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Jessica Todd Harper
Jessica Todd Harper
Jessica Todd Harper

Jessica Todd Harper

Country: United States
Birth: 1975

Jessica spent much of her childhood wandering around museums with a sketchbook, copying paintings. This traditional artistic preparation took an unexpected course when she started making photographs as a teenager, but the familiar canvases of her childhood heroes -John Singer Sargent, Whistler, Vermeer- still have their influences today: she is interested in making intimate, psychological portraits, where the environment plays a large role.

Jessica Todd Harper uses portraiture to explore the subtle tensions within daily family interactions and the complexity of human relationships. Her work is grounded in art historical tradition, but with a psychological undercurrent that marks its modernity. A silver medalist in the Prix de la Photographie in Paris (2014), she was an Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition prizewinner (2016) and selected that same year for the Taylor Wessing Portrait competition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Her work will be significantly represented in Kinship, opening at the Smithosonian's National Portrait Gallery in late 2022, and running until 2024. Harper has published two prize-winning books of photography, Interior Exposure (2008) and The Home Stage (2014) (both Damiani Editore). Damiani’s third book of her work, Here, is due out in late 2022.

HERE
Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper (born 1975) looks for the value in everyday moments. The characters in her imagery are the people around her—friends, herself, family—but it is not so much they who are important as the way in which they are organized and lit by Harper. A woman helping her child practice the piano is not a particularly sacred moment, but as in a Vermeer painting, the way the composition and lighting influence the content suggests that perhaps it is.

This collection of photographs presented in Harper's third monograph makes use of what is right in front of the artist, what is here, a place that many of us came to contemplate especially during the pandemic. Beauty, goodness and truth can reveal themselves in daily life, as in the Dutch paintings of everyday domestic scenes that are somehow lit up with mysterious import. Harper shows how our unexamined or even seemingly dull surroundings can sometimes be illuminating.

Exlusive Interview with Jessica Todd Harper about her Book Here
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Virginia Hines
United States
Virginia Hines started photographing during high school, working part-time for the local newspaper where her parents were editors, and later studied photography with notable artists including Harvey Stein, Bruce Gilden, Alex Webb, and Geoff Winningham. She is a frequent contributor to Street Photography Magazine and their podcasts featured her in April 2021 and May 2022. She also wrote the introductory essay for Harvey Stein's latest book of street photography, Coney Island People: 50 Years. Her photographs have appeared in many print and digital publications and have been exhibited in group shows across the U.S. and in Europe. You can follow her progress on Instagram @vhines_photos and on her web site. Statement For me, photography is about making connections, most importantly, connections with other people. Even in brief interactions, there is a potential connection, a communication, that can create bonds with individuals from a variety of circumstances. Photography is an outlet for my enduring curiosity about people. There is also the challenge of making visual and conceptual connections within the confines of the frame. Photography provides a means of playing with the inescapable yet elusive dimension of time, which has fascinated me ever since I learned there was meaning to exactly how the hands were positioned on the face of a clock. I have been trying to “tell time” ever since. Finally, photography gives me a way to explore mysteries and discover order and beauty in everyday life. Often enough, life does not seem beautiful, but sometimes a photograph will bring to light qualities that lie beneath the surface. I treasure these small epiphanies and the tools photography provides for bringing them to light.
Peter Allert
Peter Allert co-founded Munich-based Allert&Hoess Photography in 1989, specializing in still life , technical and scientific photography. This brought him while his study of biology before, to start as self-taught photographer. After setting up its own studio in 1991 and establishing its own light, lab and print facilities, the company made its breakthrough in 1992 with a photo series for the portfolio „Joop! – women’s shoes“. Its subsequent client list is long and prestigious: Mercedes Benz, Audi, VW, BMW, Ford, Philip Morris, McDonalds, Ballantines, Wrigleys, Veltins, Wella, Miele, Bosch, Dresdner Bank, Deutsche Bahn AG, Siemens, LogiTech, MAN, Microsoft, GREENPEACE... to name a few. Today his photography actually is artistic. His works now are altogether advanced elaborations. He is working with multiple-exposures and different focus adjustments within a photograph. Additionally he highlights his subjects with spotlights (DEDO Lights) for every individual exposure in different adjustments and configurations.Source: www.peterallert.de Interview with Peter Allert All About Photo: Where did you study photography? Peter Allert: At the age of 7, I've been fascinated by photography. I got my first camera for his birthday and it went right now with this new adventure. During the whole period of schooling and youth I was obsessed with the possibilities of this medium... it was back then to my great passion. My love of nature and my subsequent study of biology, were another fertile ground for the expansion of my photographic works in new and fascinating areas. Later, I got access to advertising photography. I worked very successfully for 17 years in advertising, primarily for the automotive industry and in fashion. Ten years ago, then started my burnout, I was too other-directed and under constant pressure. Finally I lost my soul - I fell emotionally in a Coma, which never ended and I lost all my passion for photography! Only after many painful and difficult years, then a miracle, my miracle! In September 2013, I suddenly felt a new and ever expectant strength in me. She became stronger and stronger and I got my second chance! I quickly realized that I may never work externally determined with photography again - so I had a strong desire to completely new and original ways to go in photography. And so the desire as an artist within the photograph was made to work. AAP: Do you have a mentor? PA: I am self-educator and have teach me everything completely yourself. I have been doing all learned to make all analog laboratory processes such as color negative films and slide films to develop or color enlargements and edit. But also all black & white I have processes teach me ... Method as bromoil print have inspired to my digital workflow in today's time to orient myself to it. I grew up with analog photography and this has shaped me first of all. Thus, I am now very well be able to touch this analog in my image processing to achieve! AAP: How long have you been a photographer? PA: I have worked for over 20 years as a professional photographer. Before that, I financed my studies in Biology with smaller photo jobs. My first photos were nature photography, macro photography of animals and plants. After this the portrait photograph was added. AAP: What or who inspires you? PA: Edward Steichen & Robert Mapplethorpe! Both have always touched my soul in a special way!But in general I consider myself away from These kinds of inspiration! It would be too manipulative and determined by others, to allow more of it than I do this currently... AAP: How could you describe your style? PA: My style has only an analog touch, which often is derived from the early days of analog photography. I am fascinated by this authenticity that has shaped this wonderful photography. The soul of this unique works is always a great motivator for my own photography! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? PA: I'm using a Canon EOS mark II and a zoom ED 21-70 mm and a 100 mm lens for portraits. Lately I have been photographing with the camera of my Gallaxy S4 smartphones .. just for trying new. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? PA: My image processing is very complex and requires a lot of time, which I'm taking. Often I need this more than a week! It is a process, similar to an adventure through your own soul. I have to feel all this, sometimes in a painful way - they are pure emotions of myself, which I will in this work with integrate into my images. There is no motivation necessary because it is the pure passion, if the appropriate moment has arrived! It's all about that moment, that when my emotions are ready and my soul opens up entirely! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? PA: Edward Steichen & Robert Mapplethorpe! AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? PA: My main advice is: Stay always hear and feel your self-determined and soul in your work! Everything should come from your heart and your soul and feed into your work. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? PA: Photography is the dierekte wire to my soul - my pictures are the direct reflection of my soul .. this my pictures tell of my feelings and my emotions. Each photo tells its own to profound story. Each image is thus a profound adventure of a portion of my own soul! This means to me that photography today! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? PA: As a little boy I dreamed of good spirits and fairies - I was intrigued by this mystical world! And so this dream accompanied my life ... When I felt my soul again in September 2013, I knew very quickly with this message deal. I was aware that puts a special soul in some, few people! And this I felt ever again. So this new photography had to include this topic. "Ghosts & Fays" and "Souls"!
Fausto Podavini
Fausto Podavini was born in Rome, where he still lives and works. His passion for photography began when he was 18, first as assistant and studio photographer, then working on ethnological and social reportage. In 1992, he worked at MIFAV, the photography museum at Tor Vergata University in Rome and then studied at the John Kaverdash photography academy in Milan, taking a master’s degree in reportage. Podavini left studio photography to dedicate himself exclusively to reportage, and is nowadays a freelance photographer, collaborating with a number of NGOs. He has covered issues in Italy, Peru, Kenya, and Ethiopia, where he is currently developing personal photographic projects.Italian social reportage photographer Fausto Podavini is honoured this year as both third place winner in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Lifestyle category as well as first prize for the 2013 World Press Photo's 'Daily Life' category. His winning series, follows the relationship of Mirella and Luigi as Mirella cared for for husband at home in Rome. Married for over 40 years, Luigi began experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For six years, Mirella tended to her husband's needs due to the progressive degenerative illness. After five years of living with Alzheimers, Luigi no longer recongised his wife; he died in May 2011 with her at his bedside. Podavini's intimate and delicate series follows Mirella for four years. WPO's Kaley Sweeney spoke to the photographer a bit more about his experiences developing the long term project. (Source: World Photography Organisation)
Olivia Arthur
United Kingdom
1980
Olivia Arthur is a British documentary photographer. She co-founded Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in London, with Philipp Ebeling in 2010. Arthur is a member of the Magnum Photos agency and has produced the books Jeddah Diary (2012) and Stranger (2015). Originally studying mathematics at Oxford University, Arthur later studied photojournalism at London College of Printing. She became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2008, an associate member in 2011, and a full member in 2013. In 2010 Arthur co-founded Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in East London, with her husband Philipp Ebeling. Her first book Jeddah Diary (2012) is about the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book Stranger (2015) views Dubai through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck.Source: Wikipedia Olivia Arthur is known for her in-depth photography examining people and their personal and cultural identities. Much of her work has illuminated the daily lives of women living in countries as varied as Saudi Arabia, India and across Europe. A more recent focus on large format portraiture has brought her work back to the UK. “For me, part of the power of still photography is the ambiguousness of pictures, the ability to give a hint about a scene or event without being too absolute,” says Arthur of her work. Arthur was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and cultural divides. Representation and the way we see ourselves are also areas of interest for Arthur. She explored these themes in her project In Private/Mumbai (2016-2018) about sexuality in India and through her ‘Portrait of a City’ commission about young people for Hull, City of Culture (2017). Arthur’s work has been shown in publications including The New Yorker, Vogue and TIME Magazine among others and selected commercial clients include British Airways, Capeb and BNP Paribas. She has received support from the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum, OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values. Arthur continues to return to India and to work in London where she lives. She became a full member of Magnum Photos in 2013.Source: Magnum Photos
Asako Naruto
Japan
1974
Asako Naruto is a Japanese photographer living in Madrid since 2005. After obtaining a BA of Science of Design in Tokyo, she studied Art History, specializing in El Greco until she completed doctoral studies. Although she has been taking photographs for some time, it was around 2020 that she began to rediscover and immerse herself in photography as a personal creative activity. Her photographic style is characterized by a sense of introspection while using a street snapshot approach. In 2022, she won the annual Grand Prix of Digital Camera Magazine (Impress, Japan). Since then, she has received numerous awards from various international photography competitions including VIEPA, PISPA, IPA, BIFA, TIFA and many more. Recently, she has been working on a series of fantastical urban fragments using prismatic filters, one of which, "Reverve+Graphy", won the Gold Medal at the Paris International Street Photography Awards (2023). Statement: Press the shutter button to take a picture. I like the simplicity of it. For me, the real pleasure of photography lies in this physicality of moving my hands and feet and feeling the connection between sight and brain. For me, photographic expression may be an attempt to translate my inner thoughts, which are difficult to verbalize, while capturing fragments of my daily life with a camera. I feel that I want to be a storyteller more than an observer. I try to reveal or represent the scenes I collect in the city by overlaying them with the stories that unfold in my mind. Nevertheless, I carefully avoid encouraging the viewer to have a fixed interpretation of my work by explaining in detail the message it may contain. I want my work to be open to gradations of interpretation and to stimulate the viewer's personal emotional recall.
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