All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Roy Stryker
Photograph of Roy E. Stryker, chief of the Historical Section, Division of Information, Farm Security Administration; taken in Washington, D.C., ca. 1
Roy Stryker
Roy Stryker

Roy Stryker

Country: United Kingdom
Birth: 1893 | Death: 1975

Roy Emerson Stryker was an American economist, government official, and photographer. He headed the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression, and launched the documentary photography program of the FSA. It hired photographers to travel across the United States and document people in different areas and settings as part of showing the state of people in rural areas in those years. Specific projects were conceived to help assess effects of government programs.

He later worked several years on a documentary project for Standard Oil, established the Pittsburgh Photographic Library (PPL), consulted with other companies, and taught photo-journalism at University of Missouri. In his later years he returned to the West, living at last in Colorado.

After serving in the infantry in World War I, Stryker went to Columbia University, where he studied economics. He used photography to illustrate his economics texts and lectures. At Columbia, he worked with Rexford Tugwell. When Tugwell became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Resettlement Administration, Stryker followed him. Tugwell and Stryker refocused the attention of the Resettlement Administration to document the problems of the heartland, and in 1935 Stryker became the head of the Historical Section (Information Division) of the RA. The RA was renamed as the Farm Security Administration, and Stryker set up the photo-documentary project.

Stryker was a manager of the FSA's photographic project. The photographers involved attested to his skill in getting good work from them. He ensure that the photographers were well briefed on their assigned areas before being sent out, and that they were properly funded. However, Stryker has been criticized for his destructive editing, as he would sometimes physically deface negatives by punching holes in them.

Stryker also made sure that mainstream publications had access to FSA photographs. This both helped focus public attention on the plight of the rural poor and set up the commercial careers of his photographers. Overall, from 164,000 developed negatives, some 77,000 different finished photographic prints were made for the press, plus 644 color images.

Photographers hired by Stryker for the FSA included Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, John Vachon, Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, John Collier, Carl Mydans, and Edwin and Louise Rosskam.

During World War II, the photographic unit of the FSA was reassigned to the Office of War Information. It was used to produce what was essentially propaganda and disbanded after a year. At the same time, the US Congress disbanded the FSA. The holdings of the FSA's photographic unit were transferred to the Library of Congress.

Stryker resigned from the government. He worked for Standard Oil in its public relations documentary project from 1943 to 1950, hiring some of the photographers he had worked with at FSA. In selecting photographers for projects at Standard Oil (SO), Stryker sought those who possessed what he described as an "insatiable curiosity, the kind that can get to the core of an assignment, the kind that can comprehend what a truck driver, or a farmer, or a driller or a housewife thinks and feels and translate those thoughts and feelings into pictures that can be similarly comprehended by anyone."

Photographers on the SO project included, among others: Berenice Abbott, Gordon Parks and Todd Webb; as well as Esther Bubley, Harold Corsini, Russell Lee, Arnold S. Eagle, Elliott Erwitt and Sol Libsohn, who would later follow Stryker to his next project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After suggesting topics he wanted to be documented, Stryker gave his photographers the freedom to pursue their individual approaches to their subjects. As with all his projects, Stryker was adamant that his staff understand their subjects and their context before going out on an assignment.

From 1950 to 1952, Stryker worked to establish the Pittsburgh Photographic Library (PPL). In 1960, the collection was transferred to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

After leaving the PPL, Stryker directed a documentation project at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. Thereafter, he accepted consulting jobs on occasion and conducted seminars on photo-journalism at the Journalism School of University of Missouri. Stryker eventually returned to the West in the 1960s. He died in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The Roy Stryker Papers, including manuscripts, correspondence, and vintage prints from the Stryker-directed projects: Farm Security Administration (FSA), the Standard Oil (New Jersey) Co. and Jones & Laughlin Steel, are held in Photographic Archives, Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.

Source: Wikipedia


 

Roy Stryker's Video

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

Bettina Rheims
France
1952
Bettina Rheims, born Bettina Caroline Germaine Rheims is a French artist and photographer. She began her career with a series of images of striptease dancers and acrobats, and over the years she became one of the most notable persons behind the lens. "I adore flesh. I am a skin photographer," she says famously, and that perfectly explains her work. It is raw and erotic, frequently involving nudity and stuffed animals, and she achieves a visceral emotion that captivates the audience. Some of her most well-known pieces raise problems of gender, androgyny, and transsexuality. Although Bettina Rheims began with obscure and marginalized subjects, her later assignments included advertising campaigns for fashion and major brands like Chanel and Lancôme, as well as prominent international magazines. Madonna, Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve, Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer, and many others were photographed by Rheims. And there's something indisputably human and true in every photograph she takes, perhaps too natural and personal. I have always believed that whether the work is my idea or a commission, it is personal work.... In the end, as my old master Helmut Newton used to say, there are only two kinds of pictures: the good ones and the bad ones. -- Bettina Rheims Bettina Rheims was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. She is the daughter of the French Academy's Maurice Rheims. She began her career as a photographer in 1978, at the age of 26, after working as a model, a journalist, and running an art gallery. Initially, she accomplished a lot of commissioned work, such as record covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and celebrity portraits. She devoted herself entirely to photography beginning in 1980. She created a series of images of strippers and acrobats, which were presented in two personal exhibits in Paris in 1981, at the Centre Pompidou and the Galerie Texbraun. Encouraged by her success, she began work on a series of plush animal portraits, which were shown in Paris and New York. In 1982, Rheims' Animal series allowed her to focus her lens on a different type of nudity: stuffed animals with fixed looks, "which seemed to desire to express something beyond death." "I had to capture their stare," the photographer claimed. The photographer questioned gender, androgyny, and transsexuality in Modern Lovers (1989-1990). Les Espionnes (1992) and Kim (1993) were two subsequent publications on the same subject (1994). At the same time she took portrait images for worldwide magazines and advertising campaigns (Well and Chanel), created her first fashion series, worked on cover sleeves, and film posters, and in 1986 directed her first advertising campaign. Her female portraits were published in a monograph, Female Trouble, in 1989, and exhibited in Germany and Japan. The next year, she created Modern Lovers, a series of portraits of androgynous youths that were presented in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as being published in book form. I still find myself having to justify being a woman taking pictures of naked women. It never occurred to me that there was something bizarre about it, it always felt very natural. -- Bettina Rheims Bettina Rheims began work on one of her major series, Chambre Close, in the early 1990s (1990-1992). This was her first color work, and it marked the beginning of her partnership with novelist Serge Bramly, in which her images were combined with the writer's fiction. Chambre Close is a parody of the first pornographic images in form — chambers with fading walls and old-fashioned wallpaper — but in substance, it attempts to stage amateur models in stances that play on the eroticism and misunderstanding between those looking and those displaying themselves. At the close of his presidential campaign in 1995, Jacques Chirac allowed Rheims to work behind the scenes on a series of images depicting the last moments of the election. Following the election, the French Republic's Presidency commissioned Bettina Rheims to create the official picture of Jacques Chirac. According to Libération, she intended to give the President "the easygoing look of the great heroes in westerns." The decade ended with the publishing of the book I.N.R.I. and its accompanying exhibition in 1999. I.N.R.I. constructs a philosophical debate on the history of the crucifixion through images of episodes from Christ's life, from the Annunciation to the Ascension, once again connecting the gaze of Rheims with the writing of Serge Bramly. Bettina Rheims advocated "modern illustrations, following the advent of photography, cinema, and advertising imagery, as if Jesus were to return today." The release of this work was highly contentious in France. During two long stays in Shanghai in 2002, Bettina Rheimsmade a series about the city. "The initial impressions of a visitor coming in Shanghai are of people with deep-rooted ancestral rituals and customs who have thrown themselves into the frenzied race of the modern world." Rheims, blending into this 'alternative way of thinking,' offers us a fresh perspective on the enigma that is China's coexistence with its millenary traditions, avant-garde facet, official elements, and underground qualities. Rheims exhibited Héroïnes, a piece that was essentially an homage to sculpture, at the Galerie De Noirmont in 2005. On this occasion, the photographer worked with designer Jean Colonna to outfit the women in unique outfits. "Thus, old haute couture gowns were reassembled on each of these contemporary icons. These unusually beautiful women then toyed with a stone, which became their pedestal for a brief while." Bettina Rheims collaborated with Serge Bramly again at the end of the 2000s, and Rose, c'est Paris was shown at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2010. Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly crafted a fictional thread from autobiographical parts for the photographic story. In this piece, Paris plays "the role of the muse more than the subject, and [appears] in an almost allegorical manner through the figures weaved into a story." A young woman we'll call B. is hunting for Rose, her twin sister who she thinks has vanished. Rose, c'est Paris is presented as a "great mysterious series," a genre beloved by surrealists, and is divided into thirteen episodes in which we discover, among other things, an unusual or obscure Paris that is voluntarily timeless." Exhibited in 2012 in Düsseldorf, the Gender Studies series pursues the questioning of gender representation. The device linking image and sound (by Frédéric Sanchez) presents 27 sound portraits of young men and women who responded to a request the photographer posted on Facebook. The photos are accompanied by interview clips and have featured in several exhibitions and a book. Rheims has also worked on advertising campaigns for fashion and big brands, such as Chanel and Lancôme, as well as taking portraits of famous women for international magazines. Rheims says that she has been inspired by Diane Arbus and Helmut Newton as well as by the work of early painters.
Christian Tagliavini
Switzerland/Italy
1971
Christian Tagliavini was born in 1971 in Switzerland, where he currently lives and works as a fine art photographer and craftsman. His work is heavily shaped by a childhood spent in Parma, where he grew up immersed in the rich artistic culture of the Plain of the Po, Italy’s longest river. Tagliavini’s evocative images represent just the final stage in his artistic process. His photographs capture the creative vision in his mind’s eye, which he brings to life with handcrafted props, made-to-measure costumes and unconventional models. This behind-the-scenes work establishes him as an artisan- photographer. Choosing unexplored concepts as themes, Tagliavini’s work narrates open-ended stories, inviting the viewer to actively experience unique ideas, sensations and feelings, and ultimately decide the ending for themselves. A self-taught photographer, Tagliavini originally trained in architecture and worked as a graphic designer. His interest in photography was sparked in 2000, at a photographic exhibition in Milan. Fascinated by the technical aspects of photography, he tried his hand at several photographic disciplines before discovering that the mise-en-scène technique was the most effective way to capture the stories that lived in his imagination. Embracing the art of slow photography, Tagliavini’s creative approach involves meticulous planning and careful design. Each project begins with initial historical and iconographic research, feasibility assessments, sketches, storyboarding, colour experimentation, and composition before he sets about making his vision a reality. Tagliavini uses various techniques to handcraft each and every detail, including the props and backdrops. Each costume is fashioned to Christian’s detailed designs, including the fabric and colour choices, and is made-to-measure for each model. Where possible, Tagliavini prefers to work with non-professional models, drawing inspiration from their spontaneity and curiosity. A champion of unconventional beauty, he has always favoured personality over a classical aesthetic. His models represent the only detail of his work that he cannot control: their expressiveness is instinctive and they often inspire him to take his stories in completely new directions. This unscripted detail casts him in the role of observer rather than director. Christian Tagliavini won the Hasselblad Masters Fine Art Category in 2012 and the IPA Fine Art: Portrait prize in 2013. His work has been exhibited in many art galleries and museums worldwide.
Michele Zousmer
United States
Michele Zousmer is a humanitarian and fine art photographer. The camera is her tool to give voice to marginalized communities and witness the human experience. Michele's work celebrates each individual's strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. They are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Michele believes a photograph can create a lasting impression of emotion, curiosity, love, and ultimately hope of mankind. It can help people heal, give them dignity, and feel empowered. Her photographs reveal insights into the lives of people we wouldn't otherwise meet. Through her world travels, Michele meets people from different walks of life, listening to their stories and sharing intimate moments with them. The permission they grant and openness they offer by inviting them into their world never ceases to move Michele. The soulfulness of her images comes from developing relationships with the people she engages with. Michele truly believes that even though we may have differences on the outside, inside we are all the same. The images are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Artist Statement "My mind, my eyes, and my heart have been opened by my experiences. My life has been forever changed. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly. Engaging in the world and becoming open to different cultures and traditions allows for more conversation on diversity and equality. Photographs hold the power to connect people and create understanding. This is why I do what I do." - Michele Zousmer
Katerina Belkina
Katerina Belkina was born in Samara, a city in the South-East of the European part of Russia. She grew up in an artistic atmosphere; her mother is a visual artist and, in herplace of birth, she got an education in the art of painting at the Art Academy. She continued her education in 2000 at an Academy for Photography also in Samara and exhibitions of her mysterious self-portraits ensued in Moscow and Paris. Katerina Belkina was nominated for the prestigious Kandinsky Prize (comparable to the British Turner prize) in Moscow in 2007. At the moment, Katerina Belkina is living and working in Moscow and Berlin.AAP: Where did you study photography?I started in a studio of photography and then I decided to study photography in an Art College. After several years I learned photography at the Photo Academy in Samara, Russia.AAP:How did you become a photographer?I think of myself as an artist in the broad sense of the word. For me photography is just a medium like a painting, drawing etc. However I like to use photography as a basis for my works. This form of art was always interesting for me. As well as drawing. I was influenced by my family in my childhood to like both mediums.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?When I was in fifth grade I took my school photo-group. Otherwise everything around me: school friends, street dogs, home yard.AAP:What was your first paid assignment/job?It was for an inexpensive portrait. The client was a girl who looked very similar to Marilyn Monroe. I found out that only when I looked at her in the viewfinder.AAP: What or who inspires you?Other people working in my field. When I see good results and when I see how they work. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?Yes, a lot. At first I like the process of editing. In my case it is a combination of photo elements and then layer by layer drawing or correcting and making post-productions. I like when any art work include skills and labor. Every good idea should be perfectly executed.AAP: How do you choose your subjects?I always choose a topic that could be interesting for me at that moment. Then comes the process of thinking about. In the beginning ideas are always abstract. After a while it takes a shape: I choose a subject, composition, color combinations and details. AAP: Can you explain the process that you use to set up a portrait?When the idea takes shape in my mind, I draw a sketch, prepare all the necessary things for shooting and then start. Despite the fact that I know very exactly what I want for my future composition, I like to allow improvisation in the process. Because the result can be interesting and unexpectable. To take self-portraits I use a stative and make it by myself or I ask an assistant.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?Oh yes I remember! A meeting with a client who paid me and thought the world should rotate around him just because of that.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot a lot, take everything that could be interesting for you. Try new things, make discoveries. This is the most important thing. Don’t listen to anybody when they want to teach you something especially when it is in a critical way. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Don’t try to be or to do like someone else. Your photography style will become unique over time. You need to be interested by what you are doing even if other photographers or artists can inspire you.
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