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Maxine Helfman
Maxine Helfman
Maxine Helfman

Maxine Helfman

Country: United States
Birth: 1953

A self-taught, late bloomer, after spending years as a stylist and art director, the only way to truly realize her vision was to get behind the camera. She has since been shooting commercially for advertising and editorial clients while pursuing personal projects. Her work has been recognized by PX3, IPA, Foto Dc, Flash Forward Boston, Critical Mass, British Journal of Photography, Photo News as well as the permanent collection of Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Art Houston.

Artist Statement: Inspired by Flemish painting, "Historical Correction" reinterprets these old masters from a more contemporary point of view. Our world and cultures are changing so quickly we are witnessing the collision of past and present. When you look at paintings from periods of art and history, the depiction of the population is defined and specific. As populations shift, our world has become so diverse that different cultures are visually harder to define. Although my photographs are "invented realities", they are about real issues. Populations shift, gender and race are redefined, past definitions are challenged, and the faces of cultures and customs change. My works depicts those changes.
 

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Miina Savolainen
Miina Savolainen is a community art oriented photographer and an art and social educator from Helsinki whose works deal social engagement. Alongside her artistic work she explores, teaches and develops the use of photography as a pedagogic and therapeutic method. Her work has resulted in the method of empowering photography. Miina Savolainen, her project The Loveliest Girl In The World and the method of empowering photography have received several awards in Finland. Miina Savolainen is a member of The Finnish Phototherapy Association and The Union of Artist Photographers.Besides The Loveliest Girl in the World, Miina Savolainen is an instructor in a communal art project concerning fatherhood. For two years now, a group of amateur photographers have been preparing an exhibition on the theme of fatherhood to Helsinki Jugendhall for autumn 2007, using the method of empowering photography. She is currently working on a community art project involving intersexed and transgendered individuals.The Loveliest Girl in the World is a community art project undertaken by photographer, art and social educator Miina Savolainen with ten girls from Hyvönen Children's Home. It has taken almost a decade to complete. The project is based on the idea of “empowerment” and the belief that everyone has the right to feel unique and special. The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life - the person each young girl feels she really is inside. It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people. These photographs are deeply authentic, revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable. “Photography can help to show people how they are treasured; how much they mean to me,” writes Miina Savolainen. “Accepting one's own portrait is a metaphor for accepting one’s own personality. During years the photographing has become an intimate and profound way to interact with the girls. This exceptional long-term relationship can be seen in the special kind of openness and intimacy of the photographs. Although the pictures in the series of the Loveliest Girl in the World are artificial and not from the everyday life they are bound to the tradition of realistic photography. The documentary quality of the pictures is multilayered. On one hand the pictures are documents of growing up, the young girls' personalities and dreams. On the other hand the pictures make certain features of the girls visible which cannot be seen in their everyday selves. The childhood of the young who have grown up in a Children's home includes a lot of feelings of being abandoned and of being invisible. It also includes the burden of other people's prejudices, the stigmatisation of being a Children's home resident. The fairytale-like pictures are juxtaposed with real life story that seldom had fairytale qualities. The pictures express sadness but also hope and desire to see oneself in a more gentle way. With the aid of the non-everyday world of the pictures the young have been allowed to be seen and to see themselves differently like never before. The girls do not see the pictures as role-playing. In the everyday life the girls may also lead “roles” which appear wrong and foreign to the girls. The pictures may show, for the first time, a side that the young person holds real and dear to herself, a picture that she wants to cherish in her mind. The Loveliest Girl in the World -pictures are extreme documents: they are pictures of a person’s inner identity. This inner side becomes visible and the deeper emotional “truth” can be reached by mixing the truth and the fiction. Every human being has an inviolable right to feel himself or herself special. The pictures are a proof of conclusiveness of the photograph, which is not only bound to what’s visible. The Loveliest Girl in the World doesn't portray the Children's home residents the way the people living in margins are usually portrayed. The pictures are also something else from the sexist way of how young women and girls are exhibited in today's public places. Above all the fairy-tale feeling of the pictures is metaphorical; it is a longing for a clean, innocent state of dreaming where you can see yourself as a whole and an ideal person, protected from the gaze and the expectations of other people. The series brings up questions on how the present visual culture makes one a part of the society. The pictures of the young in the Children's home tell stories of being a girl and being a human in general. The deepest content of the pictures, the need to be seen, is familiar to anyone. The attempt to learn to see oneself in a more gentle way is especially addressing in our time where people are surrounded by the endless requirements from different fields of life. The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibitions have prompted the public to think about the capacity of the photograph to influence on societal and personal levels. From the point of view of photography the project also raises questions about the author and ethics. This project could be seen as community photography. It includes the models not only in the creation of the photographs but also in the selection of the exhibited pictures.The project, its accompanying exhibition and Miina Savolainen has been awarded the Spotlight of the Year 2003 special prize of the jury, the Vision of the Year award 2004, Duodecim Finnish Medical Association’s 2005 Cultural Award, the Young Photographer of the Year award 2005 and the State Award for Children´s Culture 2006. Patricia Seppälä Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnfoto and the City of Helsinki have supported the production.
Piotr Zbierski
Piotr Zbierski - Studied photography at National Film School. Author of three individual exhibitions (White Elephants, Here, Love has to be reinvented), participant in collective exhibitions and publications including Photokina and Lab East. He presented his works in many countries like Poland, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia. As well as magazines (Shots Magazine, Ninja Mag, Archivo Zine, Die Nacht, Gup Magazine). In 2012 he won the prestigious prize for young photographer Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award. His work was nominated to Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and has been shortlisted in many other prizes (Les Nuits Photographiques 2012, Terry O’Neill Award) for his series Pass by me. His works has been shown at festival in Arles 2012 and are in collection of Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts. He lives and works in Lodz.About Love has to be reinventedThe series "Love has to be reinvented" began in 2012 and its starting point was not an image but my personal experience, which changed my view and redefined my opinion on many issues. At the same time, it is neither my diary nor any personal document; recently such a name is given to whatever cannot be named. Titles of my series are just mottos for my creative works at their particular stages. Words are created by letters in the alphabet, which is a matter of convention depending on culture. I build my series out of emotions, which are a biological fact, they are unquestionable. The key objective I identify for myself is availability of a feeling. I really want the person looking at my photographs to experience something more and not just say whether photographs are good or bad. Photography does not begin with an image, it does not end with an image, either; I put on authenticity, and not on originality. An image is a form of communication of a higher art form, which is life itself. I took the title from the French poet, Artur Rimbaud, who wrote these words and expressed criticism of France and times he lived in about a hundred years ago. I returned to these words because I think the world has not changed so much, and I criticize a contemporary world, which has gone in the wrong direction, in my opinion. And I do not mean people but structures built around the castle, which the book hero has never reached. A major objective of my work is to get through to the essence of human emotions, to their purest form with no additions, no gadgets. To show a man in the way he has been created, a man from a primeval village. In a contemporary world, such an image may be created using a certain type of imagination because we are very far away from such a status quo; therefore, my work is reality-based but it is not the reality itself. It is an attempt to invoke and depict certain human impulses with full acceptation of their inherent contradictions. Like love: it is as full of adoration as hatred; a day could not exist without a night. I will finish this three-year's series in spring 2015 during the total sun eclipse, which can be observed in Iceland. It is a characteristic clamp for my creative work in which I start from a personal, private and single experience at the very beginning, and come through an image to a part, which is common for us all, and independent of me. A macro scale has its reflection in a micro scale while a normal scale, in which we live in, is its pulsating reflection. To follow theories of contemporary scientists, only a ballet-dancer may be smaller, and in macro scale - a multiple universe. Life is a film directed by the universe while the world is the largest accumulation of sensually available metaphors, a secret in secret or a metaphor in a metaphor. Rimbaud has also written that eternity is skies mixed with water; quite right: black and white, grey on grey; in a child's drawing huge blue and objectively sacred transparency. In my opinion, there is one reality and infinitely many visions. To sum it up as simple as I can: if the world is a tree growing more and more branches (metaphors), then life is the fruit. While love is juice of various tastes in the same way as resin is what a tree uses for weeping. All this happens in the surroundings of eternal gases where toxic ones come away leaving space to healthy ones. Rootstocks and roots grow expanding in the same way. Who are people then?Undoubtedly, they are savages from a primeval village who have learnt what a real taste of love is: they adored each other at the expense of "god's" hatred, they are Adam and Eve. It is only owing to such a full image of love that new generations could come into existence. I also invite to see the video work titled "Lodz", in which I develop motifs I have earlier discussed. Another continuing video is in progress. Bottomless source is RGB without DNAPiotr Zbierski
Harry Fisch
There is of course a personal and direct involvement in the places that I later represent but (and), my artistic practice includes onsite photography and documentation, historical records research, as my own encounters and finding testimonials from other visitors as well as narratives. De-constructing whatever is called reality in order to build another new reality that is more closely related to my non- photographic memories. -Harry Fisch- Harry Fisch has been a photographer for more years than he cares to remember. He is the founder and leader of Nomad Photo Expeditions, a travel company that organizes unique photo tours and photographic expeditions all over the world. He designs his trips looking for stories, cultural events, and experiences of human interest and photographic value, all which is enriched through his previous on-site experiences, new explorations of special locations, previous works of travelers, historians and documentary makers. Winner of the 2012 World National Geographic Photo Contest (places), and later disqualified (due to deleting a plastic bag), his work –travel photography and fine art- has deserved many awards: 2020 finalist at the professional IPA (International Photography Awards) and two honorable mentions as well. 2020 Bronze at the professional MIFA (Moscow International Foto Awards). 2019 two IPA Professional Awards of Merit. 2019 finalist, Travel Photographer of the Year. 2014 Grand Prix de la Découverte, 2012 finalist in the Sony World Photo Awards, 2010 Photoespaña in the section “Discoveries”. A writer in different international photography publications, his interest in the photography of localities and cultural realities has seen him travel through all over the world. Interested in Asian and African cultures, the more he sees and experiences the more curious he has become. He endeavors to build relationships with the people of a place, sharing as far as possible their daily existence, listening to the ups and downs of their lives. He plans the expeditions from this perspective, looking for different locations-sometimes a nearby residence or attending an event, or accepting an invitation that can make that contact more real and personal.
Lindokuhle Sobekwa
South Africa
1995
Lindokuhle Sobekwa (born 1995) is a South African documentary photographer. He is a Nominee member of Magnum Photos and based in Johannesburg. Sobekwa was born in Katlehong, a township, 35 km from Johannesburg, South Africa. He learned photography in 2012 through participation in the first Of Soul and Joy Project, an educational program for young people run in the township of Thokoza; the workshop was given by Bieke Depoorter and Cyprien Clément-Delmas. His photo essay, Nyaope, about people who use the drug Nyaope in the township in which he lived and beyond, was published by the South African newspaper Mail & Guardian in 2014 and by Vice Magazine and De Standaard in 2015. Source: Wikipedia In 2015, Sobekwa received a scholarship to study at the Market Photo Workshop where he completed his foundation course. His Series Nyaope was exhibited in the ensuing group show, Free From My Happiness, organized by Rubis Mecenat at the International Photo Festival of Ghent in Belgium. In 2016, he left South Africa for a Residency in Tehran, Iran, with the No Man’s Art Gallery. The same year his work was displayed in the traveling iteration of Free from my Happiness. His work features in the book Free from my Happiness edited by Bieke Depoorter and Tjorven Bruyneel . He also took part in the group show Fresh Produce, organized by Assemblages and VANSA at the Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg. Lindokuhle Sobekwa is also an assistant manager to the Of Soul and Joy Project, as well as a trainee at Mikhael Subotzky Studio. In 2017, Sobekwa was selected by the Magnum Foundation for Photography and Social Justice to develop the project I Carry Her Photo With Me. In 2018, he received the Magnum Foundation Fund to continue with his longterm project Nyaope, and has been selected for the residency Cité des Arts Réunion. Sobekwa became a Magnum nominee member in 2018.Source: Magnum Photos About I Carry Her Photo With Me The day his older sister Ziyanda disappeared, Lindokuhle Sobekwa was hit by a car. The two were walking together along a road in the Johannesburg suburb of Thokoza when Ziyanda began to chase the seven-year-old Sobekwa. Out of fear, he began to run, and then he was hit. Above him, he recalled before blacking out, was the blurry silhouette of a woman or girl. His sister vanished in the ensuing scramble, with no word as to why. “She was in a period of being a very secretive person,” Sobekwa remembers. She was thirteen years old. Sobekwa would not see Ziyanda again for a dozen years. Then one day, he returned from school, and Ziyanda was at home. She was reunited with the family for a couple of weeks. At the time, in 2014, Sobekwa was coming into his own as a photographer. He was in his final year of high school and working under the mentorship of Magnum photographer Bieke Depoorter and filmmaker Cyprien Clément-Delmas through the Of Soul and Joy project, an artistic initiative based in Thokoza. He remembers walking into Ziyanda’s room one day; in that moment, he saw his favorite would-be portrait of his sister: “She was lying in bed, there was a beautiful light. She said, ‘If you take a photo, I’m going to kill you.’ A few days after that, she passed away.” Disappearances are not rare in South Africa, Sobekwa says. Most Black South African families are familiar with the trauma of disappearances, which date back to the late 1980s and early ’90s, the height of the apartheid crisis. During this time, an ethnopolitical war between two rival parties, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), suffused the townships with panic, as residents along the factional line were routinely vanished by violence. In Sobekwa’s family, the cycle began with his grandfather, who was the first of the line to come to Johannesburg, in the 1960s. He never returned to the countryside; his fate is still unknown. In 2017, the Magnum Foundation named Sobekwa a Photography and Social Justice Fellow. Suddenly, he had the resources to expand his search for his sister and develop his personal journal into a full-fledged series, I carry Her photo with Me (2017–ongoing). “I had my own unanswered questions, maybe guilt of some sort,” says Sobekwa. “I felt the need to go into these spaces and make the camera my excuse. I realized that going alone, it would be difficult.” With his camera in hand, he slipped once more into the role of documentarian.Source: Aperture
Gregory Colbert
Canada
1960
Gregory Colbert (born 1960 in Toronto) is a Canadian film-maker and photographer best known as the creator of Ashes and Snow, an exhibition of photographic artworks and films housed in the Nomadic Museum. Colbert sees himself as an apprentice to nature. His works are collaborations between humans and other species that express the poetic sensibilities and imaginations of human and animals. His images offer an inclusive non-hierarchical vision of the natural world, one that depicts an interdependence and symmetry between humanity and the rest of life. In describing his vision, Colbert has said, "I would define what I do as storytelling... what’s interesting is to have an expression in an orchestra—and I’m just one musician in the orchestra. Unfortunately, as a species we’ve turned our back to the orchestra. I’m all about opening up the orchestra, not just to other humans, but to other species." Colbert began his career in Paris in 1983 making documentary films on social issues. Film-making led to fine arts photography. Colbert's first exhibition, Timewaves, opened in 1992 at the Museum of Elysée in Switzerland to wide critical acclaim. For the next ten years, Colbert did not publicly exhibit his art or show any films. Instead, he traveled to such places as Antarctica, India, Egypt, Burma, Tonga, Australia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, China, the Arctic, the Azores, and Borneo. Elephants, whales, manatees, sacred ibis, cranes, eagles, gyrfalcons, Rhinoceros Hornbills, cheetahs, leopards, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), caracals, baboons, eland, meerkats, gibbons, orangutans, penguins, pandas, polar bears, lions, giant Pacific manta rays, and saltwater crocodiles are among the animals he has filmed and photographed. Human collaborators include San bushmen, Tsaatan, Lisu, Massai, Chong, Kazakhs, and people from other indigenous tribes around the world. Colbert, who calls animals "nature's living masterpieces," photographs and films both wild animals and those that have been habituated to human contact in their native environments. The images record what he saw through the lens of his camera without the use of digital collaging.Source: Wikipedia Photographer/filmmaker Gregory Colbert is the creator of the exhibition Ashes and Snow, an immersive experience of nature that combines photographic artworks, films, and soundscapes, housed in a purpose-built traveling structure called the Nomadic Museum. To date, Ashes and Snow has attracted over 10 million visitors, making it the most attended exhibition by any living artist in history. Colbert was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1960. He began his career in Paris in 1983 making documentary films on social issues. His first exhibition, Timewaves, opened to wide critical acclaim in 1992 at the Museum of Elysée in Switzerland. For the next ten years, Colbert went off the grid and did not publicly share his art or show any films. He began traveling the world to photograph and film wondrous interactions between animals and humans. After ten years passed, Colbert returned to present Ashes and Snow at the Arsenale in Venice, Italy, in 2002. With his debut, Photo magazine declared, "A new master is born." The New York Times, in an article by Alan Riding, stated, "The power of the images comes less from their formal beauty than from the way they envelop the viewer in their mood... They are simply windows to a world in which silence and patience govern time." Ashes and Snow has been described as "extraordinary" by the Economist, and "distinctive... monumental in every sense" by the Wall Street Journal. Stern magazine described the photographs as "fascinating," and Vanity Fair named Gregory Colbert in its "Best of the Best."Source: gregorycolbert.com
Emmanuelle Becker
France/United States
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