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James Houston
James Houston

James Houston

Country: Australia

James Houston's background as a sculptor helped shape and influence his graphic photographic style. Australian born, Houston celebrates beauty and the human form, creating sensual iconic portraits and international campaigns for L'Oreal Paris, GAP, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss and Givenchy. New York based Houston balances his career with passion projects that make a difference in the community. Five award winning international books have been published on his work. Houston's book MOVE (PowerHouse Books), was created to benefit various HIV/AIDS charities and raised close to US$500,000 from sales and launch events. The book project, titled MOVE FOR AIDS was launched in 2006 with the support of Elton John, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Sarah Murdoch. While working on MOVE FOR AIDS, Houston was shocked to learn about American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality and the impact it has on U.S. teens. This discovery inspired Houston to raise over 1 million dollars to fund his first feature documentary titled, LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX (www.letstalkaboutsexthefilm.com). The Award winning film takes a revealing look at how American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality affect today’s teenagers. The film aired nationally on the TLC network in April, 2011 with the goal of helping parents and communities understand the importance of honest and open communication. For his latest photographic project, Natural Beauty, Houston turns his eye to nature for inspiration with the goal to raise awareness for the environment and funds for environmental non profit Global Green USA. In collaboration with MILK, Houston shot a series of striking portraits of some of the world’s leading models and celebrities. These captivating photographs, bring together two of Houston’s great passions – the human form and the natural world. Natural Beauty launched at MILK Gallery NYC April 2013. Houston also directed a web series on the 'making of' Natural Beauty as well as several film installations for the exhibition.

Source: www.houstonphoto.com

 

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Randy Bacon
United States
Randy is an American photographer with an extensive history in portrait, commercial and documentary photography, both motion and still. Randy is also co-founder and artist behind all of the photography and cinematography of the nonprofit, people empowering story movement, 7 Billion Ones Randy has pursued photography professionally since 1984 and is in high demand with a client base extending worldwide. He travels to destinations across the United States, as well as numerous countries for projects. At the core of Randy's photography is the ability to present emotive visual stories with an underlying sense of narrative. His unique style reflects elements of influential film noir and old masters in painting and photography - Randy is especially influenced by photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus, Ed Weston and others. Considering these influences, the connecting thread is the unending artistic mission to capture the art of people In their real, authentic, raw self. For Randy, this simple, yet complex, truth, "you were born an original", is still the creative seed that continues to grow his artistry for photography and film. In 2011, Randy expanded into the motion picture arena. Almost instantly he secured multiple commercial film projects. In 2012, his film career exploded with the release of his directorial and production debut, "The Last Days of Extraordinary Lives". The movie garnered a significant amount of coverage and awards, including having the film being broadcast on PBS to rave reviews. "The Last Days of Extraordinary Lives" ran the film festival circuit and accumulated an impressive fifteen film festival official selections and won fourteen awards, including Best Documentary, Best Picture and Best Director. Shortly thereafter, Randy released his second full-length documentary, "Man Up and Go" which received official selection to nine national/international film festivals. Both films are signed to Academy Award winning film company, Earthworks Films, and are distributed nationally by Filmrise. In 2015, Randy founded and launched the nonprofit humanitarian story movement, 7 Billion Ones, which documents lives, shares stories, connects community and empowers mankind. 7 Billion Ones is fully dedicated to using the art of photography, motion films, and written words to present people's unique stories in an artful, raw, impacting form, so that human transformation occurs exponentially. The story movement reaches a worldwide audience via sharing and connecting people through the enormous power of the world wide web. In consideration of Randycs ongoing work with 7 Billion Ones and other humanitarian projects, he was named as Presidential Social Change Artist in Residence at Saybrook University. In addition, Randy won the Award for Homeless Advocacy with the Alliance to End Homelessness. The Road I call Home For over 35 years I have explored the art of portraiture and I am still mesmerized by photography just like when I got my first camera at 15. It's a love affair that not only endured, but has grown as an essential part of my being. I am more in awe of photography as an art form each day. As a photographer and filmmaker, I have always been intrigued by the fact that each and every person is a one-of-a-kind original - a never before created miracle. This simple, yet complex truth, "we are ALL original miracles'' is the creative seed that flames my passion for photography and represents the connecting thread with all of my work. Over the years, I have photographed thousands upon thousands of people, across America and around the world, propelled by an infinite fascination and commitment as a photographic artist to capture the miracle of each person - the 'ones' on this planet of over 7 billion. I am finding that after all of these many years, of tending to my relationship between me and this thing called a camera that I am artistically driven more and more by people and their stories. With my photography, no matter the walk of life, I strive to present each 'one' in an authentic, no frills manner as to truly relay their inherent beauty, uniqueness and value. With the narratives, I provide the accepting, safe place, so each person can truthfully share their raw, unfiltered story. In the end, I hope the work will punch people in the heart and help create positive change, new understandings of humanity and connection within our world. This is my mission. The Road I Call Home is a powerfully direct extension of my mission - portraits that reveal their special qualities and dignity versus stereotypical attitudes and perceptions society commonly has of homelessness and often presented by the media. The impetus for this approach relates directly to my own life - I was guilty of being negative and uncompassionate towards the homeless. Yes, I judged the book by the cover; however as I opened the pages of each homeless person's life I saw the enlightening truth - homeless people are important 'ones' in this world of 7 billion and deserve love and compassion. The Road I Call Home represents my most ambitious single project to date. What began as a small idea to photograph a handful of homeless people now stands at over 170 homeless lives recorded via portraits, stories and short films. The Road I Call Home continues its path as we push forward chronicling more of our homeless friends' lives. The project has been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries, including several states, with more being planned. A corresponding coffee table art book for The Road I Call Home was published in 2021. Articles The Road I Call Home The Amazing Winning Images of AAP Magazine 17 Portrait
Kinga Owczennikow
A native of Poland, Kinga Owczennikow is an art photographer who considers her practice as a collaboration with the world. Kinga spent most of her adult life in metropolises like Hong Kong, London, Ho Chi Minh City or lesser known places such as Tirana or Paro, in the Himalayas. Having the outsider/insider point of view has been especially valuable to her photographic practice throughout the years. This constant geographical movement permitted her to retain the innocence of curious and attentive eyesight, at the same time gradually building an extensive experience of the wider world. Kinga is currently based in the Bay Area, in California. Kinga first studied photographic theory and practice at the Warsaw School of Photography. She holds a BA (Hons) in Photography from the University for the Creative Arts in the UK. Kinga is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, a member of the Center of Photographic Art and the Griffin Museum of Photography. She is also a part of RPS’s Women in Photography group. Kinga had a solo exhibition “The secret paths of Hong Kong” at the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw, in 2011. She was a finalist of the Mediterranean Spirit at the PhotoMed Awards, 2016, and a finalist in the Association of Photographers Student Awards 2019, in the category Places (single photo) and the AOP Student Awards 2020 in the category Things (series). Her photographic work has been exhibited in group shows in the UK, Hungary, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Greece and the United States. 30 of her photographs, including the cover image were featured in Tom LeClair’s novel “Passing Again”, published by I-BeaM Books (2022). Most recently, two of her photographs were selected as part of the 2023 International Juried Exhibition held at the historic CPA in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Framing the World All photographs frame the world. “Framing The World” presents photographs with internal frames, how they sharpen focus on the world and refine viewers’ understanding of viewing - of both the world and photographs. Frames within the photograph’s frame suggest that the photograph self-consciously occupies art space - close viewing space - and these frames invite analysis, interpretation, and appreciation. Internal frames can attract and resist, reveal or deceive, imply their own limitations. Even imply viewers’ limitations, the cognitive frames through which they process the world. by Tom LeClair
Kelly O’Leary
United States
Marna Clarke
United States
I am 81 years old. I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and have lived the last quarter of my life in California. The intervening years were spent in pursuit of a college education in North Carolina, working for IBM in Washington, DC, educating myself in photography in New York City and Connecticut, and living in Michigan where my parents finally moved to be near my sister and her family. Somewhere along the way I got married, had two sons, divorced, and stopped photographing. I moved to California in 1996, to Marin County north of San Francisco. Five years later I met a man who saw some of my work on the walls of my home and encouraged me to get back to photographing. He courted me for a year after which he asked me to move in with him. In 2005, he bought me a digital camera and I fell in love again with the magic of recording images I found interesting and unique. In 2010, I started photographing the two of us as we began showing signs of getting old. Little did I know that eleven years later I’d still be engaged in that project, entitled Time As We Know It. I have received numerous recognitions for my work including being accepted into the 2020 deYoung Museum Open Exhibition. I was also awarded the grand prize at the 2021 Kaunas (Lithuania) International Photo Festival and was honored to be voted into the Critical Mass Top 50 artists in Photolucida’s 2021 competition. Time As We Know It On my 70th birthday, I woke from a dream in which I had rounded a corner and seen the end. This disturbing dream moved me to begin photographing my partner and myself, chronicling our time of growing old. Now, eleven years out, he and I face numerous physical challenges: decreased mental acuity, especially memory; the diminished quality of our skin, hair and teeth; mild disfigurement; as well as the need to tend vigilantly to our balance, hearing, sight, physical agility and getting adequate sleep. Inside we are learning to accept what is, sometimes going from anger, impatience, sadness or fear to seeing the humor in the idiosyncrasies of growing old. We realize that if we can be comfortable with our own aged appearances and limitations, then the potential exists that others will become more comfortable witnessing this transformation and possibly become more comfortable with their own. I have entered taboo territory, aging and death. The creation of these photos is part of my own way of dealing with the inevitability of dying by bringing attention to it and accepting it. I have come to embrace them as a tribute not just to our lives but also to the demanding and courageous task of growing old gracefully, graciously, and aware. A certain wisdom is evolving from years of living and observing, eventually unveiling previously unseen associations, patterns and similarities. I am gaining a much-appreciated perspective that was not available to me as a younger woman.
Mark Coggins
United States
1957
Mark Coggins is a crime-fiction novelist and photographer. Five of his six award-winning novels are illustrated with images taken by him. His photos have been exhibited in galleries across the country and have been featured in books of other authors, notably Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell and A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes. He has written about photography for View Camera magazine and is a contributor to Getty Images.All About Photo: When did you realize you also wanted to become a photographer?Mark Coggins: I've been interested in photography for a long time. I had a darkroom with a friend in grade school where I developed and printed pictures I took with an old 35mm Bolsey rangefinder camera my father gave me, but didn't really get serious about it until my mid-30's when I took a view camera class with Mark Citret. All About Photo: Where did you study photography? With whom? Mark Coggins: I've taken a number of classes and workshops with Mark Citret. While Mark is primarily a large-format photographer and I was initially interested in large format as well, I've evolved into more of "street photographer" using digital 35mm equivalents. However, I believe the training in large format has given me a deeper appreciation of composition, depth of field and exposure that is quite beneficial in making my images. All About Photo: Do you take photographs between books or at the same time? Mark Coggins: I move fluidly between writing and photography, doing both pretty much at the same time. When I photograph to illustrate my novels, of course, the two are yoked together in the service of the same goal. All About Photo: Does your writing influence your photography or vice versa? Mark Coggins: A bit of both. Originally, I was using photography to document street scenes I wanted to describe in my books. Then I hit upon the idea of including the photos I was taking in the books. Later I began to alter the plot of my books to have an excuse to include photos I liked that I had taken without reference to a particular scene. All About Photo: What lead you to photography and why? Mark Coggins: In the very beginning, it was the photos my father had taken during the Korean War with the 35mm Bolsey camera he eventually gave me. My mother recently found a box of his old negatives and slides, and several images-particularly of Korean children-are quite good. All About Photo: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? Mark Coggins: I don't remember the first photo I took, but I do remember the first one I developed and printed (around the age of 12). It was a snapshot of a large toy rubber beetle of my brother's. Not great art! All About Photo: What was your first paid assignment/job? Mark Coggins: The first print I sold was the photo of two chess pieces on a board that was used for the cover of my first novel, The Immortal Game. Several bookstores carried prints of the photo to sell to collectors who had enjoyed the book. All About Photo: What or who inspires you? Mark Coggins: I photograph street scenes from cities throughout the world. What inspires me most is capturing groups of people interacting or engaged in a common activity, rather than simply taking street portraits of individuals, although I have plenty of those in my portfolio. All About Photo: How could you describe your style? Mark Coggins: I like sharply focused images with a full tonal range, pulling in as much detail as I can in the shadows. Most all my work is black and white with a colder toning. All About Photo: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? Mark Coggins: "Geisha Confidential." It was taken one evening in Kyoto, Japan. I was walking down a back street in the older part of town when a cab with a geisha pulled up. The cab driver went in to an adjacent building to retrieve a second geisha. The photo documents the moment when the second joined the first and they began an urgent conversation.I like the image both because I was so extraordinarily fortunate to be in a position to take it and because I did a fair amount of editing to achieve the nourish atmosphere (I believe) it conveys. All About Photo: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? Mark Coggins: I mostly use Fujifilm rangefinder digital cameras, which is perhaps appropriate since my first camera was the Bolsey rangefinder. I also have a full-frame Nikon DSLR that I use for non-street photos. All About Photo: What is the influence of digital technology on your photography? Mark Coggins: Although my serious interest in photography began with my involvement with large format film photography, I was never that good a printer. It wasn't uncommon for me to like the Polaroid proof I took of a particular shot more than I did of the final print. If, as Ansel Adams said, the negative is the score and the print is the performance, I was blowing it during the performance. Digital has made me a better performer. All About Photo: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? Mark Coggins: I do a fair amount of editing. I often crop, convert to black and white, dodge and burn where necessary and try to make sure I've gotten as much detail in the shadows as I can. I also tone my images on the colder range of the scale. All About Photo: How do you choose your subjects? Mark Coggins: I look for interesting people interacting in interesting ways on the street. All About Photo: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? Mark Coggins: Oh, there are so many. Mark Citret, of course. From there, in no particular order, Sally Mann, Edward Weston, Ruth Bernhard, Eugène Atget, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson. All About Photo: What advice would you give a young photographer? Mark Coggins: I can't tell you how to do this, but I do believe it is important: to develop one's own style. It took me a long time to do it, and I only realized I had done so long after the achievement. It's not a paint-by-numbers type goal. All About Photo: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? Mark Coggins: Although I've been guilty of it myself, I see a lot of photographers over-manipulating images. Perhaps it's the influence of Instagram filters. All About Photo: What are your projects? Mark Coggins: I shot continuously in my home city of San Francisco, but for some reason, my best photos seem to come during travel to foreign countries. I'm planning a trip to several new (to me) European cities this summer. All About Photo: Your best memory as a photographer? Mark Coggins: When the Patricia Cornwell's publisher contacted me about using my photo of Savannah's Colonial Park Cemetery for the endpapers of her novel Red Mist. All About Photo: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? Mark Coggins: Over-exposed 4x5 negative of what I was certain to be a great shot when I didn't properly seat the bag bellows of my large format camera. All About Photo: The compliment that touched you most? Mark Coggins: When my mother hung one of my (really not very good) photos in her living room next to a watercolor by very accomplished artist. All About Photo: Your favorite photo book? Mark Coggins: Along the Way by Mark Citret. All About Photo: An anecdote that comes to your mind? Mark Coggins: I lived next to Ruth Bernhard in San Francisco for several years. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't really understand her importance to the photography world until I met her at a party. All About Photo: Anything else you would like to share? Mark Coggins: Another anecdote: when I shut down my darkroom, I sold my sink to music photographer Tom O'Neal, who photographed the cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Deja Vu album.
Johnny Kerr
United States
1982
Johnny Kerr is a fine art photographer based in the West Valley of Arizona’s Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Johnny is self-taught in the craft of photography but entered into his study of the medium with many years of art education and design experience. In 2003 he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the Art Institute of Phoenix and went on to make his living as a graphic designer. Johnny began learning and experimenting with photography in 2011 and in 2013 decided to shift his focus, pursuing photography as his primary medium of expression. He cites his graphic design experience, along with his appreciation for minimalist design, as having the largest influence on his vision as a fine art photographer. After deciding to change careers Johnny went back to school, earning his Master of Arts in Education degree in 2010. Johnny currently makes his living as a photography teacher in the greater Phoenix area, where he lives with his wife and daughter. STATEMENT Growing up in Arizona has certainly given me an appreciation for the unique beauty of the desert. However, I have never found my desert surroundings to be particularly inspiring in my artistic endeavors. Lacking the inspiration to capture my natural surroundings in a representational manner, I have found freedom and gratification in abstraction. I found architecture to be an inspiring subject matter for its graphic qualities, but my photographs are not really about the buildings. Each photograph is a study of the rudimentary elements that catch my attention: shape, space, volume, line, rhythm, etc. Drawing heavily from my graphic design experience, each architecture photograph represents an exercise in isolating those basic elements and trying to present them in a harmonious design. Often I have incorporated long exposure techniques to create images that seem to exist outside of the reality our eyes perceive on a daily basis. My goal has not been to abstract the subject beyond recognition, but to simplify, to pull it out of its usual context, and try to see the ordinary surroundings of city life in a new way. The lessons I learned from my exercises in abstracting architecture have also carried through into other subject matter, including landscape and seascape, helping me to find solace and inspiration in unexpected places.
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AAP Magazine #39 Shadows
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes