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Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad

Anne Helene Gjelstad

Country: Norway
Birth: 1956

Anne Helene Gjelstad is an award-winning photographer and educator. After graduation from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1982 she had her own fashion studio in Oslo for 25 years. Among her clients were HM Queen Sonja, Norwegian artists, magazines and the textile industry. In 2006 she felt the need for a change and decided to follow her childhood dream and become a photographer. She took the two-year class in photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography (2007-08) as well a numerous workshops by some of the leading photographers of our time such as Joyce Tenneson, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman and Vee Speers.

Anne Helene's works has been has been exhibited worldwide; in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, in Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Mexico, in Ljubljana in Slovenia, around Estonia including the Lobby in the Estonian Parliament in Tallinn and in the National Museum in Tartu as well as in The House of Photography in Oslo.

Anne Helene Gjelstad has her photo studio in an old barn surrounded by beautiful landscape just outside of Oslo. She also gives lectures and teaches portrait photography and postproduction. For her portraits, she is rewarded numerous awards.

Statement
For eleven years, since 2008, I have worked on portraying the lives of the older women on the small Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Colourful, interesting and friendly, they represent a culture and a way of life that is changing despite the strong anchor of tradition. These robust women are used to working hard, and take care of almost everything. They bring up the children, make the clothes, plough the fields, drive the tractors and take care of the animals. The men spend much time away from home, fishing or working on the mainland or abroad. Life is often hard. This is normal here. Nobody asks questions. You do what you must. This is how you get a big heart and strong hands.

The voices of these hushed culture bearers need to be heard and kept for generations to come in a small society that is rapidly changing towards western standards, and where the traditional culture and identity is naturally slipping away. I have aimed to tell the women's stories truthfully and I have photographed their daily lives and activities, clothing and bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses, the details, the surroundings and landscapes as well as the ceremony held in a deceased person's kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. To tell the fuller story, I have also interviewed some of the women about their lives, their experiences during war and occupation, family life, work, food and thoughts about the future. My book is my contribution to record and help preserve this unique culture for the future and give these old, wise women the voice they deserve as the quiet nation builders they really are.
 

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Marion Post Wolcott
United States
1910 | † 1990
Marion Post (later Marion Post Wolcott) (June 7, 1910 - November 24, 1990) was a noted American photographer who worked for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression documenting poverty and deprivation. She was born in New Jersey. Her parents split up and she was sent to boarding school, spending time at home with her mother in Greenwich Village when not at school. Here she met many artists and musicians and became interested in dance. She studied at The New School. She trained as a teacher and went to work in a small town in Massachusetts. Here she saw the reality of the Depression and the problems of the poor. When the school closed she went to Europe to study with her sister Helen. Helen was studying with Trude Fleischmann, a Viennese photographer. Marion showed Fleischmann some of her photographs and was told to stick to photography. While in Vienna she saw some of the Nazi attacks on the Jewish population and was horrified. Soon she and her sister had to return to America for safety. She went back to teaching but also continued her photography and became involved in the anti-fascist movement. At the New York Photo League, she met Ralph Steiner and Paul Strand who encouraged her. When she found that the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin kept sending her to do "ladies' stories," Ralph Steiner took her portfolio to show Roy Stryker, head of the Farm Security Administration, and Paul Strand wrote a letter of recommendation. Stryker was impressed by her work and hired her immediately. Her photographs for the FSA often explore the political aspects of poverty and deprivation. They also often find humor in the situations she encountered. In 1941 she met Lee Wolcott. When she had finished her assignments for the FSA she married him, and later had to fit in her photography around raising a family and a great deal of traveling and living overseas. Source: Wikipedia A biographical sketch by Linda Wolcott-Moore "As an FSA documentary photographer, I was committed to changing the attitudes of people by familiarizing America with the plight of the underprivileged, especially in rural America... FSA photographs shocked and aroused public opinion to increase support for the New Deal policies and projects, and played an important part in the social revolution of the 30s", said Marion Post Wolcott. Beginning in September of 1938, Wolcott spent three and a half years photographing in New England, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. A photographic pioneer on America's ragged economic frontier, Wolcottt survived illness, bad weather, rattlesnakes, skepticism about a woman traveling alone and the sometimes hostile reaction of her subjects in order to fulfill her assignments from the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Unique among FSA photographers, Wolcott showed the extremes of the country's rich and poor in the late 30's, its race relations, and the fertile land formed with government assistance, which revealed the benefits of federal subsidies. Her work has a formal control, emotional reticence and keen wit.(...) Marion Post entered the 20th Century on June 7, 1910, one of two daughters of Marion (Nan) Hoyt Post and Dr. Walter Post. The Posts were a prominent family in Montclair, New Jersey where Dr. Post was the local physician, a homeopathist, in those days, the leading type of medicine. The Posts ended their marriage when Marion was a young teenager, and she and sister Helen were packed off to boarding school. At Edgewood School in Greenwich, Connecticut, removed from the trials of her parents’ bitter and heart-rending divorce, Marion thrived in a progressive atmosphere which fostered open inquiry, flexibility and individuality. Throughout those early years, she also had a very close, loving relationship with the Post’s black housekeeper, Reasie, a relationship that gave Marion an ease and empathy with the blacks she would later photograph in the fields and juke joints of the deep South. On weekends and in the summer--whenever possible--she spent time with her mother, Nan, in her tiny Greenwich Village apartment in New York City. Nan was working with Margaret Sanger helping to set up health and birth control clinics around the country, a pioneer in her own right and an inspiration to Marion. In "The Village," mother and daughter hung out with musicians, artists, writers and members of the theatrical crowd, went to art exhibits, lectures and concerts, and after graduation from Edgewood, Marion fell in love with, and began studying, modern dance. At the same time she was working her way through school as a teacher of young children, pursuing her interest in early childhood education at the New School for Social Research, and then at New York University. As the Great Depression began to impact the working people around her, she witnessed dramatic class differences among those living in the small Massachusetts town where she was then teaching.(...) Soon after, in 1932, Marion traveled to Europe to study dance in Paris, and later, child psychology at the University of Vienna. There she met Trude Fleischmann, a Viennese photographer with whom her sister Helen was studying. Upon seeing Marion's first photographic images, Trude encouraged her to continue. "Sis," you've got a good eye," she exclaimed, a line Marion Post would never forget, although she was quite reticent about encroaching upon the territory of her sister, Helen, long considered the artist in the family. Meanwhile, a horrified young Marion and Helen were witnessing the rise of Nazism and Fascism in Europe. Of their friends, again many were musicians, artists, and young intellectuals. Many also were Jewish, and Marion watched as swastikas burned in front of the homes of her anti-Nazi friends, and their fields and fences were set ablaze. She was further rocked by the assassination, during the winter of 1933-34, of Austrian Chancelor Dolfuss and the bombing of apartments of socialist workers near Vienna. Lending a hand, she spent several months working in the local schools with the children of Austrian workers. It was too dangerous, however, for her to stay; the University of Vienna had been closed, and Marion was told either to return home or give up her small allowance. Back in the States, she took a teaching position at the progressive Hessian Hills School at Croton-on-Hudson. Here she began taking more photographs and making her first prints. Close to New York, she also became active in the League Against War and Fascism, and, together with Helen, helped Jews, including Trude Fleischmann, leave Europe and immigrate to the United States. She had friends in the socially and politically concerned Group Theatre who became both subjects and clients, and she published her first work in Stage Magazine. Encouraged by her progress, a year later, at twenty-five, Marion moved to New York and began freelancing, even landing a picture on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. She also began attending meetings of the New York Photo League, an important organization that was influencing many of the country's best young photographers. There Marion met Ralph Steiner and Paul Strand who, upon seeing her work, asked her to join a group of serious young photographers who met at Steiner's apartment to discuss and critique each other's photography.(...) Needing more certain wages, Marion accepted a position as a staff photographer for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. As a young woman, however, she was required to do stories on the latest fashion and events for the ladies' page, hardly compelling assignments for a young woman of 25 with her background and experiences! Mentioning her frustrations to Ralph Steiner one day, he took her portfolio with him to Washington, to Roy Stryker, head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker was impressed, asked to meet her. So, armed with letters of recommendation from no less than Paul Strand and Ralph Steiner, Marion Post set off for Washington. She was hired immediately, and joined the ranks of the other FSA photographers, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, and Arthur Rothstein, among them. From 1938 through 1941, Marion produced many of the most vividly moving of the more than 100,000 images in the FSA archives, reflecting her many years of social and political involvement, her strength and independence, and her deep sensitivity to the children and families of the less fortunate. The Farm Security Administration had been mandated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to assist American farmers who had suffered grievously during the Depression. Families were stranded and starving; soil was worn out, unfit for production.(...) Segregation and discrimination; humiliation and condescension; labor movements; eroded, worn-out land; dirty, sick, malnourished children; overcrowded schools. She traveled primarily alone, got tired and lonely and sick and burned out. She had to wrap her camera in hot water bottles to keep the shutters from freezing; write captions at night in flimsy motel rooms while fending off the men trying to enter through the transoms; deal with southern social workers, suspicious cops, chiggers and mosquitoes; mud, heat, and humidity.(...) In 1941, Marion met the man she wanted to marry--Lee Wolcott, a handsome, bright assistant to Henry Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture under President Roosevelt. Marion completed her assignments and left the FSA in order to raise a family, tend their farms, and later to live and travel extensively overseas. Both passionate, eager, curious, intellectual, they developed interesting modern art and music collections; had interesting, involved friends; were deeply committed to the raising and educating of four accomplished children, and with mentoring their grandchildren. Although she did not again work as a "professional," largely due to the demands of family and overseas living and traveling, she captured numerous serious images of farming in rural Virginia, and later in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. Upon returning to the States, she taught and photographed American Indian children in New Mexico, did a series on the ‘70’s counter-culture in Isla Vista, California, and in Mendocino, California. She also was actively involved with the photography communities in both San Francisco and Santa Barbara where she helped, encouraged, and inspired, and was loved by many younger artists, worked with museum and gallery curators, and, in the 80’s, at the urging of the same, undertook a massive project to produce an archive of fine prints of her work of both the FSA and later years.(...) Letter from Paul Strand "Dear RoyIt gives me pleasure to give this note of introduction to Marion Post because I know her work well. She is a young photographer of considerable experience who has made a number of very good photographs on social themes in the South and elsewhere... I feel that if you have any place for a conscientious and talented photographer, you will do well to give her an opportunity."--Paul Strand 6-20-38 Marion's favorite image "I guess if I had to pick one, just one, favorite image, it would be the Negro Man Going Up the Stairs of the Movie Theatre. I think it says the most about me, about what I was trying to do and trying to say." (Conversation with her daughter, Linda)
Fang Tong
China/Canada
Fang Tong is an awarded-winning photographer based in Vancouver Canada. In 2015, she won first prize in the Nikon International Photography Competition. She had an interview with Canada Broadcasting Corporation CBC Arts in 2019. Fang Tong had solo and group shows in cities such as Paris, Sicily, Budapest, Barcelona, London, Shanghai, and Vancouver. Fang Tong is a cinematic-style photographer, as a spectator of life. Her works are embedded with an implied narrative, which is left to the viewer to resolve over time with their own imagination. Reflecting her background in classical art, photography is carefully planned to control the frame and the expression of details, giving her work an ethos of a painter. As a bystander, Fang Tong captures the potential that photography can embody pieces with an eternal quality, thereby creating a slightly fictional world that resembles reality but transcends consciousness. Fang Tong’s passion is for her work to border on the surreal, yet hold back enough to keep it firmly in the real world. Her photos provoke audiences to create a narrative out of cinematic pictures. There may be no clearly defined story behind the scene, but there is a strong mood and atmosphere throughout the whole image. The imaginary world is strangely familiar while the narrative arc takes audiences on a hyper-visual ride through people's subconsciousness. She nurtures the balance between the real and the surreal that pulls her audiences into the world she created, but she also allows the audience to discover their own answers.
Kaat Stieber
The Netherlands
1972
Kaat Stieber is a fine art photographer who weaves the worlds of surrealism and noble Dutch art into her images. Born on a Dutch island, but shaped by her many years abroad and views on the world, Kaat is moved by diverse sceneries. From architecture in ancient cities to fields closer to home, the visuals are stored in her imagination. Capturing instants of nature and structure for later recall. The goal? Crafting her own, new world. Mixing a broad set of creative skills with an internationally acclaimed background in theatre and costume design, Kaat's photos are assembled with vast craftmanship. Kaat Stieber's main mission within the art industry, is to create painterly pictures. Working from her imagination, she combines crafts such as photography, costume making, concepting ideas, directing and over twenty years of experience in theatre into one rich final product. Always building and replaying stories in mind, always clutching a camera to capture specific scenes. Her works of art resemble tableaus from the Dutch Golden Age, clearly depicting pride in Dutch roots and an identification with classic Dutch culture. An admiration of surrealists adds to the scene. Kaat Stieber, crafting from the brain of a dreamer, mostly works with children for her portraits. The children in her images are seen as wholesome humans, each one strongly portraying a certain character. Kaat Stieber is clear in the direction of her pictures - she follows her own, distinctive path and doesn't compromise. The life experiences that lead her to creating her own painterly realms come with a patience in building exactly what is necessary for a photo. Even if that means one picture takes two months to create.
George Rodger
United Kingdom
1908 | † 1995
George Rodger was a British photojournalist and war photographer, best known for his work documenting World War II and Africa. He was born on May 20, 1908, in Hale, Cheshire, England, and began his career as a photographer in the 1930s, working for magazines such as National Geographic and Illustrated London News. In 1940, Rodger joined the British Army as a war photographer, and covered the North Africa campaign and the invasion of Sicily. He later joined the RAF and covered the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Europe. His photographs from this period captured the harsh realities of war and the human impact of the conflict. When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. -- George Rodger After the war, George Rodger traveled to Africa and documented the continent's people and cultures. He spent several years living and working in West Africa, and his photographs from this period captured the daily lives of the people and the beauty of the land. He also documented the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, which aimed to end British colonial rule, and the effects of the rebellion on the local population. In addition to his work as a photojournalist, Rodger was also a founding member of the Magnum Photos agency, along with other renowned photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David "Chim" Seymour. He served as the first president of the agency and played an important role in establishing its reputation as one of the premier photographic agencies in the world. Rodger's photographs have been widely exhibited and published, and his work is held in several major museums and collections, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. I had no contact with my contemporaries in the photographic field, nor even knowledge of their work. So I was influenced by no-one and there were no short cuts for me. I was self-taught the hard way, by trial and error... -- George Rodger Throughout his career, George Rodger always sought to document the human experience, whether it was the horrors of war or the beauty of everyday life. He believed that photography had the power to change the world and to bring about social change, and his work continues to inspire and inform photographers and photojournalists today. George Rodger passed away on July 9, 1995, in London, England. His legacy continues to inspire photographers around the world with his dedication to document the human experience, and his work remains iconic and powerful to this day.
David Katzenstein
United States
New York fine arts photographer David Katzenstein has traveled throughout the world on his lifelong artistic journey as a visual chronicler of humanity. Using subject, light, and composition to create visual dynamism, he sets the stage for the viewer to be in the moment with him. His goal is to allow viewers to experience a scene through his eyes-as if they were standing there beside him. Steeped in the tradition of documentary photography, Katzenstein imbues his work with immediacy, emotional engagement, and a deep respect for his subjects. Out of his fascination with ritual, over the years Katzenstein has photographed pilgrimage as practiced in different cultures. While visiting Memphis in the spring of 2017, he was inspired to expand on this theme by embarking on the project OUTSIDE THE LORRAINE MOTEL: Journey to a Sacred Place. The artist was introduced to the Mid-South region in the late 1980s while on assignment for Rolling Stone, documenting the roots of the blues in rural communities of Mississippi and Arkansas. An archive of online exhibitions and projects can be viewed at www.davidkatzenstein.com. In 2018 Katzenstein formed a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and mount exhibitions of photographs depicting the human experience (www.thehumanexperienceproject.net). Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place The National Civil Rights Museum presents the fine art photography exhibition, Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place featuring the work of David Katzenstein. The yearlong exhibition highlights the museum as mecca for peacemakers, a place of memory and connection during the museum’s 30th anniversary. The collection of over 90 photos in Outside the Lorraine helps visitors identify with social issues by using fine art photography to connect to the historic place, Dr. King, movement makers, and one another. Viewers are invited to see the sparkle that lies within each print that shimmers, vibrates, and introduces people to a richer experience with fine art photography by making each piece relatable. The National Civil Rights Museum welcomes thousands of visitors a year each carrying an identity influenced by self and society. They bring their assumptions about the Civil Rights Movement. The courtyard is the first place where they confront those assumptions and begin to reconcile them with an alternate perspective of history. A picture tells a thousand words. As a sacred place, the plaza holds the weight of our shared mourning. As a portal, the plaza offers each visitor a pathway to greater self-knowledge and agency.
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