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Robert Rutöd
Robert Rutöd
Robert Rutöd

Robert Rutöd

Country: Austria

Robert Rutöd was born 1959 in Vienna, Austria. Early pursuit of painting; from 1978 on photography. Works from these years later appeared with some of his absurd texts in the book grayscales. early b&w photographs 1978-1988.

Between 1979 and 1993, Robert Rutöd wrote screenplays and directed short films. In the mid-90s, he increasingly devoted himself to the design of books and applications for digital media. In 2004 he returned to photography; since 2009, he presents these images to a wider audience.

In his projects, Robert Rutöd investigates the paradox Human with its sometimes tragicomic aspects. In 2009 the photo book Less Is More resulted from that and three years later, the series Right Time Right Place has been finished. For this he received several awards including the New York Photo Award 2012, the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography, and most recently Artist of the Year at Dong Gang International Photo Festival in South Korea. In 2017 he completed his series Fair(y) Tales, retelling an almost ten-year expedition through the burlesque realm of trade fairs and exhibition areas.

Rutöd’s photographs have been shown worldwide at numerous photography festivals and exhibitions; his work has been widely published in magazines and on blogs. Robert Rutöd lives and works in Vienna.

(Source: Robert Rutöd Website)


Right Time Right Place
Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time!

“Right Time Right Place” is a collection of photographs I made in the last five years on my travels through Europe. The images revolve around the question of whether it is possible for a person to be in the right place at the right time. Is the ideal state of space and time something we are awarded or is it a state we have long been living in without being aware of our good fortune?

I hope I have not succeeded in answering this question. Nothing fails more pathetically than an artist’s attempt to explain the world and its relationships. Rather, my work leads to the conclusion that the world cannot be explained. Once an exhibition visitor in New York told me that, when viewing my photos, she felt that the protagonists seemed to be kind of disobedient. I really liked that interpretation.

"What Robert Rutöd brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens - a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time." (Aline Smithson, from the foreword to the book „Right Time Right Place“)

“Right Time Right Place” was awarded the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography at the Photo Annual Awards 2012. A photo from the series won the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art.


Exclusive Interview with Robert Rutöd:

AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
At a certain point I can't remember. I guess, at the moment when I was pleased with my photographs.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
I'm self-taught...

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
In total, maybe twenty years, with shorter and a long breaks and also a hiatus for more than ten years.

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
Tough question, my very first photographs were still largely staged. That reminds me of the corpse of a young man, with countless clothespins on the upper body, or a self-portrait in which I am seen with a pair of shoes on my shoulders.

AAP: How could you describe your style?
Style is not something that you choose; it happens, to a certain extent, over time. In photography, a signature style is often more difficult to discover, sort of like in painting. A graphologist might interpret my works thusly: "Easy to read, no scrawling, he's going on rapidly and purposefully in problem-solving and asks the right questions at the right moment." I could then add: "Regarding the content, rather puzzling over long distances."

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
One digital camera, one good lens.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
Since my work is not staged, I'm only inspired when the photographic event unfolds before my eyes, a reverse brainstorming so to speak.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
Yes, to edit my own photographs is sometimes a lengthy process. The pictures have to go through some tests to be integrated into an ongoing project. This decision-making is sometimes damn hard to reach; it helps to let a few weeks or even months pass.

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
Not to listen to any advice...

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
None! Because there is no such thing as error, in fact, and consequently no recipe for success.

AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?
A fair for undertakers and the fashion show taking place there, including a coffin on the stage.

AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?
The cluelessness of so many "experts."

AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?
I am satisfied so far with my work, as I want to get into the skin of others. Of course there's truly great work that I would like to see in my portfolio, "Royal Harare Golf Club" by Martin Parr for example, one or two pictures by Helen Levitt.

AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?
First the bad news: The publication date of my book "Milky Way" has been moved to next year. Now the good: I'm very happy about the positive echo that my series "Right Time Right Place" caused since its release about a year ago, including my participation in festivals in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Delhi, or recently at the Miami Street Photography Festival. In January 2014, my project will be a solo exhibition to be seen. “eigensinnig“ (stubborn) is the name of the new gallery in Vienna, whose founder Toni Tramezzini, is aiming to show something that is rarely seen in this city: something that's not serial, not conceptual, not staged photography.

 

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Frances Benjamin Johnston
United States
1864 | † 1952
Frances "Fannie" Benjamin Johnston (15 January 1864 – 16 May 1952) was an early American female photographer and photojournalist whose career lasted for almost half a century. She is most known for her portraits, images of southern architecture, and various photographic series featuring African Americans and Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century. The only surviving child of wealthy and well connected parents, she was born in Grafton, West Virginia, raised in Washington, D.C., and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and the Washington Students League following her graduation from Notre Dame of Maryland Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies in 1883 (now known as Notre Dame of Maryland University). An independent and strong-willed young woman, she wrote articles for periodicals before finding her creative outlet through photography after she was given her first camera by George Eastman, a close friend of the family, and inventor of the new, lighter, Eastman Kodak cameras. She received training in photography and dark-room techniques from Thomas Smillie, director of photography at the Smithsonian. She took portraits of friends, family and local figures before working as a freelance photographer and touring Europe in the 1890s, using her connection to Smillie to visit prominent photographers and gather items for the museum's collections. She gained further practical experience in her craft by working for the newly formed Eastman Kodak company in Washington, D.C., forwarding film for development and advising customers when cameras needed repairs. In 1894 she opened her own photographic studio in Washington, D.C., on V Street between 13th and 14th Streets, and at the time was the only woman photographer in the city. She took portraits of many famous contemporaries including Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington. Well connected among elite society, she was commissioned by magazines to do "celebrity" portraits, such as Alice Roosevelt's wedding portrait, and was dubbed the "Photographer to the American court." She photographed Admiral Dewey on the deck of the USS Olympia,[6] the Roosevelt children playing with their pet pony at the White House and the gardens of Edith Wharton's famous villa near Paris. Her mother, Frances Antoinette Johnston, had been a congressional journalist and dramatic critic for the Baltimore Sun and her daughter built on her familiarity with the Washington political scene by becoming official White House photographer for the Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, "TR" Roosevelt, and Taft presidential administrations. Johnston also photographed the famous American heiress and literary salon socialite Natalie Barney in Paris but perhaps her most famous work, shown here, is her self-portrait of the liberated "New Woman", petticoats showing and beer stein in hand. Johnston was a constant advocate for the role of women in the burgeoning art of photography. The Ladies' Home Journal published Johnston's article "What a Woman Can Do With a Camera" in 1897[9] and she co-curated (with Zaida Ben-Yusuf) an exhibition of photographs by twenty-eight women photographers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, which afterwards travelled to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Washington, DC. She traveled widely in her thirties, taking a wide range of documentary and artistic photographs of coal miners, iron workers, women in New England's mills and sailors being tattooed on board ship as well as her society commissions. While in England she photographed the stage actress Mary Anderson, who was a friend of her mother. In 1899, she gained further notability when she was commissioned by Hollis Burke Frissell to photograph the buildings and students of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Hampton, Virginia in order to show its success. This series, documenting the ordinary life of the school, remains as some of her most telling work. It was displayed at The Exhibit of American Negroes of the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. She photographed events such as world's fairs and peace-treaty signings and took the last portrait of President William McKinley, at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 just before his assassination. With her partner, Mattie Edwards Hewitt, a successful freelance home and garden photographer in her own right, she opened a studio in New York in 1913 and moved in with her mother and aunt. Hewitt wrote Johnston love letters over the course of their relationship, which are chronicled in "The Woman Behind the Lens: The Life and Work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1864–1952." Many of the early letters focused on Hewitt's admiration for Johnston's work, but as their romance progressed, they became increasingly full of words of love: "...when I need you or you need me — [we] must hold each other all the closer and with your hand in mine, holding it tight..." She lectured at New York University on business for women and they produced a series of studies of New York architecture through the 1920s. In early 1920 her mother died in New York. In the 1920s, she became increasingly interested in photographing architecture, motivated by a desire to document buildings and gardens which were falling into disrepair or about to be redeveloped and lost. As her focus in architecture grew, she became specifically interested in documenting the architecture of the American South. Johnston was interested in preserving the everyday history of the American South through her art; she accomplished this by photographing barns, inns, and other ordinary structures. She was not interested in photographing the grand homes and estates of the American South, but rather the quickly deteriorating structures in these communities that portrayed the life of common southerners. Her photographs remain an important resource for modern architects, historians and conservationists. She exhibited a series of 247 photographs of Fredericksburg, Virginia, from the decaying mansions of the rich to the shacks of the poor, in 1928. The exhibition was entitled Pictorial Survey--Old Fredericksburg, Virginia--Old Falmouth and Nearby Places and described as "A Series of Photographic Studies of the Architecture of the Region Dating by Tradition from Colonial Times to Circa 1830" as "An Historical Record and to Preserve Something of the Atmosphere of An Old Virginia Town." Publicity from the display prompted the University of Virginia to hire her to document its buildings and the state of North Carolina to record its architectural history. Louisiana hired Johnston to document its huge inventory of rapidly deteriorating plantations and she was given a grant in 1933 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to document Virginia's early architecture. This led to a series of grants and photographs of eight other southern states, all of which were given to the Library of Congress for public use. In December 1935, she began a year long project to capture the less evolved structures of the Colonial Era in Virginia. This was effort was intended to be a one year project, but evolved into an eight year extensive project, in which she surveyed 50,000 miles and 95 counties in Virginia. Johnston was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects for her work in preserving old and endangered buildings and her collections have been purchased by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Although her relentless traveling was curtailed by petrol rationing in the Second World War the tireless Johnston continued to photograph. Johnston acquired a home in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1940, retiring there in 1945, where she died in 1952 at the age of eighty-eight.Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Devaux
France
1980
Thomas Devaux has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition.The works in the "ATTRITION" series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. "ATTRITION", thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments.The final result is both sensual and onirique in the in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic." Source: Anne Biroleau-Lemagny, General Curator Charge of Contemporary 21st Century: French National Library Born in 1980. Lives and works in Paris.Thomas Devaux moved frequently when he was young and he never stopped being "in motion". He moved to London after graduating from high school, and then he started his studies in Montpellier, while exploring the image in all its forms: photography, experimental cinema, painting and collage...He achieved through this artistic extension to remove the boundary between drawing and photography. Finally, he obtained diploma of Licence in Performing Art in Paris (Paris X). Developing great interest in traveling and exploring the world, he found his place in 2006 working for a fashion magazine: Fashion Insider. He first started as a photographer and cameraman, and became the artistic director of the magazine in 2009. He attended the world's most famous fashion shows and worked in many countries (France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Georgia, UK, Turkey, Denmark, Cyprus...). Opening up to the world, and to all the celebrities he met and interviewed for his magazine, was the opportunity to develop and make his style recognized: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Donatella Vercace, Sonia Rykiel, Usher, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Milla Jovovich, Beth Ditto, Pedro Almodovar... Source: 1:1 Photo Magazine At first sight, portraits. At second glance, the questioning. Paintings or photographs? Thomas Devaux artwork throws off. By its form as its content, it upsets any certainty. And, it is precisely though that movement that it comes to its full magnitude.Fashion photographer, Thomas Devaux keeps from its reports thousands of shoots made behind the scenes that feed a later digital work. Indeed, in front of his screen, he cuts, deconstructs, assembles and recomposes his pictures until he creates images full of contradictions. Far from being frightened, Thomas Devaux finds with these dualities a remarkable tool to transcend the boundaries and ward off any kind of fatality. Of fashion, he likes the aesthetics but condemns the stylistic dictum and the imperative beauty. Of photography, he praises the documentary force but fears the frozen relation to time. And, from these considerations, comes out the idea of an nonconformism, un-postural, in the original meaning, as Thomas Devaux refuses any reductive normativity without denying for all that any legagy. Entitling his series "Attriction", he seems to insist on the idea of wear. A notion that does not necessarily imply deterioration. As, if the marks of time destroy some aspects, they also reveal some others. Finally, his work damages beauty to enhance it out of the conservative models. It brings together traditional approaches and opens them to modernity. It integrates the cyclic dimension of existence and reminds that what springs dies and what dies springs again with a new form. Source: Ozarts Etc
Wiktoria Wojciechowska
Born 1991, Lublin, Poland. Lives and works in Lublin and Paris. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, Wiktoria Wojciechowska was the 2015 winner of the Oskar Barnack Leica Newcomer Award for Short Flashes, portraits of drenched cyclists captured on the streets of Chinese’s metropolis. Between 2014 and 2016 she worked on the series Sparks, a portrait of a contemporary war based on the stories of people living in the Ukrainian conflict. This series received several awards, such Les Rencontres d’Arles New Discovery award’s public prize, Madame Figaro prize and the Prix pour la Photographie, Fondation des Treilles. Labirinto (2017-2019) Labirinto explores the architecture seen as a vector for an ideology, spreading in the inhabitants' thoughts. Architecture stays longer than its creators and might still smuggle fundamental ideas and atmosphere of passed days. Labirinto project is a starting point to discuss how the architecture influence inhabitants and if a city, structured as a symbol of fascist ideology, can become a dwelling for strangers. Wiktoria Wojciechowska works in the area of Agro Pontino in Italy: formerly marshes, which were, throughout centuries, a challenge for the authorities. The Romans, Popes and Napoleon have all tried to drain, recultivate it and build new settlements. The one who achieve the goal was Benito Mussolini, with the help of the hard work of World War I combatants. In the beginning of 30's, the project of foundation of the New Cities (Città nuove) started. The best Italian architects of these times were involved to draw the net of streets on the Pontine plain as on a blank page. They were to arrange the monuments and neighbourhood buildings - following the current of rationalist architecture, adopted by the fascist as the official style of the ideology - of five cities: Littoria, Pontinia, Sabaudia, Aprilia and Pomezia. Designed in the model of "the rural city", they should serve as a renewal of civilisation (Bonifica della cultura) and the so-called Mussolini's Arcadia for a "purified nation" of New Italians. This is how Littoria has been conceived, in 1932, from the mud and has been raised as the first of the five Mussolini's New Cities. Littoria was called the "jewel of Mussolini" and radiated by the combination of a stellate network of streets and curved ring roads, all converging towards the central square (Piazza del Littorio, now Piazza del Popolo). The labyrinth-like city was awaiting the new residents coming from the entire Italy to live in the empty buildings and appreciate the monumental solutions drawn upon the Roman Empire tradition. After the World War II, the city was rebaptized to Latina to obliterate its fascist past and became a temporary asylum for displaced Italians and migrants. Between 1957 and 1991, 80 000 foreigners passed by the refugee camp. They were coming from Eastern Europe, fleeing the communist regimes, from Vietnam, Northern Africa, etc. Despite the official closing of the camp in 1991, the migration is still an ongoing process. Today, the majority of newcomers originate from sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Mali… The artist describes her work: In the middle of the day, during "the siesta", when the city is hot and stuffy, the streets become empty. The pale facades of the buildings reflect the sunlight like mirrors and hurt the eyes. As in De Chirico's paintings, the palisades are playing with lights and shades. The emptiness creates an illusion that we are back in the 30s. Only the scratches and coloured patches on the walls unmask the timeworn city. From time to time, human figures flash by in the sun. These are those who get lost in this labyrinth, not knowing the rules of the city. They barely arrived there, but who gets into the labyrinth once, might not be able to wriggle out ever. Today in front of Palazzo M - built in the shape of the initial of Mussolini, a queue of immigrants is standing and waiting for their documents. Wiktoria Wojciechowska observes the city - silent witness of changing times - and recent immigrants, far from being integrated. During the conversations, they often mention the discrimination, preconceived ideas and the fear of locals; their superiority coming from the colonial past, racism. They feel suspended, awaiting decisions and documents, trapped in the city space. The locals expect to move the immigrants out of the cities; they are not to be seen, as they "change the landscape", they should be invisible. The ideology, which sponsored the constructions of the cities, is still lying under their foundation. Hidden but yet vivid, deep inside the consciousness. Looking further, Labirinto can be the metaphor of the current sociopolitical situation of all Europe, where newcomers from other continents are seeking for asylum and acceptance. The fear of locals (who might have been migrants too) remains, and politics don't promote reconciliation. The policy of fear enables the authorities to seize the control of population's thoughts and define the enemy. The works of Wiktoria Wojciechowska are juxtaposing the fascist architecture - undefined corners of streets, scattered walls, and remains of fascist sculptural iconography - and the portraits of recently arrived migrants. As they wander through a temporarily deserted city, occupying the scene of a petrified ideology, the public space, they reveal a striking contrast with this ideology embodied in the architecture.
Alice De Kruijs
The Netherlands
1981
Alice de Kruijs is a fine-art photographer based in The Netherlands. She frequently touches the subject of identity and diversity and aims to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds, her work is a celebration of these differences in culture. As her way of life, she loves to conceptually and symbolically tell stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life struggles. Born in 1981 in the east of The Netherlands she grew up in an artistic family. Nevertheless her true artistic passion in photography started in her late twenties. After graduating from Internation Fashion Design and later on from Applied Photography Design with a specialisation in Fine-art portraits she dedicated her life to conceptual photography. In her early thirties she gradually moved to fine-art photography in combination with story telling photography. Family Member(s) In this serie I honour my beloved grandmother. She has been a friend and inspiration my entire life. Although she passed away in 1994, when I was just 13 year old my memories are vibrant. This year (2020), August 2nd she would have celebrated her 100th birthday. On this day, I have publish the complete body of work existing of 18 images plus 10 original images. In some images, I copied the old photo from our family photo books. The story starts with an images from my great grandma before and after pregnancy of her 5 children (see family picture), following with an image of my grandmother at age 3. It continues with images of her when she was a young teenager and as a young adult just before World war II. During the war, not many pictures were taken of her. The first image after WWII is the marriage photo. She struggled with a lot of miscarriages in the late 1940's but finally my father was born in May 1950, I would be her only child. During the 1980's she started having breast cancer and later on bone cancer. After many years trying to fulfill life as much as possible, she died from bone bone cancer at age 74. The last image represents her death. As this is a very personal project and shot during COVID 19 period I only photographed myself or my direct family members for the duo image. This created an even stronger bound. This serie is dedicated to Jeanne Margaretha de Kruijs - Slotboom 02/08/1920 - 14/01/1994
Mary Ellen Mark
United States
1940 | † 2015
Mary Ellen Mark is an American photographer known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising photography. She has had 16 collections of her work published and has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. She has received numerous accolades, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mary Ellen Mark was born in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and began photographing with a Box Brownie camera at age nine. She attended Cheltenham High School, where she was head cheerleader and exhibited a knack for painting and drawing. She received a BFA degree in painting and art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, and a Masters Degree in photojournalism from that university's Annenberg School for Communication in 1964. The following year, Mark received a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph in Turkey for a year. While there, she also traveled to photograph England, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain. In 1966 or 1967, she moved to New York City, where over the next several years she photographed Vietnam War demonstrations, the women's liberation movement, transvestite culture, and Times Square, developing a sensibility, according to one writer, "away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes". As Mark explained in 1987, "I'm just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven't had the best breaks in society. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence". Her shooting style ranges from a 2 ¼ inch format, 35 mm, and 4x5 inch view camera. She also uses a Leica 4 for most photographs and Nikons for long-range shooting. Mark loves shooting with a Hasselblad for square format and she shoots primarily in black-and-white, using classic Kodak Tri-X film. Source Wikipedia
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