All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Shannon Taggart
Shannon Taggart

Shannon Taggart

Country: United States

Shannon Taggart is an artist and author based in St. Paul, MN. In a past life, she contributed to printed publications including TIME, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Discover, New York, Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest. Her work has been exhibited internationally and recognized by PDN, Nikon, Magnum Photos + Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, International Photography Awards and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace.

Her first monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press), was published in 2019. Currently, she is working on an illustrated book about The Society for Research on Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRAT), one of the most exotic cases within the history of psychical research.

Source: www.shannontaggart.com


As a teenager, photographer Shannon Taggart was introduced to the world of spiritualism after a medium told her cousin details about her grandfather’s death that proved to be true.

The reading had taken place at the Lily Dale Assembly in New York, the world’s largest spiritualist community. Curious but with reservations, Taggart headed to Lily Dale to delve into the history of spiritualism thinking she would learn what all the tricks of the trade were, but she didn’t end up getting the explanations she thought she would. Instead, she discovered a mysterious world she began to document with her camera.

She certainly wasn’t the first photographer to do this, as spiritualism and spiritualist photography have long been connected. Both surfaced in the mid-1800s in Rochester, N.Y.,—home of Kodak. At the time, spiritualists naturally gravitated toward this new technology in hopes of recording what they had been experiencing. One of the most well-known spiritualist portraits of this era purports to show the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln with his hand placed nonchalantly on the shoulder of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

When Taggart first began taking photos at Lily Dale, she remained an observer. After the first year, she became involved as a student and a participant while continuing her photography. Although at first she had a hard time understanding spiritualism, Taggart was curious and said she has since experienced numerous mysterious experiences that have helped her tap into her own creative process.

One of these inexplicable events occurred during one of her first visits to the Lily Dale Museum. Taggart said that a large purple orb appeared on the shoulder of a woman she was photographing, but she wasn’t shooting into the sun. “When I brought a copy back for her, she calmly said, ‘Oh, that’s Bob,’ her deceased husband. She was thrilled with the picture,” Taggart said.

Taggart was also interested in physical mediumship, which claims to involve perceptible manifestations—such as loud raps or voices—and is practiced outside the New York community. While at Lily Dale, she met a medium who suggested she visit England, where, along with other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, a “new age of physical mediumship” was happening.

Taggart said one of the strangest things she witnessed happened during the mediumship of Gordon Garforth, a deep trance and physical medium in Stansted, England. Garforth told Taggart that his hands enlarge during his séances. About 20 minutes into one, Garforth’s wife, who operates as his “spirit control,” said that the spirits were going to work with his hands. While seated under a dim red light, Garforth held out his hand to Taggart. “Unbelievably to me, it seemed to effortlessly stretch, and the entire hand became large, instantly. I gasped and yelled ‘Oh my God!’ ” Taggart remembered. She said that the 30 other people in the room also reacted with amazement; she worried the experience was merely “hypnotic” and that her camera, set to one-second exposures, wouldn’t capture the growth. “The photographs made seem to confirm a distorted large hand … I was able to sit with Gordon on two additional occasions and I saw the same thing,” Taggart said.

While some of her experiences struck Taggart as downright supernatural, some of her images were more straightforward, including her photo of bent spoons. It may not come as a surprise to learn the spiritualists bend them with their hands as a sort of symbolic connection to what they believe to be possible. “It is taught as an exercise of the power of the mind, a physical example of our ability to do things that seem impossible,” said Taggart of her most asked-about image.

Source: Slate


 

Shannon Taggart's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
Win A Solo Exhibition in August
Get International Exposure and Connect with Industry Insiders
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Wendel Wirth
United States
1966
Wendel Wirth is an American contemporary fine art photographer. Originally from New York City and Chicago, Wirth lives in the mountains of Ketchum (better known as Sun Valley), Idaho. She in interested in the space between minimalist art and photography, ultimately pushing the viewers attention beyond the subject matter and celebrating the most essential and elemental aspects of the photograph. Wirth is an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellow and is represented by Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho and Dimmitt Contemporary in Houston, TX. THIS IS THE PLACE THIS IS THE PLACE is a photographic exploration of minimalist art as found in the landscape of our fading farmland. Driving highway twenty through central Idaho, the ground stretches for miles, expanding space. The linear landscape feels curated. In the winter months, the muted horizon parades elemental forms; barns and grain elevators, cow houses, cowsheds, granges as they have been called. My mind, in its road trip haze, translates the landscape into fields of Donald Judd's concrete blocks. As a photographer, I flatten the plane, calling to mind Judd's woodblock prints. The structures fade into a cluster of modest rectangles. A perfectly centered horizon line juts from a singular form. Repetition, as found in minimalist art, is used to draw attention to the subtle details & linear interests. As I peer through my viewfinder, I am not only deeply engaged with form and texture, line, color and atmosphere, I am also contemplating the rate at which our farmland in disappearing. It is urgent for me to capture a place that historically has served as a source of health and ecosystem before it is gone. Through intersecting my obsession of minimalist art, photography and farmland, my intent is to inspire you to visually play in and to conserve this precious land. THIS IS THE PLACE I am telling you about.
Gilles Nicolet
France
1960
I am a self-taught photographer who spent 35 years living and working in Africa, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but soon switched to photography in order to follow an old passion. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Geo, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match. I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that - I hope - has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white. My work has received several major awards, including a World Press Photo Award and a Fuji Award. My latest project on the Swahili Coast also obtained the following recognitions: 2017 HIPA Hamdan International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, Portfolio Category 2017 Elliott Erwitt Havana Fellowship - Nominee 2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards - Winner 2017 IPA International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, People/Culture Category 2017 Meitar Award - Nominee 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - Photojournalism/Professional - Two Honorable Mentions 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - People/Professional - Honorable Mention 2018 CAP Contemporary African Photography Prize - Finalist 2018 SIPA Contest - Honorable Mention 2019 SOPHOT Award - Winner This work on the Swahili Coast is featured in "Swahili", a book released by Contrejour Publishers in May 2019 (available on amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk). Six degrees south The Zanzibar archipelago, an highly evocative name even for those who are quite unable to locate it on a map, lies six degrees south of the Equator. It is also the exact geographical center of the Swahili Coast, a unique physical, historical and cultural entity running from Southern Somalia to Mozambique, which first grew in the 10th century through trade with the Arab world, India and China. Gold, coconut, ebony, mangrove wood, sisal, myrrh and the infamous slave trade helped make the wealth of this region, slowly shaping it and giving it its unique present character. For a thousand years now, wooden dhows have sailed these lonely shores, with their characteristic white cotton sails, using the monsoon winds to help traders move goods between Africa and Arabia. And for a thousand years too, fishermen have ploughed these rich seas for their bounty of fish, contributing with the traders to the emergence of rich city-ports like Stone Town or Mombasa. But all of this is changing now. A combination of overfishing by both local and foreign ships, population increase, changes in weather patterns as well as the recent discovery of huge gas fields in the region, is threatening this fragile equilibrium. The fishing communities that occupy these shores are particularly at risk, and it could be that we are now witnessing the last of fishing and sailing traditions that had remained largely unchanged since Ibn Battuta, the famous 12th Century Arab explorer, first described them in his travel memoirs. With this recent work I have tried to testify to the unique beauty and timelessness of the Swahili Coast, and to record it for generations to come. It is a personal, melancholic, sometimes dreamy vision of a place and a culture that are very dear to my heart but which, I now realise, may soon disappear.
Jean-Francois Jonvelle
France
1943 | † 2002
Jean-François Jonvelle, born on October 3, 1943, in Cavaillon was a French photographer of fashion, glamor and portraiture. Work on the release of 20 ans magazine and then work on Dim, Dam, Dom, Vogue, Stern, Gala, Elle. In the 1960s, Jonvelle was assistant to Richard Avedon. During his career, he made many portraits of women, often his friends: natural young people, often naked, unconcerned. Unlike other fashion and glamor photographers, who offer a provocative woman, Jean-François Jonvelle's performance is much softer, more natural, more jovial but equally sensual. He died at the age of 58 years of terminal cancer, 15 days after it was detected on January 16, 2002, in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Jean-François Jonvelle was snatched by the hand of death with a suddenness to match the photographs that were his life. Just as that life was dedicated to capturing these stolen moments, so death followed suit, carrying him off in the midst of life. A tumor was discovered in early January, a final farewell just a fortnight later. He was gone in a flash. As I turn the pages of my friend’s last book my eyes mist over. My tears dissolve Jonvelle’s photographs into the soft focus of a David Hamilton. Jonvelle’s work is often described as being – in the time-honored formula – ‘sexy but not vulgar’. I prefer his own description of what he sought out: ‘la poésie du quotidien’, ‘the poetry of the everyday’. Photographs freeze moments of truth, all you have to do is choose the ones that do it best. "I tell myself that the present and the future don’t exist", he also used to say. "Everyone, every day, creates their own past." The quality that makes his images more moving than the rest is their vulnerability. Jonvelle taught me one crucial lesson: in photography, as in literature, what counts is feeling. Eroticism and tenderness are not sworn enemies. A downy arm, the frail nape of a neck, an uptilted breast, the curve of a back beneath the sheets, damp hair, closed eyelids, the trace of a kiss on the neck all these can be arousing. Jonvelle’s women are fresh and natural because they are unaware of our gaze. Jonvelle makes adoring voyeurs of us all. He shows us why heterosexuality can be so painful: everywhere, in every house and every bathroom, paradise lurks. Paradise delicately removes her T-shirt, brushes her teeth, buttocks pert, the curve of her breasts taut, timeless. Suddenly paradise parts her legs in silence, biting her fingernails as she looks you straight in the eye, teasing you as she waits for you on the sheets. Jonvelle is in paradise now, but for him nothing has changed: he was already there in his lifetime. As I gaze in wonder, the way I always do, at these images, so far removed from the familiar clichés, my thoughts turn to the beautiful women he immortalized. Photographs fix the fleeting, immortalize the ephemeral. Many of the women Jonvelle photographed are now old or dead, but – thanks to this photographer who is now also dead – their perfection will never fade. Every one of Jonvelle’s photographs is a declaration of love. One day, at my request, he photographed Delphine Vallette, the mother of my daughter. I wanted to give this brunette whom I loved a portrait. Never have I felt such a cuckold – though in the most erotic of ways. Beauty is an evanescent mystery that some artists have the ability to capture. As I look again at these wonderful images, I’m reminded of the title of that American comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous. Jonvelle’s work as a whole is not an ode to femininity; the story it tells is of the battle to vanquish death by means of the celebration of desire. All these shoulders caught by surprise, these half-seen breasts, these finely- arched insteps, these flawless backs, this sensual solitude, this calm between two storms, all these beautiful women who don’t give a damn are simply doors softly opened, through which we may catch a glimpse of eternal life. -- Frédéric Beigbeder Jean-François Jonvelle was born in 1943 in Cavaillon, south of France. Soon he will sell famous melons to buy Hasselblad. Its inspirations will come from the painting of Balthus, Bacon, of Schiele, but the true influence comes from films from Mankiewicz, Lubitsch, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Arthur PEN, Minnelli and more recently of Terry Gillian of which it acknowledges to have seen eleven times the film Brazil; Finally its preferred film: Jules and Jim of François Truffaut. In 1959, it is the photographer George Glasberg who initiates him with photography while making him make the turn of France of the cathedrals. It is a photographic revelation which will leave it never again. At the age of 20 he becomes the assistant of the American photographer Richard Avedon. After this enriching experiment he becomes his own 'Master' whose favorite subject will be the woman. Her mom and her small sister of whom he always was very near will be her 'first agreeing victims'. Then come the first 'muse' and accomplice, Tina Sportolaro whom he meets in 1982 and with which he carries out some of his more beautiful images. Will be then Béatrice, Myriam and many others.Source: The Eye of Photography
Margo Davis
United States
1944
Margo Baumgarten Davis is a photographer, educator and author of several photographer's books. Margo was raised in Connecticut and has lived for over 30 years in Palo Alto, California. She attended Bennington College, spent time at the Sorbonne studying French literature, and graduated from University of California, Berkeley. It was at UC Berkeley where she met her first husband Gregson Davis and traveled frequently to his home country of Antigua. She has a daughter, Anika and a son, Julian. Davis has produced photography in Paris, Italy, Nigeria and in the Caribbean, and has done a significant amount of portraiture. Davis has photographed Saul Bellow, Maxine Kingston, Tillie Olsen, Ursula K. Le Guin, Diane Johnson, and Kay Boyle. In Nigeria, Davis produced a number of photographs of the Fula people. Davis has spent time lecturing at Stanford on photojournalism with the communications department. She has also taught photography at University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2017, Margo's book Antigua: Photographs 1967-1973 was published by Nazraeli Press. At interview, Margo said she produced the book after hearing interest expressed at an exhibit in Antigua. Antigua As young artists, we are drawn to projects that help us understand truths about who we are and what we want to become. When we are just starting out, that process is intuitive, at times random; it is also intense and thrilling. This was my experience when I began photographing in Antigua in 1967. It was the very beginning of a long journey in photography that is evolving to this day, 40 years later. From my first days in Antigua, I was overwhelmed by the timeless beauty of the place and especially by the strength of its people. I was born on the East Coast of the United States, a few thousand miles to the north. I was welcomed into a world and culture different from my own. Starting with the Antigua photographs in this exhibit, my life's journey has been with a camera and with an eye for the landscape of the human face. Although I was often moved to photograph the beaches and sunsets, and the shapely old sugar mills and estate houses of the island, I am primarily a portraitist. Drawn to the people of the villages that dotted the island, my early inspirations came from the faces you see here. Whenever possible, I asked permission to photograph - because the power of my portrait style depended on the comfort of the people that I was photographing. Since those early years, my interest in humanistic photography has propelled me into the world of various cultures. I have exhibited those photographs internationally and produced four books. However, it was on the island of Antigua where my passion for photography first began to flourish. Antigua Black; Portrait of an Island People was created and published in 1973. I want to thank again all the Antiguans who helped make this collection possible. Margo Davis Discover All American
Cristina García Rodero
Cristina García Rodero (born 14 October 1949) is a Spanish photographer and member of Magnum Photos and Agence Vu photo agencies. García Rodero was born in Puertollano, Spain, in 1949, and studied painting at Complutense University of Madrid. She has worked as a teacher. Rodero photographs the persistence of rural traditions in modern times, such as religious rites and festivals in Spain. In Spain she is among the most celebrated documentary photographers. García Rodero joined Magnum Photos in 2005 and became a full member in 2009. The city of Puertollano, where she was born, inaugurated the Cristina García Rodero Museum in 2018. A large part of the photographer's work is exhibited there. The Cristina García Rodero Museum is located in the old municipal museum of Puertollano. There are more than 2,100 square meters distributed over three floors in which are displayed about 200 photographs of the artist.Source: Wikipedia Cristina García Rodero was born in Puertollano, Spain. She studied painting at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Madrid, before taking up photography. She then qualified as a teacher and worked full-time in education. For the next 16 years, she also dedicated her time to researching and photographing popular and traditional festivities – religious and pagan – principally in Spain but also across Mediterranean Europe. This project culminated in her book España Oculta published in 1989, which won the “Book of the Year Award” at the Arles Festival of Photography. The same year, García Rodero also won the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Foundation Prize. The documentary and ethnological value of her work are considerable, but the aesthetic quality of her photography makes it more than a simple visual record. In recent years, Cristina García Rodero has traveled around the world in search of other cultures with particular traditions. Over a period of four years, she went several times to Haiti, where she has documented voodoo rituals, producing a series of expressive portraits and moving scenes flanked by engaging documentary observations. Rituals in Haiti was shown for the first time in the 2001 Venice Biennale. Cristina García Rodero has received many prizes, including the Premio Nacional de Fotografía in 1996 in Spain. Her work has been widely published and exhibited internationally. She has published several books and has been a member of the Vu agency for more than 15 years. García Rodero joined Magnum in 2005 and became a full member in 2009.Source: Magnum Photos
Solmaz Daryani
Solmaz Daryani is an Iranian photographer and photojournalist, based between the UK and Iran. Her work is particularly known for exploring the themes of climate security, climate change, water crisis, human identity and environment. Daryani has worked internationally, covering social and environmental documentary stories in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Her work has been published by international magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic Magazine, L'OBS Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, Polka Magazine, Zenith Magazine among others. The Eyes of Earth (THE DEATH OF LAKE URMIA) "A lake is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." Henry David Thoreau Lake Urmia is located in the northwest of Iran. It was once the biggest salt lake in the Middle East and sixth biggest salt lake on earth situated between two neighboring provinces (East-Azerbaijan and West-Azerbaijan) in Iran. Lake Urmia was home to many birds like ducks, pelicans, and flamingoes.10 years ago; the lake was still a popular destination for vacationers. Bathers immersed themselves in the saline water and smeared their bodies with its legendary black mud, which helped to treat skin disease. My extended family on my mother's side born and lived in Sharafkhaneh port. The town used to be one of the heavily traveled touristic villages on the north coast of Lake Urmia. My grandfather had built a motel beside the lake, and my uncles were sailors. Less than a decade ago, my grandfather hosted dozens of tourists a day in the summers, with his two sons taking them on boat tours. During the past 20 years, approximately 80% of this lake dried due to climatic changes, excessive development in the agriculture sector, lack of correct management of water consumption, and excessive dams constructed on the lake's basin river in this area. At the moment, hopes for the salt lake's survival have been revived after 2018 torrential rain has boosted a government program aimed at preserving it before it dries up. The desiccation is one of the most unfortunate environmental disasters of Iran in recent years. It will increase the frequency of salt storms that sweep across the exposed lakebed, diminishing the productivity of surrounding land and encouraging farmers to move away. More than 4 million people live in two neighboring provinces (East-Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan) around the lake and agriculture, animal husbandry, and handicraft making play a significant role in the region. As the lake dried up, agriculture waned which caused my grandparent's garden dry and deserted. Lake's ducks; flamingos and pelicans have vanished, too. My childhood in Sharafkhaneh seems like a long time ago. The motel abandoned, and the almond trees have withered. The port today is a sparsely populated village where most people are old, and it no longer resembles the place where I left my childhood memories. The project investigates the impacts of drying of Urmia Lake on people and the environment around it and to demonstrate environmental, economic, physical, and social changes that happened after lake shrinking. (the Year 2014-ongoing)
Advertisement
Win a Solo Exhibition in August
AAP Magazine #42: Shapes
Win a Solo Exhibition in August

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Laurent Baheux
French photographer Laurent Baheux, follows the tradition of humanist photographers by capturing black-and-white images of nature and wildlife. His subjects are not confined to cages or enclosures; they are free individuals, captured in the moment, displaying the full strength of their freedom, the beauty of their personalities, and the tenderness of their communal lives. Celebrated for their aesthetic power and authenticity, Laurent's black-and-white photographs have been featured in books, publications, exhibitions, and conferences, and are displayed in galleries both in France and internationally.
Reflections by Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based freelance photographer, who works with celebrities, sports people, CEOs, as well as advertising agencies and brands. Jon regularly creates his own personal work, which have won numerous awards over the years. Jon’s recent project ‘The Candymen of Mumbai’ has won a Portrait of Humanity award and was the overall winner of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the year 2023. His previous 2019 project called ‘Bikes of Hanoi’ also picked up multiple awards including the Paris Photo Prize - Gold in 2019, Portrait of Humanity Award 2020 and was the Smithsonian Grand Prize Winner in 2020. He was also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards in 2020 and nominated for the Lens Culture Portrait Prize 2020. We asked him a few questions about his project 'Reflections'
Exclusive Interview with George Byrne
George Byrne is an acclaimed Australian photographer known for his striking use of color and composition. Byrne's work often captures urban landscapes with a minimalist and abstract aesthetic, transforming ordinary cityscapes into vivid, painterly images. His distinctive style highlights the beauty in everyday scenes, emphasizing geometry, light, and shadow to create visually captivating pieces. Byrne has gained international recognition for his unique approach to photography, blending elements of fine art and documentary to offer a fresh perspective on the urban environment.
Barbara Cole and Wet Collodion Photographs
Cole is best known for her underwater photography, but her other studio practice during the cold months in Toronto is an ongoing series of wet collodion photographs. This heavily analog process from the 19th Century is a years-long endeavor of revitalization and experimentation, offering modern day viewers an understanding of what it took to develop photographs in the early days of its invention. Cole has added her own unique take on the process by adding a layer of color in contrast to the usual sepia tones associated with the genre. The resulting wet plate photographs are tactile and dimensional dances between light and shadow, past and present, depicting women in timeless dreamscapes. We asked her a few questions about this specific project
Exclusive Interview with Michael Joseph
I discovered Michael Joseph's work in 2016, thanks to Ann Jastrab. I was immediately captivated by the power of his beautiful black and white photographs from his series 'Lost and Found.' His haunting portraits of young Travelers have stayed with me ever since.
Exclusive Interview with Debe Arlook
Debe Arlook is an award-winning American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment, as she attempts to understand the inner and outer worlds of human relationships. Degrees in filmmaking and psychology inform these views.
Orchestrating Light: Seth Dickerman Talks About his Passion for Photographic Printmaking
Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #42 Shapes
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes