All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Norman Seeff
Norman Seeff

Norman Seeff

Country: South Africa
Birth: 1939

Ex-medical doctor, Norman Seeff, emigrated from South Africa to the United States in 1968 to pursue a new career as a photographer, designer and filmmaker. After three-years in New York capturing stunning images of Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Richard Bernstein, Johnny Winter, James Taylor and The Band, he relocated to Los Angeles as Art Director at United Artists Records. Two years later he established his own studio and focused on photographing and documenting artists and innovators in the act of creation in the context of his sessions.

Seeff has worked with hundreds of renowned artists and innovators including Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Ike & Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Martin Scorsese, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Sir Francis Crick, Steve Jobs, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys and many others; including Nobel Laureates, space scientists and engineers. The authenticity of his images reflects his skills as a communicator and his ability to create an environment for artists and innovators conducive to the revelation of how they function creatively. This has enabled him to capture the very essence of his subjects.

Utilizing his vast archive of images and over 1000 hours of film and video documenting his sessions, Seeff’s work is currently focused on the exploration of the inner dynamics of creativity as it applies to personal and collective creative excellence.

Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery


South African photographer, Norman Seeff is known for his outstanding black and white photographs of celebrities such as Steve Jobs, Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Miles Davis, and many more. His work focuses on the exploration of human creativity and the inner dynamics of the creative process. “My whole thing was, it’s not about photography- it’s about communication,” Seeff tells Rolling Stone. Norman Seeff was born in 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seeff qualified as a medical doctor in 1965 ad for three years he worked in emergency medicine at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, focusing on the management of traumatic shock. In 1968 Seeff took a turn in his career and immigrated to the United States to pursue his creative passions and artistic abilities.

Shortly after Seeff arrived in New York City, his photographs of the life he encountered on the streets of Manhattan were discovered by graphic designer, Bob Cato. Cato was the former Vice President of Creative Services at Columbia Records. Cato became an important mentor to Seeff and gave him his first major photographic assignment producing images for The Band’s Stage Fright album. Seeff’s iconic image of the group was reproduced as a poster inserted in the album, which when unfolded, became a popular collectors’ item.

Seeff relocated to Los Angeles at the end of 1971 to become the creative director of United Artists Records. His innovative approach to collaborative art-direction resulted in multiple Grammy Award nominations for graphic design. In 1973 Seeff opened an independent studio on the strip on Sunset Boulevard. His photographic sessions became legendary. For Seeff, the session became the art-form itself, transforming into a multi-disciplinary process of photography, filmmaking and creative communication. Seeff’s first solo exhibition was at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York and featured photos and videos from these sessions.

Source: Jackson Fine Art


 

Norman Seeff's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition January 2022
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in January 2022
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Zhou HanShun
Singapore
1975
Born 1975, and raised in Singapore, Zhou HanShun is a Photographic Artist, Printmaker and Art Director.After graduating from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore and RMIT University, he went on to make a living as an art director, and continues to pursue his passion as a visual storyteller and photographer.He uses photography as a way to explore, investigate and document the culture and people in the cities he lived in.HanShun has exhibited at the Tumbas Cultural Center in Thessaloniki, Greece for Photoeidolo (2017), the Molekyl Gallery in Sweden, for the Malmo Fotobiennal (2017), the Gallery under Theater in Bratislava, Slovakia for The Month of Photography Bratislava(2017), the Czech China Contemporary Museum in Beijing for the SongZhuang International Photo Biennale(2017), the PhotoMetria "Parallel Voices" exhibition in Greece (2016), the Addis FotoFest in Ethiopia (2016), among others.HanShun was awarded a Special Mention at the Balkan Photo Festival (2016), Shortlisted for the Hariban Award (2017) and was a finalist of Photolucida Critical Mass (2016), among others.About Frenetic City To say life moves fast in a city is an understatement. People go through life in an uncompromising, chaotic pace, overcoming and absorbing anything in their path. Time in the city seem to flow quicker, memories in the city tend to fade away faster. Nothing seems to stand still in a city. I use photography as a way to explore, investigate and document the culture, society and people in the cities that I have lived in. Using Hong Kong as a starting point, this project aims to be a documentation of our increasingly overpopulated world. When I first landed, I was immediately confronted by a society that is in fierce competition for physical and mental space. I decided to capture and re-create the tension and chaos that I experienced in photographic form, using multiple exposures on B&W negatives. The creation of each photograph requires me to be fixed at a specific location from between 5 to 7 hours per session. Through the viewfinder of an old Hasselblad, I created each photograph by overlapping selected individuals or groups of people within the 6 x 6 frame. The resulting photograph is not of a singular moment in time, but a multitude of moments in time captured in a single frame.
Elise Boularan
France
1984
Elise Boularan grew up in the South of France and has a Master's degree in Creation and Artistic Research from the University of Toulouse. She also studied photography at the Toulouse School of Photography. After finishing her academic research and studies, she moved to Paris. She currently lives between Paris and Toulouse, pursuing a career as a photographic artist.She develops a photographic work turned to the story, realizing images loaded with ellipses and silences. This work does not shy away from the world, but intends to build an interpretation, where something deaf, undefinable is very present. Her preoccupations concern the human reality of our time, trying to reveal what can be secret at the individual's.She has been published extensively and has exhibited in Europe and the USA, notably in Madrid, Denmark, and New York, as well as the French Institute of Ukraine, The Museum of New Art (Mona) and The Russell Industrial Center (Mona Detroit) in Detroit; the Instituto Cultural de México, San Antonio, Texas Hill Country, Usa. Her work is in several private collections.Elise Boularan works also for international & national press and collaborates with musicians and other artists, making the universe of songs match perfectly with her poetical vision.All about photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I had already done specialized studies in photography, but I remember I really got caught by the photographer' syndrome when I was in Belgium.Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?After the shooting. there is a lot of work. I don't retouch a lot my images or give this impression... But I spend a great deal of time to select and to see which images work together. It's a difficult and very interesting work.The compliment that touched you most?Indeed, there is a compliment which particularly touched me some years ago in Paris. A compliment coming from one of my references photograph, a famous photographer who has a remarkable work. When we met us, she wanted to discover my work and it was unexpected for me to have compliments on my work from her. And the next day, she phoned me to thank me, because my work had motivated her to boost in her creations again. Is there another job you could have done?No, I don't think so. But it's a good question because we should make no mistake about it, the artistic crafts aren't easy so we can have this kind of questions. But my answer is no.
Philip Metcalf
United States
Philip Metcalf was born in the Finger Lakes area of central New York State. He is a photographer who focuses mainly on the landscape, shooting in black & white infrared. The “Fire Ghosts” portfolio explores the devastation and unexpected beauty caused by the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire in New Mexico. In 2013, a photo from this portfolio was selected for the Art of Photography show, curated by Julia Dolan, the Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and hung in the San Diego Art Institute. Also in 2013, he was a Nominee in the Black & White Spider Awards. In 2014, another photo from the portfolio was selected for the cover of Black & White Magazine (issue # 104). A graduate of Princeton University, Philip and his wife, photographer Patricia Galagan, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.All about Philip Metcalf:AAP: Where did you study photography? With Whom? Two most important teachers were Charles Harbutt and Kate Carter back in the 1970’s. Harbutt’s class at The Maine Photo Workshops was ostensibly about the camera, but the real message was the difference between how your eye sees the world vs how a camera sees the world. Like many young photographers, I started with a couple of camera bodies and several lens. Accordingly, much of one’s time and attention was spent on thinking about equipment combinations. In Ireland with Kate, I was bemoaning the lack of great results. Kate said something was elegantly simple and utterly true: “Remember, it’s all about the light.” That afternoon I went shooting with one body and one lens, a practice that I have followed ever since.AAP: What or who inspires you? Nature, especially the wide open spaces of the Western United States. When I lived on the East Coast, I asked a friend visiting from the West what he thought of the Eastern part of the US. He said it was fine except that he couldn’t see anything. I never really understood what he meant until moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The vast expanses of the West with their unobstructed views for miles and miles are a very different experience than the more circumscribed views of the East. AAP: How could you describe your style? Based on nature and the real world, but slightly abstracted.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? My “Fire Ghosts” portfolio
Ren Hang
Chinese
1987 | † 2017
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. Ren suffered from depression. He posted a series of diary entries titled My depression on his blog, recording the fear, anxiety and internal conflicts he experienced. Ren died by suicide on February 24, 2017 in Beijing. Ren Hang first began taking pictures of his roommates and friends in 2007, shooting them in the nude as all were close and seeking excitement. In an interview, he also admitted: “I usually shoot my friends, because strangers make me nervous.” He arranged his subjects' naked limbs in his photographs. Ren did not consider his work inappropriate: “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context. I don’t intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do.” This may account for his reticence to limit his work to indoor settings. He said there were no preferred places for him to work, as he believed anywhere was beautiful and worthy to be shot, including sparse studios, parks forests, and atop buildings. Ren's photos employ nude groups and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. For example, hands reach down milky thighs, a limp penis flops onto a watermelon and a series of backsides imitate a mountain range. Questioning the purpose of his work, he once stated that his creation was a way to seek fun for both photographer and the photographed. However, once he had reached fame on an international level, he began to think deeply about his work. The British Journal of Photography quoted him as once saying: "I don't want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots... Or they do have sexual genitals but always keep them as some secret treasures. I want to say that our cocks and pussies are not embarrassing at all." Ren also focused on marginalised people in Chinese society with gender identity disorders by 'indeterminating' sex and gender in some of his work: a group of naked bodies stacked together, men wearing silk stockings and wearing lipstick. He denied having a preference in models: “Gender… only matters to me when I’m having sex.” The international quarterly photography journal Aperture used his photo as the cover for its Queer theme. Commentators also see his work, the naked body and the starched penis, as evolving sexual mores and the struggle for creative and sexual freedom in a conservative, tightly controlled society. But Ren Hang also announced "I don't try to get a message across, I don't give my works names, I don't date them. I don’t want to instill them with any vocabulary. I don't like to explain my photos or work as a whole". It has been mentioned that Ren's work is softcore pornography because of the degree of nudity and sex in it, but he also worked with other themes. The most famous was titled My Mum. Although still under a fetishistic atmosphere, posing with usual props in Ren's works like animals and plants, Ren's mother posed as a clothed model, in a light-hearted way to represent her daily life. Ren's photographs have been included in magazines L'Officiel, GQ Style, and Vice. He worked with fashion companies Gucci, Rick Owens, and Loewe. Ren's work is included in Frank Ocean's magazine Boys Don't Cry. Ren Hang is noted to be greatly influenced by Chinese and Asian contemporary art and in particular, Japanese photographer and contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki. Ren Hang mainly worked with a simple point-and-shoot camera. He would direct the models as to how to place their bodies and shoot in quick succession. Genitalia, breasts and anuses were not covered up, but featured, or accentuated with props and close-ups. Colors were rich and high in contrast, increasing visual impact. This, along with the fact all bodies were slim, lithe and relatively hairless, made the impact of his photographs more impressive. His work communicated a raw, stark aesthetic that countered taboos and celebrated sexuality and it was this contemporary form of poeticism in a visual context in which Ren Hang expressed themes of identity, the body, love, loss and death. Nudity is not a theme in art that can be widely accepted by the Chinese older generation. Ren Hang's works are sometimes misinterpreted by the public as pornography. Although some have written that Ren Hang used his photographs to challenge Chinese cultural norms of shame around nudity, he did not believe he was challenging the stereotype and leading a revolution. For him, nudity and sexuality are natural themes which he used in his work. "Nudes are there since always. We were born nude. So talking about revolution, I don't think there's anything to revolutionize. Unless people are born with clothes on, and I want to take their clothes off, then I think this is a revolution. If it was already like that, then it's not a revolution. I just photographed things on their more natural conditions." He said he was not trying to liberate nudity and sexuality since he believed that the Chinese young generation was open-minded and less affected by the old-fashioned cultures. When Ren Hang talked about the question whether the topic of sexuality was still a taboo in China, he said: "I don't think it's related to our times, these are individual cases. Like how to say it, I think it depends on different people, it doesn't really relate to other things. I was not in the whole parents told you that you can only have sex if you get married era. The time after I grow up was already over that period, it was already different like everyone was already more relaxed."Source: Wikipedia Flesh, corpses, souls and bland flashlights, all composite into seconds or milliseconds of lights and shadows, projecting onto the film that never knows how to lie. Focus gathering and the shutter releasing, connecting his unpretentious, rebellious, wild and free perspectives towards the naked human body. The images look so natural, yet fun and unexpected. One soul after another all blossom like a newborn baby, urging to crawl out of his mother’s womb, dying to be redefined. In this era that we live in, being censored by the Chinese government has almost become a stamp of approval for contemporary artists. Ren Hang, a young man with a mature look and tanned skin, hair as short as a Chinese soldiers’, always carrying an irresistibly cute and innocent smile on his cheeks. He is, perhaps, the sole artist and photographer with the most edgy outlook towards the naked human body. Ren Hang continues to stress the fact that he is “boring“. Especially when asked about those basic questions of his inspirational origins and meanings behind the photos, he always just smiles naively, shakes his shoulders and says, “I don’t really know. I never really thought about it.” Perhaps he is such a paver, heading towards the direction of happiness and creative freedom without realizing the pathways he has left behind. You might find him confusing and puzzling, but he has the ambience of such kindness that you would always trust that no evil can come out from him. He is merely a pure form of naked human beings. Source: ITSLIQUID
Matt Black
United States
1970
Matt Black is from California’s Central Valley, a rural, agricultural area in the heart of the state. He started photography working at his hometown newspaper. He was nominated to Magnum Photos in 2015. Since 2015, he has travelled over 100,000 miles across 46 states for his project American Geography. Other works include The Dry Land, about the impact of drought on California’s agricultural communities, and The Monster in the Mountains, about the disappearance of 43 students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Both these projects, accompanied by short films, were published by The New Yorker. His work has appeared regularly in TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, The California Sunday Magazine, and other publications. He has been honored three times by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Prize, including their top honor for journalism. In 2015, he received the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award for Humanistic Photography, and was named a senior fellow at the Emerson Collective. He lives in Exeter, a small town in the Central Valley.Source: Magnum Photos Matt Black, an artist from California’s Central Valley, produces enigmatic narrative works in his native region and in related places that are deeply grounded in societal and environmental concerns. Since 2014, Black has traveled over 100,000 miles across 46 states for his project American Geography, a personal portrait of an increasingly divided and unequal America. Black’s gripping images of some of the most marginalized communities in America are as visually captivating as they are brutally honest and human. A member of Magnum Photos, Matt Black creates work that while rooted in the documentary tradition, is also noted for its deeply personal approach, its emotional engagement, and visual intensity. Excerpts from American Geography have been widely published and exhibited in the United States and internationally. A book of the project will be published in 2021 by Thames and Hudson, to accompany a traveling exhibition that opened at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg in 2020. Other bodies of work include The Dry Land, about the impact of drought on California’s agricultural communities, and The Monster in the Mountains, about the disappearance of 43 students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero in 2014. Both of these projects, accompanied by short films, were published by The New Yorker. In addition to the New Yorker, portfolios of Black’s work have appeared in TIME Magazine, The California Sunday Magazine, as well as many international publications such as Le Monde, France and Internazionale, Italy. Black’s Instagram feed The Geography of Poverty, where he experiments conceptually with GeoTagging and other digital documentary approaches, has over 233,000 followers and earned him TIME’s Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2014. He has been honored three times by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Prize, has been named a senior fellow at the Emerson Collective, and was the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award in 2015 for Humanistic Photography.Source: Robert Koch Gallery
Amy Anderson
United States
1977
Amy Anderson is an award-winning portrait photographer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work has been exhibited internationally and hangs in local and national galleries, museums and private collections. She has had works acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Florida Photographic Museum. She has received the prestigious Minnesota State Arts Board grant in 2012 and again in 2018 resulting in several solo shows. Funded again in 2021 by the state of Minnesota, she is currently working on a new body of portraits exploring ways to encourage reconnection in her own community after a time of isolation and unrest. Statement I strive to impact my community by creating authentic portraits that explore the universal themes that connect us as humans. My practice has been to live alongside a community and create connection with the people I photograph in hopes of presenting a meaningful image of a an individual to our larger collective community. I have completed several large, multi-year projects including At Risk, With Promise ; a series exploring the challenges and triumphs of at-risk youth in Minnesota. Over the course of this project I explored themes like marginalization and resilience, adolescence and personal growth, disconnection and intersecting identities. At Risk, With Promise culminated in a full and completed body of work that received recognition and was included in many local and national exhibitions. In 2018 with funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, I began a new body of work exploring these and other themes in the context of several different communities, most significantly the elderly. Working closely with one woman, Rose Kaprelian, allowed me to dig deeper into the everyday realities of this nearly invisible marginalized group. As a nonagenarian in a culture increasingly connected by technologies that are foreign and largely inaccessible, women like Rose face isolation and stagnation as they age. This work is developing to encompass many universal themes from a unique perspective as well as preserving voices that are fading from our collective conversations. During the isolation and uprising in my city in 2020 I continued to make portraits as a way to document and explore the events that changed our world. From window portraits of those who were isolated to protest photos of those who marched, each image was an attempt to connect with my community and explore the changing landscape in which we found ourselves. I continue this exploration daily.
Marco Sanges
Italian
1970
SANGES is an imaginative and innovative photographer who has exhibited worldwide and published extensively. Clients and art projects include: Agent Provocateur, Cutler & Gross, Vogue, National Opera Munich,Dolce & Gabbana National Opera Stuttgart, Dario Argento, Stash Klossowski de Rola and Gunther Von Hagens' Body World. Academy of Art New York. Magazines include: Sunday Telegraph, Silver Shotz, Photo, All About Photos, Musee, Katalog, Lomography, Normal, Elle, Esquire, The Times, Independent, Fault , Aesthetica , Shoot, Harpers Bazar, L’œil De la Photographie. Wonderland Some of his short films include : Sugar, Meet me in Winter, Circumstances, Music Sound Machine, Sonnambula, Wunderkamera. His books include : Circumstances, Venus, Wild, and Erotic Photography, Love Lust Desire, Dolce & Gabbana Animal, National Opera Munich, The Cutting Room. Mefistofele Opera Stuttgart by Arrigo Boito. A multi-disciplinary artist, his film 'Circumstances' won Best Art Film at the Portobello Film Festival in London and Best Experimental Film at the Open Cinema Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia. Sanges' work is exhibited in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection and at the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona - USA His distinctive photographs have been shown at major contemporary photography festivals including Helsinki Photo Festival and Batumi PhotoDays in Georgia and the Lodz Photofestiwal in Poland. One of his latest project 'Wunderkamera' has been exhibited at the Hospital Club in London and at the Chateau de Dampierre (France) and will be exhibited in the Gallerie de Buci in Paris February 2020.
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #23: Women
potw
Solo Exhibition January 2022

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with  James Hayman
James Hayman is a photographer as well as a film / television director, producer, and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with John Simmons
John Simmons is a multi-talented artist whose work has spanned across decades. Born in Chicago and coming of age during the Civil Rights Era, Simmons' photography started at the peak of political and racial tension of the 1960s, mentored by a well known Chicago Civil Rights photographer, Bobby Sengstacke.
Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
Exclusive Interview with Daniel Sackheim
Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO's True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. But he is also a talented photographer. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exlusive Interview with Tom Price Winner of All About Photo Awards 2021
Tom Price is the Photographer of the Year, winner of All About Photo Awards 2021 - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Keith Cullen, Denis Dailleux, Stefano De Luigi, Monica Denevan, Claudine Doury, Ann Jastrab, Stephan Vanfleteren, Hiroshi Watanabe, Alison Wright and myself were impressed by his work 'Porter' taken from a series of surreal portraits, featuring 'relocated' porters from Kolkata, as a reflection on the experience of migrant workers.
Interview: Jill Enfield by Jon Wollenhaupt
Alternative photography pioneer Jill Enfield comes from a long line of photographers dating back to 1875-the date when her ancestors opened up gift stores in Germany where they sold cameras and other technical equipment. In 1939, after fleeing Nazi Germany, her family opened the first camera store in Miami Beach, where as a child, Jill roamed the aisles. It is easy to imagine that she grew up always having a camera in her hands. With photography imprinted in her DNA, her career path seemed inevitable.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based photographer who focuses on portrait and lifestyle photography for advertising and media publications, as well as large organisations. He has won numerous awards for his Vietnamese photography portrait series called cBikes of Hanoi', including the Smithsonian Grand Prize; the Lens Culture Portrait Award and the Portraits of Humanity Award in 2020. The images were also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and they won the gold Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) award in 2019. The set of portrait images were featured on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and went viral on websites across the world.
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition January 2022
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in January 2022