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Martin Schoeller
Photograph by Markian Lozowchuk.
Martin Schoeller
Martin Schoeller

Martin Schoeller

Country: Germany
Birth: 1968

Martin Schoeller is one of the world's preeminent contemporary portrait photographers. He is most known for his extreme-close up portraits, a series in which familiar faces are treated with the same scrutiny as the unfamous. The stylistic consistency of this work creates a democratic platform for comparison between his subjects, challenging a viewer's existing notions of celebrity, value and honesty.

Growing up in Germany, Schoeller was deeply influenced by August Sander's countless portraits of the poor, the working class and the bourgeoisie, as well as Bernd and Hilla Becher, who spawned a school of photographic typology known as the Becher-Schüler. Schoeller's close-up portraits emphasize, in equal measure, facial features, of his subjects - world leaders and indigenous groups, movie stars and the homeless, athletes and artists - leveling them in an inherently democratic fashion.

Schoeller studied photography at the Lette Verein and moved to New York in the mid-1990s where he began his career. Producing portraits of people he met on the street, his work soon gained recognition for its strong visual impact and since 1998 he has contributed to publications such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, TIME, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and GQ, among others.

Martin's print and motion work has appeared in many major advertising campaigns ranging from pharmaceuticals, cars and entertainment. His work has won many awards, but most recently he received praise for his Colin Kaepernick image in Nike's “Just do it” campaign which won a prestigious D&AD black pencil and the outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes. Some other advertising clients include: KIA, Chevron, Allstate, HBO, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Mercedes, DreamWorks, Southwest Airlines, GE and Johnnie Walker.

Schoeller's portraits are exhibited and collected internationally, appearing in solo exhibitions in Europe and the United States, as well as part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Martin lives and works in New York City

@martinschoellerstudio.com
 

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Henri Cartier-Bresson
France
1908 | † 2004
Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return). In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, '"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday. Source: Magnum Photos His technique: Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "[i]mpolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image. Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing." He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as 'my only superstition' as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv." Source: Wikipedia
Espen Rasmussen
Norway
1976
Espen Rasmussen is based at Nesodden, close to Oslo, Norway. He works as a photo editor in VG Helg — the weekend magazine of the biggest daily Norwegian newspaper VG. At the same time he is constantly working on his own photo projects. Rasmussen focuses specially on humanitarian issues and the challenges related to climate change. He is represented by Panos Pictures. In 2008 he was listed by Photo District News on the prestigeous PDNs 30 — New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. He has won numerous awards for his work, including two prizes from World Press Photo, several in the Picture of the Year international (POYi) and 28 awards in the Norwegian Picture of the Year. In 2007, Espen received 60.000 dollar from the Freedom of Expression Foundation to continue his long-term project on refugees and IDPs around the world, which was published as the book TRANSIT in 2011, as well as a major exhibition. Rasmussen is freelance lecturing photography at schools such as the Oslo University College and Bilder Nordic school of Photography. He is also frequently giving presentations at photo festivals and for a wide range of other audiences. For the last two years, he has been one of three editors/mentors in Norwegian Journal of Photography (NJP). His work has been exhibited at the Nobel Peace Center (Oslo), The Humanity House (The Hague), UNHCR headquarter (Geneva) and DokuFest international film festival (Kosovo), among other places. Clients include the New York Times, The Independent, Intelligent Life, Fader magazine, MSF (Doctors Without Borders), NRC (The Norwegian Refugee Council) and UNHCR. His work has appeared in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Der Spiegel and the Economist and newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph and New York Times.
Jodi Champagne
United States
Born in Phoenix Arizona, Jodi Champagne had a passion for drawing from a very young age. While other children drew flowers and smiley faces Jodi´s artistic interest was more in the eyes and character of a person. At the age of 15 Jodi became a mother, so her creative ventures were put on hold while she raised her family and devoted herself to the corporate world of engineering. As her family grew older she found herself becoming the designated photographer and videographer of all their family vacations and outings. One day she realized that she had replaced her pencil and paper with a Canon DSLR camera.Jodi began working as a portrait, wedding, family and sports photographer and quickly discovered her true passion in documentary and street photography. Telling a story, bringing awareness and making a difference with her work is what she strives for. She has traveled to the corners of Myanmar to the corners of downtown Los Angeles to capture humanity with compassion and heart.Jodi´s award winning work has been featured in group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Her photographs have been widely published in books, magazines, and used for editorial and commercial work. Along with a myriad of other honors, Jodi’s work has recently been shown in Sports Illustrated, Corbis Images, Getty Images and is available with National Geographic Creative. Jodi lives and works in Palmdale, California. Interview by Tera Bella Media TBMPN: What best describes your particular style of photography? JC: I have sampled various genres of photography, but ultimately my style and passion is documentary work. I incorporate that style in my imagery when I do street or travel work. I am primarily a “candid” photographer. TBMPN: What equipment do you regularly use? JC: When I shoot documentary or the streets I use a Canon 50D for reach and a 5D Mk3 for close ups. I use various lenses, but for my main “go to” lenses I use a 24-70mm 2.8L and a 70-200mm 2.8L. TBMPN: Who or what do you consider your major influences? JC: I am an “emotional” photographer, and my goal is to evoke emotion in an image or a series of images. With that said, my major influences have been James Nachtwey and Dorothea Lange. Just one of James Nachtwey’s images is so passionately powerful and exudes more than words can. Dorothea Lange is yet another strong influence, as she took her street photography of the depression and poverty and made it her passion to create a difference. TBMPN: Why did you choose photography as your method of expression? JC: From a very young age I painted and drew. I did not like to limit myself and found that my camera gave me a larger canvas. It’s not easy to capture the decisive moment, but with my camera I can show the world what I see. TBMPN: What do you wish to accomplish with your photography? JC: Whether it is in my street, travel or documentary photography I wish to make a difference. I would like to show others certain issues of which they may be unaware. I wish to reveal cultures they might not have a chance to see and the hardship of others of which they may not be aware. TBMPN: What are your current projects? JC: I am currently working on the completion of my “Life Lines” and “Obsessions” series. I do have other projects such as “Waiting on a Friend” and “Silent Cries” which I feel I will always continue to work on as society changes. I also just published my first documentary book, “Courage Under Wraps”, which has taken two years to complete. It’s a photographic documentary of a young boy named Nicholas Zahorcak who has a rare, genetic disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. TBMPN: What are your plans for future projects? JC: I will continue to work with the Epidermolysis Bullosa organizations on some future work in order to raise awareness. Though “Courage Under Wraps” is my first published documentary, it is not my last.In the works is an amazing project called “Diminishing Generations.” This is a documentary of our Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It’s a powerful, emotional and very personal experience, as you will hear stories that have never been told. I will also be collaborating with Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design to help put the book into reality and to give a real voice to the subjects. The book(s) will be published early 2015. I’m also working with an amazing composer, Marco De Bonis, from Italy. We are collaborating on a few projects together. With his music you can feel the emotions which will enhance my work.
Golnaz Abdoli
Iran/United States
1956
I was born in Iran and lived the first 18 years of my life there. The vivid memories of my homeland are its cold winters with snowcapped mountains, cars swerving on slippery roads, a small frozen pool, and me hoping that school would be cancelled; my mom preparing pomegranate for my siblings and I, and at the same time warming my hands with her warm breath. During the next forty years I enjoyed getting my degrees in Biology and Education in California, USA, raising my two children , and working in the field of education. I taught elementary school for 21 years. I picked up photography after I retired from teaching. I loved it immediately because it gave me a new voice to express myself and be creative. I found that photography and its many genres is a unique language with many dialects, and it can bring people from all over the world together. But now my love of photography has developed into a passion during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I appreciate it for helping me delve deep into my soul and understand myself better. During the lockdown photography has become my best friend and companion. Statement I approach photography of modern architecture as a visual puzzle that needs to be unravelled. My images are theatrical and mysterious. When I hold the camera, it awakens a sense of curiosity in me. I look up, ponder at the lines of steel coming together, light and shadow intertwining to form reflections, and I question how far into the space the lines travel, and the patterns repeat themselves. Reflections of outside buildings form mysterious forms and rhythms on the structural facade of modern architecture, inviting it to form a community with its surrounding. I appreciate the modern architecture for its beauty.
Ami Vitale
United States
1971
Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories. Instyle Magazine named Ami one of fifty Badass Women, a series celebrating women who show up, speak up and get things done. She appeared alongside a group of incredible women including Jane Goodall, Christiane Amanpour and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been named Magazine photographer of the year in the International Photographer of the Year prize, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting and named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, among others. She is a five-time recipient of WorldPress Photos, including 1st Prize for her 2018 National Geographic magazine story about a community in Kenya protecting elephants. She published a best-selling book, Panda Love, on the secret lives of pandas. She is a featured speaker for the National Geographic LIVE series, and frequently gives talks and workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation. Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Ami Vitale talks about Climate Change Awareness
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.
Lola Álvarez Bravo
Mexico
1907 | † 1993
Lola Álvarez Bravo (1907 – 1993) was a Mexican photographer. She was a key figure (along with Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and her husband Manuel Álvarez Bravo) in Mexico's post-revolution renaissance. She was born Dolores Martinez de Anda to wealthy parents in the state of Jalisco. She moved to Mexico City as a young child, after her mother left the family under mysterious circumstances. Her father died when she was a young teenager, and she was then sent to live with the family of her half brother, living nearby in Mexico City. It was here that she met the young Manuel Alvarez Bravo, a neighbor. They married in 1925 and moved to Oaxaca where Manuel was an accountant for the federal government. Alvarez Bravo became pregnant but before she gave birth, they returned to Mexico City. Manuel had taken up photography as an adolescent; he taught Alvarez Bravo and they took pictures together in Oaxaca. Manuel also taught her to develop film and make prints in the darkroom. As he became more serious about pursuing a career in photography, she acted as his assistant, although she also harbored a desire to become a photographer in her own right. The Alvarez Bravo's separated in 1934 but she decided to maintain the Alvarez Bravo name. Alvarez Bravo needed to support herself and taught as well as worked in a government archives. She also continued to experiment with photography and in 1936 received her first real commission photographing the colonial choir stalls of a former church. She also worked in commercial photography, including advertising and fashion. She was the director of photography at the National Institute of Fine Arts. She opened an art gallery in 1951 and was the first person to exhibit the work of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. She also taught photography at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. Inspired by such photographers as Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, Alvarez Bravo established her own independent career. For 50 years, she photographed a wide variety of subjects, making documentary images of daily life in Mexico's villages and city streets and portraits of great leaders from various countries. She also experimented with photomontage.Source: Wikipedia Born Dolores Martínez in Jalisco, Mexico, Lola Alvarez Bravo (1907–1993) was one of Mexico’s most important photographers. Like other women artists linked with famous male counterparts, her work has often been overshadowed by that of her husband, renowned photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo. They married in Mexico City in 1925 just as Manuel’s photography practice began to develop. Manuel introduced Lola to the camera, the darkroom, and photography techniques, and she assisted him with developing and printing his images. They shared equipment when Lola began taking her own photographs, although Lola recalled Manuel’s impatience when she wanted to use the camera. In 1927 their son Manuel was born and they opened a photography gallery in their Mexico City home. The couple played a vital role in the cultural circle that included artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Izquierdo, and David Alfaro Siquerios. Lola continued to take photographs but her work always came second to Manuel’s development as an artist. They separated in 1934 and Lola turned to photography to support herself and her seven-year-old son. Stubbornly independent, her camera became both her livelihood and her means of portraying what she explained as “the life I found before me.” She traveled throughout Mexico photographing people in everyday circumstances with honesty and respect. Her assured formal aesthetic, which often bordered on the abstract, included strong compositional elements, crisp details, and the play of light and shadow on surfaces. Most often Alvarez Bravo eschewed posing subjects or staging situations. Instead, she moved amongst the people along cluttered streets, observing them at work, in the marketplace, and at leisure, waiting for opportunities to capture informal moments in carefully composed scenes. Her keen eye produced stirring and expressive images of Mexican life with a contemporary sensibility that places her among the renowned photographic interpreters of that country in the modern period: Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Tina Modotti, and Manual Alvarez Bravo. During her long career, Lola Alvarez Bravo worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, professional portraitist, political artist, teacher, and gallery curator. Despite her professional success, it is her personal photography that marks her most significant contribution to the history of the medium. While working professionally she culled a small, core group of photographs she would refer to as her personal work, “mis fotos, mi arte.” The photographs in the Center’s collection are among those she most valued and are in the spirit of that distinction. Her direct, uncompromising, and impassioned studies of the Mexican people offer an important chapter to the history of photography, both as creative force and indelible subject matter. The Center acquired the Lola Alvarez Bravo Archive in 1996. It includes her negatives and nearly 200 gelatin silver photographs, 100 of which were selected by Lola Alvarez Bravo in 1993. An additional 100 photographs were selected by the Center in consultation with the artist. © Artists Rights Society (ARS)Source: Center for Creative Photography
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AAP Magazine #15 Streets
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