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John Simmons
John Simmons
John Simmons

John Simmons

Country: United States
Birth: 1950

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.

After completing an undergraduate degree from Fisk University in art and photography, Simmons went on to study cinematography at the University of Southern California, and then to move to LA, where he currently lives.

In 2004, Simmons was inducted into the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and now serves as Vice President and as co-chair of the ASC Vision Committee. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Television Academy, working to increase diversity on-set, and taught at UCLA for 26 years before leaving to focus on his photography.

Simmons has also filmed music videos and commercials for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg and many more. As a filmmaker, Simmons has collaborated with industry giants such as Spike Lee and Debbie Allen, and has served as the Director of Photography for more than 25 television series. Simmons earned an Emmy for his work on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

Outside of the aforementioned exhibits, his photographs are also held at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Center for Creative Photography, the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, and Harvard University, where they exhibited in "Time is Now: Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin's America" at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. His work is also in the permanent collection of the ASC.

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Jodi Champagne
United States
Born in Phoenix Arizona, Jodi Champagne had a passion for drawing from a very young age. While other children drew flowers and smiley faces Jodi´s artistic interest was more in the eyes and character of a person. At the age of 15 Jodi became a mother, so her creative ventures were put on hold while she raised her family and devoted herself to the corporate world of engineering. As her family grew older she found herself becoming the designated photographer and videographer of all their family vacations and outings. One day she realized that she had replaced her pencil and paper with a Canon DSLR camera.Jodi began working as a portrait, wedding, family and sports photographer and quickly discovered her true passion in documentary and street photography. Telling a story, bringing awareness and making a difference with her work is what she strives for. She has traveled to the corners of Myanmar to the corners of downtown Los Angeles to capture humanity with compassion and heart.Jodi´s award winning work has been featured in group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Her photographs have been widely published in books, magazines, and used for editorial and commercial work. Along with a myriad of other honors, Jodi’s work has recently been shown in Sports Illustrated, Corbis Images, Getty Images and is available with National Geographic Creative. Jodi lives and works in Palmdale, California. Interview by Tera Bella Media TBMPN: What best describes your particular style of photography? JC: I have sampled various genres of photography, but ultimately my style and passion is documentary work. I incorporate that style in my imagery when I do street or travel work. I am primarily a “candid” photographer. TBMPN: What equipment do you regularly use? JC: When I shoot documentary or the streets I use a Canon 50D for reach and a 5D Mk3 for close ups. I use various lenses, but for my main “go to” lenses I use a 24-70mm 2.8L and a 70-200mm 2.8L. TBMPN: Who or what do you consider your major influences? JC: I am an “emotional” photographer, and my goal is to evoke emotion in an image or a series of images. With that said, my major influences have been James Nachtwey and Dorothea Lange. Just one of James Nachtwey’s images is so passionately powerful and exudes more than words can. Dorothea Lange is yet another strong influence, as she took her street photography of the depression and poverty and made it her passion to create a difference. TBMPN: Why did you choose photography as your method of expression? JC: From a very young age I painted and drew. I did not like to limit myself and found that my camera gave me a larger canvas. It’s not easy to capture the decisive moment, but with my camera I can show the world what I see. TBMPN: What do you wish to accomplish with your photography? JC: Whether it is in my street, travel or documentary photography I wish to make a difference. I would like to show others certain issues of which they may be unaware. I wish to reveal cultures they might not have a chance to see and the hardship of others of which they may not be aware. TBMPN: What are your current projects? JC: I am currently working on the completion of my “Life Lines” and “Obsessions” series. I do have other projects such as “Waiting on a Friend” and “Silent Cries” which I feel I will always continue to work on as society changes. I also just published my first documentary book, “Courage Under Wraps”, which has taken two years to complete. It’s a photographic documentary of a young boy named Nicholas Zahorcak who has a rare, genetic disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. TBMPN: What are your plans for future projects? JC: I will continue to work with the Epidermolysis Bullosa organizations on some future work in order to raise awareness. Though “Courage Under Wraps” is my first published documentary, it is not my last.In the works is an amazing project called “Diminishing Generations.” This is a documentary of our Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It’s a powerful, emotional and very personal experience, as you will hear stories that have never been told. I will also be collaborating with Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design to help put the book into reality and to give a real voice to the subjects. The book(s) will be published early 2015. I’m also working with an amazing composer, Marco De Bonis, from Italy. We are collaborating on a few projects together. With his music you can feel the emotions which will enhance my work.
Jacques Henri Lartigue
France
1894 | † 1986
Jacques Henri Lartigue is 69 years old in 1963 when he first presents a selection of his many photographs taken throughout his life in New York’s MoMa. That same year there is a photo spread of his work in the famous Life Magazine issue which commemorates the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and which is publicized worldwide. To his great surprise, Lartigue becomes, overnight, one of the renowned photographers of the twentieth century. Jacques learns about photography from his father as early as the year 1900. Henri Lartigue rewards Jacques’s enthusiasm by buying him his first camera when he is 8 years old. Thus begins the endless coverage of his childhood, including automobile outings, family holidays and especially his older brother Maurice’s (nicknamed Zissou) inventions. Both brothers are fascinated by cars, aviation, and all sports with increasing popularity at the time. Jacques’s camera freezes each moment. As an adult he continues to attend sporting events and to take part in elite sports such as skiing, skating, tennis and golf. However, ever mindful of the passage of time, photography is not quite enough to capture his childhood memories. A snapshot cannot encompass all there is to say and to remember. He thus begins keeping a journal and will continue to do so his whole life. Furthermore, as if to engage in a more renowned activity, he takes up drawing and painting. In 1915 he briefly attends the Julian Academy and thus painting becomes and remains his main professional activity. From 1922 on he exhibits his work in shows in Paris and in the south of France. In the meantime, in 1919, Jacques marries Madeleine Messager, the daughter of the composer André Messager, and their son Dani is born in 1921. Jacques and Madeleine get a divorce in 1931. He revels in high society and luxury until the beginning of the 1930’s until the decline of the Lartigue fortune forces him to search for other sources of income. He refuses however to take on a steady job and thus lose his freedom, and so he scarcely gets by with his painting during the 30’s and 40’s. In the beginning of the 1950’s and not in accordance with the legend in which he is a complete unknown, his work as a photographer is noticed. He nevertheless continues to paint. He embarks on a cargo ship to Los Angeles in 1962 with his third wife Florette. In a roundabout way, they stop on the East Coast and meet Charles Rado of the Rapho Agency who in turn contacts John Szwarkoski, MoMa’s photography department young curator. There is all-around enthusiasm. The first retrospective of his work is held in Paris’ “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” in 1975. One year earlier, Lartigue was commissioned by the President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to shoot an official portrait photograph. In 1979 the Donation Agreement is signed and Lartigue becomes the first living French photographer to donate his work to the nation. He authorizes the Association des Amis de Jacques Henri Lartigue to preserve and promote the fund. In 1980, his dream of having his own museum comes true with the Grand Palais’ exhibit “Bonjour Monsieur Lartigue”. He continued his work as a photographer, painter and writer until his death in Nice on September 12th 1986. He was 92 years old. He left us with more than 100 000 snapshots, 7 000 pages of diary, 1 500 paintings. Source: Jacques-Henri Lartigue Donation
MD Tanveer Rohan
Bangladesh
1982
Md. Tanveer Hassan Rohan was born and brought up in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. He has an utter passion for photography and photography has been his passion for a very long time. Growing up in Dhaka, he has realized that beauty manifests in many forms. This city is a manifestation of the contrast of nature and urbanization. As a photographer, his essential aim is to capture the moments of life and give them significance by making them static in time. He loves to travel and be in different places, meet new people, and enjoy the experience that photography offers, which is to capture Earth's beautiful and awe-inspiring moments. He also loves to experiment with his photography. He has finished his Basic Photography course From Prism . He has taken part in many National and International Photography contest and till now he has won many national and more than 200 international photography awards, including IPA 2015 (2nd Place in General News Category and 7 Honorable mentions in different categories), MIFA 2015 (1st Place In General News Category and 3 Honorable mentions in different categories), Grand Winner in "Photo for Tolerance +" International Youth Photography Contest 2015. 1st prize in Sony World Photography Awards 2016, National Award ,2nd Prize in Photojournalism category from Xposure International Photography Competition 2016, 9 (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze , 3 Honorable mentions and also 2nd Place in People category) awards from Tokyo International Photography awards 2016. 2 Awards (1st Place in Reportage and 2nd Place in People category) from VIAP 2016, Bulgaria. He has been selected as a best Authors three times in FIAP patronage Photography Contest in France, Czech Republic and Bangladesh. His photographs exhibited in more than 45 countries.He has been awarded AFIAP distinction from Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP) in early 2016, and BEPSS Distinction From The Photographic Society of Singapore (PSS) in November 2016 and PPSA Distinction FromPhotographic Society Of America in December 2016. It is with utmost diligent and inspiration that he is willing to carry on this passion throughout his life.
Ron Cooper
United States
I am a travel, documentary and portrait photographer based in Denver, CO. I began exploring photography ten years ago after retiring early from a corporate career. I travel extensively in pursuit of images that reflect local cultures and people. My emphasis in recent years has been on portraiture with the objective of “introducing” viewers to the people I meet and photograph at home and around the world. My work has been exhibited in juried group shows at Colorado Photographic Art Center (Denver, CO), Center for Fine Art Photography (Ft. Collins, CO), Southeast Center for Photography (Greenville, SC), Naples (FL) Art Association, PhotoPlace Gallery (Middlebury, VT), ACCI (Berkeley, CA), A. Smith Gallery (Johnson City, TX), Blackbox Gallery (Portland, OR), Click! Photography Festival (Raleigh/Durham, NC), Midwest Center for Photography (Wichita, KS). Solo exhibitions include: Asian Journeys (2016) at Gallery MFC, Denver, CO; Faces (2016) at the Hamilton Family Gallery, Children's Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, CO; Faces of the American West (2016) at The Darkroom, Longmont, Colorado; and Pleased to Meet You: Portraits from Places Near & Far (2018) at Gallery MFC, Denver, CO; and Keepers of Tradition (2019) at Robert Anderson Gallery, Denver, CO. My photographs have been published in Black & White Magazine, Monovisions Magazine, AAP Magazine, PDN, New Mexico Magazine and Photographer's Forum. My portraits celebrate humankind. I've been privileged to meet and photograph people in may different places - across five continents, diverse geographies, cultures and ways of life. My objective is to make interesting, accessible and compelling images that tell a story or convey a sense of place and personality. As a matter of respect and courtesy, I always engage with my subjects, asking permission to make their portrait. My request is sometimes met with skepticism. Occasionally I'm turned down. More often, however, my approach results in a conversation - sometimes quite brief, and often through sign language or a translator. That conversation - whatever it's form - yields a connection that I hope is reflected in the final image. I favor simple compositions - straightforward and tightly framed. This approach directs the viewer's attention to the subject's eyes. In most of my images the individuals are looking directly at the camera and, by extension, at us. This approach feels honest and straightforward. The great majority of my portraits are made in natural surroundings with available light. No studio, no strobes. This approach is less intimidating and less formal. It improves the chances of capturing a genuine portrait, an unguarded moment that reveals something of the person behind the photograph. My portraits document the amazing diversity in appearance, lifestyle and circumstances of the people I meet in my travels. At the same time, I hope the message that stays with the viewer is, despite our many superficial differences, our shared humanness connects all of us in the human tapestry.
Henry Horenstein
United States
1947
Born in Massachusetts in 1947, Henry Horenstein was on a path to becoming a historian when he discovered photography. Captivated by the work of Robert Frank and Danny Lyon, Horenstein entered the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. After completing his MFA at RISD in 1973, Horenstein's first major project was a documentary survey of the people and character of country music. As a long-time fan, Horenstein recognized that the culture of country music was changing, losing the homey, down-to-earth character of "hillbilly" music, and adopting the slicker nature of contemporary country music. His goal was to preserve a vanishing culture by capturing it in photographs, and for nearly a decade, he traveled throughout the United States, documenting the artists and audiences at honky-tonk bars, outdoor festivals, and community dances. The body of work that Horenstein created (published in 2003 as Honky Tonk) is a remarkable portrait of a distinct period in American cultural history. Some of Horenstein's later work has followed a similar theme, creating documentary portraits of distinct American sub-cultures, such as the worlds of horse racing, boxing clubs, and baseball. In recent years, Horenstein has also developed an extensive body of work that combines elements of portraiture, abstraction, clinical documentation, and landscape photography. Working with animals as well as human subjects, Horenstein creates compelling and frequently ambiguous images that explore the patterns, textures and geography of skin, scales and hair. Mixing the exotic and the ordinary, and making it difficult to tell which is which, Horenstein causes the viewer to pause and look closely. In doing so, we are made to re-examine ourselves as well as the world around us. Horenstein's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Fabrik der Kunste, Hamburg, Germany. Photographs by Henry Horenstein can be found in many public and private collections including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Horenstein is the author of over 30 books including several monographs and a series of highly successful photography textbooks that have been used by hundreds of thousands of students around the country. Horenstein currently lives in Boston and is a professor of photography at RISD.
Sandra Tamos
Lithuania
1989
Since my childhood I was attracted to visual arts, painting mostly. I had a dream to become a fashion costume designer when I grow up. When I was 14 things changed. I didn’t lose my passion for painting, but the camera my dad gave me drew me into photography. Since then I started taking self-portraits and gained some photography experience. Later I started reading books about photography and wasn’t taking any pictures for the time being. When I was 18 I bought my first digital camera and started taking pictures of nature. I became addicted to macrophotography, as the camera revealed worlds unseen by a naked eye. When I graduated from school I studied, Technology of photography at Vilnius University of Applied Engineering Sciences, and obtained a Photo Journalist bachelor degree. In photography my most beloved avenues are portrait and dance photography, especially ballet. Ballet for me is something above reality, something spiritual, fantastic. In photos I try to show ballet, the way I see and feel it. I try to create pictures which remind fairy tales or dreams, which look out of this world.All about Sandra Tamos:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Before graduating, as I remember. It's hard to say what led me to like it. it simply drew me. I never wanted to, but I suppose it was my destiny to become a photographer.AAP: Where did you study photography?Vilnius College of Technologies and Design, Lithuania.AAP:Do you have a mentor?NoAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Since my first shot, five years aproximatelyAAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?The first digital photo was a dandelion fluff with water drops. However my absolutely first picture was self-portrait, photographed with old russian film camera, when I was 14.AAP: What or who inspires you?Little bits of everything, I would have to write a book to metnion everything what inspires me, so I will save your time and will only mention few key sources of inspiration. Life, from germination/birth to blossom and so on. Water, in all forms. Fog, tiny drops on leaves or spider web, rain, ponds, rivers.AAP: How could you describe your style?Sensual, mystical, darkly romantic.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I use Pentax K-5 digital camera, and my favorite lenes are SMC Pentax A 50 f/1,7 and Sigma 30 f/1,4.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Yes, it takes skill and time to turn diamonds into brilliants, same with photos. But I enjoy the process so I dont mind if it takes time.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Too many to mention all of them. Lately especially admire Gregory Colbert creation.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Learn how to operate the camera perfectly, theres nothing worse than perfect moment slipping away, or when a moment that was felt right for a perfect picture, ends in dissapointment of failing to freeze it in camera, when it simply doesnt look the way it had to and the way it was perceived.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Loosing faith, should be avoided.
Giorgio Di Maio
Giorgio Di Maio (1963, Naples) begins to take photos during his Architectural studies (1990),where he understood the strength of the photography as a mean to extrapolate from the reality a piece of the reality itself, independent in the shape and in the substance having a own narrative meaning. The expositive activity (since 1992) and the professional one (since 1993) went forward together, and every kind of restructuring activity is an opportunity for linguistic research. In 2003 he held a Master in "Fotografia dello spettacolo" by Silvia Lelli, At European Institute of Design in Milano, that introduced him to a deep research into the American Photography. Between 20017 and 2010, in Basilicata, he developed the series "Paesaggi lucani" and tried in the same period the digital photo machine. In Di Maio, then, woke up his environmental soul that bring the artist in 2011 to a new exhibition "Non è Napoli" dedicated to his own city and its beauty during the rubbish scandal. Since 2013 he slowed down the architect profession starting to study philosophy as theorical support to the practical photography, going from Naples to Milan very often, and vice versa. Then he creates" Armonia nascosta", from his studies, that is written with a specific modus operandi, aware of his reasons and purpose. Starting form Heraclitus, the Hidden Harmony show the transmigration of the mystical and philosophical roots of Paul Klee e Vassilij Kandinskij's abstract art til the photography, transforming it into a growth process both spiritual and social of a man, who goes through the evidence of the visual data looking for the Hidden Harmony as it appears today. Some projects "I sentieri dell'acqua e Chiaroscuro" (2013-2014), "Feminine, Photokina" (2016), "Cristianesimo Arte e Paganesimo" (2017), "Correspondances" (2018), "Milano in Armonia" (2018), "Il mare di Leopardi (2020), always continuing his studies of the immaterial in the material world. In 2017 he published his Photographic-philosophic web site of his research, that will be considered by different international photographic magazines. Then he started an intense exhibitions period, among public exhibition and festivals, having so many positive feedbacks from the public but also from the sector critical. In 2019, the Prof. Guido Ferraro, full professor of "Semiotica e Teoria della narrazione" at Torino's University, named Di Maio's research with those by Franco Fontana, Luigi Ghirri and Mario Giacomelli. Giorgio di Maio goes from a city to another, looking for the Hidden Harmony in nowadays reality. About Hidden Harmony The project that I would represent is the mystical and philosophical roots of Abstract Art transmigration into the Photography. The Art as knowledge tool to understand the sense. Going over the phenomenon, the appearances, searching for the law that create each event, for everyone also individual or being part of a whole. Basically there is the rejection of materialism, the faith in progress and particularly the faith in the spiritual progress of the men helped from the artist which "has in himself a mysterious visionary force....to see and to show". The photographer artist isn't a perfected camera who think that the knowledge and the experiences are only a replica of reality, who limit to reproduction of the exteriority, closed from the barriers of the phenomenon, but he know and must to express an ethical content which he gets from the sensitive data. The equilibrium that comes out from the tens and integration of differences, where the opposites converge completing themselves and the materiality falls to leave space to the spiritual presence, transform every shot in a travel through the space-time instances, instead of being the static representation of the place. In the Photography the language remain the same, using shape and color like the musical notes that touch the soul when you press a key and the human spirit vibrate. The research is the Harmony: to identify in the reality different elements in contrast with each other but in a unitary composition to create a mutual stimulating of the sense of balance and rest. The Peace. The expressionism of Der Blaue Reiter started in the of age of the new spirituality. Instead the wars and the extermination camps comes. It doesn't mean that the materialism has won but only a wrong idea of the temporal date. We don't know how much time need to achieve the spiritual progress of the humanity, maybe thousands of years or more. The important thing is that each era made a new step in right direction and in the contemporary era the Photography could be the most powerful means to give a contribution in this way.
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