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Don McCullin
Don McCullin

Don McCullin

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1935

Don McCullin is one of our greatest living photographers. Few have enjoyed a career so long; none one of such variety and critical acclaim. For the past 50 years he has proved himself a photojournalist without equal, whether documenting the poverty of London's East End, or the horrors of wars in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. Simultaneously he has proved an adroit artist capable of beautifully arranged still lifes, soulful portraits and moving landscapes.

Following an impoverished north London childhood blighted by Hitler's bombs and the early death of his father, McCullin was called up for National Service with the RAF. After postings to Egypt, Kenya and Cyprus he returned to London armed with a twin reflex Rolleicord camera and began photographing friends from a local gang named The Guv'nors. Persuaded to show them to the picture editor at the Observer in 1959, aged 23, he earned his first commission and began his long and distinguished career in photography more by accident than design.

In 1961 he won the British Press Award for his essay on the construction of the Berlin Wall. His first taste of war came in Cyprus, 1964, where he covered the armed eruption of ethnic and nationalistic tension, winning a World Press Photo Award for his efforts. In 1993 he was the first photojournalist to be awarded a CBE.

For the next two decades war became a mainstay of Don's journalism, initially for the Observer and, from 1966, for the Sunday Times. In the Congo, Biafra, Uganda, Chad, Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and more, he time and again combined a mastery of light and composition with an unerring sense of where a story was headed, and a bravery that pushed luck to its outermost limits.

He has been shot and badly wounded in Cambodia, imprisoned in Uganda, expelled from Vietnam and had a bounty on his head in Lebanon. What's more, he has braved bullets and bombs not only to get the perfect shot but to help dying soldiers and wounded civilians. Compassion is at the heart of all his photography.

Away from war Don's work has often focused on the suffering of the poor and underprivileged and he has produced moving essays on the homeless of London's East End and the working classes of Britain's industrialised cities.

From the early 1980s increasingly he focused his foreign adventures on more peaceful matters. He travelled extensively through Indonesia, India and Africa returning with powerful essays on places and people that, in some cases, had few if any previous encounters with the Western world. In 2010 he published Southern Frontiers, a dark and at-times menacing record of the Roman Empire's legacy in North Africa and the Middle East.

At home he has spent three decades chronicling the English countryside - in particular the landscapes of Somerset - and creating meticulously constructed still lifes all to great acclaim. Yet he still feels the lure of war. As recently as October 2015 Don travelled to Kurdistan in northern Iraq to photograph the Kurds' three-way struggle with ISIS, Syria and Turkey.

Source: donmccullin.com


“Photography has given me a life… The very least I could do was try and articulate these stories with as much compassion and clarity as they deserve, with as loud a voice as I could muster. Anything less would be mercenary.” -- Don McCullin

 

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William Henry Fox Talbot
United Kingdom
1800 | † 1877
William Henry Fox Talbot was born on 11 February 1800 in Melbury, Dorset, into a well-connected family. His father died when he was less than a year old and he and his mother lived in a succession of homes until she remarried in 1804. Talbot went to Cambridge University in 1817. In 1832, he married Constance Mundy and the same year was elected as MP for Chippenham. In 1833, while visiting Lake Como in Italy, his lack of success at sketching the scenery prompted him to dream up a new machine with light-sensitive paper that would make the sketches for him automatically. On his return to England, he began work on this project at his home at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. Thomas Wedgwood had already made photograms - silhouettes of leaves and other objects - but these faded quickly. In 1827, Joseph Nicéphore de Niepce had produced pictures on bitumen, and in January 1839, Louis Daguerre displayed his 'Daguerreotypes' - pictures on silver plates - to the French Academy of Sciences. Three weeks later, Fox Talbot reported his 'art of photogenic drawing' to the Royal Society. His process based the prints on paper that had been made light sensitive, rather than bitumen or copper-paper. Fox Talbot went on to develop the three primary elements of photography: developing, fixing, and printing. Although simply exposing photographic paper to the light produced an image, it required extremely long exposure times. By accident, he discovered that there was an image after a very short exposure. Although he could not see it, he found he could chemically develop it into a useful negative. The image on this negative was then fixed with a chemical solution. This removed the light-sensitive silver and enabled the picture to be viewed in bright light. With the negative image, Fox Talbot realised he could repeat the process of printing from the negative. Consequently, his process could make any number of positive prints, unlike the Daguerreotypes. He called this the 'calotype' and patented the process in 1841. The following year was rewarded with a medal from the Royal Society for his work. Fox Talbot was also an eminent mathematician, an astronomer and archaeologist, who translated the cuneiform inscriptions from Nineveh. He died on 11 September 1877. Source: BBC
Lesia Maruschak
Canada
1961
Lesia Maruschak is a Canadian artist of Ukrainian descent. She holds a MA from the University of Saskatchewan, and a MBA from the University of Ottawa. She studied Fine Art in the US and Romania. Maruschak creates narrative-specific installations that include static and moving images and hard and soft sculptural elements. They explore the histories of colonized peoples and their manifestations of geopolitical shifts. These organic systems pivot on historic atrocities, creating immersive spaces facilitating audience engagement. This offering explores how the spaces between and within us—lived experience, memory, and perception—are mediated and reverberate. Her series often include intricate and highly coveted limited edition art books, fine art photographs and touring exhibitions. Maruschak current project Poems of Our Children explores the plight of children impacted trauma funded by the Canada Council of the Arts. She is also currently completing two books concerning Canada’s first world war internment operations funded by the Canada First World War Internment Recognition Endowment Council. Select Collections The National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum Thomas Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Maison Européenne de la Photographie Boston Athenaeum City of Ottawa Art Collection David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University Green Library-Special Collections at Stanford University Rare Books & Special Collections at the Library of Congress Butler Library-Special Collections at Columbia University About Project MARIA Project MARIA memorializes the millions of victims of the 1932-33 genocide-famine in Soviet Ukraine. It functions as a mobile multimedia installation and includes artwork, film, and performance, inspired by a single vernacular photograph of a young girl, Maria F., who survived the Holodomor and currently resides in Canada. Holodomor refers to the genocide manufactured by Stalin and the Politburo in Soviet Ukraine during 1932-1933. Despite an estimated death toll of over four million by forced starvation the Holodomor, remains largely ignored in the context of global genocides. Project MARIA has been shortlisted for numerous awards and won over 13 including 12th Pollux Award Human Rights and Segregation (2018), Director’s Choice CENTER Review Santa Fe (2019), Landskrona Foto (2020), 16th Julia Margaret Cameron Segregation and Human Rights (2021), and FORMAT22 Director’s Review (2022). Its exhibition record includes 11 solo and more than 15 group exhibitions, in seven countries (2018-2023). Project MARIA recognized by the National Holodomor Genocide Museum, Kyiv, as the most important exhibition on the Holodomor premiered there in 2020. Its multi-city tour of Ukraine which included the LVIV History Museum and the Henryk Siemiradzki Art Gallery, Karazin University, Kharkiv, was interrupted by Russia’s aggression. The tour will recommence this Fall at the Vinnytsia Regional Museum. Other international solo exhibitions include Musée Ukraina Museum, Saskatoon; Turchin Centre for the Visual Arts, Boone; Objectif Femmes, Paris; and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Sweden, Stockholm.
Edouard Elias
I chose photography naturally. It is surely the result of a double education: separated between Egypt and France, I learned to consider images both as memories and objects that allowed me to transpose myself into places where I could only remain for a moment, but also as historical documents, more in accordance with my classical instruction. In addition, many cartoons have certainly trained me in a straight, frontal and clear frame, so I was very early aware of geopolitical events as well as of the problems of population movement linked to war or suffering. At the age of 18, after a A level, ignoring which way to choose, and to comply with family expectations, I went to a business school. It was not for me, no compatibility possible. I then attempted a reconversion in the school of photography in Nancy. It was a revelation, I was fitting in the right place. Different encounters, for example with the reporter Luca Catalano Gonzaga in Rome, with the books of the agency Magnum, with some documentaries on photography report, made me eager to watch History in progress, to live it through my camera and especially not to forget it. So, instead of completing my internship at the end of the year in an identity photo shop, I went to Turkey in the Syrian refugee camps and then to Syria, producing my first photoreport. My childhood allowed me to acquire the faculty of movement, not limiting myself to the borders of my village or the cities of my region. So I naturally started on the road of reporting. The conditions and the encounters engendered satisfy the need I have to answer personal questions. All the means necessary to photograph a human being in a difficult situation (pain, loss, war, poverty, suffering) result from a deep desire and a work on personal adaptability. Nevertheless, the essence of our work must be focused first and foremost on the subject. The results today of the image on the international scene leave me skeptical, but I think that these photographs, although they unfortunately are taking the risk of not changing the situation, will allow us to remember. I keep on practicing photo reportage. The Foreign Legion committed to the Central African Republic and then to its surroundings in France, punctuated my work for a year. Lebanon, Jordan on the Syrian refugee crisis with the organization Première Urgence Internationale, the Congo DRC on rape as a weapon of war and its doctor Denis Mukwege or the closed educational centers of the Judicial Police of Youth are, as well as the rescues of migrants in the Mediterranean, part of my subjects. Visa for the image allowed me to sell my first photographs of Aleppo in Syria, to meet professionals who will become dear friends. I have, besides my personal projects orders and projects to realize in France and I dedicate all of my activity to photography. My pictures have been published in: Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Sunday Times magazine, Time Lightbox, VSD, Le Monde, Figaro Magazine, Le Parisien Magazine, Polka, Le Point, Libération, LFI Leica international, Gala..."Source: edouardelias.net
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
Walker Evans
United States
1903 | † 1975
Walker Evans (November 3, 1903 – April 10, 1975) was an American photographer best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans's work from the FSA period uses the large-format, 8x10-inch camera. He said that his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are "literate, authoritative, transcendent". Many of his works are in the permanent collections of museums and have been the subject of retrospectives at such institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art or George Eastman House. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Jessie (née Crane) and Walker, Walker Evans came from an affluent family. His father was an advertising director. He spent his youth in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City. He graduated from Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, 1922. He studied French literature for a year at Williams College, spending much of his time in the school's library, before dropping out. After spending a year in Paris in 1926, he returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City. John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein were among his friends. He was a clerk for a stockbroker firm in Wall street from 1927 to 1929. Evans took up photography in 1928 around the time he was living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in the poetry book The Bridge by Hart Crane. In 1931, he took photo series of Victorian houses in the Boston vicinity sponsored by Lincoln Kirstein. In 1933, he photographed in Cuba on assignment for the publisher of Carleton Beals' then-forthcoming book, The Crime of Cuba, photographing the revolt against the dictator Gerardo Machado. In Cuba, Evans briefly knew Ernest Hemingway. Depression Era Photography: In 1935, Evans spent two months at first on a fixed-term photographic campaign for the Resettlement Administration (RA) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. From October on, he continued to do photographic work for the RA and later the Farm Security Administration (FSA), primarily in the Southern United States. In the summer of 1936, while still working for the FSA, he and writer James Agee were sent by Fortune magazine on assignment to Hale County, Alabama, for a story the magazine subsequently opted not to run. In 1941, Evans's photographs and Agee's text detailing the duo's stay with three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Great Depression were published as the groundbreaking book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Its detailed account of three farming families paints a deeply moving portrait of rural poverty. Noting a similarity to the Beals' book, the critic Janet Malcolm, in her 1980 book Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography, has pointed out the contradiction between a kind of anguished dissonance in Agee's prose and the quiet, magisterial beauty of Evans's photographs of sharecroppers. The three families headed by Bud Fields, Floyd Burroughs and Frank Tingle, lived in the Hale County town of Akron, Alabama, and the owners of the land on which the families worked told them that Evans and Agee were "Soviet agents," although Allie Mae Burroughs, Floyd's wife, recalled during later interviews her discounting that information. Evans's photographs of the families made them icons of Depression-Era misery and poverty. In September 2005, Fortune revisited Hale County and the descendants of the three families for its 75th anniversary issue.[6] Charles Burroughs, who was four years old when Evans and Agee visited the family, was "still angry" at them for not even sending the family a copy of the book; the son of Floyd Burroughs was also reportedly angry because the family was "cast in a light that they couldn't do any better, that they were doomed, ignorant". Evans continued to work for the FSA until 1938. That year, an exhibition, Walker Evans: American Photographs, was held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. This was the first exhibition in this museum devoted to the work of a single photographer. The catalogue included an accompanying essay by Lincoln Kirstein, whom Evans had befriended in his early days in New York. In 1938, Evans also took his first photographs in the New York subway with a camera hidden in his coat. These would be collected in book form in 1966 under the title Many are Called. In 1938 and 1939, Evans worked with and mentored Helen Levitt. Evans, like such other photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, rarely spent time in the darkroom making prints from his own negatives. He only very loosely supervised the making of prints of most of his photographs, sometimes only attaching handwritten notes to negatives with instructions on some aspect of the printing procedure. Later work: Evans was a passionate reader and writer, and in 1945 became a staff writer at Time magazine. Shortly afterward he became an editor at Fortune magazine through 1965. That year, he became a professor of photography on the faculty for Graphic Design at the Yale University School of Art (formerly the Yale School of Art and Architecture). In one of his last photographic projects, Evans completed a black and white portfolio of Brown Brothers Harriman's offices and partners for publication in "Partners in Banking," published in 1968 to celebrate the private bank's 150th anniversary. In 1973 and 1974, he also shot a long series with the then-new Polaroid SX-70 camera, after age and poor health had made it difficult for him to work with elaborate equipment. In 1971, the Museum of Modern Art staged a further exhibition of his work entitled simply Walker Evans. Evans died at his home in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. In 1994, The Estate of Walker Evans handed over its holdings to New York City's The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the sole copyright holder for all works of art in all media by Walker Evans. The only exception is a group of approximately 1,000 negatives in collection of the Library of Congress which were produced for the Resettlement Administration (RA) / Farm Security Administration (FSA). Evans's RA / FSA works are in the public domain. In 2000, Evans was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Source: Wikipedia Images © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brian Ulrich
United States
1971
Brian Ulrich is an American photographer known for his exploration of consumer culture. Ulrich's work is held many collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo District News named Ulrich as one of 30 Emerging Photographers (2007). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine; Time Magazine; Mother Jones; Artforum; and Harper’s. Aperture and the Cleveland Museum of Art published his first major monograph, Is This Place Great or What (2011). The Anderson Gallery published the catalog Closeout: Retail, Relics and Ephemera (2013).Source: Rhode Island School of Design Ulrich was born in Northport, New York, and lives in Providence, Rhode Island. He received a BFA in photography from University of Akron in Akron, Ohio (1996) and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (2004). He has taught photography at Columbia College Chicago and Gallery 37, both in Chicago; and at the University of Akron. He is an Associate Professor of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2001 in response to a national call for citizens to bolster the American economy through shopping, Ulrich began a project to document consumer culture. This project, Copia, is a series of large-scale photographs of shoppers, retail spaces, and displays of goods. Initially focused on big-box retail establishments and shoppers, the series expanded to include thrift stores, back rooms of retail businesses, art fairs, and most recently empty retail stores and dead malls. Ulrich works with a combination of 4×5 large format and medium format cameras, and also incorporates found objects as sculpture, juxtaposed with his photographs on gallery walls.Source: Wikipedia
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