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Dan Fenstermacher
Dan Fenstermacher
Dan Fenstermacher

Dan Fenstermacher

Country: United States
Birth: 1985

Dan Fenstermacher merges documentary storytelling, and street photography with both humor and activism. Fenstermacher was recently selected as the winner of the 2020 Miami Street Photography Festival International Series Contest and the 15th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest for the American Experience category.

Fenstermacher has photographic experience on four continents including a multi-media internship in Accra, Ghana, as a portrait photographer in Sydney, Australia, a Professor of Fine Arts at Xiangfan University in China, and as an artist-in-residence in San Ramon Costa Rica. His work about mental illness and stigma has been featured in The Huffington Post.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from San Jose State University, is a member of the Bay Area Photographers Collective, Maverick Photographers, and teaches photography at West Valley Community College.

About Food Chain Series
Every day the fisherman from the seaside towns of Prampram, Cape Coast, and Ada, Ghana, head out to sea where they fish up to 40 kilometers offshore. For generations families of these communities have fished the Atlantic Ocean. What they catch will determine the livelihood of the community and their families.

Rising early to push the canoes in the water and fight with the breaking waves, and after a pause for prayer; the 10-hour workday ensues.

Back on land the selling, cleaning, and cooking of the fish is a lively affair.

Working hand to mouth, the fish are sold and taken in baskets by families and prepared for frying in oil for the night’s dinner. Some days there are barely any fish from the day’s work.

To make matters worse, due to overfishing by many big fleets from China there is a depleted supply of fish.

Millions of dollars per year are reported to be taken from the Ghana economy by overfishing from foreign countries.

Because of this the government of Ghana has implemented an annual one-month fishing ban on local fisherman.

Many do not know how they will make a living for the length of this ban, and fish illegally risking fines in-order-to feed themselves.

With supplies of fish dwindling and the broken food chain as a result, these communities have little to fall back on, and the future of the Ghanaian fishing occupation is in danger of being inundated.

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Margaret Bourke-White
United States
1904 | † 1971
Margaret Bourke-White studied at the University of Michigan and then at the Cornell University were she first discovered photography in 1927. She started taking pictures of buildings and engines. Henri Luce who created the magazine Fortune was very impressed with her work and decided to hire her as editor in chief in 1930. In November 1936 her picture of the Fort Peck dam makes the cover of Life Magazine. It was the beginning of a long collaboration (1931-1971) and the real beginning of her career. She traveled to USSR in 1931 and then worked with E. Caldwell on the subject of poverty in the US (1937). She is then a photographer for the US Air Force and travels to Moscow, Germany, India, South Africa and Korea. In the same time she works for advertising agencies. At the end of the 50s she has to stop working because of the Parkinson disease. Margaret Bourke-White, original name Margaret White (born June 14, 1904, New York, New York, U.S.—died August 27, 1971, Stamford, Conn.), American photographer known for her contributions to photojournalism. Margaret White was the daughter of an engineer-designer in the printing industry. She attended Columbia University (1922–23), the University of Michigan (1923–25), Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University), and Cornell University (A.B., 1927). During this period she took up photography, first as a hobby and then, after leaving Cornell and moving to New York City, on a professional freelance basis. She combined her own last name with her mother’s maiden name (Bourke) to create her hyphenated professional name. Beginning her career in 1927 as an industrial and architectural photographer, she soon gained a reputation for originality, and in 1929 the publisher Henry Luce hired her for his new Fortune magazine. In 1930 Fortune sent Bourke-White to photograph the Krupp Iron Works in Germany, and she continued on her own to photograph the First Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union. She became one of the first four staff photographers for Life magazine when it began publication in 1936, and her series of photographs of Fort Peck Dam was featured on the cover and as part of the feature story of the first issue. Throughout the 1930s Bourke-White went on assignments to create photo-essays in Germany, the Soviet Union, and the Dust Bowl in the American Midwest. These experiences allowed her to refine the dramatic style she had used in industrial and architectural subjects. These projects also introduced people and social issues as subject matter into her oeuvre, and she developed a compassionate, humanitarian approach to such photos. In 1935 Bourke-White met the Southern novelist Erskine Caldwell, to whom she was married from 1939 to 1942. The couple collaborated on three illustrated books: You Have Seen Their Faces (1937), about Southern sharecroppers; North of the Danube (1939), about life in Czechoslovakia before the Nazi takeover; and Say, Is This the U.S.A. (1941), about the industrialization of the United States. Bourke-White covered World War II for Life and was the first woman photographer attached to the U.S. armed forces. While crossing the Atlantic to North Africa her transport ship was torpedoed and sunk, but Bourke-White survived to cover the bitter daily struggle of the Allied infantrymen in the Italian campaign. She then covered the siege of Moscow and, toward the end of the war, she crossed the Rhine River into Germany with General George Patton’s Third Army troops. Her photographs of the emaciated inmates of concentration camps and of the corpses in gas chambers stunned the world. After World War II, Bourke-White traveled to India to photograph Mahatma Gandhi and record the mass migration caused by the division of the Indian subcontinent into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. During the Korean War she worked as a war correspondent and traveled with South Korean troops. Stricken with Parkinson disease in 1952, Bourke-White continued to photograph and write. She retired from Life magazine in 1969.Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica Margaret Bourke-White quote:The beauty of the past belongs to the past.
Richard Learoyd
United Kingdom
1966
Richard Learoyd was born in the small mill town of Nelson, Lancashire, England in 1966. At the age of 15, his mother insisted he take a pinhole photography workshop, which he attributes as the start of his interest in photography. In 1990 he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Fine Art Photography. While there he studied with American photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper. In 1991 Learoyd was awarded an artist-in-residence at the Scottish Ballet. Learoyd taught photography at Bournemouth and Poole College from 1994 until 1999. In 2000, he moved to London where he worked as a commercial photographer. Source: Wikipedia Richard Learoyd’s color images are made with one of the most antiquarian of photographic processes: the camera obscura. Literally translated from Latin as “dark room,” Learoyd has created a room-sized camera in which the photographic paper is exposed. The subject—often a person, sometimes a still life—is in the adjacent room, separated by a lens. Light falling on the subject is directly focused onto the photographic paper without an interposing film negative. The result is an entirely grainless image. The overall sense of these larger-than-life images redefines the photographic illusion. Learoyd’s subjects, composed simply and directly, are described with the thinnest plane of focus, re-creating and exaggerating the way that the human eye perceives, and not without a small acknowledgement to Dutch Master painting. Learoyd’s black-and-white gelatin silver contact prints are made using the negative/positive process invented roughly 170 years ago by Englishman W. H. Fox Talbot. Working with a large and portable camera obscura of his own construction, Learoyd has journeyed outside of his London studio, into the art-historically rich English countryside, along the California coast, and throughout Eastern Europe, producing images that have long been latent in his imagination. The negatives are up to 80 inches wide, resulting in the largest gelatin-silver contact prints ever made. In 2015, Aperture released Richard Learoyd: Day for Night, a comprehensive book of color portraits and studio work, and concurrently, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London mounted a his first solo museum exhibition, Dark Mirror. In 2016, the J. Paul Getty Museum opened a solo exhibition of his large-scale portrait and still-life photographs, which then traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 2019, a survey exhibition will open at Fundación MAPFRE in Spain. Learoyd’s work is included in the collections of The Getty, Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum, Centre Pompidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum, National Gallery of Canada, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Source: Fraenkel Gallery
Wendi Schneider
United States
1955
Wendi Schneider is visual artist illuminating impressions of grace and vanishing beauty in our vulnerable environment with photography and precious metals. Her work is influenced by the lush landscapes of Memphis and New Orleans and a background in painting and art history - in particular Whistler and Steichen, and other Pictorialists and Tonalists. She turned to photography in the early 1980s to create references for her paintings. Mesmerized by the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, she layered glazes on her prints to create a heightened reality. She moved to New York in 1988, where she also photographed for advertising, book covers and Victoria Magazine, and to Denver in 1994, later sidelining her fine art practice while raising her son and working in commissioned photography, art direction, and design. Inspired to return to fine art photography in 2010, she soon began her ongoing series 'States of Grace' - engaging digital to capture, layer and print her images, then applying gold or silver on verso to infuse the artist's hand and suffuse her subjects with the spirituality and sanctity of the precious metals - insuring each print is a unique object of reverence. Her photographs have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibits internationally and are held in permanent collections at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, Auburn University Library, and the Try-Me Collection. Statement My work is rooted in the serenity I find in the sinuous elegance of organic forms. It's a celebration of the senses anchored in the visual. I'm transfixed and transformed in the art of capturing the stillness of the suspended movement of light and compelled to preserve the visual poetry of these fleeting moments of vanishing beauty in our vulnerable environment. I photograph intuitively - what I feel, as much as what I see. Informed by a background in painting, art history and design, I layered oils on silver gelatin prints in the '80s and '90s to find balance between the real and the imagined. My images are now layered digitally with color and texture, often altered within the edition, honoring the inconsistency. Printed on translucent vellum or kozo, these ethereal impressions are illuminated with white gold, moon gold, 24k gold or silver on verso, creating a luminosity that varies as the viewer's position and ambient light transition. My process infuses the artist's hand and suffuses the treasured subjects with the implied spirituality and sanctity of the precious metals - insuring each print is a unique object of reverence. 'States of Grace' has evolved organically into series within series that can be curated by subject, theme, treatment or feeling. Galleries A Gallery for Fine Photography Anika Dawkins Gallery Catherine Couturier Gallery Galeria PhotoGraphic Rick Wester Fine Art Vision Gallery
Peter Hujar
United States
1934 | † 1987
Peter Hujar was an American photographer best known for his black and white portraits. He has been recognized posthumously as "one of the major American photographers of the late twentieth century" and "among the greatest American photographers." Hujar was born October 11, 1934, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Rose Murphy, a waitress abandoned by her husband during her pregnancy. He was raised by his Ukrainian grandparents on their farm, where he spoke only Ukrainian until he started school. He remained on the farm with his grandparents until his grandmother's death in 1946. He moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband. The household was abusive, and in 1950, when Hujar was 16, he left home and began to live independently. Hujar received his first camera in 1947 and in 1953 entered the School of Industrial Art where he expressed interest in being a photographer. He was fortunate to encounter an encouraging teacher, the poet Daisy Aldan (1923–2001), and following her advice, he became a commercial photography apprentice. Apart from classes in photography during high school, Hujar's photographic education and technical mastery were acquired in commercial photo studios. By 1957, when he was 23 years old, he was making photographs now considered to be of museum quality. Early in 1967, he was one of a select group of young photographers in a master class taught by Richard Avedon and Marvin Israel, where he met Alexey Brodovitch and Diane Arbus. In 1958, Hujar accompanied the artist Joseph Raffael on a Fulbright to Italy. In 1963, he secured his own Fulbright and returned to Italy with Paul Thek, where they explored and photographed the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, classic images featured in his 1975 book Portraits in Life and Death. In 1964, Hujar returned to America and became a chief assistant in the studio of the commercial photographer Harold Krieger. Around this time, he also met Andy Warhol, posed for four of Warhol's three-minute "screen tests," and was included in the compilation film The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys. In 1967, Hujar quit his job in commercial photography, and at a great financial sacrifice, began to pursue primarily his own work. What followed was a dramatic expansion of his output. In 1969, with his lover the political activist Jim Fouratt, he witnessed the Stonewall riots in the West Village. In 1973, he moved into a loft above The Eden Theater at 189 2nd Avenue, where he lived for the rest of his life. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he inhabited the small bohemian art world in downtown New York City and made portraits of people such as drag queen and actor Divine, writers Susan Sontag, William Burroughs, Fran Lebowitz, and Vince Aletti. He visited "extremely serious, very heavy S&M bars" and the abandoned West Side Hudson River piers where men cruised for sex. In 1975, Hujar published Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Sontag. After a tepid reception, the book became a classic in American photography. The rest of the 1970s was a period of prolific work. In early 1981, Hujar met the writer, filmmaker, and artist David Wojnarowicz, and after a brief period as Hujar's lover, Wojnarowicz became a protégé linked to Hujar for the remainder of the photographer's life. Hujar remained instrumental in all phases of Wojnarowicz's emergence as an important young artist. Hujar's work received only marginal public recognition during his lifetime. In January 1987, Hujar was diagnosed with AIDS. He died 10 months later at the age of 53 on November 25 at Cabrini Medical Center in New York. His funeral was held at Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village and he was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Hujar willed his estate to his friend Stephen Koch. Source: Wikipedia Peter Hujar (born 1934) died of AIDS in 1987, leaving behind a complex and profound body of photographs. Hujar was a leading figure in the group of artists, musicians, writers, and performers at the forefront of the cultural scene in downtown New York in the 1970s and early 80s, and he was enormously admired for his completely uncompromising attitude towards work and life. He was a consummate technician, and his portraits of people, animals, and landscapes, with their exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Highly emotional yet stripped of excess, Hujar’s photographs are always beautiful, although rarely in a conventional way. His extraordinary first book, Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Susan Sontag, was published in 1976, but his “difficult” personality and refusal to pander to the marketplace ensured that it was one of the last publications during his lifetime.Source: The Peter Hujar Archive Peter Hujar, who died of aids-related pneumonia in 1987, at the age of fifty-three, was among the greatest of all American photographers and has had, by far, the most confusing reputation. A dazzling retrospective, curated by Joel Smith at the Morgan Library & Museum, of a hundred and sixty-four pictures affirms Hujar’s excellence while, if anything, complicating his history. The works range across the genres of portraiture, nudes, cityscape, and still-life—the stillest of all from the catacombs of Palermo, Italy, shot in 1963, when he was there with his lover at the time, the artist Paul Thek. The finest are portraits, not only of people. Some memorialize the existence of cows, sheep, and—one of my favorites—an individual goose, with an eagerly confiding mien. The quality of Hujar’s hand-done prints, tending to sumptuous blacks and simmering grays, transfixes. He was a darkroom master, maintaining technical standards for which he got scant credit except among certain cognoscenti. He never hatched a signature look to rival those of more celebrated elders who influenced him, such as Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus, or those of Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin, younger peers who learned from him. His pictures share, in place of a style, an unfailing rigor that can only be experienced, not described. Hujar needed no introduction to the low. He never met his father, who abandoned his mother, a diner waitress, before his birth, in 1934, in Trenton. She left his raising to her Ukrainian-speaking Polish parents in semirural surroundings in Ewing Township, New Jersey, until, when he was eleven, she took him to live with her and a new husband in a one-room apartment in Manhattan. The home wasn’t happy. Hujar moved out at sixteen, at first sleeping on the couch of a mentoring English teacher at the School of Industrial Arts (now the High School of Art and Design): the fine poet, editor, and translator Daisy Aldan, a free-spirited lesbian who is portrayed in the earliest of his works in the Morgan show, from 1955.Source: The New Yorker
Anita Conti
France
1899 | † 1997
Anita Caracotchian was born in Ermont in Seine-et-Oise to a wealthy Armenian family. She spent her childhood being educated at home by different tutors and travelling with her family, gradually developing a passion for books and the sea. After moving to Paris, she concentrated on writing poems and the art of book binding. Her work got the attention of celebrities and she won different awards and prizes for her creativity in London, Paris, New York and Brussels. In 1927, she married a diplomat, Marcel Conti, and started traveling around the world, exploring the seas, documenting and reporting what she saw and experimented. Spending time on the fishing boats for days and even months on certain occasions gave her a deeper understanding of the problematic faced by the fishermen. In between the two world war, she developed the technique of fishing maps apart from the already used navigational charts. For two years, from one vessel to another, she observed the French fishermen along the coast and Saharan Africa discovering fish species unknown in France. She published many scientific reports on the negative effects of industrial fishing and the different problems related to fishing practices. From 1943 and approximately for 10 years, she studied in the Mauritian islands, Senegal, Guinea and Ivory Coast, the nature of the seabed, different fish species and their nutritional values in regards of protein deficiency for the local populations. Gradually, she developed better preservation techniques, fishing methods and installed artificial dens for further studies. She even founded an experimental fishery for sharks. She became more and more conscientious of the misuse of natural resources by the fishing industry and the major waste that could be prevented. In 1971 she published L’Ocean, Les Betes et L’Homme, to denounce the disaster that men create and its effects on the oceans. Through many conferences and forums and for the rest of her life, she advocated for the betterment of the marine world. She died on 25 December 1997 in Douarnenez.Source: Wikipedia Born in 1899, Anita Conti was recruited in 1935 by French Fisheries Authorities to conduct scientific experiments at sea and to assess fish resources. In 1941 she embarked on a trawler bound for Western Africa and spent the next ten years exploring the mangrove swamps between Senegal and the Ivory Coast, observing and assessing the techniques of traditional fishermen, meeting with local elders, establishing new fisheries... The hair-raising account of her attempts at catching the "Giants of the warm seas", such as sawfish and sharks, bears witness to her intrepid nature. Yet one can also feel her strong desire to contribute to a worthwhile cause. Exploring the swamps is not seen as an unilateral exploitation of African resources by Europeans : it is a genuine attempt at sharing knowledge. Source: aflit.arts.uwa.edu.au Born just before the 20th century started, Anita Conti represents a piece from the past. During her teenage years, she developed a passion for books and sea and started photography in 1914. Indeed, for almost a hundred years, she has been gathering more than 40,000 photographies. Anita was what we can call today an engaged pioneer. Recruited by French Fisheries Authorities to conduct scientific experiments at sea and to assess fish resources, she was the first french female oceanographer. In 1939, she's been the first woman to embark in the service of the National French Navy, and, thus, became the first woman to work on a military ship in wartime. In charge of developing a new technique for fishing maps, she embarked on a trawler bound for western Africa in 1941. During 10 years, she explored the West African coasts, from the Mauritian islands to Senegal and from Guinea to Ivory Coast. She insured a resupply program for the population and the French army. Her goal was to save population from hunger and find nutritional solutions in regards of their protein deficiency. During a decade, she travelled the world, explored the seas, documented and scientifically reported the negative effects of industrial fishing. "To be able to exploit the sea, you must enter into the sea" she used to say. Her African experience helped her to denounce the impacts of plundering the oceans and the major waste of marine resources. "Seas are under threat" she claimed. She tried to find fishing methods like fish farming to avoid overfishing.Source: Panthalassa
Susan Meiselas
United States
1948
Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer who lives and works in New York. She is the author of Carnival Strippers (1976), Nicaragua (1981), Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997), Pandora's Box (2001), Encounters with the Dani (2003) Prince Street Girls (2016), A Room Of Their Own (2017) and Tar Beach (2020). She has co-edited two published collections: El Salvador, Work of 30 Photographers (1983) and Chile from Within (1990), rereleased as an e-book in 2013, and also co-directed two films: Living at Risk (1985) and Pictures from a Revolution (1991) with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti. Meiselas is well known for her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. Her photographs are included in North American and international collections. In 1992 she was made a MacArthur Fellow, received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), and most recently the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2019) and the first Women in Motion Award from Kering and the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles. Mediations, a survey exhibition of her work from the 1970s to present was recently exhibited at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Jeu de Paume, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Instituto Moreira Salles in São Paulo. She has been the President of the Magnum Foundation since 2007, which supports, trains, and mentors the next generation of in-depth documentary photographers and innovative practice. About Nicaragua Susan Meiselas became known through her photo reportages on the Nicaraguan revolution. From 1978 to 1982 she documented the uprising of the Sandinistas against the then president Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Some of her photographs, foremost among them the “Molotov Man”, became iconic media images and shaped the way the Latin American revolution was perceived in the West. About Carnival Strippers The role of women has been a focal point of Meiselas’ work ever since the 1970s. In her first major photographic essay entitled Carnival Strippers (1972-1975), she showcased the working conditions of women who earned a living working as strippers at fairs in New England. She combined her photographs with audio recordings of the women, their clients, and their managers. In this project Meiselas depicts the reality of life for these protagonists and lets them tell their own stories, thereby strengthening their feeling of self-worth and their personal identity. About Prince Street Girls For the series Prince Street Girls, she accompanied young girls in Little Italy, New York City over a period of seventeen years - from childhood to puberty and on into adulthood. The photographs illustrate the gradual changes in their lives, their bodies, and their place within society. About Archive of Abuse In her series Archive of Abuse Susan Meiselas addressed the issue of domestic abuse. In the early 1990s, the photographer was invited to support an awareness-raising campaign in San Francisco on the subject of domestic violence. Meiselas used material from police reports to focus on documenting the crimes, both visually and in text. The collages created in this way were posted in public spaces to raise people’s awareness of the many different forms of violence towards women as a structural phenomenon. About Kurdistan Meiselas’ starting point for her long-term project Kurdistan was the documentation of the genocide perpetrated against the Kurds by the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq in 1988. She created an archive that preserves a people’s cultural memory and the chequered history of the Kurdish diaspora. The multimedia project comprises photographs, videos, documents, and oral accounts compiled by the artist over a period of more than thirty years.Source: Kunst Haus Wien
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