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Matej Michalik
Matej Michalik
Matej Michalik

Matej Michalik

Country: Slovakia
Birth: 1981

"My name is Matej Michalik. I was born in 1981 and live in Bratislava, Slovakia. I came in contact with photography in 2010. Apparently, I belong to the new wave of photographers who didn’t go through the analogue era and developing films in darkrooms but ended up in times of digital cameras instead. I am convinced that no matter how expensive your photography gear is, having a good imagination is essencial.

From the beginning, my intuition was leading me towards black and white photos. I began observing the work of several fine art photographers whose work I enormously appreciate. I started communicating with them, sharing pieces of advice and experience. That‘s how it all started."
-- Matej Michalik
 

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Andre Cypriano
Brazil
1964
A native of Brazil, André Cypriano was born in 1964 and educated in São Paulo with a university degree in business administration. Concerned with environmental issues, he contributed time and effort as the administrator of "Salva Mar" Save the Sea - a Brazilian organization dedicated to save the whales in North Brazil.In 1990, one year after relocating to the U.S., André began to study photography in San Francisco. He has since completed several projects which have been exhibited in several galleries and museums in Brazil and the USA.André has been a recipient of the first place award in San Francisco City College's Photography Department of Scholarship (July 1992), first runner-up in the World Image Award Competition promoted by Photo District News in N.Y. (Dec. 1992), first place in New Works Awards - promoted by En Foco in N.Y. (July 1998), as well as first place in the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography (Oct. 1998). As part of a long term project, Cypriano began to document traditional lifestyles and practices of lesser known societies in remote corners of the world with a slant toward the unique and unusual. Thus far, he has photographed the people of Nias, an island off the northwest coast of Sumatra (Nias: Jumping Stones), the dogs of Bali (Spiritual Quest), the infamous penitentiary of Candido Mendes, in Rio de Janeiro (The Devil's Caldron), as well as the largest shanty town in Latin America, Rio de Janeiro (Rocinha - An Orphan Town). His ongoing projects have been used in educational workshops.Currently, André Cypriano works as a free-lance photographer in New York and continues to be involved in social and cultural activities.
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, is based in Spain. He took up a career in photography while at university, aged 19, focussing on issues of social conflict. He has now exclusively joined the Reportage by Getty Images roster, having previously worked with Agence Vu (December 2005 - March 2009), and as a freelance photographer before that. His key bodies of work to date have included conflict coverage in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, Georgia, and the Central African Republic, post-conflict coverage in the Balkans, HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia (India, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar) and Africa (Malawi, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya), the tsunami in Banda Aceh & Sri Lanka, indigenous peoples in Bolivia, Brazil and Ecuador, presidential elections in Bolivia, Paraguay & Serbia, and cancer in the third world (Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Uganda, Iraq and Morocco), all of which are topics close to his heart. As well as working on his own personal projects, he has worked on assignment for Time Magazine, Newsweek, the New York Times, the The Times magazine, Le Monde, Liberation, Vanity Fair, XLsemanal & ABC, L'Espresso, Stern, Geo, EPS, EIGHT, etc. Alvaro has published four books to date, with a fifth scheduled for release in 2010, Apocalipsis. He has exhibited his work internationally, including in the UK (The Voices of Darfur at the Royal Albert Hall), in France (Children of Sorrow at the Visa Pour l'Image festival in Perpignan), China, Colombia, at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and in other cities across the US and Spain.Source: www.alvaroybarra.com
Karen Knorr
United States
1954
Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally, including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths, Harvard and The Art Institute of Chicago. She studied at the University of Westminster in the mid-1970s, exhibiting photography that addressed debates in cultural studies and film theory concerning the ‘politics of representation’ practices which emerged during the late 1970s qnd early 1980s. She is currently Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey. Karen Knorr produced Belgravia (1979-1981) a series of black and white photographs with ironic and humorous texts that highlighted aspirations, lifestyle and the British class system under the neo liberalist Thatcher era in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Her most well known work called Gentlemen (1981-1983) was photographed in Saint James’s clubs in London and investigated the patriarchal conservative values of Britain during the Falklands war. Karen ’s work developed a critical and playful dialogue with documentary photography using different visual and textual strategies to explore her chosen subject matter that ranges from the family and lifestyle to the animal and its representation in the museum context. In 1986 her work Connoisseurs used colour to explore connoisseurship regarding authenticity, heritage and art in England. Here she introduced elements and staged events in the architectural interiors of Chiswick House, Osterley Park House and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The use of text and captioning appeared as a device to slow down consumption of the image and to comment on the received ideas of fine art in museum culture. These strategies still appear in her photography today with digital collage of animals, objects and social actors in museums and architecture challenging the authority and power of heritage sites in Europe and more recently in India. Academies (1994- 2001), a series of colour photographs taken in academies and museums across Europe, reflects on the relationship between the production of western fine art, its transmission and consumption. The work continues a critical dialogue with conceptual art, visual culture, feminism and animal studies reflecting an engaged interest in theory and its relation to photographic practice. In 1995 the Academies project included video and installation with wall text transfers in order the explore the relationship between art and science in the staging of transgressive performative events and gestures in museums. Being for Another (1995), an 18 minute video records a young man caressing an 18th century sculpture by Canova in the Victoria and Albert Museum and three lifeclass models enact the lifeclass on the dissecting table of the anatomy theatre of Uppsala University in Lessons (2002). The introduction of a sound glass sculpture with recorded birdsong responded to the furniture and art collection of The Wallace Collection in 2001 synthesizing a 1960’s Pete Seeger song with an actual blackbird’s sound. In her series Fables (2004-2008) photographs mixes analogue and digital photography playfully reconfiguring tales (Ovid, Aesop La Fontaine) with popular culture (Disney and Attenborough) in museums and heritage sites which include Carnavalet Museum, the Museum of Hunt and Nature in Paris, Chambord Castle and the Conde Museum in Chantilly Castle. The visuality of these photographs is rich with reference to the baroque. In the last section of the work, Knorr interrogated the free flowing space of modern architecture in Corbusier’s Villa Savoye reintroducing life into the modernist aesthetic of a building. Since her life changing journey to Rajasthan, India in 2008, Karen Knorr’s work continues to explore Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality. India Song, a series of carefully crafted photographs explores the past and its relation to India’s contemporary heritage sites across Rajasthan. Since 2012 Knorr has been visiting Japan to reflect on tradition within contemporary Japan referencing Ukiyo-e prints and folktales connected to Shinto and Buddhist heritage sites.Her first series entitled Monagatari, places animals and humans in temple sites found in Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo and Ohara. Her second related series Karyukai is inspired by the Kano’s 36 portraits of poets also referencing “bijinga” prints of the 17th century. Women photographed by Karen Knorr were asked to compose waka and haiku reflecting on their life and dreams. Source: karenknorr.com About India Song Karen Knorr’s past work from the 1980’s onwards took as its theme the ideas of power that underlie cultural heritage, playfully challenging the underlying assumptions of fine art collections in academies and museums in Europe through photography and video. Since 2008 her work has taken a new turn and focused its gaze on the upper caste culture of the Rajput in India and its relationship to the "other" through the use of photography, video and performance. The photographic series considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography. Karen Knorr celebrates the rich visual culture, the foundation myths and stories of northern India, focusing on Rajasthan and using sacred and secular sites to consider caste, femininity and its relationship to the animal world. Interiors are painstakingly photographed with a large format Sinar P3 analogue camera and scanned to very high resolution. Live animals are inserted into the architectural sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. Animals photographed in sanctuaries, zoos and cities inhabit palaces, mausoleums , temples and holy sites, interrogating Indian cultural heritage and rigid hierarchies. Cranes, zebus, langurs, tigers and elephants mutate from princely pets to avatars of past feminine historic characters, blurring boundaries between reality and illusion and reinventing the Panchatantra for the 21st century.
Beatrix Jourdan
Beatrix Jourdan (Bea Mészöly) was born in Budapest, attended The Hungarian University of Fine Arts, and is both a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Photography has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Luxembourg, Belgium/Brussels, London, Hungary, Italy, Kuala Lumpur, Senegal/Dakar Argentina and the USA. She is currently based in Dakar, Senegal. "Being a professional graphic designer I worked with photos shot by others, making art catalogues and book covers, designing magazines and advertising. Sometimes when I had not enough photos for creative process, I started to shoot for my work and found myself deeply involved in the process. Fine art photography inherits means of expression like the use of light, composition, shape, line, rhythm, colour, etc. from painting and drawing. But what is most important for me it suggests principle of duality, originality through lack of originality, reflection, illusion, intricacy, which confuses people who want to see in the photo a phenomenon of objectivity, simplicity and straightness – all these I try to keep in my mind and share in my works. I believe that the concept of photography is not only a faithful reproduction of reality, but also a way of showing emotions, human relations, and that it is also a form of communication between a photograph and the viewer. Thus, the camera is only a tool for the technical execution of the art form, and a catalyst for developing and displaying feelings." Interview with Beatrix Jourdan All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Beatrix Jourdan: I started working as a graphic designer, and choosing the right photo to work on was not so simple: sometimes I felt upset as it was very difficult to create a "communication-bridge" between the message and the composition that was in my hands. Then I started to take photos on my own: I perfectly knew what was in my mind, and the only thing I could do was taking photos, in order to translate my thoughts into reality. AAP: Where did you study photography? BJ: I was the "teacher of myself", as I began to spend a lot of time in the dark room, where - making a lot of mistakes, obviously! - at the end I understood how to manipulate and develop photos. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? BJ: No, I don't. I can admire other photographers' work, but I never wanted to have a mentor. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? BJ: 2005 can be considered the turning point of my professional life, as I abandoned my work as a graphic designer in order to become a photographer. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? BJ: Uh... what a difficult question! I can't say for sure but my dog could probably be my first subject. AAP: What or who inspires you? BJ: Everything around... The world that surrounds me everlastingly inspires me in my shots. Bodies, houses, situations... there are so many things that can be shot that sometimes I run the risk to lose myself in my own passion... AAP: How could you describe your style? BJ: Honestly, I really do not know. The "subjects" always influence my style... I love to help the observer, guiding his attention on a particular aspect, the same that caught my attention. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? BJ: Yes. I always edit my photos. The photos are the way I like the most to begin to "paint", in order to translate into reality what I feel and "need" to show. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? BJ: Never try to copy any style from other photographers: just look deep inside and find yourself in the reality you shoot. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? BJ: Every shot is deeply connected to a person or to a situation... The time I spend with someone always becomes my best memory. AAP: The compliment that touched you most? BJ: Every compliment touches me!! AAP: If you were someone else who would it be? BJ: ...even if I deeply love a photo which is not mine, I never say "I would have shot it". That's because a photo is part of the photographer that takes it. A photo is not only a "clic", it is a powerful mix of technique, feelings, emotions, background and thoughts. I cannot have the same "mix" as another photographer, so when I look at a photo I love, I prefer to feel the love the photographer has put into it. AAP: Anything else you would like to share? BJ: Not very original but: Shoot when you need to shoot, as time never goes back.
Alfred Stieglitz
United States
1864 | † 1946
Through his activities as a photographer, critic, dealer, and theorist, Alfred Stieglitz had a decisive influence on the development of modern art in America during the early twentieth century. Born in 1864 in New Jersey, Stieglitz moved with his family to Manhattan in 1871 and to Germany in 1881. Enrolled in 1882 as a student of mechanical engineering in the Technische Hochschule (technical high school) in Berlin, he was first exposed to photography when he took a photochemistry course in 1883. From then on he was involved with photography, first as a technical and scientific challenge, later as an artistic one. Returning with his family to America in 1890, he became a member of and advocate for the school of pictorial photography in which photography was considered to be a legitimate form of artistic expression. In 1896 he joined the Camera Club in New York and managed and edited Camera Notes, its quarterly journal. Leaving the club six years later, Stieglitz established the Photo-Secession group in 1902 and the influential periodical Camera Work in 1903. In 1905, to provide exhibition space for the group, he founded the first of his three New York galleries, The Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which came to be known as Gallery 291. In 1907 he began to exhibit the work of other artists, both European and American, making the gallery a fulcrum of modernism. As a gallery director, Stieglitz provided emotional and intellectual sustenance to young modernists, both photographers and artists. His Gallery 291 became a locus for the exchange of critical opinions and theoretical and philosophical views in the arts, while his periodical Camera Work became a forum for the introduction of new aesthetic theories by American and European artists, critics, and writers. After Stieglitz closed Gallery 291 in 1917, he photographed extensively, and in 1922 he began his series of cloud photographs, which represented the culmination of his theories on modernism and photography. In 1924 Stieglitz married Georgia O'Keeffe, with whom he had shared spiritual and intellectual companionship since 1916. In December of 1925 he opened the Intimate Gallery; a month later Duncan Phillips purchased his first works from Stieglitz’s gallery, paintings by Dove, Marin, and O'Keeffe. In 1929 Stieglitz opened a gallery called An American Place, which he was to operate until his death. During the thirties, Stieglitz photographed less, stopping altogether in 1937 due to failing health. He died in 1946, in New York. The Collection contains nineteen gelatin-silver photographs of clouds by Stieglitz.Source: The Phillips Collection My photographs are a picture of the chaos in the world, and of my relationship to that chaos. My prints show the world’s constant upsetting of man’s equilibrium, and his eternal battle to reestablish it. -- Alfred Stieglitz In early June 1918, O'Keeffe moved to New York from Texas after Stieglitz promised he would provide her with a quiet studio where she could paint. Within a month he took the first of many nude photographs of her at his family's apartment while his wife Emmy was away, but she returned while their session was still in progress. She had suspected something was going on between the two for a while, and told him to stop seeing her or get out. Stieglitz left and immediately found a place in the city where he and O'Keeffe could live together. They slept separately for more than two weeks, but by the end of July they were in the same bed together. Once he was out of their apartment Emmy had a change of heart. Due to the legal delays caused by Emmy and her brothers, it would be six more years before the divorce was finalized. During this period Stieglitz and O'Keeffe continued to live together, although she would go off on her own from time to time to create art. Stieglitz used their times apart to concentrate on his photography and promotion of modern art. O'Keeffe was the muse Stieglitz had always wanted. He photographed O'Keeffe obsessively between 1918 and 1925 in what was the most prolific period in his entire life. During this period he produced more than 350 mounted prints of O'Keeffe that portrayed a wide range of her character, moods and beauty. He shot many close-up studies of parts of her body, especially her hands either isolated by themselves or near her face or hair. O'Keeffe biographer Roxanna Robinson states that her "personality was crucial to these photographs; it was this, as much as her body, that Stieglitz was recording." In 1920, Stieglitz was invited by Mitchell Kennerly of the Anderson Galleries in New York to put together a major exhibition of his photographs. In early 1921, he hung the first one-man exhibit of his photographs since 1913. Of the 146 prints he put on view, only 17 had been seen before. Forty-six were of O'Keeffe, including many nudes, but she was not identified as the model on any of the prints. In 1922, Stieglitz organized a large show of John Marin's paintings and etching at the Anderson Galleries, followed by a huge auction of nearly two hundred paintings by more than forty American artists, including O'Keeffe. Energized by this activity, he began one of his most creative and unusual undertakings – photographing a series of cloud studies simply for their form and beauty. He said: "I wanted to photograph clouds to find out what I had learned in forty years about photography. Through clouds to put down my philosophy of life – to show that (the success of) my photographs (was) not due to subject matter – not to special trees or faces, or interiors, to special privileges – clouds were there for everyone…" By late summer he had created a series he called "Music – A Sequence of Ten Cloud Photographs". Over the next twelve years he would take hundreds of photographs of clouds without any reference points of location or direction. These are generally recognized as the first intentionally abstract photographs, and they remain some of his most powerful photographs. He would come refer to these photographs as Equivalents. Stieglitz's mother Hedwig died in November 1922, and as he did with his father he buried his grief in his work. He spent time with Paul Strand and his new wife Rebecca (Beck), reviewed the work of another newcomer named Edward Weston and began organizing a new show of O'Keeffe's work. Her show opened in early 1923, and Stieglitz spent much of the spring marketing her work. Eventually, twenty of her paintings sold for more than $3,000. In the summer, O'Keeffe once again took off for the seclusion of the Southwest, and for a while Stieglitz was alone with Beck Strand at Lake George. He took a series of nude photos of her, and soon he became infatuated with her. They had a brief physical affair before O'Keeffe returned in the fall. O'Keeffe could tell what had happened, but since she did not see Stieglitz's new lover as a serious threat to their relationship she let things pass. Six years later she would have her own affair with Beck Strand in New Mexico. In 1924, Stieglitz's divorce was finally approved by a judge, and within four months he and O'Keeffe married in a small, private ceremony at Marin's house. They went home without a reception or honeymoon. O'Keeffe said later that they married in order to help soothe the troubles of Stieglitz's daughter Kitty, who at that time was being treated in a sanatorium for depression and hallucinations. For the rest of their lives together, their relationship was, as biographer Benita Eisler characterized it, "a collusion ... a system of deals and trade-offs, tacitly agreed to and carried out, for the most part, without the exchange of a word. Preferring avoidance to confrontation on most issues, O'Keeffe was the principal agent of collusion in their union." In the coming years O'Keeffe would spend much of her time painting in New Mexico, while Stieglitz rarely left New York except for summers at his father's family estate in Lake George in the Adirondacks, his favorite vacation place. O'Keeffe later said "Stieglitz was a hypochondriac and couldn't be more than 50 miles from a doctor." The great geniuses are those who have kept their childlike spirit and have added to it breadth of vision and experience. -- Alfred Stieglitz At the end of 1924, Stieglitz donated 27 photographs to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It was the first time a major museum included photographs in its permanent collection. In the same year he was awarded the Royal Photographic Society's Progress Medal for advancing photography and received an Honorary Fellowship of the Society. In 1925, Stieglitz was invited by the Anderson Galleries to put together one of the largest exhibitions of American art, entitled Alfred Stieglitz Presents Seven Americans: 159 Paintings, Photographs, and Things, Recent and Never Before Publicly Shown by Arthur G. Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Charles Demuth, Paul Strand, Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. Only one small painting by O'Keeffe was sold during the three-week exhibit. Soon after, Stieglitz was offered the continued use of one of the rooms at the Anderson Galleries, which he used for a series of exhibitions by some of the same artists in the Seven Americans show. In December 1925, he opened his new gallery, The Intimate Gallery, which he nicknamed The Room because of its small size. Over the next four years, he put together sixteen shows of works by Marin, Dove, Hartley, O'Keeffe and Strand, along with individual exhibits by Gaston Lachaise, Oscar Bluemner and Francis Picabia. During this time, Stieglitz cultivated a relationship with influential new art collector Duncan Phillips, who purchased several works through The Intimate Gallery. In 1927, Stieglitz became infatuated with the 22-year-old Dorothy Norman, who was then volunteering at the gallery, and they fell in love. Norman was married and had a child, but she came to the gallery almost every day. O'Keeffe accepted an offer by Mabel Dodge to go to New Mexico for the summer. Stieglitz took advantage of her time away to begin photographing Norman, and he began teaching her the technical aspects of printing as well. When Norman had a second child, she was absent from the gallery for about two months before returning on a regular basis. Within a short time, they became lovers, but even after their physical affair diminished a few years later, they continued to work together whenever O'Keeffe was not around until Stieglitz died in 1946. In early 1929, Stieglitz was told that the building that housed The Room would be torn down later in the year. After a final show of Demuth's work in May, he retreated to Lake George for the summer, exhausted and depressed. The Strands raised nearly sixteen thousand dollars for a new gallery for Stieglitz, who reacted harshly, saying it was time for "young ones" to do some of the work he had been shouldering for so many years. Although Stieglitz eventually apologized and accepted their generosity, the incident marked the beginning of the end of their long and close relationship. In the late fall, Stieglitz returned to New York. On December 15, two weeks before his sixty-fifth birthday, he opened An American Place, the largest gallery he had ever managed. It had the first darkroom he had ever had in the city. Previously, he had borrowed other darkrooms or worked only when he was at Lake George. He continued showing group or individual shows of his friends Marin, Demuth, Hartley, Dove and Strand for the next sixteen years. O'Keeffe received at least one major exhibition each year. He fiercely controlled access to her works and incessantly promoted her even when critics gave her less than favorable reviews. Often during this time, they would only see each other during the summer, when it was too hot in her New Mexico home, but they wrote to each other almost weekly with the fervor of soul mates. In 1932, Stieglitz mounted a forty-year retrospective of 127 of his works at The Place. He included all of his most famous photographs, but he also purposely chose to include recent photos of O'Keeffe, who, because of her years in the Southwest sun, looked older than her forty-five years, in comparison to Stieglitz's portraits of his young lover Norman. It was one of the few times he acted spitefully to O'Keeffe in public, and it might have been as a result of their increasingly intense arguments in private about his control over her art. Later that year, he mounted a show of O'Keeffe's works next to some amateurish paintings on glass by Becky Strand. He did not publish a catalog of the show, which the Strands took as an insult. Paul Strand never forgave Stieglitz for that. He said, "The day I walked into the Photo-Secession 291 [sic] in 1907 was a great moment in my life… but the day I walked out of An American Place in 1932 was not less good. It was fresh air and personal liberation from something that had become, for me at least, second-rate, corrupt and meaningless." In 1936, Stieglitz returned briefly to his photographic roots by mounting one of the first exhibitions of photos by Ansel Adams in New York City. The show was successful and David McAlpin bought eight Adams photos. He also put on one of the first shows of Eliot Porter's work two years later. Stieglitz, considered the "godfather of modern photography", encouraged Todd Webb to develop his own style and immerse himself in the medium. The next year, the Cleveland Museum of Art mounted the first major exhibition of Stieglitz's work outside of his own galleries. In the course of making sure that each print was perfect, he worked himself into exhaustion. O'Keeffe spent most of that year in New Mexico. In early 1938, Stieglitz suffered a serious heart attack, one of six coronary or angina attacks that would strike him over the next eight years, each of which left him increasingly weakened. During his absences, Dorothy Norman managed the gallery. O'Keeffe remained in her Southwest home from spring to fall of this period. In the summer of 1946, Stieglitz suffered a fatal stroke and went into a coma. O'Keeffe returned to New York and found Dorothy Norman was in his hospital room. She left and O'Keeffe was with him when he died. According to his wishes, a simple funeral was attended by twenty of his closest friends and family members. Stieglitz was cremated, and, with his niece Elizabeth Davidson, O'Keeffe took his ashes to Lake George and "put him where he could hear the water." The day after the funeral, O'Keeffe took control of An American Place.Source: Wikipedia Image:All images © Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Gift of Georgia O'Keeffe
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
Willy Ronis was a French photographer best known for his photographs of life in postwar Paris and Provence, who spent his career roaming the Parisian streets capturing people in love, at work, and at play in lyrical black-and-white images, claimed an interest in "ordinary people with ordinary lives." He was a central figure in the "humanist photography" movement, alongside colleagues Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Brassaï, celebrating the poetry in the everyday in warm, witty images. I have never sought out the extraordinary or the scoop. I looked for what complemented my life. The beauty of the ordinary was always the source of my greatest emotions. -- Willy Ronis Working in his parents' photography studio, Willy Ronis honed his sense of proportion and composition. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a Lithuanian refugee who had fled the pogroms. His father established a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother taught piano. The boy's first love was music, and he aspired to be a composer. When Ronis returned from military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer forced him to take over the family portrait business; His love of music can be seen in his photographs. When his father died in 1936, the business collapsed, and Ronis went freelance, with his first photographs appearing in Regards. Willy Ronis met David Szymin and Robert Capa in 1937 and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938-39, he reported on a Citroen strike and traveled in the Balkans. Ronis, like Cartier-Bresson, was a member of the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires and remained a leftist. Ronis was inspired to start exploring photography by the work of photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. After his father died in 1936, he closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, where he worked alongside Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, and Ergy Landau. Most of my photographs were taken on the spur of the moment, very quickly, just as they occurred. All attention focuses on the specific instant, almost too good to be true, which can only vanish in the following one. -- Willy Ronis Willy Ronis was the first French photographer to work for Life magazine. In 1953, Edward Steichen curated a show at the Museum of Modern Art called Five French Photographers, which featured Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï. He was also featured in the Family of Man exhibition in 1955, and received in 1957 the Gold Medal from the Venice Biennale. Ronis began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint Charles, Marseilles in the 1950s. The Minister of Culture awarded him the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography in 1979. In 1981, Ronis won the Prix Nadar for his photobook Sur le fil du hasard. Marie-Anne Lansiaux (1910-91), a Communist militant painter, was the subject of Ronis' well-known 1949 photograph, Nu provençal (Provençal naked). The photograph, which was taken in a house that Marie-Anne and he had just purchased in Gordes, showed Marie-Anne washing at a basin with a water pitcher on the floor and an open window through which the viewer can see a garden; it is notable for its ability to convey an easy feeling of Provençal life. "The destiny of this image, published constantly around the world, still astonishes me," Ronis said of the photograph. Ronis spent the 1960s and 1980s in Provence and photographed Marie-Anne, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease at the time, sitting alone in a park surrounded by autumn trees.
Tariq Zaidi
United Kingdom
Tariq Zaidi is a freelance photographer currently based out of London, UK. In January 2014, he gave up an executive management position to pursue his passion of capturing the dignity, strength and soul of people, within their environment. His photography focuses on documenting social issues, inequality, traditions and endangered communities around the world. Tariq's stories, images and videos from Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Cambodia, Chad, DRC, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea, Republic of the Congo & South Sudan have been featured internationally in over 900 magazines / newspapers / websites (in more than 90 countries) including The Guardian, BBC, CNN, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Der Spiegel, El Pais Semanal, Geo, Independent On Sunday, National Geographic Traveler, GQ, Marie Claire, Vogue, GQ Style, Esquire, PDN, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 Mois, Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveler, Global Times China, Internazionale, Feature Shoot, China Daily, People's Daily, China, Deutsche Welle, Das Erste/ARD, Hindustan Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy Magazine and Times of London among other respected international titles. Tariq has won many major international photography awards (POYi, UNICEF, NPPA, PDN, IPA, AI-AP, AAPA etc). His work has been shown in 80 international exhibitions and he has worked on projects and assignments in 21 countries across 4 continents. He is a self-taught photographer, holds an M.Sc. (Master of Science) from University College London and is an Eddie Adams Worksop 2015 Alumini. In Feb 2018, Tariq was awarded one of the Premier Awards in POY75 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) - "Photographer of the Year" Award of Excellence for his work from North Korea, Congo and Brazil and also for 2nd place in the Feature Category in the same year. He was also a winner of PDN Photo Annual 2018 (Photojournalism / Documentary Category) and was awarded The Marty Forscher Fellowship Fund for outstanding achievement in Humanistic Photography, presented by PDN and Parsons School of Design, USA. In 2019, he was nominated to the Prix Pictet. In 2020, his work from Congo, El Salvador and Georgia was recognised 5 times by POY77 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) including 1st place for Portraits Series, 2nd place Spot News and 3rd Place Issue Reporting. His work from El Salvador has also been honoured as a 2020 Amnesty International Media Awards finalist (Photojournalism category) in recognition of his commitment to human rights. In Sep 2020, Tariq's work entitled Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo was shown at Visa Pour L'image, International Festival of Photojournalism. Tariq is currently working on a long-term personal project entitled Capturing the Human Spirit - a visual anthology about hope, dignity and community in some of the poorest regions in the world. The first 3 chapters of this work from the slum communities of Haiti, Brazil and Cambodia was featured at Visa Pour L'image, International Festival of Photojournalism, in September 2018. His first book Sapeurs: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo was published in September 2020. Articles Tariq Zaidi's Exclusive Interview Sin Salida Cattle of Kings - The Mundari of South Sudan Sapeurs North Korea The People's Paradise All about Photo Compeitions All About Photo Awards 2018 All About Photo Awards 2022 All About Photo Awards 2023
Bieke Depoorter
Belgium
1986
Bieke Depoorter (born 1986) is a Belgian photographer. She is a member of Magnum Photos and has published four books: Ou Menya, I am About to Call it a Day, As it May Be, and Sète#15. Depoorter received a master's degree in photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. The relationships Depoorter establishes with the subjects of her photographs lie at the foundation of her artistic practice. Accidental encounters are the starting point, and how these interactions naturally develop dictate the nature of Depoorter’s work. Many of her self-initiated projects are about intimate situations in families and in peoples' homes. For her graduation project and her first book, Ou Menya (2011), she made three trips to Russia, photographing people in their homes that she met whilst travelling around. The series won the 2009 Magnum Expression Award. Bieke Depoorter made the work for her second book, I am About to Call it a Day (2014) in a similar way whilst hitchhiking and driving around the U.S. However several recent projects have been the result of Depoorter questioning the medium. In As it May Be, she gradually became more aware of her status as an outsider, both culturally and as a photographer. So, in 2017, she revisited Egypt with the first draft of the book, inviting people to write comments directly onto the photographs. In Sète#15, and also Dvalemodus, a short film she co-directed together with Mattias De Craene, she began to see her subjects as actors. Although she portrayed them in their true environments, she tried to project her own story onto the scenes, fictionalizing the realities of her subjects in a way that blurred the lines between their world and hers. In the ongoing project Agata, a project about a young woman Depoorter met at a striptease bar in Paris in October 2017, she explores her interest in collaborative portraiture. It’s an example of Depoorter’s interest in finding people that can work with her in telling a story. These stories are always partially hers, and partially theirs. In her latest project Michael, she investigates the disappearance and life of a man she met on the streets of Portland in 2015. After giving her three suitcases full of scrapbooks, notes and books, everyone lost sight of him. Bieke Depoorter became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2012, an associate member in 2014, and a full member in 2016. She is the fourth Belgian member of the agency, after Carl De Keyzer, Martine Franck, Harry Gruyaert... Depoorter has won the Magnum Expression Award, The Larry Sultan Award and the Prix Levallois.Source: Wikipedia For the past six years, Bieke Depoorter has spent countless nights photographing perfect strangers—people that she encounters on the street who are willing to open their homes to Depoorter and her camera. The project began when she was travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, in 2008. She didn’t speak the language, so photography became her mode of communication. (She carried a letter that a friend wrote in Russian that explained her intent.) After publishing the work as a book, called Ou Menya, Depoorter headed to the United States, in 2010, where she hitchhiked and drove around the country, creating the collection found in her latest book, I Am About to Call It a Day. The project, both intimate and removed, hinges upon Depoorter’s ability to build trust within a tight timeframe. In many of the photographs, she seems to go unnoticed, capturing the unguarded moments found only in the privacy of one’s own home. “I like the atmosphere of the night,” Depoorter told me. “When people go to sleep, I think it’s most real. No one is looking at them, and they become their true selves.” She told me that her process is intrinsic to the success of her images. “I try to not hope for a picture,” she said. “I am there as a person first, and a photographer second.”Source: The New Yorker
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