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Alison Wright
Alison Wright
Alison Wright

Alison Wright

Country: United States

Alison Wright, an award-winning documentary photographer and author, has travelled to 150 countries photographing indigenous cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. She is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography, a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, and an Explorers Club Fellow. She was recently named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year as someone who travels "with a sense of passion and purpose."

Alison has published ten books. Her upcoming book, "Grit and Grace: Women at Work" documents the empowerment of women working in global communities (Schiffer 2021). Her work has been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Islands and Smithsonian.

Alison's life was nearly cut short during a devastating bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Her best-selling memoir, "Learning to Breathe; One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival," chronicles her inspirational story of survival, the years of rehabilitation and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid visual storyteller. This experience while working in post disaster/conflict areas inspired her to establish a foundation called Faces of Hope (facesofhope.org); a non-profit that globally supports women and children's rights by creating visual awareness and donating directly to grass-roots organizations that help sustain them through education and healthcare.

Human Tribe
The emotive beauty and grace of the human face, in all its diversity, will never cease to inspire me but it's the enduring spirit of our collective tribe of humanity that will always certainly amaze me. One of the many things I have learned during my years of global travel as a documentary photographer is that no matter how unique we may look in appearance, from the exotic to the mundane, we basically have the same universal desires and concerns. Our needs are actually quite simple: to love and be loved; to have a useful place in our society with some meaningful and fulfilling occupation in our life; work that will hopefully provide us with enough money in our pocket to get by; food on the table; education, health and safety for ourselves, our family and our children. The freedom to be oneself is a right that creates the exquisiteness of our human race.

These portraits are an unguarded moment in the lives of a few of the people I have photographed from our remarkable human tapestry. Some are celebrating significant events, while others are living out ordinary days. Others are merely struggling to survive. Many are from countries whose lives are in flux or change due to war, natural disaster or the inevitable rapid progression of modernity. I feel drawn to those who live close to the land, documenting communities that may not last even another generation. Most are surprised that I actually wanted to stop and photograph someone who is considered in their culture to be such an ordinary looking person.

From tribes in Africa, to nomads in Asia, survivors of post conflict and disaster, families and individuals around the world have graciously opened up their homes and hearts to me. Surprisingly, I have discovered that it is often the ones who have the least who share the most. I find compassion in what can seem to be a world of chaos. The planet, at times, can seem so vast, with the numbers almost too large for us to comprehend. But when you capture the look in someone's eyes, an intimate stare, a knowing glance, his or her situation becomes a shared experience, a more personal connection. Their eyes seem to radiate a dignity, a claim for a right to be seen, no matter what their circumstances. These eyes are what initially draws us in and connects us together.

These photos are a celebration of the universal human spirit within us all. It is what bonds us as humankind, a continued thread, as together we continue this journey on the pilgrimage of life.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
United States
1951
Philip-Lorca diCorcia (born 1951) is an American photographer. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Afterwards diCorcia attended Yale University where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography in 1979. He now lives and works in New York, and teaches at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. diCorcia's work has been exhibited in group shows in both the United States and Europe since 1977 , he participated in the traveling exhibition Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort, organized by New York's MOMA in 1991. His work was also featured in the 1997 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and, in the 2003 exposition Cruel and Tender at London's Tate Modern. The following year diCorcia’s work was included in Fashioning Fiction in Photography Since 1990 at the MOMA. His most recent series was seen in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s 54th Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has also exhibited in Germany (Essen), Spain (Salamanca) and Sweden (Stockholm)[citation needed]. diCorcia received his first solo show in 1985 and from then on he has been featured in one-person exhibitions worldwide, including those at New York's Museum of Modern Art; Paris' Centre National de la Photographie; London's Whitechapel Art Gallery; Madrid's Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Tokyo's Art Space Ginza; and Hannover's Sprengel Museum. In March 2009, David Zwirner in New York held an exhibition of one thousand actual-size reproductions of diCorcia's Polaroids, entitled Thousand. Sprüth Magers London showed a series of Philip-Lorca diCorcia's Polaroids in 2011. DiCorcia alternates between informal snapshots and iconic quality staged compositions that often have a baroque theatricality. Using a carefully planned staging, he takes everyday occurrences beyond the realm of banality, trying to inspire in his picture's spectators an awareness of the psychology and emotion contained in real-life situations. His work could be described as documentary photography mixed with the fictional world of cinema and advertising, which creates a powerful link between reality, fantasy and desire. During the late 1970s, during diCorcia's early career, he used to situate his friends and family within fictional interior tableaus, that would make the viewer think that the pictures were spontaneous shots of someone's everyday life, when they were in fact carefully staged and planned in beforehand. He would later start photographing random people in urban spaces all around the world. When in Berlin, Calcutta, Hollywood, New York, Rome and Tokyo, he would often hide lights in the pavement, which would illuminate a random subject in a special way, often isolating them from the other people in the street. His photographs would then give a sense of heightened drama to the passers-by accidental poses, unintended movements and insignificant facial expressions. Even if sometimes the subject appears to be completely detached to the world around him, diCorcia has often used the city of the subject's name as the title of the photo, placing the passers-by back into the city's anonymity. Each of his series, Hustlers, Streetwork, Heads, A Storybook Life, and Lucky Thirteen, can be considered progressive explorations of diCorcia’s formal and conceptual fields of interest. Besides his family, associates and random people he has also photographed personas already theatrically enlarged by their life choices, such as the pole dancers in his latest series. His pictures have black humor within them, and have been described as "Rorschach-like", since they can have a different interpretation depending on the viewer. As they are planned beforehand, diCorcia often plants in his concepts issues like the marketing of reality, the commodification of identity, art, and morality. Source: Wikipedia Philip-Lorca diCorcia is among the most influential and innovative photographers of the past thirty years. Bringing together 125 photographs made from the late-1970s to the present, including selections from all of his distinct series, this exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of diCorcia's work in the United States. DiCorcia's images perch on the lines between fact and fiction, blending a documentary mode with techniques of staged photography. The viewer is often unsure whether a scene has been found or posed by diCorcia, which lends an uncanny quality to the typically mundane imagery the artist presents. Ultimately, his work asks viewers to question the assumed truth of a photograph and to consider alternative ways that images might speak to and represent reality. In the mid-1970s, DiCorcia (born 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut) attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, followed by a Masters of Fine Art in Photography at Yale University. From the very beginning, he pursued a middle ground between two major photographic modes of the period. A modernist documentary style influenced by Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus is evident, but so too is an approach informed by conceptual art, which mobilizes images as cultural archetypes or signs. In all his work, diCorcia captures moments that seem arrested in the chaotic flux of the larger world. From the psychological tension of his staged tableaux to his portraits of pedestrians on city streets to his experimental narrative sequence A Storybook Life, the ultimate effect of diCorcia's photographs is a sense of reality hanging in a threshold, uncertain, unstable, and poetic. Source: www.icaboston.org
Carrie Mae Weems
United States
1953
Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953) is an American photographer and artist. Her award-winning photographs, films, and videos have been displayed in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad and focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity. She has said, "Let me say that my primary concern in art, as in politics, is with the status and place of Afro-Americans in our country." Weems was born in Portland, Oregon in 1953, the second of seven children to Myrlie and Carrie Weems. She moved out of her parents' home at the age of sixteen, and she soon relocated to San Francisco to study modern dance with Anna Halprin. She decided to continue her arts schooling and attended the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. She graduated at the age of twenty-eight with her BA. She received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Weems also participated in the graduate program in folklore at the University of California, Berkeley. While in her early twenties, Carrie Mae Weems was politically active in the labor movement as a union organizer. Her first camera, which she received as a birthday gift from her then boyfriend,[4] was used for politics rather than for artistic purposes. She was inspired to pursue photography only after she came across The Black Photography Annual, a book of images by African-American photographers. This book contained the work of photographers Shawn Walker, Beuford Smith, Anthony Barboza, Ming Smith, Adger Cowans, and Roy DeCarava, which Weems found inspiring. This led her to New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began to meet a number of artists and other photographers such as Frank Stewart and Coreen Simpson, and they began to form a community. In 1976 Weems took a photography class at the Museum taught by Dawoud Bey. She returned to San Francisco, but lived bi-coastally and was involved with the Studio Museum and a community of photographers in New York. In 1983, Carrie Mae Weems completed her first collection of photographs, text, and spoken word called, Family Pictures and Stories. The images told the story of her family, and she has said that in this project she was trying to explore the movement of black families out of the South and into the North, using her family as a model for the larger theme. Her next series, called Ain't Jokin', was completed in 1988. It focused on racial jokes and internalized racism. Another series called American Icons, completed in 1989, also focused on racism. Weems has said that throughout the 1980s she was turning away from the documentary photography genre, instead "creating representations that appeared to be documents but were in fact staged" and also "incorporating text, using multiples images, diptychs and triptychs, and constructing narratives." Gender issues were the next focal point for Carrie Mae Weems. It was the topic of one of her most well known collections called The Kitchen Table series which was completed in 1990. About "Kitchen Table" and "Family Pictures and Stories", Weems has said, "I use my own constructed image as a vehicle for questioning ideas about the role of tradition, the nature of family, monogamy, polygamy, relationships between men and women, between women and their children, and between women and other women—underscoring the critical problems and the possible resolves." She has expressed disbelief and concern about the exclusion of images of the black community, particularly black women, from the popular media, and aims to represent these excluded subjects and speak to their experience through her work. Weems has also reflected on the themes and inspirations of her work as a whole, saying, "...from the very beginning, I've been interested in the idea of power and the consequences of power; relationships are made and articulated through power. Another thing that's interesting about the early work is that even though I've been engaged in the idea of autobiography, other ideas have been more important: the role of narrative, the social levels of humor, the deconstruction of documentary, the construction of history, the use of text, storytelling, performance, and the role of memory have all been more central to my thinking than autobiography." Other series created by Weems include: the Sea Island Series (1991-92), the Africa Series (1993), From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried (1995-96), Who What When Where (1998), Ritual & Revolution (1998), the Louisiana Project (2003), Roaming (2006), and the Museum Series, which she began in 2007. In her almost thirty year career, Carrie Mae Weems has won numerous awards. She was named Photographer of the Year by the Friends of Photography. In 2005, she was awarded the Distinguished Photographer's Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the world of photography. Her talents have also been recognized by numerous colleges, including Harvard University and Wellesley College, with fellowships, artist-in-residence and visiting professor positions. The first comprehensive retrospective of her work opened in September 2012 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, TN. Weems lives in Brooklyn, NY and Syracuse, NY, with her husband Jeffrey Hoone.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Pedro Jarque Krebs
Pedro Jarque Krebs is an award winning photographer born in Lima, Peru, graduated in Philosophy of Science from the Sorbonne University in Paris. His photos have won more than 100 photography awards internationally, 31 gold medals, 10 silver medals, 6 bronze medals and many honorable mentions. Among these awards are the Sony World Photography Awards, whose Peru National Award he won 3 times, in 2016, 2018 and 2019; the 2018 Bird Photographer of the Year competition (United Kingdom), where he was the overall winner; First place at: Montier Festival Photo (France) in 2018, Oasis Photo Contest (Italy) in 2017; the Sente-Antu Cup (China) in 2018, and the Trierenberg Super Circuit (Austria) in 2018. He was a finalist four years in a row of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest (United States). In October 2016, he was named photographer of the month by National Geographic, France. There's no doubt that we, the human beings, have many problems to resolve as a species, and that our societies are far from having achieved the justice and equality we crave for, but to deal with the animal world, far from being a mere levity, has turned into a major problem of great magnitude which directly affects our survival as a species. It is no longer just about the loss of their diversity and beauty; it is an issue that affects our entire ecosystem, causing a serious imbalance. Our expansion has meant the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of living species. This artistic-photographic project aims to help breaking the barrier that we have built in our relationship with the animal life, showing animals in a closer, even intimate, way, isolated from any context, trying to rebuild with our look these destroyed bridges, as well and giving back to the animals part of its stolen dignity.
Stefano Galli
Italy
1981
Stefano Galli is an Italian photographer born in 1981. After graduating at the University of Turin, with a BA in cinema, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he worked with director Lars Von Trier. During these years he attended Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art & Documentary Photography. Fascinated with traveling and the discovery of new environments, Galli is currently working on a new series that belong to a trilogy started with 'Cars' and followed by '80 Skies'. He recently terminated a non-narrative documentary-film, based on the stories of random people met along a journey through the USA. Galli exclusively works on a traditional analog way, both in his motion and still project. Currently based in Los Angeles. About '80 skies'Gazes at the sky. The beauty and power of pure light entering the camera. A project that recalls Claude Monet’s study of the influence of light on objects. Stefano Galli brings his own light studies to the extreme, focusing on the sky and its myriad variations. In “80 SKIES”, the protagonists of Galli’s frames are airplanes or - better said - the small shapes that fly over our heads daily. Because of their height in the sky and the sunlight by which they are surrounded, the shapes Galli captures become something entirely different than just giant devices that move hundreds of human beings. In many cases, the planes are insignificant elements when compared to the magnificence of the heavens. In fact, the eye of the viewer becomes lost in the contemplation of the colors, in the totality of the photographs; looking at these images, the impression of hearing the deafening noise or the usual imagery of the airplane is not perceived. Fascinated by movement and travel, Stefano Galli dedicates this project to the aircraft for the purpose of studying the sky. The result is a creative pictorial but also a tiring study that begins in the early hours of dawn and ends with the fall of the sun. Pushing 35mm negatives to the extreme through a 90mm lens, he lets the film be flooded by the infinite heavenly hue, the changing colors of the horizon sometimes grayish, or yellow and pink, the broad spectrum of colors that characterize the sky. The intensity of the light seems to struggle with the film speed, so the photographs are characterized by a thick grain that gives the picture a three-dimensional effect, as if it had been given a brushstroke.A photographic project that shows the endless variations of the light system in which we live. About 'Cars': Stefano Galli’s work documents his journey of crossing deserts, through forgotten villages, on remote and empty roads. In ‘Cars’ , geography is just as important as photography even if in his shots - distinctive sharp cuts - he leads away from the dusty streets and daily life. Galli conducts the imagination to an elsewhere where lines play with material and shape, where the tail lights and fenders are transformed into surreal and alien beings. Yet ‘Cars’ goes far beyond a mere figurative research, the work is conducted with rigor and awareness, typical of a geographer or an archivist. In fact, Stefano meticulously notates the physical location of the intersection shown in each photograph. Therefore, the project goes beyond the cult of the American car. Through this adventure, Galli tracks and defines - snap after snap - a cognitive path of the new continent. So there is an aspect that links these works to a deep investigation of American society and to aspects of decay and yet, mixed with a splendor that still dazzles. The essence of his idea lies not only in the aesthetics of the work, but also in his decision to show the layers of dust on the cars, the broken headlights and swollen wheels. In this series, a fascination with America remains. A fascination with all its vastness and complexity, which attracts and disturbs at the same time. Discover Stefano Galli's Interview
Marcin Owczarek
Poland
1985
My art has always been focusing on condition of our globe and the condition of man. My antiutopian, critical photography is based on the anthropological research. I focus on exploring and interpreting the impact of: new technologies, bio-science, unconscious, fears, morals, social situations, behaviors, habits, rituals, biological changes, the use of animals, depression in urban envi...ronments, destruction of the soil, overpopulation, deforestation, universal famine and - over human life. As a result, I create the image of the 21 century and the image of our current society. In this way, by commenting behaviour of human individuals I want to indicate that: Man is imperfect. Man is a savage, greedy rebel of Nature, living between the insanity and lunacy, away from his true nature. Man live in the play cage because he was captured by Illusions of this world: welfare tyranny, desire of possessing material things, consumption, jealousy, hate...what all in all led him to the broken relationship with the globe and other human beings. As a result I stress the present process of dehumanization, mechanization and standardization of human race, false norms and illusional values that was given for the truth to the society by religion, governments,laws,propaganda, false mirror of the television...etc. In my opinion, nowadays it is essential to articulate this kind of behavior, because the way which the present world run, might guide the human species: firstly- into a total slavery, then to new nuclear era, and finally to the total extinction...There is number of potential scenarios, but one of them is definitely Total Extinction... I admire the way of dadaism as well as surrealism. My spirit flies with counterculture and the idea of transgression. I regard my critical collages as the prediction of human degradation, and as a consequence - 'Apocalypse'....... Many wise people said that before but I will repeat: we are responsible for this world and for other human beings, and in our hands is decision: Do we want to live in coexistence or do want to reproduce another monsters to this world who will fight against each other in another nuclear war... What are the crucial implications of this? - The world's Future. "You pays your money and you takes your choice".Marcin Owczarek, Lier 2011
Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony's world is wonderful collection of object symbols, set design, and character development. His photographs are an intersection of Renaissance set and costume design, melted with a process that employs both antique photographic equipment and technology through post-production. His work is lush and painterly guided by deep hues of color, muted and apart in time. He creates an image that is akin to filmwork in its narrative, both cinematic and containing all the elements of a story left open-ended. His characters linger in a loosely draped studio space, a century gone by, waiting, wandering, lost in thought, casting challenge to unravel the mystery of the objects that accompany. Chris Anthony’s work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Stockholm, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Washington D.C., London, Bath, San Francisco and is included in many private and public collections around the world. Publications that have featured Anthony and his work include the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Photo District News, Eyemazing, Art News, American Photo, Blink, Paper, Photo+, GUP, Fraction Magazine, Nylon, Black Book, Juxtapoz, Zoom, Angeleno, The Huffington Post, Corrierre della Serra and LA Weekly. Clients include Chiat/Day, Sony Playstation, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Republic Records, Warner Music, Los Angeles Magazine, Hollywood Records, Reprise, Stuttgart City Ballet, Myspace Records, Dell and USC. Born in Sweden, Anthony currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Source: Randall Scott Projects Chris Anthony is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden, primarily known for his macabre and Victorian Gothic-inspired photographs. Anthony has also directed commercials for companies such as Deutsche Telekom and music videos for groups such as The Dandy Warhols. Anthony currently specializes in photography. He often uses vintage lenses produced between 1860 and 1910 to help create an "otherworldly atmosphere.". Antony uses 5x7 and 8x10 formats in conjunction with digital scanners in order to manipulate the images in Photoshop. Anthony is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Anthony has won several prestigious awards including: Black Book Raw - 50 Photographers 2008 Go Indie Photo Contest/PDN Stock Photo Guide 2008 - Professional Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner for "I'm the Most Normal Person I Know" The 2007 Grand Prize in the American Photo Images of the Year competition for "Victims and Avengers" First place in the music advertising category in the International Photography Awards 2007's Professional Photographer of the Year Competition. American Photography 23rd Annual 2007, My Chemical Romance "The Black Parade". Source: Wikipedia
Martin Parr
United Kingdom
1952
Martin Parr is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. With over 100 books of his own published, and another 30 edited by Parr, his photographic legacy is already established. Parr also acts as a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, Arles in 2004 and Brighton Biennial in 2010. More recently Parr curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar. Parr has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1994 and was President from 2013 - 2017. In 2013 Parr was appointed the visiting professor of photography at the University of Ulster. Parr’s work has been collected by many of the major museums, from the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Martin Parr established the Martin Parr Foundation in 2017. Source: www.martinparr.com Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Born in Epsom, Surrey, Parr wanted to become a documentary photographer from the age of fourteen, and cites his grandfather, an amateur photographer, as an early influence. From 1970 to 1973, he studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic. He married Susan Mitchell in 1980, and they have one child, Ellen Parr (born 1986). He has lived in Bristol since 1987. Parr began work as a professional photographer and has subsequently taught photography intermittently from the mid-1970s. He was first recognized for his black-and-white photography in the north of England, Bad Weather (1982) and A Fair Day (1984), but switched to color photography in 1984. The resulting work, Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton, was published in 1986. Since 1994, Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos. He has had almost 50 books published, and featured in around 80 exhibitions worldwide - including an exhibition at the Barbican Arts Centre, London. In 2007, his retrospective exhibition was selected to be the main show of Month of Photography Asia in Singapore. In 2008, he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in recognition for his ongoing contribution to photography and to MMU's School of Art. Parr's approach to documentary photography is intimate, anthropological and satirical. Macro lenses, ring flash, high-saturation color film, and since it became an easier format to work in, digital photography, all allow him to put his subjects "under the microscope" in their own environment, giving them space to expose their lives and values in ways that often involve inadvertent humor. For example, to create his book Signs of the Times: A Portrait of the Nation's Tastes. (1992), Parr entered ordinary people's homes and took pictures of the mundane aspects of his hosts' lives, combining the images with quotes from his subjects to bring viewers uncomfortably close to them. The result of Parr's technique has been said to leave viewers with ambiguous emotional reactions, unsure whether to laugh or cry. Source: Wikipedia
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