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Julie Blackmon
Julie Blackmon
Julie Blackmon

Julie Blackmon

Country: United States
Birth: 1966

Born in Springfield, Missouri, Julie Blackmon studied art education and photography at Missouri State University. She has received several national awards for her photographs, including commendation in the 2004 Santa Fe Center of Photography Project Competition, a merit award from the Society of Contemporary Photography, 2005 B& W Magazine Merit Award for Single Image Contest, 2006 1st Place for Domestic Vacations from the Santa Fe Center of Photograph Project Competition, 2006 Critical Mass Book Award Winner for Domestic Vacations, and recognized as American Photo’s Emerging Photographer of 2008. Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Toledo Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among numerous others.

About Domestic Vacations:The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work. I am the oldest of nine children and now the mother of three. As Steen’s personal narratives of family life depicted nearly 400 yrs. ago, the conflation of art and life is an area I have explored in photographing the everyday life of my family and the lives of my sisters and their families at home. These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today and as children growing up in a large family, but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real. The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work. We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.” The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate. Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other. These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs. I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary. It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged. As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality: to see the mythic amidst the chaos.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Deborah Turbeville
United States
1938 | † 2013
Deborah Turbeville was born in 1938, in Boston. Summers were spent in Ogunquit, Maine. 'Beautiful Place by the Sea' is the oceanside township's motto. 'Very bleak, very stark, very beautiful,' was Turbeville's description of it. Life was comfortable - she went to private school. Yet her mother described her as a 'shy and scary child'. Which is as it should be. The uneasy shuffle of ambiguity is the essence of Turbeville and her work - which itself shuffles between fashion magazine and art gallery, never fully at peace in either place. Like her near contemporaries, Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, she rethought and recast fashion photography in the 1970s. Perhaps even more than those two louche Europeans, though, she injected narrative and mystery into what is, after all, an unabashedly commercial process. Her pictures are as much riddles as they are images. Consciously damaged goods, they are blurry, grainy, tormented into painterly colours, scratched, marked, sellotaped - post-production work often done with her long-term assistant and collaborator Sharon Schuster. 'I destroy the image after I've made it,' said Turbeville. 'Obliterate it a little so you never have it completely there.' It's a quite un-American world, a view through the rear window, fascinated by the beaten, worn and forgotten. She has photographed her own house in Mexico as if she were a time-travelling visitor in her own intimate landscape, slightly drunk in exploration and contemplation of the rooms and their objects - tin retablos, wooden boxes, a painted carving of the Virgin Saint Maria Candelaria. She has photographed old Newport and the lost St Petersburg. One of her books was called 'Les Amoureuses du Temps Passe' - (female) lovers of times past. 'The idea of disintegration is really the core of my work.' When Jackie Onassis commissioned her to photograph the unseen Versailles, the late president's wife urged the photographer to 'evoke the feeling that there were ghosts and memories.' Turbeville began by researching the palace's 'mistresses and discarded mistresses', then photographed not just the palace's grand chambers and vistas but its store rooms and attics. She came to photography late. Arriving in New York at 19, with dreams of a stage career, she worked as a model and assistant to Claire McCardell - the fashion designer who brought wool jersey and denim to the catwalk. She joined Harper's Bazaar in 1963, working with its fashion editor, Marvin Israel, and his crew of photographers which included Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Hiro. She took her first pictures in Yugoslavia in 1966. They were blurry. She showed them to Avedon. He liked them, blurs and all. So he taught her technique. In 1972, she became a photographer. Like other adventurous photographers of the era, she worked for Nova magazine. She took some pictures for Vogue of girls in bikinis at a cement works. 'The most revolutionary pictures of the time,' said Conde Nast's editorial director Alexander Liberman. The work that made her name was the 'bathhouse' series she took for American Vogue in 1975 - fashion photographs of barely dressed women, wet and languid, almost kitsch. The oddest thing, though, is the sense that the women are prisoners - of what is not clear, of course. It's been said they look like they're in gas chambers. 'I go into a women's private world, where you never go,' Turbeville said. 'It's a moment frozen in time. I like to hear a clock ticking in my pictures.' If one of photography's most honourable impulses is to subvert - or flee from - the medium's inherent voyeurism, Turbeville collapses this paradox by succumbing to it. Victorian academic paintings presented unclothed women in bathing pools as if the painter were not there - the illusion of pornography. Turbeville's naked, wet women are under no such illusion. They know the photographer is there. They acknowledge her presence. They maybe even watch us, the viewer. The bathouse pictures were collected, with others, in her 1978 book 'Wallflower' - arrestingly and sympathetically designed by her mentor, Israel. In it are all the essentials of her work: a feeling that you are somewhere in the past; a languid, barely sexual sexuality; white, willowy women; distressed prints; a luminous quality; a sense of a narrative interrupted. Yet she's a jobbing photographer, too. She's worked for American Vogue and its British, French, Italian, and Russian counterparts. She's done ads for Ungaro, editorial photographic essays for Harper's Bazaar and portraits of Julia Roberts for the New York Times Magazine. She wears black, mostly. She has reddish hair. She has homes in Mexico, New York and Russia. She teaches in Russia. She's been married at least once. When she lived in Paris, at the turn of the 1980s, she'd rummage through the streets every evening, between 6 and 8 o'clock. 'I'm a voyeur,' she said. (Source: Pete Silverton - www.professionalphotographer.co.uk)
Esmeralda Ruiz
United States
Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
Frank Horvat
Italy
1928
Frank Horvat is an internationally renowned fashion photographer, who has recently celebrated fifty years experience in the field. Throughout these years he has not only embraced fashion photography, but also been unafraid to experiment and adapt to new technologies, transcending the confines of photographic borders. His photography is diverse and considerably more complex than a cursory glance could reveal. He is perhaps best known for his spontaneity, trust and empathy, qualities that express themselves in his sophisticated photographs. Frank Horvat was born in Italy in 1928. He first started photographing at age fifteen with a 35 mm Retinamat camera, and moved to Milan to study art in 1947. By 1950 he was doing freelance work for Italian fashion magazines; Epoca published his first photographic essay in 1951. Horvat was one of the first artists to apply the 35mm film camera and reportage techniques to fashion art photography. He created a new and more realistic style that revolutionized the development of fashion-based photography in England, France, and the United States. He stylistically combined realism and artifice, movement, and inventive locations, which won him immediate success as a French fashion photographer. His photographs have appeared in leading European and American magazines including Life, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Jardin des Modes from 1951-61. Horvat initially worked for the American picture agency, Magnum, but since he “posed” his subjects he left for Realities and Black Star. He moved to Paris three years later and currently divides his time between the city and the south of France. Horvat’s work with French fashion photography has been exhibited around the world and can be found in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious museums including Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Kunst-bibliothek, Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman House, and numerous other collections. Source: Holden Luntz Gallery
Marcos Zegers
Chile
1987
I am a Chilean photographer, with a background in architecture and with a strong interest in geopolitical, territorial and migration conflicts. My work focuses on long-term documentary projects in which I illustrate urgent situations through a careful and studied proposal. My work has been exhibited in Chile (Animal, Ekho Gallery), and fairs in London, Paris, Shanghai and New York and I participated in photo festivals as PhotoEspaña (Esp), Format (UK) and FIFV (Chile). Recently my documentary project was published on The New York Times which gave me the opportunity to start working as a freelancer for the same newspaper. I teach at the University Diego Portales in Chile where I currently live. About Mining and Exodus in the Atacama Desert This visual essay is the narrative of an endless journey through the desert and the Andes Highlands in Bolivia and Chile. A paused and deep journey through places full of memory. What appears to be photographs of elements randomly dispersed throughout the territory, when consciously grouped together, are transformed into a linear narrative linked to the extractive era. Like a map that is revealed in parts, a harsh story uncovers the relationship between mining activities and cultural displacements, all united under a common element in dispute, water. Following the course of the extractive history of colonial Latin America, what was rubber in Iquitos, cane in the Caribbean, gold in Guanajuato or silver in Potosi, in Chile was the nitrate (saltpetre). For almost two centuries, the Atacama Desert has been a constant source of mineral resource extraction. The "Saltpetre Offices" have left the mark of an era of wealth and exploitation. Today the situation repeats itself as an exact cycle: what was nitrate, passed to copper, and today, it turns to lithium. Right in the middle of this extractive history are the woman and the man who inhabited the territory. On the one hand, there is the Aymara woman who walks and grazes the cattle in the Andean mountain range. She has not seen the face of the mining company. However, they critically meet in the use of the same resource: water. The excessive water consumption by mining companies has dried the soil, making livestock and agriculture unviable. Consequently, the highlands man has been forced to go down to work in the city, where possibly, the job to which he aspires, is precisely in mining. This uncovers a vicious circle which is greatly enhanced by the government's lack of attention to these isolated areas. The risk is profound. The desert has not been completely unravelled. It continues to have lots of minerals, and at the same time, it stalks a climate change that will not stop any time soon. In Chile the water is sold, the water rights belong to private. This situation has alarmed the inhabitants of this territory, amongst organizations and activists who wage real legal battles in the courts. This visual essay, far from addressing the issue on all its extents, seeks to contribute to the latent conversation about extractive practices and the current economic model in Chile. To bring back this apparently scenic desert to an urgent reality, promoting a reflection that contributes to the appreciation of rural territory and its culture.
Seydou Keïta
Mali
1921 | † 2001
The great African portraitist Seydou Keïta lived in Bamako, Mali from 1921 to 2001. A self-taught photographer, he opened a studio in 1948 and specialized in portraiture. Seydou Keïta soon photographed all of Bamako and his portraits gained a reputation for excellence throughout West Africa. His numerous clients were drawn by the quality of his photos and his great sense of aesthetics. Many were young men, dressed in European style clothing. Some customers brought in items they wanted to be photographed with but Keïta also had a choice of European clothing and accessories - watches, pens, radios, scooter, etc. - which he put at their disposal in his studio. The women came in flowing robes often covering their legs and their throats, only beginning to wear Western outfits in the late 60s. Seydou Keïta worked primarily with daylight and for economic reasons took only a single shot for each picture. Seydou Keïta was discovered in the West in the 1990s. His first solo exhibition took place in 1994 in Paris at the Fondation Cartier. This was followed by many others in various museums, galleries and foundations worldwide. He is now universally recognized as the father of African photography and considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. "It’s easy to take a photo, but what really made a difference was that I always knew how to find the right position, and I never was wrong. Their head slightly turned, a serious face, the position of the hands... I was capable of making someone look really good. The "photos were always very good. That’s why I always say that it’s a real art." Seydou Keïta, Bamako, 1995/1996 © André Magnin From en.wikipedia.orgSeydou Keïta was born in 1921 in Bamako, although the exact date is unknown. He was the oldest in a family of five children. His father Bâ Tièkòró and his uncle Tièmòkò were furniture makers. Keïta developed an interest in photography when his uncle gave him a Kodak Brownie with a film with eight shots in 1935, after returning from a trip to Senegal. In the beginning Keïta worked as both a carpenter and photographer, taking first portraits of his family and friends, later of people in the neighborhood. He learned photography and how to develop from Pierre Garnier, a French photographic supply store owner, and from Mountaga Traoré, his mentor. In 1948 he set up his first studio in the family house in Bamako-Koura behind the main prison.From www.gallery51.comConsidered to be one the important precursors of African photography, Seydou Keïta was born in Bamako (Mali) in 1920. Like many of his contemporaries, nothing particularly predestined him to become a photographer. His uncles bring back a camera from a trip to Senegal, and the young Seydou is fascinated. He starts photographing his relatives and discovers a deep passion for this art. Although he makes furniture for a living, he spends much time with Pierre Garnier who has his own studio. There, Seydou Keïta learns the secrets of the trade and soon realises that there was an enormous demand for individual pictures. This drives him to open his own studio in 1948. Up until then, whites had had a lot of trouble convincing local population to have their pictures taken, because they were so afraid to lose their identity. With Keïta it's different: he is one of them and permits them to choose their own picture that will be left for the close family. From then on, we see the opposite effect: people queue up to have their pictures taken. This is to become the great specialty of the malinese artist. Slowly he develops his own style, in which one finds accents of Mountaga Kouyaté's work, an intellectual that fought a bitter personal battle for the independence of Soedan. To look their best, that is the sole desire of people in front of Keïta's lens. Keïta even gives them costumes, accessories and furniture to further enhance their appearance.Men, women and children, all look perfectly elegant. If we look beyond the aesthetics of the black-and-white pictures, Seydou shows us a portrait of Malinese society in full transition. Finally Seydou is to become the country's official photographer, and will stop working in 1977. Nevertheless, it will be many years before his work is noted at the famous "Festival of African Photography". Source: www.seydoukeitaphotographer.com
Chen Jiagang
China
1962
Born in 1962 in Chong Qing, Chen Jiagang began his career as a celebrated architect and real estate developer before making the transition to photography. In 1999, he was named one of twelve "Outstanding Young Architects" by the United Nations. Jiagang is the founder of the Sichuan Upriver Museum, the first private museum in China and the author of Third Front (Timezone 8 Limited, 2007). He currently lives and works in Beijing.Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery Although originally trained as an architect (and awarded by the UN the accolade of being one of the 12 ‘outstanding young architects' in China), Chen Jiagang has been a practicing photographer for over 12 years, and has exhibited widely since 1999. He has twice been awarded the Excellent Works Award at the annual China Photographic Arts Exhibitions. Chen photographs often feature obsolete and useless factories, hidden away in his country's hinterlands. Among these monumental, abandoned ruins, these industrial leftovers, he places ghostly human figures, reminding us of the workers who lost their jobs and were sent back home to start again. He documents the effects on society of China's extraordinary development drive in these large, sumptuous compositions.Source: Waterhouse & Dodd 1980-1984 studied in Architecture Department of Chongqing Architecture College from 1980 to 1984. 1984-1992 worked in Southwest Architecture Design Institute as a National Certified Architect, and had been awarded grand architecture prizes in various types for many times. 1992 founded the Company of Chengdu Haosi Property Development. 1996 the Company of Sichuan Gangjia Architecture Design. 1997 founded Sichuan Upriver Stock Co., Ltd. 1997 founded Upriver Art Gallery, the first private Art Gallery in China. 1998 founded Chengdu Upriver Guildhall and Kunming Upriver Guildhall. 1999 elected as one of the twelve "Outstanding Young Architect" of China by UN. 2001 Bigining to be an artist from then on. 2002 The excellent works prize of the 20th China Photographic Exhibition. 2003 The excellent works prize of the 21th China Photographic Exhibition. Personal Exhibitions 2012 Diseased City, Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery, Paris, France Chen Jiagang photography, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Roger Grasas
Spain
1970
Roger Grasas (Barcelona, 1970) begins his professional career as a photographer in 1998 documenting cooperation projects for national and international foundations and NGOs as well as for UNESCO. Since then, traveling becomes the core of his artistic work, translating his experiences and reflections into visual arts. Between 2005 and 2009 he is the director of the BisouFoto communication studio and co-founder of the phototroupe Studio agency. In both projects he is in charge of the commissions related to travel photography, editorial portrait and social report. Regular contributor to several Spanish and international publications. In 2009 he moves to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) where he leads the foundation of the photography department at Imagine Communication, a high end quality agency for social photography and events. During his stay in Saudi Arabia and later on until 2016 he develops the project 'Inshallah', a personal project about the extreme transformation of Middle eastern societies through the urban contemporary landscape in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Emirates, Oman etc. His body of work approaches the role and importance that technology reveals within the post-modern digital society, the state of strangeness and confusion that human being suffers in the contemporary landscape and the increasingly connections between art and science. Sociopolitical issues such as globalization and philosophical concepts such as the 'difference', 'hyperreality' and 'alienation' generated by the postcapitalist society and the accelerated implementation of new technologies are also common places of their work. Since 1997 he has combined his professional activity with teaching in photography. Between 1997 and 2004 he teaches Photography and Landscape Production courses at the UPC's Image and Multimedia Technology Center. He also works as an academic at the Groc School of Plastic Arts (Barcelona), at the Communication Faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and at the Mamori Art Lab Foundation in Brazil. He has also given various workshops and seminars related to travel anthropology and contemporary society such as "The Art of Travel: Photography and Travel" and "Why Travel? Ethics and Aesthetics of Leisure and Tourism". His His works have been exhibited on galleries of Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, U.S.A., El Salvador, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. About 'Min Turab' In the space of a few decades, the landscapes of the Arab Gulf region have undergone a wholesale mutation driven by increased income from the oil, globalization and mass tourism. These countries have seen so a huge transformation, moving from the nomadic lifestyle of the bedouin tribes to a hi-tech urban society. The work takes the title from an arabic expression meaning “from the land”, and is an observation of this process oscillation between these two poles: an austere, traditional civilization on one extreme, and a postmodern culture under the powerful influence of capitalism and consumerism on the other. Founded on the idea of travel as an artistic method, these photographs hold up a mirror to the dyad of nature and technology in a place where the old and the new come together and the lines between them blur. This tension is evident both in the vast desert landscapes and in the images of cities, where the past and the future are compressed into the close quarters of the present. These representations of the landscapes of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar throw into sharp relief the binary opposition of the natural and the constructed. This sense of dislocation feeds into this idea of travel as an artistic dérive, drifting with no particular destination in mind, in search of new situations and experiences. In these dreamlike images, the author reflects on the concepts of the real and the unreal, with viewers left uncertain as to what is really going on. Almost completely lacking in human presence, these photographs show the mark left upon the landscape by consumer society at the same time as they seek out the beauty in strangeness. With a dry wit, the artist focuses his gaze on the idea of the simulacrum. The visual and conceptual glimpses of this world documents the colonization of contemporary landscapes by technology and the alienation of human beings in the digital societies of the Arabian Gulf countries. These images of silent architecture do not offer viewers any conclusions, but rather invite them to reflect and leave the way clear for a multiplicity of interpretations that connect with viewers' own imaginary.
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