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Herb Ritts
Herb Ritts
Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts

Country: United States
Birth: 1952 | Death: 2002

Herb Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70's and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also created successful advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gap, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Levi's, Pirelli, Polo Ralph Lauren, Valentino among others. Since 1988 he directed numerous influential and award winning music videos and commercials. His fine art photography has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, with works residing in many significant public and private collections.

In his life and work, Herb Ritts was drawn to clean lines and strong forms. This graphic simplicity allowed his images to be read and felt instantaneously. They often challenged conventional notions of gender or race. Social history and fantasy were both captured and created by his memorable photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society.

Ritts was committed to HIV/AIDS related causes, and contributed to many charitable organizations, among them amfAR, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Project Angel Food, Focus on AIDS, APLA, Best Buddies and Special Olympics . He was also a charter member on the Board of Directors for The Elton John Aids Foundation.

Herb Ritts passed away on December 26th, 2002.

Source: www.herbritts.com

 

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Graeme Williams
South Africa
1961
I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era, when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens. My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished. My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects. In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay, highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
Raquel Chicheri
Raquel Chicheri is a freelance photographer.I am from Galicia, Northern Spain but because it was cold and wet I decided to move to Fuerteventura, an island off the coast of Africa which has a much better weather. I loved photography since I was a kid, my father is a great photographer and his work inspired me from the beginning. I studied " comercio internacional" (International commerce or trade) but I only worked one year in that field and then decided to study graphic design which I liked better. I worked a few years but when I met my boyfriend who was a professional windsurfer, I began to take pictures of him and of his trips and it is at that time that I began publishing photos in windsurfing magazines. I am inspired by almost everything, kids, water, animals, street... I don't take pictures in a studio, I take my camera everywhere and when I see something that catches my attention I shoot. I spend most of my time on the beach and I broke several cameras with the sand but I don't care as long as I take good photos. If the situation is right I see it right away, I cannot wait for the situation to develop too much because I usually go for a walk with my children and I have to take care of them. I prefer the situation to be casual, I hope to capture nature and the relationship of people around it. Some situations are magical, when I realize I am in front of something special, my heart beats so fast and the happiness is absolute. There are so many cheesy, affected photos all around, I try to be different. I would love to make a complete series of photos about cuba...All about Raquel Chicheri:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I had my children and I couldn't stop taking photos of them.AAP: Where did you study photography?I studied photography on the life school with the people who shared it with me.AAP:Do you have a mentor?LifeAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Since I met my boyfriend. I used to take windsurfing photos of him for magazines.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?It was a self-portrait.AAP: What or who inspires you?Life, people, animals, lights, situations...AAP: How could you describe your style?I prefer someone else to do it for me...AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?Canon Eos Mark II 5D, my favorite lens is the 50mm f:1,4.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?NoAAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Sally Mann, Mccurry, Newton, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Murray Michel, Man Ray, Jock Sturges, Margaret de lange, Koudelka, Eve Arnold, Saudek... so many..AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?To be what you are and not what everyone else want you to be.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?My grandmother who already died.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?"and that people who make dates are the same kind who need lines on their writing paper, or who always squeeze up from the bottom on a tube of toothpaste" Julio Cortazar, HOPSCOTCH.
Victor Moriyama
Brazil
1984
Victor Moriyama is a freelance Brazilian photographer based in São Paulo that covers the region of South America and the problems concerning the Amazon Rainforest for the international press, mainly for The New York Times. His work discloses an humanist kind of photography, committed to document the processes of violence that prevail in social and environmental relations in Brazil and the Amazonian region. Agrarian Conflicts, the deforestation and conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, the genocide of the indigenous populations, the acceleration of climate change and the violation human rights have been guiding themes of his career in the last few years. Victor also collaborates regularly with NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Instituto Socioambiental, iCRC and UNHCR. Concerned with the shortage of reported on the conflicts in the Amazon, Victor has created, in 2019, the project @historiasamazonicas a community of Latin American photographers committed to document the current processes that are taking place in the Amazon, with the objective of defining and changing the present. The idea is to expand the world's knowledge concerning the conflicts that surround the Amazon and to engage the global society into thinking and fighting the deforestation of the greatest rainforests in the world. Victor is also a member of the @everydayclimatechange, a group of photographers from the five continents engaged and committed to climate change. Mr. Moriyama is also a photography columnist for the Brazilian edition of the Spanish Newspaper El País. Amazon Deforestation "Nature will die in embers", told me Davi Yanomami, one of Brazil's greatest indigenous leaders, during the 70 days I spent doing field work in the Amazon Rainforest. The greatest rainforest in the world is dying. The year of 2019 was the worst in history for the Amazon Forest. The deforestation of the vegetation cover set a record and increased 29.5% in relation to 2018, adding up to a total loss of 9.762km² of forest. However, this process isn't new: the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest has been going on for decades, with the connivance of the rulers of the South American countries, whose actions are utterly inefficient when it comes to trying to reverse this context of destruction. This situation became even more severe, after the elected right-wing government took office in 2019. Stimulated by official speech, deforestation agents set thousands of hectares on fire, with the certainty of impunity. As an immediate reaction, thousands of young people started protesting against the destruction of the rainforest, in dozens of cities worldwide, headed by Greta Thunberg. This series of images is the result of my immersive work in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, where I have documented the advances of the deforestation in a special piece for The New York Times.
Cara Weston
United States
Cara Weston is a fine art photographer living and working in the Big Sur area of California. She is the daughter of renowned photographer Cole Weston and actress Helen Prosser-Weston, niece of Brett Weston and granddaughter of Edward Weston - recognized as the leading visionary in modern photography. Having worked with her father Cole and Uncle Brett, as well as Rod Dresser, photographer and assistant to Ansel Adams, Cara has followed the path of her heritage. The body of work she has created over the past two decades respects the craftsmanship tradition of the medium and reflects a unique voice within her family. It now stands alongside her famous descendants as a prime example of fine art image making in the twenty-first century.In addition to her work as a photographer, Cara is the former director of the internationally renowned Weston Gallery in Carmel. As director she curated shows that included exhibitions for luminaries such as Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna and of course Edward, Cole and Brett Weston. In addition to the gallery exhibitions she has produced, Cara has also curated several art shows in Los Angeles and New York that have featured the best works of today’s art photographers.Cara is also the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and has just published her first book of photographs, “Head in the Clouds”; a compilation of her best works from various portfolios and one that studies the strength and ephemeral beauty existing above our horizon. Her work can be viewed on her website www.carawestonphotography.com and is in several international exhibits and collections.
Vassi Koutsaftis
Vassi Koutsaftis has explored the globe for over 30 years, specializing in travel photography – of the extreme kind, especially in the mountainous regions of Himalayan, the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and other very remote areas of Asia. Born in 1952 in Athens, Greece and crossed the world’s oceans working on cruise ships and freighters. That was just the beginning for he continued to examine our planet traveling to remote areas on his own, then from the air, when he went on to study aeronautics and became a pilot in the U.S. He leads treks and exploratory tours in Afghanistan, Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Bhutan, Burma, Turkey and India, and he contributes essential research to unusual and remote itineraries for Geographic Expeditions one of the best and most respected expedition companies in the US. Vassi’s photographs have been published in a number of magazines including Geo (European edition), Photografos, USA Today, Asia Week, National Geographic Traveler, and Marin Magazine. He serves as Conde Nast’s Tibet expert and is well known for his compelling images of the Dalai Lama. His photographic and travel expertise has been instrumental in scouting for films including productions by CBS, PDI and Dreamworks and a number of independent filmmakers. Vassi’s work is included in the collections of U.C. Berkeley’s Blum Center, Steve Wynn Casinos, Stanford University’s Center for Buddhist Studies. Vassi has exhibited his work widely in a number of galleries in the United States and Overseas including The Hellenic American Union in Athens, Greece and enjoys giving presentations of his photographs while sharing stories of extensive travels around the world.
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