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Laurie Freitag
Laurie Freitag
Laurie Freitag

Laurie Freitag

Country: United States
Birth: 1956

Laurie Freitag is a self-taught, digital photographer making pictures with her iphone based in Los Angeles, California. Her early years, spent in the Bronx, Coney Island & Far Rockaway, influence her work with themes of family, childhood, memory & home.

After 20 years working behind the scenes in TV news, she took a buyout & went back to school where she took every Child Development class offered. She's been working the past 10 years as a nanny where she has intimate access to documenting children. Freitag says, "I enter their world. Watching them puts me into positions I could have never thought up. This latest series, 'In the Garden at Chislehurst' had me sitting very low as a 4 year old played in the dirt next to me. As I looked up, I found the wonder of the dracena trees above me. Those are the images that comprise this newest series.

Artist Statement:
My series,'In the Garden at Chislehurst', explores my challenges of adjusting emotionally to the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic came to my world I thought I could 'handle' it but I spent most evenings stockpiling supplies from Amazon preparing for the worst.

My days, on the other hand, are spent in a garden in Los Angeles as a nanny to a 4 year-old boy, where he pulls berries from a bush to make berry stew. I sit alongside him in the dirt as he 'cooks.'

In this pretend world of innocence & nature I'm safe & able to hide from the realities just outside the garden.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Andreas Gursky
Germany
1955
German photographer. Shortly after Gursky was born, his family relocated to Essen, and then to Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1957. Gursky’s parents ran a commercial photography studio, but Gursky had no plans to join the business. He attended the Folkwangschule in Essen (1978-80) with a concentration in visual communication and the goal of becoming a photojournalist, but was unsuccessful with finding work. Encouraged by fellow photographer Thomas Struth, Gursky entered the prestigious Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1980 and in his second year began studying photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher. Although the Becher’s preferred black and white photography, Gursky only worked in color, and with the help of his friends set up a color darkroom in 1981. By integrating the “systematically objective and rigorously conceptual”* documentary style of the Bechers’ photography with his taste for color, Gursky began to explore the contemporary culture of the world. Gursky had his first exhibition in 1981 featuring his series Pförtnerbilder (1981-5), a collection of works depicting pairs of German security guards. After graduating from the Kunstakademie in 1987, Gursky focused on photographing urban landscapes, both interior and exterior, and began to increase the size of his large format prints. Gursky had his first solo gallery show in 1988, at the Galerie Johnen & Schöttle. A rise of interest in the international art market for photography paired with the growing popularity of the Becher’s circle brought Gursky much commercial success. Gursky began the infamous May Day series (early 1990’s) in reaction to the biggest economic slump of recent history. A combination of the collapsing stock market with the growth of a dynamic drug-addicted rave scene inspired this photographic compilation. During this time, Gursky traveled to a number of international cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Cairo and Hong Kong in order to photograph the masses – busy stock exchanges, manufacturing plants, industrial-looking apartment buildings, crowded arenas and swarming clubs. Gursky was one of the first contemporary photographers to use new digital photo editing techniques on his large format photographs. In 1999, Gursky created 99 Cent, the first in a series of photographs of discount stores, which “was quickly recognized as one of his most important works and placed in major museums around the world.”* Gursky’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2001, which included the work May Day IV, confirmed him as one of the greatest artistic visionaries of his generation. Source Sotheby’s, London
Berenice Abbott
United States
1898 | † 1991
Berenice Alice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s. Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio and brought up in Ohio by her divorced mother, née Lillian Alice Bunn (m. Charles E. Abbott in Chillicothe OH, 1886). She attended Ohio State University for two semesters, but left in early 1918 when her professor was dismissed because he was a German teaching an English class. She moved to New York City, where she studied sculpture and painting. In 1921 she traveled to Paris and studied sculpture with Emile Bourdelle. While in Paris, she became an assistant to Man Ray, who wanted someone with no previous knowledge of photography. Abbott took revealing portraits of Ray's fellow artists. Abbott was part of the straight photography movement, which stressed the importance of photographs being unmanipulated in both subject matter and developing processes. She also disliked the work of pictorialists who had become popular during a substantial span of her career, leaving her work without support from this school of photographers. Most of Abbott's work was influenced by what she described as her unhappy and lonely childhood. This gave her the strength and determination to follow her dreams. Throughout her career, Abbott's photography was very much a reflection of the rise in development of technology and society. Her works documented and extolled the New York landscape. This was guided by her belief that a modern-day invention such as the camera deserved to document the 20th century. The film Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century, which showed 200 of her black and white photographs, suggests that she was a "proud proto-feminist"; someone who was ahead of her time in feminist theory. Before the film was completed she questioned, "The world doesn't like independent women, why, I don't know, but I don't care." She identified publicly as a lesbian and lived with her partner, art critic Elizabeth McCausland, for 30 years. Berenice Abbott's life and work are the subject of the 2017 novel The Realist: A Novel of Berenice Abbott, by Sarah Coleman.Source: Wikipedia Berenice Abbott was born and raised in Ohio where she endured an erratic family life. In 1918, after two semesters at Ohio State University, she left to join friends associated with the Provincetown Players, in Greenwich Village. There she met Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Burke, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Little Review editors Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, and other influential modernists. From 1919-1921, while studying sculpture, Abbott supported herself as an artist's model, posing for photographers Nikolas Muray and Man Ray. She also met Marcel Duchamp, and participated in Dadaist publications. Abbott moved to Paris in 1921, where she continued to study sculpture (and in Berlin), and to support herself by modeling. During 1923-1926, she worked as Man Ray's darkroom assistant (he had also relocated to Paris) and tried portrait photography at his suggestion. Abbott's first solo exhibition, in 1926, launched her career. In 1928 she rescued and began to promote Eugène Atget's photographic work, calling his thirty years of Parisian streetscapes and related studies "realism unadorned." In 1929 Abbott took a new artistic direction to tackle the scope (if not the scale) of Atget's achievement in New York City. During 1929-38, she photographed urban material culture and the built environment of New York, documenting the old before it was torn down and recording new construction. From 1934-58, she also taught photography at the New School. During 1935-39, Abbott worked as a "supervisor" for the Federal Art Project to create Changing New York (her free-lance work and New School teaching commitment made her ineligible for unemployment relief) . From 1939-60, Abbott photographed scientific subjects, concluding with her notable illustrations for the MIT-originated Physical Sciences Study Committee's revolutionary high school physics course. In 1954, she photographed along the length of US 1; the work never found a publisher. In 1968, Abbott sold the Atget archive to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and moved permanently to her home in central Maine (bought in 1956 and restored over several decades) . 1970 saw Abbott's first major retrospective exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first retrospective portfolio appeared in 1976, and she received the International Center of Photography's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. She died at home in Monson, Maine in December 1991.Source: New York Public Library In 1929, Abbott returned to the United States, where she embarked on her best-known body of work--a documentation of New York City for which she developed her famous bird's-eye and worm's-eye points-of-view. She worked on the project independently through the early years of the Depression, and in 1935, secured funding from the Federal Art Project (a part of the Works Progress Administration). Her pictures were published as Changing New York (1939), which was both critically and commercially successful; it remains a classic text for historians of photography. One of Abbott's later final projects was an illustration of scientific phenomenon, produced in the 1950s in collaboration with the Physical Sciences Study Committee based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although not as well known as her New York work, these pictures are exquisite examples of her acumen for technical experimentation and her natural instinct for combining factual photographic detail with stunning artistic accomplishment. With their clear visual demonstration of abstract scientific principles, the photographs were chosen to illustrate physics textbooks of the 1950s and 1960s.Source: International Center of Photography
Jared Ragland
United States
1977
Jared Ragland is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. He currently teaches and coordinates exhibitions and community programs in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is at work on a long-term documentary on methamphetamine users living in northeast Alabama. He is the photo editor of National Geographic Books' "The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office," and has worked on assignment for NGOs in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa and Haiti. His photographic work is rooted in his lifelong exposure to the landscapes, people, aesthetics, and storytelling traditions of the American South, and his work has been exhibited internationally and featured by The Oxford American, The New York Times, and TIME Magazine. Jared is an alumni of LaGrange College and a 2003 graduate of Tulane University with an MFA in Photography. He resides in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Statement: The rise in use of methamphetamine across the United States over the last decade has led to increased cultural anxiety about the drug and those who use it, while the general perception of the meth-head is perpetuated by popular television programs and pervasive anti-meth campaigns. These limited representations typically paint one-dimensional, demonized characters whose chronic drug use is epitomized by obsessiveness, paranoia, and monstrous physical side effects. But while there are certainly deleterious consequences to meth use and stereotypes often ring too true, existing cultural narratives too often fall short of more complex, individually considered realities. Photographed over 18 months in collaboration with University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist Heith Copes, Ph.D., GOOD BAD PEOPLE documents the tumultuous lives of meth users from Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for extreme poverty, poultry processing plants, Pentecostal snake-handlers, and meth production. The images simultaneously reinforce and undermine assumptions of what it means to be a methamphetamine user and present an intimate look into the lives of those who struggle amidst drug use and diminished social status.
Georges Rousse
France
1947
Georges Rousse (born July 28, 1947) is a French photographer, painter, and installation artist. He has been taking photos since receiving his first camera at the age of nine, but he never formally attended art school to pursue photography. Instead, he attended medical school in Nice, but studied photography and printing on the side. He currently lives in Paris.Source: Wikipedia When he was 9 years old, Georges Rousse received the legendary Kodak Brownie camera as a Christmas gift. Since then, the camera has never left his side. While attending medical school in Nice, he decided to study professional photography and printing techniques, then opened his own studio dedicated to architectural photography. Soon, his passion for the medium led him to devote himself entirely to photography, following in the footsteps of such great American masters as Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. After he discovered Land Art and Malevich's Black Square against a white field, Georges Rousse altered his relationship to photography, inventing a unique approach that shifted the relationship of painting to space. He began making installations in the types of abandoned or derelict buildings that have long held an attraction for him--creating ephemeral, one-of-a-kind artworks by transforming these sites into pictorial spaces that are visible only in his photographs. From the early 1980s on, Georges Rousse has chosen to show his photographs on a large scale, so that his viewers participate in the work and experience the sense of space in a compelling way. Collapsing the usual restrictions between artistic mediums, his unique body of work quickly made its mark on the contemporary art world. Since his first exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de France in 1981, Georges Rousse has continued creating his installations and showing his photographs around the world, in Europe, in Asia (Japan, Korea, China, Nepal.), in the United States, in Quebec and in Latin America. He is represented by several European galleries and his works are included in many major collections the world over. Georges Rousse was born in 1947 in Paris, where he currently lives andworks.Source: www.georgesrousse.com French artist and photographer Georges Rousse, converts abandoned or soon-to-be-demolished buildings into surprising visions of color and shape. Rousse translates his intuitive, instinctual readings of space into masterful images of several “realities”: that of the actual space, wherein the installation is created; the artist’s imagined mise-en-scène, realized from a single perspective; and the final photograph, or the reality flattened. Since his first exhibition in 1981 at the Galerie de France in Paris, Rousse has continued creating his one-of-a-kind installations and photographs around the globe. His work has exhibited in the Grand Palais (Paris), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.), Haggerty Museum (WI), House of Culture (La Paz, Honduras), Sivori Museum (Buenos Aires), and National Art Museum of China, among hundreds of others. In 1988, he received the International Center of Photography Award. In 2008, Georges Rousse succeeded Sol LeWitt as an associate member of the Belgian Royal Academy.Source: Sous Les Etoiles Gallery
Ricardo Reis
Portugal
1981
Why I Photograph As a young person, I needed and had to put out there so many things that were stuck inside me, and very quickly, I realized that I had a different way of seeing the world. I started noticing that even if there were many people looking at the same thing as me, they weren't seeing what I was seeing. Photography became the most realistic representation of my perspective. Photography blends all the art mediums and I am inspired to create amalgamations of the dream world with the real. I love the challenge of being able to put onto paper the ideas and surreal world of my own creation. My Purpose When I create a photograph image, I want to engage in a dialogue-to make the viewer feel something, even if it's a negative reaction. I appreciate the negative reaction, because I understand I've drawn something out in the viewer: an honest reaction is more potent than an indifferent one. I want to be able to convey an inner conversation-an ambience, a vibe- to create curiosity in the viewer for the lives and moments depicted in my images. My Method I prefer to shoot with black and white 35mm film, because I find it's more honest and direct, at least for me. I like the mental exercise of having to prepare the picture in your mind first and do the chain of thoughts necessary to translate the idea into the final work. Color can be distracting and disruptive of the real intent and emotion I am trying to achieve. My favorite camera is the Canon EOS 1 RS film camera; it has plenty of functions which allow me to have more control over the final product. I love to prepare a playlist and just go and take a walk with my camera and put myself in the mood: a limbo between voyeurism and participant. My Path When I started I wanted to be a war photographer, but in my home country of Portugal, it's very difficult to get the connections necessary to achieve that. I was fortunate to get an internship at a daily newspaper in Portugal which led to my work being published in several major newspapers and magazines. I began to work more in fashion photography and was assigned to the fashion weeks that took place in Europe. During the shows, I found that I always preferred the backstage where I had more freedom to do different things, take more risks. Photography has been the driving force through all my creative pursuits. My love of music, music photography and music videos comprise a large part of my work. As a cinematographer/director for album and DVD covers, I work in collaboration with several European photography agencies in Portugal and in the UK. The more artistic side of my work is represented in several countries and in private collections, from Canada, the UK, France, Netherlands, Australia, China, Portugal, and the United States. Currently I am living in Lisbon, but who knows what's next.
Khalik Allah
United States
1985
Khalik Allah (born 1985) is an American filmmaker and photographer. His 2015 documentary film Field Niggas and his 2017 book Souls Against the Concrete depict people who inhabit the notorious Harlem corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City. His film Black Mother (2018) depicts people on the island of Jamaica. "He favours visual portraits of people on the street – filming their faces for several seconds as they pose as if for a still camera." In June 2020 he became a Nominee member of Magnum Photos. Khalik was born in Brookhaven, New York. His mother is Jamaican and his father is Iranian. He grew up in Suffolk, Long Island, New York, but moved between Queens and Harlem throughout his childhood. His parents met at university in Bristol, England. He is a dual Jamaican-American citizen. He started making movies at age 19 with a Hi-8 video camera. His first feature film, Popa Wu: A 5% Story (2010), was a "normal, talking heads documentary" about Popa Wu, "Wu-Tang Clan's de facto spiritual advisor" and a member of Five-Percent Nation. It took four years to make. Khalik took up still photography in 2010.Source: Wikipedia Despite challenges early in life, Allah managed to maintain discipline and focus on self-improvement. He credits these qualities, in part, to the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation, a movement whose name comes from its concept that only five percent of the world knows the truth about existence and is dedicated to enlightening the rest of the world. Founded in Harlem in the 1960s the movement emphasizes intellectual growth and enlightenment for black men in particular. Inspired and empowered by their message Allah seriously pursued the study of metaphysics, black history, and literature. Likewise, with no formal art training, he pursued video work first at the age of 14, and then photography, making his first pictures in 2010. He taught himself how to use a camera from videos on YouTube and later devoured books at the library on work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Bruce Davidson. Khalik Allah finished his first film at the age of 19 and after getting it into the hands of the rapper Killah Priest, Allah went on to direct music videos for different members of the Wu-Tang family. His filmmaking changed radically after he became a photographer. His camera work slowed down and he made prolonged eye contact with the individuals he filmed. His 2015 film, Field Niggas (inspired by Malcolm X's 1963 speech, "Message to the Grassroots”) received high acclaim and numerous awards including the 2015 Le Prix Scribe, Paris. He also served as one of the cinematographers for Beyoncé's Lemonade. His most recent film, Black Mother, will premiere at the True/False Film Festival in March and will have its New York premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival April 4th at MoMA and April 7th at Lincoln Center. It is easy to walk through a city not making eye contact, but for Khalik Allah this contact is essential. He sees each individual he photographs. And his photographs in turn allow us to see them, to acknowledge who we might ignore, to look through Allah’s eye and into theirs, and to recognize them as individuals. This is the power of Allah’s work: to give us a deeper sense of people as people, to share and enlighten, even when the message may not be clean or easy. Made at night on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, the images in his recent book Souls Against the Concrete (University of Texas Press, 2017), provide a glimpse into a world and people that many choose to ignore. His subjects are often drug addicts, homeless, or both. Using only the available light from shop windows, street lights, or subway platforms, he photographs them with a slow color film, a combination that produces images full of grain and texture, a visual shorthand for the roughness and intensity of life on the street, and his own struggles early in life. The light is also often harsh or even surreal, resulting in figures awash in blues and reds. Luc Sante, in The New York Times Book Review, wrote, "The result is a panorama of human emotion: sadness, passion, bewilderment, pride, suspicion, amusement, exhaustion — all the faces of the night."Source: Gitterman Gallery Allah has led a life of many perspectives; he recounts, as a 20-year-old, walking all night to take portraits before working in a nursing home in Harlem during the day. His work and life is immersed in the teachings and sensibilities of The Five-Percent Nation, a cultural movement influenced by the Islamic faith and founded in Harlem in 1964. When he was nominated by Magnum, Allah told the agency: “The first thing black students are taught is that they were slaves. From second-grade on, your self-esteem is a couple of notches below the white students because you’ve been told you are inferior. That sticks with you and follows you into your adulthood. The Five-Percent Nation taught me not to take anything on face value,” Allah says. “That teaching has bled into my work. This is a spiritual film. And it’s a holographic film; a piece contains the whole and a whole contains the piece. And it’s an experiential film, one that brings you into an environment that most people would avoid.” The New York streets Allah shoots are indivisible with the history of street photography. Allah is working in the legacy of New York icons like Diane Arbus, Weegee, Garry Winogrand and Nan Goldin as well as fellow Magnum photographers Bruce Gilden and Bruce Davidson. But, perhaps unlike some of his current colleagues of the Magnum collective, Allah is deeply concerned with the question of photographic consent. In that sense, Allah perhaps embodies the attitude of a new generation of street photographers; ones who see the camera as a way of being alert and alive to social and racial injustice. “It’s important to speak to whoever you’re working with,” Allah says. “To share your intentions with your subjects. To properly introduce yourself, and to get permission and consent. As photographers, we’re responsible for the work we make, and we need to be conscious of that. That involves not shooting somebody that doesn’t want to be shot. That’s a basic thing. And don’t shoot children without a parent’s consent. That is very important to me.”Source: The Art Newspaper
Karine Coll
France
1973
Madly in love with the arts in the broad sense, greedy for words, stories, eager for esthetic experiences, passionate about theater, writing, full-time professor of letters, photographer-poet in my spare time, human being forever, Woman above all. For me, photography is the medium that allows me to get down to the essence of things, a three-step frenzied waltz in which scenography, esthetics and text all come together to create a powerful message. Driven by a desire to delve deep into the possible, i see the photo as responding to a need to go straight to the soul, with all its diversity of approaches, a way of looking at the body as a sculptured tool, a fragment of a human being, as a dreamlike narration, pictorial reality, the shots linked but not all alike, a perpetual exploration of the possible, malleable according to my desires, giving rise to sensation, to hypersensitivity. Fragments The hands, the hands as witnesses of a too long forgotten body, metonymic fragments of a neglected soul, given as food to the monster lurking in the shadows. The hands which twist in silence, those which counter blows, which protect themselves, those which heal wounds in the half-light without ever daring, cruel pantomime smothered in the hollow of a fist. A black and white, dark, realistic series featuring hands, in close-up, the body is erased, the hands alone carry the message. The image is soiled, a grain comes to invade the cliché, to soil it, drowning all humanity, all femininity. Silence, taboo, shut up! Suddenly, the hands are there, referees of the last chance, standing up timidly in a final attempt, the last ramparts against hatred ... do not lower your guard, stand up, the hands finally come together, ally because together they make sense. A glimmer of hope that seeps through clenched fingers, gradually the woman regains body, the fist crushes in an act of assumed resistance, an unexpected force at hand, carried by a desire to wake up the sorority of all . Peaux d'ombre Because the body is only a conception of the mind, a fantasy projection of our eye, erotic or plastic mass, the body dissolves in the image, becomes a play of curves, a chimera. It is in the shadow of time that the male body reveals its power, sublimating our shadow areas.
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