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Philippe Halsman
Self portrait
Philippe Halsman
Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

Country: Latvia/United States
Birth: 1906 | Death: 1979

Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was born in Riga, Latvia and began his photographic career in Paris. In 1934 he opened a portrait studio in Montparnasse, where he photographed many well-known artists and writers — including André Gide, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, and André Malraux, using an innovative twin-lens reflex camera that he designed himself.

Part of the great exodus of artists and intellectuals who fled the Nazis, Halsman arrived in the United States with his young family in 1940, having obtained an emergency visa through the intervention of Albert Einstein.

Halsman’s prolific career in America over the next 30 years included reportage and covers for every major American magazine. These assignments brought him face-to-face with many of the century’s leading statesmen, scientists, artists and entertainers. His incisive portraits appeared on 101 covers for LIFE magazine, a record no other photographer could match.

Part of Halsman’s success was his joie de vivre and his imagination — combined with his technological prowess. In 1945 he was elected the first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP), where he led the fight to protect photographers’ creative and professional rights. In 1958 Halsman’s colleagues named him one of the World’s Ten Greatest Photographers. From 1971 to 1976 he taught a seminar at The New School entitled “Psychological Portraiture.”

Halsman began a thirty-seven year collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1941 which resulted in a stream of unusual “photographs of ideas,” including “Dali Atomicus” and the “Dali’s Mustache” series. In the early 1950s, Halsman began to ask his subjects to jump for his camera at the conclusion of each sitting. These uniquely witty and energetic images have become an important part of his photographic legacy.

Writing in 1972, Halsman spoke of his fascination with the human face. “Every face I see seems to hide – and sometimes fleetingly to reveal – the mystery of another human being. Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life.”
 

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Dorrie Mcveigh
United States/United Kingdom
1975
I am a British fashion, portrait and art photographer, born in New York into a family of artists, my family emigrated to London in the late 70's where I grew up in an around west London. I have travelled a lot over the years, perhaps always searching for my allegorical "homeland". I finally settled in Marseille, a city I love more than any other and I have been living and working here for the last 8 years. My photography has become a means for me to forage into my unconscious and reveal the world as I see it. Having grown up in a country that is not my homeland, I am fascinated by what unites, separates and defines us a humans and I am aware that my images are born from this. Since a young age I have always been captivated by the classical elements of tragedy. At school I studied the plays of Sophocles and Euripides, seduced and fascinated by the notions of hubris and hamartia and how even the most powerful amongst us can be just a breath away from fragility and loss. I fell in love with the plays of Shakespeare in my final years at school, my favourite being Macbeth. There is something acutely touching in watching the fall of somebody great. I am drawn to the idea that as their ego and influence crumble and the mirrors of the ego fall away we can that find that beneath a humanity that has so much more potential for beauty, tenderness and creativity then when we are alone on the pedestal of power. Whilst I am drawn to the iconography and sheen of modern life, I find what really interests me is to strip this back to reveal the fragile, quiet and some times empty spaces that lie beneath. I have always loved the paintings of Edward Hopper whose work encapsulates so perfectly the constant possibility for loneliness and vulnerability in our fast lives whilst also reminding us that it is these moments that are perhaps the most poignant. I work as a fashion and portrait photographer but essentially I am an artist and I am always looking for opportunities to express myself through my photography whether it be through my commercial work or in my personal projects. Exclusive Interview with Dorrie Mcveigh
Kimiko Yoshida
Kimiko Yoshida is a Japanese visual artist who was born in 1963 and lives in Europe since 1995. Subtle, fictional, paradoxical, Kimiko Yoshida’s Bachelor Brides form an ensemble of quasi-monochromatic self-portraits, fragments of an intimate web, elaborating on a singular story: the feminine condition in Japan. Her images are large format, luminous squares, underlining her fantasy-bio epic. While still very young, Kimiko Yoshida was struck by the story of her own mother, who met her husband for the first time on her wedding day. Kimiko Yoshida’s own story is compelling. Born in Japan, she left to France in 1995, where she adopted a new language, a new way to live, to create. She studied photography at the Ecole Nationale at Arles, later she went to "Le Fresnoy Studio" at Tourcoing, France. Kimiko Yoshida has been concentrating on this series of "intangible self-portraits" which can be read as a quest for the hybridization of cultures, for the transformation of the being, and perhaps even as a deletion of identities. The metamorphosis of her own identity into a multiplicity of identifications expresses the fading of uniqueness, the "deconstruction" of the self. Source: Gallery 51 Kimiko Yoshida was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1963. Feeling oppressed as a woman, she left Japan in 1995 and moved to France to pursue her artistic ambitions. She studied at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles and the Studio National des Arts Contemporains in "Le Fresnoy". Since gaining her artistic freedom, Yoshida has been working prolifically. Her work revolves around feminine identity and the transformative power of art. In her most recent project, “Painting. Self-Portrait” she wears elaborate costumes and paints her skin in a monochrome color that matches the background. The monochromatic elements accentuate the fashion of Yoshida’s costumes. For the artist, the costume is "the field of diversion, detournement, and deflection." The visual elements, coupled with the titles’ reference to artists and paintings of the past (Ophelia by Delacroix, The Torero Bride with a Black Suit of Lights, Remembering Picasso), are meant to come together to challenge conventional notions and traditions of art and cultural identity. "I want an image that tries to rethink its own meanings and references." For her self-portraits, Yoshida received the International Photography Award in 2005. She continues to exhibit worldwide, and her work is found in the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, the Israel Museum, the Kawasaki City Museum, and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. Source: Holden Luntz Photo Gallery
Laura Heyman
United States
Laura Heyman was born in Essex County, New Jersey. She received a B.F.A in photography from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Heyman’s work has been exhibited at Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Deutsches Polen Institute, Darmstadt, DE, Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco, CA, Senko Studio, Viborg, DK, Silver Eye Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, The Palitz Gallery, New York, NY, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY, The Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, The Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA, The United Nations, New York, NY and The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.In 2010, she was nominated for a John Guttman Photography Fellowship, and was awarded a Light Work Mid-Career Artist Grant. She has received the Silver Eye Fellowship, a Ragdale Fellowship and multiple NYFA Strategic Opportunity Stipends. Heyman has curated exhibitions and panel discussions at Vox Pouli, Philadelphia, PA, Wonderland Art Space, Copenhagen DK and the Clocktower Gallery, New York, NY, and her work has been reviewed and profiled in The New Yorker, Contact Sheet, Frontiers, and ARTnews.Pa Bouje Ankò: Don’t Move Again uses the studio portrait to explore embedded hierarchies between photographers, subjects and viewers. The work is driven in part by longstanding questions around photographic representation, specifically those involving the voyeurism and objectification of so-called “third world” subjects by “first world” artists. Seeking to examine these questions in depth, I established an outdoor portrait studio in the Grand Rue neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti in late November 2009. Advertisements circulated news about a photography studio in the area, where members of the local community could schedule appointments to have their portraits made for free. Working in black and white with an 8x10 camera, I photographed one hundred and twenty people over a period of two weeks.Three weeks later, the meaning of those images shifted with the earthquake. They became both records and memorials. That event also changed the focus of the project, which evolved to include various expanding populations in Port-au-Prince tied to future development and reconstruction.Issues of representation, visual sovereignty and cultural protocol, central to the project from the beginning, became more complicated after the earthquake. When I first arrived in Port-au-Prince, I imagined that positioning myself as a “studio photographer” would allow me to escape or subvert the complex tangle of hierarchies at play in Haiti, as well as in the exchange between photographer and subject. Neither has been the case. Instead, layers of meaning and intention continue to reveal themselves, expanding the project's framework and engaging the myriad contradictions and impossibilities present in the work’s original question.All about Laura Heyman:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I began making photographs in high school, and knew I wanted to be a photographer before going to college.AAP: Where did you study photography?At University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I studied with Jack Carnell and Alida Fish. At Cranbrook Academy of Art, where I got my MFA, I studied with Carl Toth, and also Grant Kester, who taught Critical Theory at the school during my first year there.AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?I don’t know that I’d say I have a mentor – there are peers I look to regularly for advice and feedback on my work.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?One of my first shots was the stream in my grandparent’s backyard in Phonecia, New York. My grandfather fished there, and my older sister and I used to run around and catch salamanders and frogs.AAP: What or who inspires you?Artists like Collier Schorr, An-My Lê, Roni Horn, Robert Adams, Mark Ruwedel, Pieter Hugo; David Shrigley, Jennifer Dalton Ai Wei Wei; Richard Mosse and Liz Cohen. I’m inspired by artists whose work makes me think, those using humor in their practice, and artists who really put themselves on the line. Books and essays, movies and performance – I’m inspired by a lot of different people and things.AAP: How could you describe your style?The visual style of my work changes according to the subject – a constant is subjects or projects that can and do express a layered viewpoint, or pose a series of questions.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?While I sometimes shoot digital, mostly I work analogue, with a medium or large format camera. Lately that has meant using Ilford HP5 black and white film with a Deardorff 8X10 camera and a 300 mm lens.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?For me, editing (by which I mean deciding what images are included in a series, not post-production) is at least fifty percent of the job. I spend as much, if not more time editing a series as I do producing it.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Collier Schorr, Robert Adams, Rineke Djikstra, Zoe Strauss, Luc DelahayeAAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Know what you want. Shoot twice as much as you think you should. Be prepared to shoot and re-shoot until you get what you want.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?A number of photographs I made of some friends while we waited in a car for the ferry. It was cold out, and we were all inside, smoking. The images captured the moment and the subjects very precisely – although this was over twenty years ago, they still have an immediacy that thrills me.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?A little while ago I was shooting some portraits on a very sunny day, and forgot to flag the lens. The negatives l ended up with were completely fogged and unusable.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?Either Robert Adams What We Bought, or Collier Schorr’s Jens F. Both books have a real hold on me – I’m completely consumed every time I open one up. And after years of looking at them, they still surprise and fascinate me.
Cara Weston
United States
Cara Weston is a fine art photographer living and working in the Big Sur area of California. She is the daughter of renowned photographer Cole Weston and actress Helen Prosser-Weston, niece of Brett Weston and granddaughter of Edward Weston - recognized as the leading visionary in modern photography. Having worked with her father Cole and Uncle Brett, as well as Rod Dresser, photographer and assistant to Ansel Adams, Cara has followed the path of her heritage. The body of work she has created over the past two decades respects the craftsmanship tradition of the medium and reflects a unique voice within her family. It now stands alongside her famous descendants as a prime example of fine art image making in the twenty-first century.In addition to her work as a photographer, Cara is the former director of the internationally renowned Weston Gallery in Carmel. As director she curated shows that included exhibitions for luminaries such as Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna and of course Edward, Cole and Brett Weston. In addition to the gallery exhibitions she has produced, Cara has also curated several art shows in Los Angeles and New York that have featured the best works of today’s art photographers.Cara is also the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and has just published her first book of photographs, “Head in the Clouds”; a compilation of her best works from various portfolios and one that studies the strength and ephemeral beauty existing above our horizon. Her work can be viewed on her website www.carawestonphotography.com and is in several international exhibits and collections.
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
Robert Frank
United States
1924 | † 2019
Robert Frank is one of the most acclaimed photographers of the 20th century. His seminal book, The Americans, is arguably the most influential publication of photography among artists that followed. In 2009, a major substantial touring monographic exhibition and scholarly catalogue organized by Sarah Greenough made stops at the National Gallery of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Americans, first released in 1958 by Parisian publisher Robert Delpire, and in 1959 by Grove Press, which made the book available to a wider audience.Source: Robert Mann Gallery Robert Frank began studying photography in 1941 and spent the next six years working for commercial photography and graphic design studios in Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. In 1947 he traveled to the United States, where Alexey Brodovitch hired him to make fashion photographs at Harper's Bazaar. Although a few magazines accepted Frank's unconventional use of the 35-millimeter Leica for fashion work, he disliked the limitations of fashion photography and resigned a few months after he was hired. Between 1950 and 1955 he worked freelance producing photojournalism and advertising photographs for LIFE, Look, Charm, Vogue, and others. He also garnered support for his independently produced street photographs from important figures in the New York art world, including Edward Steichen, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Walker Evans, who became an important American advocate of Frank's photography. It was Evans who suggested that he apply for the Guggenheim Fellowship that freed him to travel throughout the country in 1955 and 1956 and make the photographs that would result in his most famous book, The Americans, first published in France as Les Américains in 1957. After its publication in America in 1959, he devoted an increasing amount of time to making films, including Pull My Daisy and Cocksucker Blues, both of which exemplify avant-garde filmmaking of the era. Since 1970, Frank has divided his time between Nova Scotia and New York; he continues to produce still photographs in addition to films. The Americans was one of the most revolutionary volumes in the history of photography, and it was a source of controversy when it was published in the United States. Frank's cutting perspective on American culture, combined with his carefree attitude toward traditional photographic technique, shocked most Americans who saw it at the time. During the next decade, however, these qualities of his photography became touchstones for a new generation of American photographers; indeed, Frank's work continues to shape contemporary photography.Source: The International Center of Photography
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