois Gratton) a documentary film about his father called Zimbelism, released in 2016. In 1971, Zimbel and his family moved to the small community of Argyle Shore, Queens County, Prince Edward Island where they raised animals for the next 10 years at a farm they called "Bona Fide Farm". After their children moved away, he and his wife relocated to Montreal, where they still reside. Though he was widely published in publications such as the New York Times, Look, Redbook and Architectural Digest in the 1950s and 60s, he did not become widely recognized until a retrospective exhibition of his work was mounted at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern in Spain in 2000. Since then he has had several major shows around the world.Source: Wikipedia The American-Canadian humanist photographer George S. Zimbel is one of the last elders of photography faithful to the legacy of the Photo League, who in the fifties imbued their pictures with a personal commitment towards the people and the social landscapes they documented. Zimbel’s work is collected by major museums internationally, he has published numerous books and in 2016 he was the subject of an award winning feature documentary on his work called Zimbelism. George’s collection is now managed by his children. The collection consisting of prints printed by George, negatives and colour slides is in the process of being cataloged. Cataloging of the prints has been completed. The thousands of colour slides, and hundred of thousand negatives will be an on going project. In an era of increased manipulation of the photographic image by computer technology, Zimbel’s commitment to the “straight” photograph has become stronger. He sees the early 21st century as a period in which classic photography will have it’s last flowering. "My work begins with recording an image, but it is not finished until I have made a fine print. That is my photograph. A lot goes into a finished documentary photograph: a very personal view of life, a knowledge of technique, and of course, information. It is the information that grabs the viewer, but it is the photographer’s art that holds them." – George S. ZimbelSource: georgezimbel.com
Erberto Zani
Italy
1978
Erberto Zani (Parma, Italy, 1978) is a journalist and documentary photographer who specializes in human rights issues. Graduate at school of applied Arts Paolo Toschi in graphic design, after the studies in History of Art at University of Parma he worked as a photographer in advertisement sector (1998-2004). Journalist and photographer for the newspaper Gazzetta di Parma (2004-2007) and editor in chief for some local magazines, he becomes freelance in 2008. During these years he documented the destruction created by the earthquake in Haiti, the climate crises in Sahel, the Maha Kumbh Mela in India, the daily life inside the ship breaking yards in Bangladesh, the exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar, the refugee camps in Lebanon, Greece and Uganda, the effects of the war in Marawi city / Philippines. Actually, Zani is working on two long term documentary projects, both around the world: Dark World, about the illegal mineral's extraction, and Survivors, about acid attack victims. Awarded in several international contests, his images are published on several books and dozens of international magazines. He lives in Basel, Switzerland. Books Urban Visions (ed. Blurb, 2021), Elemental Fashion (ed. Blurb,2019), Exodus (ed. Blurb, 2018), Kied Pologo (ed. Stamperia, 2017), Aftermath (ed. Stamperia, 2016), Black World (ed. Stamperia, 2015), Maha Kumbh Mela (ed. Stamperia, 2014), Tsiry (ed. Stamperia, 2014), Babanagar-Colombia (ed. Stamperia, 2013), Sahel (ed. Stamperia, 2012), Hope (ed. Stamperia, 2011), Haiti, fragments (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Drops of Life (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Da Borgo San Donnino al Passo della Cisa (ed. Publiprint, 2006). Publications WHO (World Health Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), USAID (United States Agency for International Development), AMURT Global Network, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Development Gateway, Id21 (Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex), Planeta Salud, ICF Macro, GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), UNIPID (Finnish University Partnership for International Development), March (Maternal Reproductive & Child Health), The Appalachian Voice, AIP (Journal of Chemical Physics), Gazzetta di Parma, L'Informazione di Parma, Diario, Africa, Nigrizia, Popoli, Redattore Sociale, Repubblica.it, Treatment Action Campaign, CORE Group, Solidarietà e Cooperazione CIPSI, Witness Journal, Tsiry Parma Onlus, E gli Altri? Onlus, Solidarietà Muungano Onlus, Dodho Magazine, Phosmag, Terra Nuova, L'Espresso, Rex Shutterstock agency, Associated Press agency, Fotodom agency, Sipa agency, Scanpix agency, Puzzlepix agency, Le Journal du Dimanche, DeStandaard, Enough Project, Life Force Magazine, LesEchos.fr, vdi-nachtrichten.com, 20 minutes.fr, stimmenafrikas.de, wisdom wander.pl, Loveless, Illume Oy, Global Witness, QCode magazine, Street Art United States, Art Works Projects, Libéma Fun Factory, TheJournal.ie, MSN.com, Fotopolis.com, Mymodernmet.com, Traveller24.com, The Telegraph, Metro.se, All About Photo, Click Magazine, Musagetes Foundation, Vogue Italia, Alamy.com, DeAbyDay, Rai3 Tg3 Mondo, FotoNostrum, Camilo Egas Museum - MuNa, DocuMagazine, Korper magazine. Awards All About Photo: 2nd place Portrait, 2021 Art Limited: 3rd place in Reportage & Press Awards, 2021 Umbra International Photography Awards: Main category "People" winner, 2020 Smithsonian Photo Contest: Finalist, 2020 Art Limited Awards: 1st place in Reportage & Press Awards 2019 Chromatic Photography Awards: 1st place in Wildlife / Animal and 2nd place in Portrait, 2019 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: 1st place in Advertising / Book cover and 1st place in Book / People categories, 2019 Moscow Photography Awards: Gold medal in "Book / People" category , 2018 Monochrome Photography Awards: 1st and 2nd place, category "Photojournalism", 2017 IPA - International Photography Awards: 2nd place, category Book Documentary, 2016 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: Gold medal in Professional Book Documentary and Bronze medal in Professional Book People category, 2016 Exhibitions 2021 Town Hall, Möhlin, Switzerland (30/04 - 30/06) 2020 Museo Camilo Egas - MuNa, Quito, Ecuador, 16/10 - 05/12 2019 MIPA - Malta International Photo Award exhibition, Malta Postal Museum 16/02 - 16/03 (Valletta, Malta) 2018 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sale di Piazza del Popolo, 25/08 - 08/09 Orbetello (Italy), 2018 PX3 - Paris Photography Prize winner’s exhibition at the Espace Beaurepaire (Paris, 10-14 July) 2017 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sala Imago, Piazza del Popolo, Orbetello (Italy) 2017 "Black World" book at Image Text Ithaca Symposium, Ithaca College Campus (June 30th)2017 "Black World" book at Reading room at MAGNUM Foundation, New York City (June 17th) 2017 "Black World" book at Carnegie Museum of Art, PGH Photo Fair, Pittsburgh (29-30 April) 2016 Photo "Finding coltan" for permanent collection at The Design Museum, Londo, UK 2014 IPA Best of Show, Thonglor - Roof top gallery, Bangkok, Thailand 2009 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Sorbolo (PR, Italy) Centro Civico 2007 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Fidenza (PR, Italy) Palazzo Orsoline.
Yoni Blau
Israel
1982
I consider myself a travel photographer, but my primary focus is on people and cultures rather than nature, landscape and wildlife. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a good amount of time traveling and I genuinely wish I will be able to keep exploring this beautiful planet of ours and the fascinatingly different cultures around the globe. Proud Women of the Omo Valley This project ("Proud Women of the Omo Valley") was taken inside a Suri tribe in the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia. The models were not dressed, simply recorded as is. No artificial lighting was used. The pictures with the black backdrop were taken within a dark tent with the light coming in from the entrance of the tent. In the Omo Valley, it feels as if time has no meaning. Days, months, seasons and years are irrelevant in this timeless corner of the world. Same goes for the concept of money, or the modern angst that comes with intellectual pursuit of the meaning of life and death. There, it's about life's essentials. It's about freedom and bare necessities. About being satisfied, joyful and surrounded by loved ones. I tried capturing the essence of what it means to be "stuck in time" which made me keep wondering whether they were left behind or whether the modern world is the one who made the wrong turn. This project taken in Dec 2019 feels more current than ever, especially in times like these with the Covid-19 global health crisis and the economic downturn, when we all got to spend some alone time and got back in touch with our most basic human needs and what "really matters".
R.J. Kern
United States
1978
Dale Odell
United States
Dale O'Dell lives in Prescott, Arizona and is a professional photographer and digital artist. He studied photography and philosophy in college and earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Photography in 1982 from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Since 1979 he has exhibited in over two-hundred group and solo shows, his works have been exhibited and published internationally and he's written for most of the leading photographic magazines and journals. He is a consummate experimenter and innovator and works with diverse subjects in a variety of styles. He has published nineteen art books and is currently at work on number twenty. He uses modern digital technologies to create artwork in a variety of styles. “Using the power of technology and an active imagination there are few limitations. I've produced straight documentary-style photos, advertising, editorial illustration, street photography, portraiture, landscape, infrared, night and astronomical photography as well as abstract-expressionism, impressionism and surrealism. You won't find me making the same image over and over.” Despite their photographic origins, Dale's images are best described as 'photo/digital artworks' and are not all straight photographs. He has fully embraced the digital revolution of photography to explore expression beyond traditional photographic limitations. Zen Cairns A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn. Cairns are used for a variety of purposes. In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times and cairns are used as trail markers in many parts of the world. They vary in size from small stone markers to entire artificial hills, and in complexity from loose conical rock piles to delicately balanced sculptures and elaborate feats of megalithic engineering. Cairns may be painted or otherwise decorated, whether for increased visibility or for religious reasons. The Zen Cairns came into existence as a result of researching what other photographers had done with the cairn as subject. I look at others' works to see what's already been done with the subject. This helps me to avoid repeating what others have done and (hopefully) forge my own path of originality with the subject. As I studied the myriad of cairn photos online I saw some that made me look twice and carefully consider the laws of gravity. While I saw many examples of true 'balance artistry' when stacks of rocks seemed to be magically balanced for real, I also saw images that really did defy the law of gravity. These were 'impossible' stacks of rocks that, at first glance, looked 'real,' but they were, in fact, held together with metal rods or glue. These were probable yet impossible cairns. A quick look at these could easily fool the viewer. Looking at the probable yet impossible cairns I thought I could create a series of physically impossible yet visually probable cairns - after all, I do have Photoshop. Almost immediately I could see the finished images in my minds-eye. I went to my sketchbook and very quickly did a series of drawings - which came to me full-blown, complete with titles! I already had the river rocks in my studio so I photographed them all twice, with lighting from two different directions, allowing me to use them in different ways in Photoshop yet keep a consistent direction of light. With the image fully-formed in my mind's eye I created a portrait-studio type background which would be lit oppositely from the rocks. I did a quick version of this background as a proof-of-concept (which worked) and then went to various paint and lighting programs to create the actual background. Interestingly, each new and improved background failed to work in the image and I ultimately ended up using the original proof-of-concept background. Sometimes you get it right the first time but you've got to do the extra work anyway so you know the first one really does work and you didn't quit too soon. For consistency I used the same background for all ten images. Using my sketches as guides I assembled each image from individually photographed river rocks. I added shadows to simulate what it would really look like as a set in the studio. I sharpened all the rocks to enhance their texture and softened the background to create a more three-dimensional effect. I worked in black and white to emulate the luminosity of classic B&W still-life prints from the darkroom. It is my hope that the direction of light, shadows and texture induces an emotional response of 'reality' in the viewer before the intellect of analysis informs them, 'this is not real.'
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