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Kristina Varaksina
Kristina Varaksina
Kristina Varaksina

Kristina Varaksina

Country: Russia

Kristina Varaksina is a Russian photographer currently living and getting Photography MFA Degree in San Francisco, USA. In May 2013 she received Best in Show Portfolio Award at Academy of Art Spring Show. In May 2013 she received 1st Place Award for at Academy of Art Spring Show for her image "Aspirations". In April 2013 she was chosen among the six recipients from USA of 2013 APA EP Educational Grants. In February 2013 her image "Aspirations" won the Digital Photo Magazine "6th Annual Your Best Shot" photo contest.

In May 2012 she recieved Best in Show award at Academy of Art Spring Show for her self-portrait image 'Typewriter'. Her work was exhibited at the APA Something Personal show in January 2012 – February 2013. In the Fall 2012 she was also published in CMYK magazine among 100 New Best Creatives of the US. In her photography she explores human psychology by telling stories and creating imaginary worlds. Color palette is one of the key elements in her work.

Source: kristinavaraksina.com

 

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Cedric Delsaux
France
1974
Cédric Delsaux was born in 1974. For almost 20 years, his oeuvre has sought to deconstruct our conventional view of the relationship between reality and photography. His aim is for the medium of photography to no longer directly express Reality, but rather the Fiction through which it is perceived. First known for his work as an advertising photographer, he has since made a name for himself through his personal long-term photo series. His first, Here To Stay/Nous resterons sur terre, was published in 2008 in France, and by Monacelli Press (Random House) in the US the following year. This series takes us on a subjective tour of symbolic places in our (post)modern world; these places are at once beautiful and ugly, conventional and crazy. His second, Dark Lens, was published in France in 2011 by Éditions Xavier Barral, distributed in the US by D.A.P., and translated into Japanese through publisher X-Knowledge. George Lucas wrote the foreword to the book. Dark Lens places characters from the Star Wars saga into real-world settings—like Dubai, Lille or the banlieue of Paris—and reveals the extent to which our perception of a city passes through the filter of fiction. In his next series, Échelle 1, he asked random passers-by to stand on a white wooden base, instantly transforming them into 1:1 scale figurines. For his 2014 book, Zone de repli, published by Éditions Xavier Barral, he spent three years reexploring an infamous news story, revisiting the haunts of a notorious imposter-murderer. The series he made with "France Territoire Liquide", a group co-founded with three other photographers, featured in an exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 2017 (Paysages français: Une aventure photographique) and in a collected volume published by Éditions du Seuil ("Fiction&Cie" collection). Welcome to the Dark Corporation. It all began over 14 years ago with Dark Lens, Delsaux's initial series combining everyday places with the universe of Star Wars. Hailed an international success (...), it was honored by the Master himself, George Lucas.* After taking a break, Cédric Delsaux now reawakens the fantasy with this new opus, irreversibly breaking down the boundaries between Reality and Fiction... While the vehicles and characters of the famous Star Wars saga still haunt the real-world places he shoots—like Paris, Dubai, Marseilles, and Abu Dhabi—, this time Delsaux has worked with a full team (designer, 3D graphic artists, retouchers) to further tear back the veil between true and false, to the point that we begin to wonder if even the slightest frontier still remains. What was originally a simple confrontation between Reality and Science Fiction is finished; now the World and the "Dark Corporation" become one. It is as if the characters of the series have now permanently settled on Earth, bringing with them their ancient powers. These new residents have acquired their own vehicles, which are inspired by the Hollywood saga but recreated in the style of earthlings, borrowing design and techniques from the world that came before, the one that belonged to humankind... With this approach Cédric Delsaux combines two opposing states, reality and fantasy, as if to suggest that one can no longer be perceived without the other. The present of his photographs is no longer in the indicative, but is modified using some unknown conjugation to produce a sort of present of the conditional, distorting Roland Barthe's formula "this has been" into a puzzling "and if this was". Delsaux also uses his sets to suggest a looming, insidious threat. Each piece of land he captures depicts the latent conflict between human beings and the technology they have created... And he has an original way of exploiting the modern myth that is Star Wars to summon up all the anxieties and ambitions of a generation abandoned at the edge of the gaping chasm left by the disappearance of the Grand Narratives. Designer Vincent Gravière
John Engstead
United States
1909 | † 1983
John Engstead (22 September 1909 in California - 15 April 1983 in West Hollywood, California) was an American photographer. Engstead began his career in 1926, when he was hired as an office boy by Paramount Pictures' head of studio publicity, Harold Harley. In 1927, Engstead pleased his boss by arranging a photo session for actress Clara Bow with photographer Otto Dyer using an outdoor setting which was unusual at that time. Engstead's creative direction of photographs of actress Louise Brooks led to a promotion to art supervisor, where he oversaw the production of Paramount's publicity stills. In 1932, due to a strike by photographers, Engstead assumed the position of studio portrait photographer, despite having never previously photographed anyone. Actor Cary Grant posed for his practice shots. He returned to his job as art supervisor after the strike was resolved. In 1941, Paramount Pictures fired Engstead, and Harper's Bazaar hired him for freelance advertising and portrait photography assignments. From 1941 to 1949, he took fashion photography assignments from numerous other magazines, including Collier's, Esquire, House Beautiful, Ladies Home Journal, Life, Look, Mademoiselle, McCall's, Vogue, and Women's Home Companion. In the 1940s, Engstead photographed many celebrities, including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Maureen O'Hara and Shirley Temple. Unlike other photographers, he often shot his subjects at home or outdoors, and his portraits of a young Judy Garland in Carmel, California were particularly successful. During this decade, he built a studio in Los Angeles that became a gathering place for celebrities. Engstead continued to photograph movie stars and other celebrities through the 1950s (Marilyn Monroe) and 1960s. He produced promotional material for many television personalities, including Pat Boone, Carmel Quinn, Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, Eve Arden, and Lucille Ball. He also shot cover photos for albums recorded by singers such as Peggy Lee and Connie Francis, as well as society portraits. His work extended into governmental figures in the 1950s, including then-Second Lady Pat Nixon. Engstead closed his studio in 1970 but continued to accept special portrait and television assignments until his death in 1984 at age 72. Engstead's images are represented by the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive and can be viewed by the public at MPTV.net. Source: Wikipedia Engstead began his career in 1926, when he was hired as an office boy by Paramount Pictures’ head of studio publicity. Engstead impressed bosses and was promoted to art supervisor, where he oversaw the production of Paramount’s publicity stills. In 1932, Engstead assumed the position of studio portrait photographer, despite having never previously photographed anyone. By 1941, Engstead was working for various magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Life, Look and Vogue. Engstead built a studio in Los Angeles that became a gathering place for celebrities. Engstead continued to photograph movie stars and other celebrities through the 1950s and 1960s. Engstead closed his studio in 1970 but continued to accept special portrait and television assignments until his death.Source: Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive
Arnaud Gaertner
France
1966
Born in 1966 in Nancy, France. Gaertner moved to Pennsylvania, US at the age of 3-6 (learned arnaud gaertnerto drink milk at school and sing the national anthem, never stopped!). He then spent 5 years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from age 10 to 16. Gaertner then travelled all over South America. He moved to Belgium for two years at the age of 16 and spent the next 12 years in in France. He took thousands of photos while traveling in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. He has resided in the Bay Area since 2012 with his wife Marine and their four sons. Gaertner is an explorer of California and its wonders.Series “In the middle of nowhere”, 2014In the middle of the Back Rock Desert, Nevada. In that Middle of Nowhere, 70 000 people camp in total autonomy for one week on a 30 million old dried lake, and on the main square, dozens, hundreds of art pieces, static or moving, are there, subject to the weather conditions: extreme heat, wind, dust storm. Most of the wooden art pieces are burned by the end of the week. As we speak all these moments are gone, people have left, art pieces returned into ashes, and I am glad these ephemeral moments are still alive through my photographs. This series is about the Ephemeral nature and Mystical dimension of the American desert.Artist statementBy 16 years of age, I had already visited more than 30 countries and had lived abroad, away from my home country France, for close to10 years in the United States, Brazil and Belgium. This decade opened my eyes to the diversity of the world, seen through its landscapes, people, cultures, sounds and tastes. I love people. I love getting to know others better. I love trying to understand who people are and what it is that makes them who they are. I made my first pictures when my Dad let me borrow his old camera while we were discovering the world, then he bought me a Kodak with Cube Flashes-this was my first camera and I have never stopped taking pictures since then. As an adult, I continue exploring all the continents. Photography keeps me connected to the magic of the planet. During my travels I have taken thousands of photos :f rom nature to cities, from diverse subjects to artists in their studios. This project, “In The Middle of Nowhere”, was born in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, in September 2014. My son Baptiste had come to me and said “Dad, a friend of mine just came back from a crazy art festival in the desert called Burning Man”. Curious, we researched it and discovered something strange and amazing. For my first time at Burning Man I stayed only 3 days, but I took over 3000 pictures! My camera lens ended up ull of dust, but that probably added to the mystery of my images and the “sense of nowhere” I felt deeply. In the middle of nowhere, under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cycling on a lake that dried 30 million years ago, 70 000 people live in total autonomy for one week where no money is exchanged, and hundreds of art pieces, static or moving, under the heat, in a dust storm, are admired by visitors in very creative costumes. Everything is burned by the end of the festival in a ritual of true “Ephemeral Art!” I seek to testify for the ephemeral, fleeting nature of these art pieces and unique moments made lasting by the photographic image. I try to capture the place, light, dusty wind that surround this eclectic eccentric happening. For this project I have selected about 30 im- ages out of 3000, helped by my two friends Gino Castoriano and Jules Maeght who are both gallerists. “In The Middle of Nowhere” is about people, places and art—those unique, ephemeral moments I capture through my images and that I want to share with you.
Trini Schultz
Trini Schultz is a self-taught fine-art photographer living in Orange County, California with her husband, Dan, and two children. She was born on July, 1961 in Peru, South America. Growing up watching her grandfather paint, she grew an appreciation and interest for art. With the encouragement of her family & friends she pursued in her enthusiasm of drawing and painting from a young age. Photography intrigued her but it wasn't until her father bought her her first camera at the age of 16, a Pentax K1000, when her passion for taking pictures began. She studied Commercial Art in Fullerton College where she also took a class in black and white photography to learn how to develop her own film. A few years after her second child was born, she started her own photography business creating black & white photos in her home-built darkroom and then hand coloring the images. With the evolution of the digital camera and photo software, traditional film and darkroom supplies started to become less available. Trini then set off to learning the new techniques of digital age photography. Her husband taught her the basics of Adobe Photoshop and she took it from there. She began creating painterly-like images with the use of photoshop techniques she had picked up over the years and more recently with the inspiration of surreal photography slowly becoming a popular style of art.From www.mymodernmet.comCalifornia-based photographer Trini Schultz, aka Trini61, explores new worlds through her lens filled with haunting and, at times, romanticized portraits of people with their own captivating narratives. Time stands still in each of her surreal images as wafts of dust billow around a mysterious man, floating umbrellas fill the sky, and a rainstorm of rocks are caught in midair like weightless aerial objects. The fine art photographer's portfolio boasts a fantasy-driven collection that exposes an expressive beauty in the uncontrollable nature of her imagined worlds. There's an engaging charm about the photos that are both intriguing and captivating. With the help of her family, who often serve as her willing models (including a husband who wound up breaking his foot while performing a stunt for a photo shoot), Schultz is able to bring her creative visions to life.All about Trini Schultz:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?When my dad bought me my first "real" camera. A Pentax K1000. It was a Christmas gift, and I was about 16. He got me a huge Polaroid camera before that, but it wasn't the same as having an actual 35mm camera. I loved photography but I didn't think of it as a choice for a career, it was more of a hobby, but family and friends kept telling me I should consider being a photographer. So it wasn't till after I got married and had my second child that I picked up the camera again after many years, and took photography more seriously, and fell in love with it all over again.AAP: Where did you study photography?I took a class at a local community college in black & white developing many years ago, but that was it. I'm mostly self taught. Same with photoshopping, taught myself.AAP:Do you have a mentor?NoAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Oh gosh...a long time! Probably 30 yrs or more. But there was a period in my life where I didn't do it as often, because the rolls of film and to having them developed could get expensive. Then I started developing my own pictures at home, but photo papers and the chemicals could get expensive too. Then came digital photography and my life changed.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?No, I don't remember but it was probably a family member or a friend. People was my favorite subject. Still is.AAP: What or who inspires you?Everyday I'm inspired. Looking at other photographer's work on the internet. The shapes of the mountains and the clouds. The way the sun shines thru the window and creates shadows on the walls and floor. Music videos, movies, fashion shows, paintings. I love going to antique shops, so much inspiration and ideas pop up. Interesting buildings abandoned or new. Artists look at the world with awe and inspiration, every little detail from a dead insect on the floor to fog rolling over the hills, seeing the beauty in it and the potential in them to make an amazing subject on a photograph or a painting.AAP: How could you describe your style?Surreal or conceptual photography. i love fashion photography too so I would like to experiment more with editorial type of photography as well, especially now that my daughter is studying costume/fashion design.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? I used to use a digital Nikon D80 for a little while, and then got myself a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera. I use two different lenses, Canon EF 24-105mm 0.45m/1.5ft, and a Canon EF 85mm F1.8.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Depending on the image. If it has a lot of details, a lot of work needed, then it takes me a while. I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I find myself spending more time than I need to on a single image. Some images only take a few hours, and some take weeks! Even when I'm finished with it, I sit on it for a little while, making sure it doesn't need anything else.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I love the work of Martin Chambi, a Peruvian photographer from the early to mid 20th century. He was one of the first major indigenous photographers in Latin America. Another Peruvian photographer I admire is Mario Testino. The beautiful black & white work of Dorthea Lange and Ansel Adams. And of course, Annie Leibovitz & Richard Avedon, who's work I've admired since I first started taking photos. But it's the incredible work of lesser known or not as famous photographers I see on the internet every day, that leave me very much inspired and excited about photography.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Not give up. It takes a lot of practice & playing around with. Try different styles, subjects, experiment with it, it helps to take a class or two at your local college if you like, and never stop learning and trying new things, it's how you grow artistically. Don't be afraid to think outside the box too.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?The feeling that you failed cause the only failure is when you give up.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?It's a personal one. I was inspired by the photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz in her book 'A Photographer's Life' in which she included images of her partner's ordeal during her cancer treatments all the way to her death. They were so beautifully documented in black & white photos. Before my grandmother passed away my mother and I were caring for her, and during this time I documented some of the moments in black & white photos. I never plan to show the images to anyone, except close family, if they wish to see them. They are bittersweet memories, of my grandmother's final images of her life. And out of all the images, a close-up photograph of her hands is probably my favorite.
Jaromír Funke
Czech Republic
1896 | † 1945
Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) was a Modernist photographer and a leading figure in Czech photography during the 1920s and 30s. He was born in Skute? to a wealthy family. He studied medicine, law, and philosophy at the Charles University in Prague and the University of Bratislava but did not graduate and instead turned to photography. Funke was recognized for his play of “photographic games” with mirrors, lights, and insignificant objects, such as plates, bottles, or glasses, to create unique works. His still life’s created abstract forms and played with shadows looking similar to photograms. His work was thought to be logical, original and expressive in nature. A typical feature of Funke’s work would be the "dynamic diagonal." By the 1920s, Funke had become an amateur photographer and began to experiment with constructivism, surrealism, poeticism, and expressionism. He created unconventional works as a form of “pure” photography instead of the traditional reminiscing of other mediums such as painting or sculpture. During his photography profession, Funke published editorials and critiques about photography. By 1922, Funke had become a skilled freelance photographer and two years later he, Josef Sudek and Adolf Schneeberger created the Czech Photographic Society. From 1931-1935, Funke headed the photography department at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava. Soon after, Funke taught at the School of Graphic Art in Prague until 1944. Alongside Ladislav Sutha, the director of the previous school, Funke published Fotografie vidí povrch in 1935. While travelling, Funke became interested in politically engaged photography. Bad living was created during the time period of 1930-1931 and was a photographic series that dealt with the issues of poverty. Funke later became an editor of the journal Fotografický obzor (Photographic Horizons) for several years. He published a number of works including Od fotogrameuk emoci which is understood to be his manifesto. As travelling was limited during World War 2 in 1939, Funke photographed close to home in Louny, Prague and sometimes Kolin. On March 22, 1945 in Kolin, Funke required an immediate operation for intestine damage but the procedure could not be executed as it was during an air raid alarm and he died.Source: Wikipedia Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) studied medicine, law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague but did not graduate. Instead he concentrated on becoming a professional freelance photographer. By 1922 he was a leader of the young opposition movement in photography and a founder of the Czech Society of Photography (1924) whose mission was to create photography that would fulfil new social functions. In his work Funke managed to combine some of the leading trends in modernist European photography, uniting constructivism and functionalism with surrealism and social commentary, with traditional Czech aesthetics. His interest in modernist ideas led him to make clearly focused studies of simple objects. As the decade progressed, he turned to the production of carefully arranged still lifes emphasizing abstract form and the play of light and shadow. During this time he also produced several important series of photographs, including two inspired by the images of Eugène Atget: Reflexy (Reflections, 1929) and as trvá (Time Persists, 1930-34). Funke was also influential as a teacher, first at the School of Arts and Crafts, Bratislava (1931-34/35), which followed a Bauhaus-inspired curriculum, and then at the State School of Graphic Arts, Prague (1935-44). While in Bratislava, he became interested in social documentary photography and joined the leftist group Sociofoto, which was concerned with recording the living conditions of the poor. Throughout his career Funke published articles and critical reviews dealing with photography. From 1939-41 he worked with Josef Ehm to edit the magazine Fotografik obzor (Photographic Horizon).Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Monica Testa
Italy
1967
Shortly after my art studies, I started working as a fashion designer for a large company, which allowed me to deepen my knowledge and work in the world of graphics and style. It was a challenging and rewarding job, thanks to which I had the opportunity to travel a lot around the world, meeting people from various ethnic backgrounds, enriching myself enormously from a cultural and personal point of view. I had always been passionate about photography and to such an extent that I could no longer do without it. After taking several courses and studying the greatest photographers in history, I decided to enrol at the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan: a constructive experience that made me grow a lot, both on a technical and creative level. I truly enjoy observing people and also studying their psychological side. That's why I especially love working on portraits and telling the stories of those I meet, always keeping a careful and respectful eye, tiptoeing into situations that I find interesting. I delve into them, I make them my own. I use photography to express how I feel, how I see, how I perceive and absorb the flow of life around me. I transform my thoughts and my feelings into images, thus aiming to become a same part of the image I portray. The River Text from "Monica’s Diary (Benin 2019):" Today we reached a small village flooded by the abundant rains of recent days. The tribe that lives there is accustomed to this situation and in effect they live in real palafittes suspended on the water; and so we reached the village in the only way possible ... by canoe. We brought t-shirts for the children, eggs for snacks and, more importantly, mosquito nets which, given the area they live in, particularly humid and infested with mosquitoes, are essential. The landscape was spectacular and my eyes saw incredible realities... all so far from our daily life! The school was small and very crowded, obviously they had been warned of our arrival and especially the children were waiting for us with trepidation. Compared to other villages we had visited the previous days, the people who live here are quite aggressive. They were a little agitated, they all talked loudly, they pushed us constantly. The adults looked at us with curiosity and the children with shyness: it was noticeable that they were not used to seeing people of a different color in their village. For this we were escorted by the local police, in case the situation deteriorated. But everything went well and another day passed ... lived as if it were a whole life. Face to Face Form zero to one hundred This is an ambitious project, started in 2017 and not yet finished. The idea would be to photograph portraits of people of different ages, sex and ethnicity, who in some way fascinated me and consequently I asked them to pose for me. I would like to get to a hundred photos, a different one for each age from zero to one hundred years.
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AAP Magazine #27: Colors
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