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Vytenis Jankūnas
Vytenis Jankūnas
Vytenis Jankūnas

Vytenis Jankūnas

Country: United States
Birth: 1961

Vytenis Jankūnas is a Lithuanian-American artist who in his latest work uses mostly photography as a medium for his artistic projects, which include books, photo and video installations. He has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent exhibits include one-man shows at Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (Lithuania) (his second solo show in CAC Vilnius), Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, (Estonia), Undercurrent Gallery, New York City (USA) and Prospekto Gallery, Vilnius (Lithuania). He won the 1st place in Self Published Books category of the IPA - int'l photography awards, has been a recipient of the Fellowship award from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York City (USA) and was awarded a residency at Nordic Arts Centre (HIAP), Helsinki (Finland). Vytenis Jankūnas lives and works in New York City, USA.

Urban Portraits - NYC Edition
My latest photography project is called ''Urban Portraits - NYC Edition.'' I have lived in New York City for over 25 years and always been asking myself: what keeps me here for so long? Is it cultural richness, or the career opportunities this city can offer, or maybe the ability to experience most of what the world can offer without leaving the city? I guess everything at once, but one thing became certain to me: I fell in love with the people, the way they look, the way they dress, the way they talk. It is hard to find another city in the world with such, or similar diversity within its population. This is what my project is about, just walking the streets and capturing people with my camera religiously. The result is something in between street photography and portraits of people in the vulnerable state of everyday life. It is still an ongoing project
 

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Burt Glinn
United States
1925 | † 2008
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Burt Glinn served in the United States Army between 1943 and 1946 before studying literature at Harvard University where he edited and photographed for the Harvard Crimson college newspaper. From 1949 to 1950, Glinn worked for Life magazine before becoming a freelancer. Glinn became an associate member of Magnum in 1951 along with Eve Arnold and Dennis Stock - the first Americans to join the young photo agency - and a full member in 1954. He made his mark with spectacular color series on the South Seas. Japan, Russia, Mexico and California. In 1959 he received the Mathew Brady Award for Magazine Photographer of the Year from the University of Missouri. In collaboration with the writer Laurens van der Post, Glinn published A Portrait of All the Russias and A Portrait of Japan. His reportages have appeared in Esquire, Geo, Travel and Leisure, Fortune, Life and Paris-Match. He has covered the Sinai War, the US Marine invasion of Lebanon and Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba. In the 1990's he completed an extensive photo essay on the topic of medical science. Versatile and technically brilliant, Glinn was one of Magnum's great corporate and advertising photographers. He received numerous awards for his editorial and commercial photography, including the Best Book of Photographic Reporting from Abroad from the Overseas Press Club and the Best Print Ad of the Year from the Art Directors Club of New York. Glinn served as president of ASMP from 1980 - 1981. Between 1972 and 1975 he was president of Magnum, and was re-elected to the post in 1987. In 1981, Burt married Elena Prohaska and their son Samuel Pierson Glinn was born in 1982. Source: burtglinn.com
Giles Duley
United Kingdom
1971
Giles Duley was born in 1971 in London. After 10 years as an editorial photographer in the fashion and music industries in both the US and Europe, Duley now focuses his work on humanitarian projects. Working with well respected charities such as Medecins sans Frontiers, IOM and UNHCR to highlight lesser known stories deserving of public attention and action. Although documenting challenging, and at times, horrific situations, Duley captures the strength of those who fight their adversity rather than succumb. His photographs draw the viewer to the subject, creating intimacy and empathy for lives differing from ours only in circumstance.In 2011, whilst on patrol with 75th Cavalry Regiment, United States Army in Afghanistan, Duley stepped on an improvised explosive device. He was severely injured, losing both legs and an arm.Source: www.gilesduley.com Artist Statement "In 2011 I was injured whilst working as a photographer in Afghanistan. I spent the next 46 days of my recovery fighting for my life in intensive care. During that period, I was often awake for days, unable to move or communicate as I was incubated and my remaining shattered hand was in a cast. My mind wandered, drifting on a mixture of morphine, exhaustion and fear and so battling to keep my sanity and to pass the dragging hours I’d challenge myself with mental exercises. My favourite was thinking of portraits I wished I could do, creating a list of the 100 people I most wanted to photograph. My first love in photography was portraiture. I love telling someone’s story through an image, trying to capture some essence of character in a frozen moment. For ten years I worked as a portrait photographer before cynicism with celebrity culture and a desire to document humanitarian issues took me in a different direction. I had always hoped to return to portraiture in time. Lying there, trapped in my body, I imagined all the portraits I wanted to take, aware that now I’d probably never get the chance. This wasn’t just a list of heroes or inspirations; more a collection of people who had shaped my cultural identity or whose large personas drew me in. Ben Okri whose writing first opened my eyes to Africa and storytelling; Tom Waits with his gnarled voice; Natalie Portman, hypnotic in the last film I’d seen before my accident; Don McCullin who inspired me to first pick up the camera. The list grew in my mind; eclectic, eccentric characters I wished I’d captured in frame. I resolved that if by some chance I made it through, I’d contact the names on my list and ask them to sit for a portrait. I would not waste my second chance at life. I have no idea where this project will lead, who will say yes, who will say no, or what I will learn about the people I meet and about myself. I’m aware I’ll face practical difficulties brought on by my injuries and the challenges of working within a celebrity culture, but through this journey I hope to develop my abilities in portraiture, to explore my own cultural identity and broaden my understanding of photography. Most importantly to fully regain my life and identity post accident, with more than a little fun along the way! As for the list? From PJ Harvey to Dead Prez, from Samantha Morton to Jean Paul Belmondo, the names on the list are united by a common trait. When I thought I was going to die and when I had to come to terms with my new life, one thing kept me going, my photography. It is my lifeblood. The sitters for my portraits may all be famous, but I believe they have become that because of what they do, not because they craved celebrity. I believe for each one their craft is also their lifeblood. So here I am. It’s taken two years, 30 operations and a long rehabilitation, but I’m ready to start. 100 Portraits Before I Die: A Photographers Odyssey..."
Alexey Titarenko
Russia/United States
1962
Alexey Titarenko is a Russian-born photographer and visual artist best known for his black-and-white photos that investigate the link between time, location, and memory. He was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in 1962 and grew up in the Soviet Union during a period of rapid political and cultural change. Before pursuing photography as a fine art form, Titarenko studied journalism at Leningrad State University and worked as a writer and photographer for a local newspaper. He was drawn to photography because of its ability to record and preserve moments in time, as well as reveal the nuances of the world around us. In the early 1990s, Alexey Titarenko moved to the United States and continued to develop his unique style of photography. He is best known for his series The City is a Novel, which was created in the early 1990s and was inspired by the architecture, history, and atmosphere of St. Petersburg. In these images, Titarenko employs a slow shutter speed to create a dream-like quality, blurring the movement of people and objects in the city's busy streets and squares. The result is a series of haunting and evocative images that capture the feeling of the city as well as its history and identity. Titarenko's work has been widely exhibited and published, and he has received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the field of photography. He has continued to explore themes of time, memory, and identity in his work, and has been particularly interested in the idea of "hauntology" – the study of the way that past experiences and events continue to influence our present and future. One of Titarenko's most significant contributions to the field of photography is his use of the technique of layering. In many of his images, he blends multiple exposures of the same scene, creating a complex and layered image that is both abstract and representational. This layering technique allows Titarenko to express his ideas about the relationship between time and memory, as well as to create images that are visually stunning and emotionally resonant. Titarenko's work has had a profound influence on the field of photography, and he is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and original photographers of his generation. His images are powerful and thought-provoking, and they invite us to contemplate the world around us in new and meaningful ways. Alexey Titarenko is a world-renowned photographer and visual artist whose work continues to inspire and enchant audiences worldwide. He has made an important contribution to the field of photography, and his photos will definitely continue to inspire and thrill future generations.
Matteo Bastianelli
Born in 1985, Matteo Bastianelli is a freelance photographer, documentary film director and publicist-journalist based in Rome. He attended the "Scuola Romana di Fotografia" where he achieved a masters’ in reportage d’auteur and photojournalism. Above all he works on personal long-term projects related to social, political and environmental issues, concentrating his endeavours on the consequences of the conflicts which led to the disintegration of ex- Jugoslavia. New projects are under and away in his home country, Italy and in Bulgaria. His images have been published by some of the major national and international magazines and his projects have been shown in Italy, France, Germany, Estonia, Turkey, Holland and the United States. He has received various important awards for his work in numerous national and international competitions, among which Emerging Talent Award at Reportage By Getty Images, Canon Young Photographers’ Award, PDN’s Photo Annual Award, an Honourable Mention from the NPPA- Best of photojournalism, International Photography awards, finalist for the Emerging Photographer Grant, Fotovisura Grant and the Lumix Multimedia Award. In 2012 he was nominated honorable member of the international team of experts for the “Institute for Research of Genocide” in Canada. "The Bosnian Identity" is his first documentary film, screened in the official selection at BIF&ST- Bari International Film Festival 2013, where has been awarded the "Vittorio de Seta" prize for the director of the best documentary film. He is currently member of Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent.Movies:The Bosnian IdentityMal di Mare
Gisèle Freund
France / Germany
1908 | † 2000
Gisèle Freund was a German-born French photographer and photojournalist, famous for her documentary photography and portraits of writers and artists. Her best-known book, Photographie et société (1974), is about the uses and abuses of the photographic medium in the age of technological reproduction. In 1977, she became President of the French Association of Photographers, and in 1981, she took the official portrait of French President François Mitterrand. She was made Officier des Arts et Lettres in 1982 and Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, the highest decoration in France, in 1983. In 1991, she became the first photographer to be honored with a retrospective at the Musée National d’art Moderne in Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou). Freund's major contributions to photography include using the Leica Camera (with its ability to house one film roll with 36 frames) for documentary reportage and her early experimentation with Kodachrome and 35 mm Agfacolor, which allowed her to develop a "uniquely candid portraiture style" that distinguishes her in 20th century photography. She is buried at the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, France near her home and studio at 12 rue Lalande. Freund was born into a textile merchant family on 19 December 1908 to Julius and Clara (nee Dressel) Freund, a wealthy Jewish couple in the Schöneberg district of Berlin. Her father, Julius Freund, was a keen art collector with an interest in the work of photographer Karl Blossfeldt, whose close-up studies explored the forms of natural objects. Freund's father bought Gisèle her first camera, a Voigtländer 6x9 in 1925 and a Leica camera as a present for her graduation in 1929. In 1931, Freund studied sociology and art history at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Breisgau, Germany; and from 1932-33 she studied at the Institute for Social, Sciences, University of Frankfurt under Theodor W. Adorno, Karl Mannheim and Norbert Elias (also known as the Frankfurt School). At university, she became an active member of a student socialist group and was determined to use photography as an integral part of her socialist practice. One of her first stories, shot on May 1, 1932, "shows a recent march of anti-fascist students" who had been "regularly attacked by Nazi groups." The photos show Walter Benjamin, a good friend of Freund, and Bertolt Brecht. In March 1933, a month after Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany, Walter Benjamin fled to Paris on May 30, Gisèle followed him since she was both a socialist activist and a Jew. She escaped to Paris with her negatives strapped around her body to get them past the border guards. Gisèle and Walter Benjamin would continue their friendship in Paris, where Freund would famously photograph him reading at the National Library. They both studied and wrote about art in the 19th and 20th centuries as Freund continued her studies at the Sorbonne. In 1935, Andre Malraux invited Freund to document First International Congress in Defense of Culture in Paris, where she was introduced to and subsequently photographed many of the notable French artists of her day. Freund befriended the famed literary partners, Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare and Company, and Adrienne Monnier of Maison des Amis des Livres. In 1935, Monnier arranged a marriage of convenience for Freund with Pierre Blum so that Freund could obtain a visa to remain in France legally (they officially divorced after the war in 1948). In 1936, while Sylvia Beach was visiting the United States, Freund moved into Monnier and Beach's shared apartment and they became intimates. When Beach returned, she ended her intimate relationship with Monnier yet maintained a strong friendship with both Monnier and Freund. Freund finished her Ph.D. in Sociology and Art at the Sorbonne in 1936, and Monnier published the doctoral dissertation as "La photographie en France au dix-neuvieme siècle," under the La Maison des Amis des Livres imprint by Monnier. Monnier introduced Gisèle Freund to the artists and writers who would prove her most captivating subjects. Later that year, Freund became internationally famous with her photojournalistic piece, Northern England, which was published in Life magazine on December 14, 1936 and showed the effects of the depression in England. No magazine in France could publish color photographs at that time, so Freund's work with Life—one of the first color mass magazines—would start a lifelong relationship between the photographer and magazine. In 1938, Monnier suggested that Freund photograph James Joyce for his upcoming book, Finnegans Wake. Joyce, who disliked being photographed, invited Gisèle Freund to his Paris flat for a private screening of her previous work. He was impressed enough by Freund's work to allow her to photograph him, and over a period of three days, she captured the most intimate portraits of Joyce during his time in Paris. In 1939, after being "twice refused admission to Tavistock Square," Freund gained the confidence of Virginia Woolf and captured the iconic color photographs of the Woolfs on display in the English National Portrait Gallery. Woolf even "agreed to change her clothes to see which best suited the colour harmony and insisted on being photographed with Leonard (and their spaniel Pinka). In some of the prints, Woolf is pale and lined, in others smiling a little and more youthful. The background of fabrics and mural panels by Bell and Grant adds to the value of the images; this was the inner sanctum of the queen of Bloomsbury where parties were given and friends came to tea. Just over a year later the house was destroyed in The Blitz." On June 10, 1940, with the Nazi invasion of Paris looming, Freund escaped Paris to Free France in the Dordogne. Her husband by convenience, Pierre, had been captured by the Nazis and sent to a prison camp. He was able to escape and met with Freund before going back to Paris to fight in the Resistance. As the wife of an escaped prisoner, a Jew, and a Socialist, Freund "feared for her life." In 1942, with the help of André Malraux, who told his friends, "we must save Gisèle!," Freund fled to Buenos Aires, Argentina "at the invitation of Victoria Ocampo, director of the periodical Sur. Ocampo was at the center of the Argentinean intellectual elite, and through her, Freund met and photographed many great writers and artists, such as Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda." While living in Argentina, Freund started a publishing venture called Ediciones Victoria. She writes, "In reality, I started this for the De Gaulle government in exile where I was working in the Information ministry, volontairement without payment." She also founds a relief action committee for French artists and becomes a spokesperson for Free France. In 1947, Freund signed a contract with Magnum Photos as a Latin America contributor, but by 1954, she was declared persona non grata by the U.S. Government at the height of the Red Scare for her socialist views, and Robert Capa forced her to break ties with Magnum. In 1950, her photo coverage of a bejeweled Eva Peron for Life magazine caused a diplomatic stir between the United States and Argentina and upset many of Peron's supporters—the ostentatious photographs went against the official party line of austerity; Life Magazine was blacklisted in Argentina, and once again, Freund had to escape a country with her negatives. She moved to Mexico and became friends with Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco. In 1953, she moved back to Paris permanently. Over the life of her career, she went on over 80 photojournalism assignments, primarily for Life and Time, but also Du, The Sunday Times (London), Vu, Picture Post, Weekly Illustrated, and Paris Match, among others. From the 1960s onward, Freund continued to write, and her reputation as an important portrait photographer grew with each successive exhibition. Gisèle Freund is now celebrated as one of the best portrait photographers of the twentieth century: Upon her death, "President Jacques Chirac praised her as 'one of the world's greatest photographers."Source: Wikipedia Ms. Freund was one of Europe's most prominent photographers and a pillar among French feminist intellectuals after settling in Paris in the 1930s. Born to a wealthy Jewish family, she became a student activist who battled the rise of Hitler's national socialism. She studied sociology in Frankfurt but was forced to flee in 1933, escaping as police were about to arrest her. In Paris, Gisèle Freund pursued doctoral studies at the Sorbonne, where her enthusiasm for photography was met with skepticism. She met militant feminist writer Adrienne Monnier while browsing at La Maison des Amis du Livre, Monnier's book shop on the Left Bank. The shop was frequented by the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Andre Gide, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Jean-Paul Sartre and Paul Valery. Monnier became her lifelong mentor and companion, introducing her to the Parisian intellectual set and encouraging her to pursue photography. In 1935, Ms. Freund executed a widely acclaimed series of photographs, documenting the misery of British coal miners, and met Andre Malraux. Her portrait of the author of Man's Fate--wrapped in a trench coat with a cigarette dangling from his mouth--is among her most well-known photographs. Her use of color clashed with the prevailing style of retouched black-and-white studio portraits, but she persevered, saying color "was closer to life." Gisèle Freund specialized in conveying attitudes. She focused on hands, posture and clothing. Some of her most famous photographs appeared in Life and Time magazines. The Nazi invasion of France in 1940 interrupted her career. Gisèle Freund fled again, to southern France and later Argentina, where she worked until the war's end in 1945. She returned to France, where she earned an international reputation as the photographer of Jean Cocteau, De Beauvoir, Joyce, and Sartre, among others. Her works include Three Days With Joyce, a collection of black-and-white photographs showing the Irish writer with friends and family, and correcting proofs of his novel Finnegan's Wake. "Freund was involved in the lives of the artists and writers she photographed," said art critic Ann Cremin, who knew Ms. Freund. "She was more of a witness than a reporter." In later years, Gisèle Freund became well-known in her adopted country, winning the National Grand Prize for Photography in 1980. She took the official photograph at the presidential inauguration of Socialist Francois Mitterrand in 1981. She gave up photography in the mid-1980s.Source: Washington Post
Monica Testa
Italy
1967
Shortly after my art studies, I started working as a fashion designer for a large company, which allowed me to deepen my knowledge and work in the world of graphics and style. It was a challenging and rewarding job, thanks to which I had the opportunity to travel a lot around the world, meeting people from various ethnic backgrounds, enriching myself enormously from a cultural and personal point of view. I had always been passionate about photography and to such an extent that I could no longer do without it. After taking several courses and studying the greatest photographers in history, I decided to enrol at the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan: a constructive experience that made me grow a lot, both on a technical and creative level. I truly enjoy observing people and also studying their psychological side. That's why I especially love working on portraits and telling the stories of those I meet, always keeping a careful and respectful eye, tiptoeing into situations that I find interesting. I delve into them, I make them my own. I use photography to express how I feel, how I see, how I perceive and absorb the flow of life around me. I transform my thoughts and my feelings into images, thus aiming to become a same part of the image I portray. The River Text from "Monica’s Diary (Benin 2019):" Today we reached a small village flooded by the abundant rains of recent days. The tribe that lives there is accustomed to this situation and in effect they live in real palafittes suspended on the water; and so we reached the village in the only way possible ... by canoe. We brought t-shirts for the children, eggs for snacks and, more importantly, mosquito nets which, given the area they live in, particularly humid and infested with mosquitoes, are essential. The landscape was spectacular and my eyes saw incredible realities... all so far from our daily life! The school was small and very crowded, obviously they had been warned of our arrival and especially the children were waiting for us with trepidation. Compared to other villages we had visited the previous days, the people who live here are quite aggressive. They were a little agitated, they all talked loudly, they pushed us constantly. The adults looked at us with curiosity and the children with shyness: it was noticeable that they were not used to seeing people of a different color in their village. For this we were escorted by the local police, in case the situation deteriorated. But everything went well and another day passed ... lived as if it were a whole life. Face to Face Form zero to one hundred This is an ambitious project, started in 2017 and not yet finished. The idea would be to photograph portraits of people of different ages, sex and ethnicity, who in some way fascinated me and consequently I asked them to pose for me. I would like to get to a hundred photos, a different one for each age from zero to one hundred years.
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