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Robert Virga
Robert Virga
Robert Virga

Robert Virga

Country: United States

Robert Virga is a photographer residing in the New York City metropolitan area. Though largely self-taught, he has taken Master Classes with Mary Ellen Mark and Bruce Davidson. Working with film and the traditional darkroom, his street photography portrays a social landscape of extremes, capturing reality at its most expressive. Richly emotional, lyrical and untainted by interference or staged detail. A tableau of relationships, the human condition, life and death. Reminding us of how large a fraction of what we see won't exist in its present form only a moment from now.

A humanist portrayal...candid and without comment or sentimentality, un-selfconscious in its theatricality and self-presentation. Displaying ourselves with grace and self-confidence, a sense of timelessness...and a little humor. In solitude and freed from any mystery.

Social documentary and romanticism combined in the same instant. Our lives, in a matter of seconds, are caught in the act... where the obvious and mundane transition into something more provocative.

His work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Italy and Spain. In addition, he has been published and reviewed in, among others, Black and White Magazine, Photography Gala Awards, FotoNostrum Gallery, Urban Photo Awards, and winner of the 14th Pollux Street Photography Award.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Ragnar Axelsson
Iceland
1958
For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate. A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely. Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction. Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross. Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival. Must Read Article Photography and Climate Change Awareness
Graciela Iturbide
Graciela Iturbide was born in 1942 in Mexico City. In 1969 she enrolled at the age of 27 at the film school Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónama de México to become a film director. However she was soon drawn to the art of still photography as practiced by the Mexican modernist master Manuel Alvarez Bravo who was teaching at the University. From 1970-71 she worked as Bravo's assistant accompanying him on his various photographic journeys throughout Mexico. In the early half of the 1970s, Iturbide traveled widely across Latin America in particular to Cuba and several trips to Panama. In 1978 Graciela Iturbide was commissioned by the Ethnographic Archive of the National Indigenous Institute of Mexico to photograph Mexico's indigenous population. Iturbide decided to document and record the way of life of the Seri Indians, a group of fisherman living a nomadic lifestyle in the Sonora desert in the north west of Mexico, along the border with Arizona, US. In 1979 she was invited by the artist Francisco Toledo to photograph the Juchitán people who form part of the Zapotec culture native to Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Iturbide's series that started in 1979 and runs through to 1988 resulted in the publication of her book Juchitán de las Mujeres in 1989. Between 1980 and 2000, Iturbide was variously invited to work in Cuba, East Germany, India, Madagascar, Hungary, Paris and the US, producing a number of important bodies of work. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (1982), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1990), Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), The J. Paul Getty Museum (2007), MAPFRE Foudation, Madrid (2009), Photography Museum Winterthur (2009), and Barbican Art Gallery (2012), between others. Iturbide is the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Foundation Award, 1987; the Grand Prize Mois de la Photo, Paris, 1988; a Guggenheim Fellowship for the project 'Fiesta y Muerte', 1988; the Hugo Erfurth Award, Leverkusen, Germany, 1989; the International Grand Prize, Hokkaido, Japan, 1990; the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie Award, Arles, 1991; the Hasselblad Award, 2008; the National Prize of Sciences and Arts in Mexico City in 2008; an Honorary Degree in photography from the Columbia College Chicago in 2008; and an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009.Source: www.gracielaiturbide.org Graciela Iturbide photographs everyday life, almost entirely in black-and-white, following her curiosity and photographing when she sees what she likes. She was inspired by the photography of Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Her self-portraits especially reflect and showcase Bravo's influence and play with innovation and attention to detail. Iturbide eschews labels and calls herself complicit with her subjects. With her way of relating to those she is photographing, she is said to allow her subjects to come to life, producing poetic portraits. She became interested in the daily life of Mexico's indigenous cultures and people (the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri) and has photographed life in Mexico City, Juchitán, Oaxaca and on the Mexican/American border (La Frontera). With focus on identity, sexuality, festivals, rituals, daily life, death, and roles of women, Iturbide's photographs share visual stories of cultures in constant transitional periods. There's also juxtaposition within her images between urban versus rural life, and indigenous versus modern life. Iturbide's main concern has been the exploration and investigation of her own cultural environment. She uses photography as a way of understanding Mexico; combining indigenous practices, assimilated Catholic practices and foreign economic trade under one scope. Art critic, Oscar C. Nates, has describes Iturbide's work as "anthropoetic." Iturbide has also photographed Mexican-Americans in the White Fence (street gang) barrio of Eastside Los Angeles as part of the documentary book A Day in the Life of America (1987). She has worked in Argentina (in 1996), India (where she made her well-known photo, "Perros Perdidos" (Lost Dogs)), and the United States (an untitled collection of photos shot in Texas). One of the major concerns in her work has been "to explore and articulate the ways in which a vocable such as 'Mexico' is meaningful only when understood as an intricate combination of histories and practices." She is a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography. She continues to live and work in Coyoacán, Mexico. In awarding her the 2008 Hasselblad Award, the Hasselblad Foundation said: "Graciela Iturbide is considered one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Her photography is of the highest visual strength and beauty. Graciela Iturbide has developed a photographic style based on her strong interest in culture, ritual and everyday life in her native Mexico and other countries. Iturbide has extended the concept of documentary photography, to explore the relationships between man and nature, the individual and the cultural, the real and the psychological. She continues to inspire a younger generation of photographers in Latin America and beyond." Some of Iturbide's recent work documents refugees and migrants. In her work Refugiados (2015), offers a stark contrast between love and family and danger and violence showing a smiling mother holding her child in front of a hand-painted mural of Mexico dotted with safety and danger zones. The largest institutional collection of Iturbide's photographs in the United States is preserved at the Wittliff collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.Source: Wikipedia
Vlad Kutsey
Ukraine
1987
Vlad Kutsey is a self taught freelance photographer from Kyiv, Ukraine, who has dedicated the last 10 years to his greatest inspiration - expedition & adventure photography. He has found his personal treasure slightly outside the comfort zone in the tropical jungles or somewhere at several thousands meters above sea level where the lack of oxygen slowly reminds that you're just a guest of the harsh Mountain:) His deep passion of capturing life through camera lens has driven him to develop many important skills (rock climbing, backpacking, wild camping in extreme conditions, surviving in the jungle environment and on the remote uninhabited islands) that have motivated him to reach and explore untouchable and pristine places around the world. Vlad's work has appeared in dozens of publications of the world's famous companies, brands and magazines in print and online including National Geographic, Nat Geo Traveler, Canon, GoPro, The North Face, Garmin, The Village, Daily Mail and elsewhere. He also has won several national and international photography awards for his work. Vlad's passion has lead him to reach out and tell his stories through social media, blogging, video that follow his work to teach and inspire through workshops and social media meetups. Vlad is an official GoPro, Osprey, Garmin, ЇDLO and Turbat Brand-Ambassador in Ukraine He spends the vast majority of his time in expeditions around the globe with his wife Alona; they have co-founded and lead own travel community "Adventure Monsters" that specializes in unique off the beaten track adventures to the most remote spots of our planet including researching the culture of the world's most isolated tribes.
Ruth Lauer Manenti
United States
Ruth Lauer Manenti received an MFA from The Yale School of Art in painting and drawing in 1994. In 2012, she was given a large format camera and taught herself how to use it. Gradually she accomplished what she was striving for in drawing and painting, through photography. Her mother was also an artist who left behind a legacy of unknown work. Part of Ruth's determination as an artist is to reward her mother for her efforts and to create a continuum. She was awarded a NYFA grant in photography in 2016 and had a solo exhibition at The Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY in 2020. Her book Alms is currently on view on an online exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography. Her recent book of photographs entitled Since Seeing You, is a visual diary of the woods behind her house as experienced during Lockdown. The pictures give pause, to process the sorrow of the time, rather than as an escape or erasure. Since breaking her neck in a car crash at the age of twenty, Ruth has developed a spiritual life and practice that has propelled much of her photographic work. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in NY. Shard: This ongoing series of photos called Shard was made over the last 4 years during which time I was wanting to see whether I could place objects on a table as arrangements for unspoken emotions. In 2017-18 I was unwell. It wasn't mental illness but the line between that and trauma was sometimes hard to find. I stayed indoors and at home as much as possible. I spent a lot of time watching daylight enter through the windows in different ways according to the clouds, seasons and weather. The windows are old, and the glass is wavy so that the sun rays come in as ripples. I was interested in using objects as symbols of fragility. I found that the work of making the pictures, and the safe cocoon that I had created between myself and the table, was informed by a kind of benevolent force that accompanied me through my suffering. In some traditions it is believed that when the heart breaks an entrance for Spirit is created. It's a way that trauma or defeat can become a portal; so much so that sometimes people have a nostalgia for the times in their life when they have suffered most. More recently I have been thinking about the process of repairing things rather than throwing them away. I wonder if appreciating something damaged, torn, or saved, even if no longer usable, could have an implied nonliteral meaning for getting through the past year, 2020, gracefully, despite so much loss and depression. I think there is a beauty in the effort of putting one's life back together after experiencing brokenness and I have tried through still life to communicate that.
Guy Le Querrec
Guy Le Querrec (born 1941 in Paris, France) is a French photographer and filmmaker, noted for his documentary images of jazz musicians. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Le Querrec took his first photographs as a teenager using a basic Fex/Indo Ultra-Fex, buying second hand soon after another and more sophisticated bakelite 6 x 9 cm Photax camera, in 1955. He shot his first pictures of jazz musicians in London in the late 1950s. After having served in the army, he became a professional in 1967, and then worked as a picture editor and photographer for Jeune Afrique magazine, working in francophone Africa, including Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Central African Republic. In 1971 he gave his archives to Agence Vu, founded by Pierre de Fenoyl and then co-founded Viva (photo agency). In 1976, he left Viva and joined Magnum Photos. In the late 1970s he began directing films, working with Robert Bober. In 1983 at the Rencontres d'Arles he experimented with projecting images while a jazz quartet played. Besides having photographed numerous jazz festivals and African subjects, Le Querrec has traveled to China and documented American Indians. He has documented Villejuif, a suburb of Paris, as well as the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. He has also taught many photography workshops in France.Source: Wikipedia Le Querrec underlines the necessity of “being able to forget oneself,” to capture the magic instant, the unusual attitude of a subject, or the singular light of a moment. “I search every cranny, as did the Italian footballer Pippo Inzaghi,” he says, comparing himself to the legendary Juventus and AC Milan striker who scored 317 goals in his career. “He was an expert in the art of placement, a cunning ‘fox in the box’.” This approach is perhaps best illustrated by his iconic image of Miles Davis on stage in Pleyel on November 3, 1969. “I strove to anticipate his movements, which is how I found myself at the right place and time when he froze in a beam of light radiating from the floor, which illuminated him at low-angle and projected his shadow onto the curtains. That’s how Miles passed fluidly from the harsh and flat stage light to a sophisticated sculptural illumination, which accentuated his peculiar and fascinating beauty and highlighted the depth of his gaze – qualities that also describe his musicianship.” A jazz fan since his teens, Le Querrec, being the jocular wordsmith that he is, likes to recall that his passion for what he describes as “the most popular of erudite music” came to him in the discotheque of accordion-player Gus Viseur’s father – viseur being the French word for viewfinder… As the Italian saying goes, se non è vero è ben trovato! The fact is, he stays tuned into the music as he works. “I don’t cut out sound.” For that reason it has been said that his eye listens. “His indisputable success in the attempt to reveal the true intimacy of jazz is owed to his inordinate passion that borders on empathy,” points out Stéphane Ollivier in the preface to Jazz Comme Une Image, 10 Ans de Banlieues Bleues (Jazz as Image, 10 Years of Blue Banlieues), Scandéditions, 1993. Consulting the work that Guy Le Querrec produced over a decade during that major festival means finding the entire history of contemporary jazz, in action, on stage, in this part of the Seine Saint-Denis department. But it is also – and most importantly – like breaking into the backstage, the wings or the green rooms of the musicians, of Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, Nina Simone, Henri Texier, Michel Portal…. It’s not about voyeurism, but rather about witnessing the complicity and bond that generated the spontaneous expression we call jazz. Le Querrec explains, “What impels me to shoot is my curiosity for their idiosyncrasies, their ways of being, their behaviors, their stories: their dialogue with life.” Deeply concentrated with his trusty and silent Leica, he tenaciously takes “a fragment of reality from the passage of time.” He acknowledges that “photography is like fishing: it’s usually when you are about to take off that the fish takes the bait.” That’s when it becomes necessary to seize chances. “We try so much to look for chance that it escapes us.” In this sense, Le Querrec considers his work in the world of jazz as presenting similarities to much of the work he has created at Magnum, since joining in 1976: in his work with Breton families, indigenous communities in North America or even his photographs of François Mitterrand posing for a sculpture in the Elysée Palace in Paris. “I have never tried to separate subjects when I move amongst them, and I ask my eye to do the same. I want my photography to carry a scent – the scent of people.” This is an attitude, or rather, a philosophy that brings the musician Louis Sclavis, a clarinetist, saxophonist, and long-time friend to define Le Querrec as follows: “He is not a photographer of jazz, he is a jazz photographer.”Source: Magnum Photos
Christopher Felver
United States
1946
Christopher Felver (born October 1946) is a photographer and filmmaker who has published several books of photos of public figures, especially those in the arts, most notably those associated with beat literature. He has made numerous films (as director, cinematographer, or producer), including a documentary on Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, released in 2013. Christopher Felver has photographed numerous writers, intellectuals and filmmakers such as Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Noam Chomsky, Gregory Corso, Clint Eastwood, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Dennis Hopper, Oliver Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut. His photography has been exhibited internationally, with solo photographic exhibitions at the Arco d'Alibert, Rome (1987); the Art Institute for the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas (1987); Torino Fotografia Biennale Internazionale, Turin, Italy (1989); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994); Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, Netherlands (1998); Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles (2002); the Maine Photographic Workshop (2002); Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles (2007); the San Francisco Public Library (2018)[3] and other galleries and museums. His works have also appeared in major group exhibitions, including The Beats: Legacy & Celebration, New York University (1994) and Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road, New York Public Library (2007). A collection of his photographs is held by the University of Delaware. Source: Wikipedia Christopher Felver is a cultural documentarian. His distinctive visual signature is a lasting contribution to the legacy of our national cultural community. Felver’s films & photographs reads like a roster of American mid-century avant-garde. Aside from portraits, Christopher Felver has also produced another body of work entitled: Ordered World. About this body of work, curator, James Crump writes, “Mr. Felver celebrates the elemental essences manmade and natural objects that tend to elude observation. Working in a manner not unlike Karl Blossfeldt, Albert Renger-Patzsch and the New Objectivity artists of 1920s and ’30s Germany, Felver asserts his own contemporary vision here. His pictures are informed by Minimalism and the keen, refined observation of a poet unwilling to discard the mundane or topical content that surrounds us but, nevertheless, is overlooked in the quickened pace of our technologically frenzied age. The series, while concerned with monumentalizing and focusing our attention on the ordered and structured surfaces of objects, resists any historical referencing to the hardened gaze of the twentieth century. It asks the viewer to ruminate on the overlooked beauty which surrounds us, the wonderment that unfolds, with careful and refined examination.” In 1994 Felver attended a Connecticut gathering of Native American dancers in ceremonial dress. These 20 photographs capture a traditional gathering of Northeastern tribes in Felver’s direct portrait style. As visiting artist in 1988 & 1989 at the American Academy in Rome, Christopher Felver made over 250 portraits of European artists across the continent. Felver’s 1350 portraits represent American and European cultural icons. In 1984 Christopher Felver traveled as a journalist to Japan, Hong Kong and Beijing documenting the customs and social conditions. Writers Lawrence Ferlingetti, Robert Creeley, David Amram, Amiri Baraka, George Plimpton, David Shapiro, Luc Sante, Lee Ranaldo, William Parker, Douglas Brinkley, Gary Snyder, Lance Henson, Linda Hogan and Simon Ortiz have written introductions for Christopher Felver’s books. Source: chrisfelver.com "With his gravelly voice, Felver would have made a great gumshoe in a mystery serial during the Golden Age of American radio, which ended around 75 years ago. Luckily for us, he did not miss his calling, which is to take portraits of the people who make up the cultural backbone of America — its artists, writers, composers, and musicians — people in the public eye, even if that audience is tiny." "Felver didn’t just take a photograph, as each portrait is accompanied by a short poem or line of poetry written by the subject in his or her own hand. He finds another way to be a witness." "I cannot think of another person who has given us such intimate portraits of Sherman Alexie, Amiri Baraka, Louise Erdrich, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Joy Harjo, Eartha Kitt, Jasper Johns, Toni Morrison, Patti Smith, and Anne Waldman. He has made photographic portraits of Native American writers, and of composers and musicians from John Cage and Doc Watson to Mavis Staples and Ozzy Osbourne. He spent a week in Nicaragua in early part of 1984 with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, five years after the 1979 July revolution there. The photographs in Felver’s book, The Late Great Allen Ginsberg (2002), were taken between 1980 and 1997, in which various other people make appearances: Philip Glass, Ray Manzarek, Ed Sanders, Norman Mailer, Robert Frank, and Gary Snyder." "Each of these projects reveals another side of Felver’s capacity to engage with others and the world, as well as to stand aside and let his subjects speak. I cannot think of anyone who has been as devoted as Felver has been to his subjects. Perhaps it is time we find a way to return that devotion." -- John Yau Source: Hyperallergic
Jennifer Thoreson (Hudson)
Jennifer B Thoreson (Hudson) is a fresh, young visual fine art photographer creating staged imagery that is both artistically stylized and meticulously crafted. Drawing inspirations from themes of faith, restitution and re-purpose, and the intricacy of personal relationships, Jennifer is a dynamic and emotional illustrator of the human heart. With an innate ability to plumb the antique, the work is soulful; seeking the use of the forgotten or discarded, eerie and quiet. Raised in a spiritual and conservative home in rural Texas, Jennifer grew up imaginative, curious, and experimental, and has used her upbringing in her intensely personal artwork to bring insight and awareness using heartfelt, acutely mapped personal experiences. Jennifer is currently working in Albuquerque. New Mexico. she is an MFA Degree Candidate at the University of New Mexico, and is studying within the studio art in Photography program. Alongside varied private portrait commissions, she is an international speaker and lecturer whose programs are sought after year after year by many professional public and private photographic organizations. She has just completed her latest major body of work entitled ‘Medic’, a collection of ten images exploring the breadth of human relationships during illness and recovery. Jennifer’s work has been a part of many group and solo exhibitions, and is represented by three major galleries across the country. Exclusive Interview with Jennifer B Thoreson (Hudson): All About Photo: Where did you study photography? Jennifer Thoreson:The University of New Mexico How long have you been a photographer?About 12 years. What or who inspires you?Thomas Demand, Ann Hamilton, Rachel Whiteread, Francesca Woodman, Deborah Turbeville, Sarah Moon, Gertrude Kassebier, Julia Margaret Cameron Do you have a favorite photograph or series?Deborah Turbeville's Past Imperfect What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I have a Nikon D3, and use the 24-70mm 2.8 for just about everything. What advice would you give a young photographer?First, commitment and conviction are paramount. If you combine conviction and energy, you've really got something. Second, be humble, engaged, passionate, and well spoken. An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?I'm working on a project now about re-birth and reconciliation. I'm creating large scale installations in each room of a house, and photographing them with human subjects. The house itself, and all of the furnishings are unwanted or discarded items I have collected. I'm repairing them, beautifying, and repurposing them for the photographs; sort of a baptism for each object. The finished work will be photographs; small records, or documents of the transformation. The compliment that touched you most?Someone once told me that one of my photographs helped her to cope and heal from a life crisis. It meant the world to me. If you were someone else who would it be?Imogen Heap.Your favorite photo book?'Francesca Woodman' See the Book
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