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Sascha Ali
Sascha Ali
Sascha Ali

Sascha Ali

Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Birth: 1984

My name is Sascha Ali and I'm a Trinidadian born photographer currently living and working in New York City. I majored in Film Studies at Kingston University in London, and it was during this period that I developed a fondness for photography. When I returned to Trinidad I worked for various news outlets and government companies as a video editor and photographer. I tried my hand at producing and editing several short and feature length films before deciding that life didn't appeal to me. It was around this time in 2018 that I moved to New York City, where I immediately fell in love with street and documentary photography. I was particularly attracted to Harry Gruyaert's color work. I committed to the art, and in 2022 I did a workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb that helped me to focus more seriously on the direction I wanted to take my photography in. My most recent photos focusing on the community of Jackson Heights have become my first major photography project. I've also begun work on a long term documentary project based in Trinidad and Tobago. I currently supplement my street work with freelance jobs for the United Nations.

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Helen Levitt
United States
1913 | † 2009
Helen Levitt was an American photographer and cinematographer. She was particularly noted for her street photography around New York City. David Levi Strauss described her as "the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time." Helen Levitt was most well known and celebrated for her work taking pictures of children playing in the streets. She also focused her work in areas of Harlem and the Lower East side with the subjects of her work many of which were minorities. There is a constant motif of children playing games in her work. She stepped away from the normal practice set by other established photographers at the time by giving a journalistic depiction of suffering. She instead chose to show the world from the perspective of her children by taking pictures of their chalk art. She usually positions the camera and styles the photo in a way that gives the focus of her photography power. Her choice to display children playing in the street and explore street photography fights against what was going on at the time. Legislation being passed in New York at the time was limiting many of the working classes' access to these public spaces. Laws were passed that directly targeted these communities in an attempt to control them. New bans on noise targeted working-class and minority communities. There was a movement to also try to keep children from playing on the street believing it is unsafe for them out there. Instead encouraging safe new areas that were usually built more in upper and middle-class areas. Helen Levitt instead exploring the narrative of those who lived in these areas and played in these streets was a way further to empower the subjects of her photos. Levitt was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of May (Kane), and Sam Levitt. Her father and maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. She went to New Utrecht High School but dropped out in 1931. She began taking photography when she was eighteen and in 1931 she learned how to develop photos in the darkroom when she began working for J. Florian Mitchell, a commercial portrait photographer in the Bronx. She also attended many classes and events hosted by Manhattan Film and Photography League. This was also around the time she was exposed to the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Julien Levy Gallery, who she was also able to meet through the league. His work became a major influence for her photography as it inspired her to change from her current more journalistic and commercial approach to photography to a more personal one. In 1936, she purchased a Leica camera (a 35 mm range-finder camera). In While teaching art classes to children in 1937 for the New York City's Federal Art Project, Levitt became intrigued with the transitory chalk drawings that were part of the New York children's street culture of the time. She began to photograph these chalk drawings, as well as the children who made them for her own creative assignment with the Federal Art Project. were ultimately published in 1987 as In The Street: chalk drawings and messages, New York City 1938–1948. She continued taking more street photographs mainly in East Harlem but also in the Garment District and on the Lower East Side, all in Manhattan. During the 1930s to 1940s, the lack of air conditioning meant people were outside more, which invested her in street photography. Her work was first published in Fortune magazine's July 1939 issue. The new photography section of the Museum of Modern Art, New York included Levitt's work in its inaugural exhibition in July 1939. In 1941, she visted Mexico City with author James Agee and took photos of the area. In 1943, Nancy Newhall curated her first solo exhibition Helen Levitt: Photographs of Children. In 1959 and 1960, she received two grants from the Guggenheim Foundation for her pioneering work in color photography. In 1965 she published her first major collection, A Way of Seeing. Much of her work in color from 1959 to 1960 was stolen in a 1970 burglary of her East 12th Street apartment. The remaining photos, and others taken in the following years, can be seen in the 2005 book Slide Show: The Color Photographs of Helen Levitt. A second solo exhibit, Projects: Helen Levitt in Color, was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1974. Her next major shows were in the 1960s; Amanda Hopkinson suggests that this second wave of recognition was related to the feminist rediscovery of women's creative achievements. In 1976, she was a Photography Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts. Levitt lived in New York City and remained active as a photographer for nearly 70 years. However, she expressed lament at the change of New York City scenery: "I go where there's a lot of activity. Children used to be outside. Now the streets are empty. People are indoors looking at television or something." She had to give up making her own prints in the 1990s due to sciatica, which also made standing and carrying her Leica difficult, causing her to switch to a small, automatic Contax. She was born with Ménière's syndrome, an inner-ear disorder that caused her to "[feel] wobbly all [her] life." She also had a near-fatal case of pneumonia in the 1950s. Levitt lived a personal and quiet life. She seldom gave interviews and was generally very introverted. She never married, living alone with her yellow tabby Blinky. Levitt died in her sleep on March 29, 2009, at the age of 95.Source: Wikipedia
Julien Coomans
Julien Coomans is a Brussels based amateur photographer with a passion for photographing the natural world. He is a highly artistic individual which led him to pursue a career as an Architect. In his free time he loves to explore his artistic side through the medium of photography and has been commended for his images in several photographic publications. ​ Through experimenting with his camera settings and techniques, Julien seeks to capture scenes of tranquillity and minimalism in a bid to counter the hustle and bustle of his daily city life. ​ He travels widely in Europe, whether it be to the expansive northern beaches of Flanders or the rugged mountains of northern Italy, Julien is happiest when at one with nature. His camera is simply an excuse to get out there, discover beautiful places and capture stunning images. Fishing Huts, Fouras, France I traveled to Fouras on the west coast of France to photograph some unusual but picturesque fishing huts that are dotted along the coast line. Central to my vision was to take a series of long exposures in order to set a tranquil scene and emphasise the elegant wooden structures. The first day was miserable - windy and a lot of rain - yet despite this I was amazed by the beauty of the huts. Undeterred, I used my time to study the scene and find my compositions, ready to pounce when conditions were just right. The hardest part about finding the right compositions was avoiding stretches of land on the horizon as the bay curves quite dramatically. I had to find the perfect balance between fishing hut, weather conditions and the horizon line beyond. After finding my compositions my next challenge was to watch out for the tide times. I had to shoot as the tide was going out not only to physically be able to take the shot but to be sure I was safe. On the second day the conditions improved and I had my window between outgoing and incoming tides. The wind had died down making the water much calmer which was better as I could keep the exposure down to a few minutes to try and improve my chance of avoiding any tripod wobble. After shooting my pre-scouted compositions and checking the LCD screen for sharpness I packed up and went for a well earned beer!
 Reza
Iran/France
1952
A philanthropist, idealist, humanist, Reza's career began with studies in architecture. He has gone on to become a renowned photojournalist who, for the last three decades, has worked all over the world, notably for National Geographic. His assignments have taken him to over a hundred countries as a witness to humanity's conflicts and catastrophes. His work is featured in the international media (National Geographic, Time Magazine, Stern, Newsweek, El País, Paris Match, Geo...), as well as a series of books, exhibitions and documentaries made for the National Geographic Channel. Along with his work as a photographer, since 1983 Reza has been a volunteer committed to the training of youths and women from conflict-ridden societies in the language of images, to help them strive for a better world. In 2001, he founded Ainaworld in Afghanistan, a new generation NGO which trains populations in information and communications through the development of educational tools and adapted media. While pursuing his reportages for international media outlets, Reza has continued to conduct workshops on the language of images in a variety through his association Reza Visual Academy. He works with refugees, urban youths in Europe and others from disadvantaged backgrounds. After his work, Mémoires d'Exil ("Memories of Exile") shown at the Louvre Carrousel in 1998, he has shared his humanitarian vision through a series of monumental installations: Crossing Destinies, shown on the grilles of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, One World, One Tribe in Washington DC, and the Parc de la Villette in Paris, War + Peace at the Caen Memorial and on the banks of the Garonne in Toulouse, Hope in Doha (Qatar), Windows of the Soul in Corsica, Soul of Coffee, 250 photographic exhibitions throughout the world, including major installations on the banks of the Seine, or at Kew Gardens in London, Land of Tolerance at the UN Headquarters in New York, the European Parliament in Brussels, as well as UNESCO in Paris. In 2014, Azerbaijan: the Elegance of Fire, presented at the Petit Palais revealed a little-known people with an ancestral culture, turned towards modernity. Finally, the giant panorama A Dream of Humanity was featured along the banks of the Seine during the summer of 2015, showing portraits of refugees around the world taken by Reza and photographs taken by refugee children in Iraqi Kurdestan who were trained as "camp reporters" at the workshops organized by Reza Visual Academy. Author of thirty books, and a recipient of many awards over the course of his career, Reza is a Fellow and Explorer of the National Geographic Society, and a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation. His work has been recognized by World Press Photo; he has also received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, the Lucy Award, an honorary medal from the University of Missouri and the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the American University of Paris. France has also appointed him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.
Micaela Mau
Germany/Italy
1986
Micaela Mau is a German-Italian artist. She has studied visual communication at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome and at the School of Visual Arts in New York as well as Foreign Languages and Literature at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre. While studying and working abroad in Tokyo, Frankfurt, and London she developed an interest in photography, fascinated by the ambiguous relationship between photographic image and reality. She currently lives and works in Florence, Italy. Statement "To me photography is not only a tool to capture fleeting impressions in time and share what caught my attention, but also, and above all, a means of interpreting and reinterpreting reality. My photographic work comprises abstract images that put the bond between photographic reproduction and its referent to the test, often making the original subject almost indistinguishable. Alongside these works I develop more realistic projects concerning our perception of the world and how it is conveyed through photography. Lately I have started to work with analog media, reflecting on the materiality of photographs and negatives, rather than considering them mere image supports. My work is founded on the belief that there is no such thing as an objective photograph. Photography cannot depict reality accurately since the human element – intrinsically fallible and predisposed to subjective perception – pervades all stages of photographic development. Furthermore, the laws of physics, optics and chemistry, pose technical limitations, constraining the medium’s ability to accurately record reality. Last but not least, there’s chance, an unpredictable force capable of influencing the best planned outcomes. Photography, therefore, cannot but be a medium of subjective expression. For this reason I try to embrace the limitations at hand and to make them an integral part of my work." -- Micaela Mau
Michelle Frankfurter
United States
1961
Born in Jerusalem, Israel Michelle Frankfurter is a documentary photographer, currently living in Takoma Park, Maryland. A graduate from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Michelle has been recognized, published and exhibited worldwide. Before settling in the Washington, DC area, Frankfurter spent three years living in Nicaragua, where she worked as a stringer for the British news agency, Reuters and with the human rights organization Witness For Peace documenting the effects of the contra war on civilians. In 1995, a long-term project on Haiti earned her two World Press Photo awards. Since 2000, Frankfurter has concentrated on the border region between the United States and Mexico and on themes of migration. She is a 2013 winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation grant, a 2011 Top 50 Critical Mass winner, a finalist for the 2011 Aftermath Project and the 2012 Foto Evidence Book Award for her project Destino, documenting the journey of Central American migrants across Mexico. Her first book, Destino was published in September 2014 by Foto Evidence. About Destino Meaning both "destination" and "destiny" in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding work in the United States. It is the odyssey of a generation of exiles across a landscape that is becoming increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as an option of last resorts. Unlike Mexican migration to the United States that dates back to the 1880's, the unprecedented wave of Central American migration began a full century later, the consequence of bloody civil wars, U.S. Cold War-era intervention in the region and crippling international trade policies. Those regional conflicts left a legacy of drug and gang related violence, a high incidence of domestic abuse, and unrelenting poverty. Migration as an issue is current; the story of migration is timeless. Having grown up on the adventure tales of Jack London and Mark Twain, and then later on Cormac McCarthy's border stories, there is no storyline more compelling to me than one involving a youthful odyssey across a hostile wilderness. With a singularity of purpose and a kind of brazen resilience, migrants traverse deadly terrain, relying mostly on their wits and the occasional kindness of strangers. In documenting a journey both concrete and figurative, I convey the experience of individuals who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances, much like the anti-hero protagonists of the adventure tales I grew up reading. About The Island I made five trips to Haiti between 1993 and 1995. During that time, a de facto government held the island nation captive, while an international trade embargo intended to oust the regime made life miserable for Haiti's poor. An American-led military intervention restored exiled president, Jean Bertrand Aristide to power. This series depicts the recycled repression, regional isolation, imprisonment, and liberation throughout Haiti's turbulent history.
Walker Evans
United States
1903 | † 1975
Walker Evans was an American photographer best known for documenting the effects of the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The large-format, 8x10-inch camera was used extensively by Evans during the FSA period. As a photographer, he aspired to create images that are "literate, authoritative, transcendent". Many of his works are in museum permanent collections, and he has had retrospectives at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or George Eastman House. Walker Evans was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, to Jessie (née Crane) and Walker. His father worked as an ad executive. He grew up in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City. In 1922, he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He attended Williams College for a year, studying French literature and spending most of his time in the library, before dropping out. In 1926, he returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City after spending a year in Paris. Among his friends were John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein. From 1927 to 1929, he worked as a stockbroker's clerk on Wall Street. Evans began photographing in 1928, while living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in Hart Crane's poetry collection The Bridge. Dock-worker, Havana, Cuba, 1932© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art After spending a year in Paris in 1926, Walker Evans returned to the United States to join the edgy literary and art crowd in New York City. John Cheever, Hart Crane, and Lincoln Kirstein were among his friends. He was a clerk for a stockbroker firm in Wall street from 1927 to 1929. Evans took up photography in 1928 around the time he was living in Ossining, New York. In 1930, he published three photographs (Brooklyn Bridge) in the poetry book The Bridge by Hart Crane. Lincoln Kirstein sponsored a photo series of Victorian houses in the Boston area in 1931. In 1933, he photographed the revolt against dictator Gerardo Machado in Cuba for the publisher of Carleton Beals' then-upcoming book, The Crime of Cuba. Evans briefly met Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.  With the camera, it’s all or nothing. You either get what you’re after at once, or what you do has to be worthless. -- Walker Evans Evans began a two-month photographic campaign for the Resettlement Administration (RA) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania in 1935. From October to December, he continued to photograph for the RA and, later, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), primarily in the South. While still working for the FSA, he and writerJames Agee were sent on assignment to Hale County, Alabama, by Fortune magazine for a story that the magazine later decided not to run. Allie Mae Burroughs, 1935 or 1936© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a groundbreaking book published in 1941, featured Evans' photographs and Agee's text detailing the duo's stay with three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Great Depression. Its detailed account of three farming families paints a heartbreaking picture of rural poverty. In her 1980 book Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography, critic Janet Malcolm noted a similarity to the Beals' book, pointing out the contradiction between Agee's prose and the quiet, magisterial beauty of Evans' photographs of sharecroppers. The three families, led by Bud Fields, Floyd Burroughs, and Frank Tingle, lived in the Hale County town of Akron, Alabama, and the landowners told them that Evans and Agee were "Soviet agents," though Allie Mae Burroughs, Floyd's wife, later recalled her dismissing that information. Evans' photographs of the families immortalized their misery and poverty during the Great Depression. For its 75th anniversary issue, Fortune returned to Hale County and the descendants of the three families in September 2005. When Evans and Agee visited the Burroughs family, Charles Burroughs, who was four years old at the time, was "still angry" at them for not even sending the family a copy of the book; Floyd Burroughs' son was also reportedly angry because the family was "cast in a light that they couldn't do any better, that they were doomed, ignorant." The secret of photography is, the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler. -- Walker Evans Walker Evans remained with the FSA until 1938. An exhibition, Walker Evans: American Photographs was on display at Museum of Modern Art in New York that year. This was the museum's first exhibition devoted solely to the work of a single photographer. The catalogue also included an essay by Lincoln Kirstein, whom Evans had met in his early days in New York. Evans took his first photographs in the New York subway in 1938, with a camera hidden in his coat. Many are Called was a book that collected these stories in 1966. Evans collaborated with and mentored Helen Levitt in 1938 and 1939. Evans, like such other photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, rarely spent time in the darkroom creating prints from his own negatives. He only loosely supervised the printing of most of his photographs, sometimes only attaching handwritten notes to negatives with printing instructions. Evans was an avid reader and writer who joined Time Magazine's staff in 1945. He then worked as an editor at Fortune magazine until 1965. That same year, he joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art as a photography professor. Evans completed a black and white portfolio of Brown Brothers Harriman's offices and partners for publication in Partners in Banking, which was published in 1968 to commemorate the private bank's 150th anniversary. He also shot a long series with the then-new Polaroid SX-70 camera in 1973 and 1974, after age and poor health made it difficult for him to work with elaborate equipment. In 1971, the Museum of Modern Art held another exhibition of his work, simply titled Walker Evans. Walker Evans died in 1975 at his home in Lyme, Connecticut. The Estate of Walker Evans donated its holdings to New York City's The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the sole owner of all Walker Evans works of art in all media. The only exception is a group of about 1,000 negatives in the Library of Congress collection that were created for the Resettlement Administration (RA) / Farm Security Administration (FSA). Evans's RA / FSA works are free to use. Evans was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2000. Images: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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