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Emily Schiffer
Emily Schiffer
Emily Schiffer

Emily Schiffer

Country: United States
Birth: 1980

Emily Schiffer is a documentary photographer interested in depicting essential details of life that are often overshadowed by more newsworthy circumstances.

In 2005, she founded the My Viewpoint Youth Photography Initiative on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she continues to teach and shoot.

In 2011 she co-created See Potential, a community engagement/public art photography project on Chicago’s South Side, promotes the revitalization efforts of community leaders and mobilizes residents.

Awards include: a 2012 Open Society Foundation Audience Engagement Grant, a 2011 Emergency Fund Grant from the Magnum Foundation, the 2010 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, the 2010 winner of the PDN Photo Annual Personal Project Category, the 2009 Inge Morath Award, presented by Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, and a 2006-2007 Fulbright Fellowship in Photography.

Emily has exhibited her photographs internationally.

Publications include: Aperture, Smithsonian Magazine, Photo District News, TIME Magazine Lightbox, Mother Jones, and BURN Magazine. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Farnsworth Museum, US, The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, Foto Baryo, Philippines, and The Center for Fine Art Photography, US. Emily received her BA in Fine Art and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.
 

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Francesca Woodman
United States
1958 | † 1981
Francesca Woodman was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Woodman attended public school in Boulder, Colorado, between 1963 and 1971 except for second grade, which she attended in Italy. She began high school in 1972 at the private Massachusetts boarding school Abbot Academy, where she began to develop her photographic skills and became interested in the art form. Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy in 1973; Woodman graduated from the public Boulder High School in 1975. Through 1975, she spent summers with her family in Italy. She spent her time in Italy in the Florentine countryside, where she lived on an old farm with her parents. Beginning in 1975, Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She studied in Rome between 1977 and 1978 in a RISD honors program. As she spoke fluent Italian, she was able to befriend Italian intellectuals and artists. She went back to Rhode Island in late 1978 to graduate from RISD. Woodman moved to New York City in 1979. After spending the summer of 1979 in Stanwood, Seattle whilst visiting her boyfriend at Pilchuck Glass School, she returned to New York "to make a career in photography." She sent portfolios of her work to fashion photographers, but "her solicitations did not lead anywhere. In the summer of 1980 she was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In late 1980 Woodman became depressed due to the failure of her work to attract attention and to a broken relationship. She survived a suicide attempt, after which she lived with her parents in Manhattan. On January 19, 1981, she committed suicide by jumping out a loft window in New York. An acquaintance wrote, "things had been bad, there had been therapy, things had gotten better, guard had been let down." Her father has suggested that Woodman's suicide was related to an unsuccessful application for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.Source: Wikipedia Francesca Woodman photographed herself, often nude, in empty interiors. But her pictures are not traditional self-portraits. She is usually half-hidden by objects or furniture or appears as a blur. The images convey an underlying sense of human fragility. This fragility is exaggerated by the fact that the photographs are printed on a very small scale – they seem personal and intimate. Most of the photographs in the ARTIST ROOMS collection come from Francesca’s former boyfriend Benjamin P. Moore. She gave him the photographs, and many of them include intimate messages written in their margins. The messages become part of the artwork. Woodman continuously explored and tested what she could do with photography. She challenged the idea that the camera fixes time and space – something that had always been seen as one of the fundamentals of photography. She playfully manipulated light, movement and photographic effects, and used carefully selected props, vintage clothing and decaying interiors to add a mysterious gothic atmosphere to the work. Her importance as an innovator is significant, particularly in the context of the 1970s when the status of photography was still regarded as less important than painting and sculpture. She led the way for later American artists who used photography to explore themes relating to identity such as Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin. Francesca Woodman’s entire body of work was produced as a young person and created over just eight short years. Her photographs explore many themes that affect young people such as relationships, sexuality, questions of self, body image, alienation, isolation and confusion or ambiguity about personal identity.Source: Tate
Johnny Kerr
United States
1982
Johnny Kerr is a fine art photographer based in the West Valley of Arizona’s Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Johnny is self-taught in the craft of photography but entered into his study of the medium with many years of art education and design experience. In 2003 he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the Art Institute of Phoenix and went on to make his living as a graphic designer. Johnny began learning and experimenting with photography in 2011 and in 2013 decided to shift his focus, pursuing photography as his primary medium of expression. He cites his graphic design experience, along with his appreciation for minimalist design, as having the largest influence on his vision as a fine art photographer. After deciding to change careers Johnny went back to school, earning his Master of Arts in Education degree in 2010. Johnny currently makes his living as a photography teacher in the greater Phoenix area, where he lives with his wife and daughter. STATEMENT Growing up in Arizona has certainly given me an appreciation for the unique beauty of the desert. However, I have never found my desert surroundings to be particularly inspiring in my artistic endeavors. Lacking the inspiration to capture my natural surroundings in a representational manner, I have found freedom and gratification in abstraction. I found architecture to be an inspiring subject matter for its graphic qualities, but my photographs are not really about the buildings. Each photograph is a study of the rudimentary elements that catch my attention: shape, space, volume, line, rhythm, etc. Drawing heavily from my graphic design experience, each architecture photograph represents an exercise in isolating those basic elements and trying to present them in a harmonious design. Often I have incorporated long exposure techniques to create images that seem to exist outside of the reality our eyes perceive on a daily basis. My goal has not been to abstract the subject beyond recognition, but to simplify, to pull it out of its usual context, and try to see the ordinary surroundings of city life in a new way. The lessons I learned from my exercises in abstracting architecture have also carried through into other subject matter, including landscape and seascape, helping me to find solace and inspiration in unexpected places.
Gueorgui Pinkhassov
France / Russia
1953
Gueorgui Pinkhassov is a photographer, born in Moscow in 1953. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Pinkhassov began his interest in photography in his teens, and enrolled at the Moscow Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 1969. Following college and two years in the army, he joined the film crew at Mosfilm. Continuing his interest in still photography he became a set photographer at the studio. His work was noticed by the film director Andrei Tarkovsky, who invited Pinkhassov to work on the set of his film Stalker. Being awarded independent artist status by the Moscow Union of Graphic Arts in 1978 allowed Pinkhassov far more freedom to travel, allowing him to exhibit his work internationally. In 1979 his work was noticed outside of Russia for the first time, in a group exhibition of Soviet photographers held in Paris. Previously, his work had mainly been seen in a number of Russian magazines, including L'artiste Sovietique. His acceptance by the Magnum Photos agency in 1988 opened up his work to a wider audience. He worked for the international media covering major events in Lithuania, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Africa. Returning to Moscow to cover the 1991 Coup, for the New York Times. In 1995, he received a photographic scholarship from the city, and in 1998, he published the book Sightwalk, photographs of Japan. Pinkhassov is now a French citizen, living in Paris.Source: Wikipedia Gueorgui Pinkhassov is known for his vivid art-reportage, which elevates the everyday to the extraordinary. His richly-colored images are absorbing, complex and poetic—sometimes bordering on an abstraction which embraces the visual complexity of contemporary life. As well as his global documentary work, Pinkhassov has photographed iconic cultural events from Cannes Film Festival to backstage at Paris Fashion Week. “It is foolish to change the vector of chaos. You shouldn’t try to control it, but fall into it” he says of his approach. Born in Moscow in 1952, Pinkhassov’s interest in photography began while he was still at school. After studying cinematography at the VGIK (The Moscow Institute of Cinematography), he went on to work at the Mosfilm studio as a cameraman and then as an on-set photographer. He joined the Moscow Union of Graphic Artists in 1978, which allowed him more freedom to travel and exhibit internationally. His work was soon noticed by the prominent Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who invited him to make a reportage about his film Stalker (1979). Recent work includes his study of Blackpool Illuminations in 2018, an ongoing series of city portraits illuminating places as varied as Beirut, Lisbon, Venice, Moscow and Nancy, and his coverage of the clashes between Anti-government protesters and police in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv in 2014. Today, he works regularly for the international press, particularly for Geo, Actuel and The New York Times Magazine. He joined Magnum Photos in 1988.Source: Magnum Photos
Madhur Dhingra
I was born an only child to my parents, in Delhi, into a family torn apart by the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition. Hailing from a affluent background in Pakistan my family was now struggling for survival in the walled city of Delhi totally penniless. Imbedded with deep insecurities and freshly bearing the scars of partition my family was now setting up trade in the walled city dealing in fabric. It is relevant for me to mention this background for these very insecurities I too inherited from my family and they remain with me till date even with the changed times and lifestyle. Things improved gradually financially, with the trade flourishing and much because of the sheer hard work of my grandfather, father& chachas(father's brothers).We settled in Delhi at the start as big joint family. I have grown up hearing tales of how we had started life selling fabric on the pavements of the walled city where we now own several properties. My father could never get over those scars of partition. I too was repeatedly made to realize that ( for better or for worse) even though I was born much later in Delhi. At the age of five I was put to school at St.Xavier's High School, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi. That period was to become the most memorable part of my life. I remember enjoying that period thoroughly. I was always an above average student with a lot of love for extracurricular activities. In school I would love going hiking, camping, swimming & cycling with the boy scouts. From the very start I was naughty and mischievous and was a regular in getting in and out of trouble. After school I went to the Delhi University and took up English Hons as my subject. But nowhere was it in my mind to take up studies serious. Restless from the start I wanted to travel the world. I now join the Merchant Navy at the age of seventeen ,as a deck cadet leaving college in the first year itself. I loved this new experience and was good at learning navigation. Very soon I was promoted to become the navigating officer. For the first year I never came back home at all. I was fulfilling my desire to see the world thoroughly meeting different types of people and experiencing different kinds of cultures . Once while travelling in the city of Jeddah near Mecca during Ramadan I was amazed to see gold slabs and coins being sold on the pavements of the city. On the loudspeaker I then heard the azaan (prayer call) and to my utter astonishment I saw people leave all this gold unattended and enter the nearby mazjid for prayer. Such was the strictness of the prevailing law of the land that anybody caught stealing would have his hand chopped off. Nobody dared to steal. Now quite a different experience was when my ship first entered Thailand. To my utter surprise I saw hoards of women entering my ship. Their numbers must have been no less than a hundred odd. I was on duty and I objected to their entry and was immediately informed by my senior officer to back off as they were entering with the permission of the captain. These were prostitutes who stayed on my ship till the time it stayed there. Nobody was questioning the morality or the ethics. It was gala time for all officers, crew, and the Captain. This was the way of life for most sailors . One horrific incident I remember was when our Burmese radio officer died on the ship due to a liver problem. As we were still some days away from the next port,his body was put in the deep freezer of the ship, the same place where all vegetables and other eatables were stored. Life was going on as if nothing had happened and everybody was eating and drinking as any other day. In a ship life all relationships and friendships are very temporary and the moment a person gets off the ship all these are left behind and forgotten. My bag of experiences was filling up fast. The restlessness and void was again setting in fast. I was getting bored again after about five years of sailing. The novelty had worn off and my inherent nature and upbringing was not that of a sailor in any way .I finally decided to say quits and joined the family business which was waiting for me to return. My dad was overjoyed at this decision of mine. I had no problem settling into this environment as it just happened to be in my blood. I now decide to get married too. I get married and soon after become a father of two adorable children. My age at that period would have been early twenty or so. Time flew by fast earning bread and butter for my family. Nothing was more important than bringing up the kids properly and with a lot of love, something which I was deprived of badly during my childhood days. But now again the same restlessness and void was setting in. I was in a dilemma, now trying out new ways to end this emptiness . I initially tried my hands at learning sculpture at Triveni Kala Sangam Mandi House, but I soon realized that medium was not meant for me. Destiny seemed to have other plans for me and it was during this period that I was gifted a SLR by someone, a Ricoh 500 as I now try to remember. The camera body had a dial with some numbers and also some numbers on the lens of which I had no clue. There were photography classes also being held in Triveni Kala Sangam and I joined these classes with sculpture classes I was already doing. It was here I met my photography teacher and now a lifelong friend Satyasri Ukil for the first time. The Basic course was about learning the techniques of Black & White photography. Satyasri was a dedicated, honest & straightforward teacher. His likes and dislikes purely dealt with the merits of the image and not with the person who had shot the image. I was learning fast with my association with Satyasri at Triveni where he was teaching then . A few of us guys(now renowned photographers), formed a sort of a team under the guidance of Ukil (as we address Satyasri,till date).We were shooting developing and printing the whole day long. Photography was now no longer a hobby but a frenzy. I soon set up my own darkroom in my house and would develop and print negatives all night long. I now start trekking again now with a new SLR in hand going to high altitudes and to very difficult locales. I remember showing my first serious work to Ukil and found him overjoyed. Soon my ambitions grew and I start shooting product for the advertising agencies. My first breakthrough as I clearly remember had come from the agency 0& M whose creative head then was Benoy Mitra, who was one day present at the colour lab called "MultiColour in Jhandewalan, when my portfolio prints were coming out of the lab. He saw my work and quietly handed over his card asking me to see him in the agency. I was overjoyed. This was breakthrough I needed desperately. I soon started getting assignments from most major agencies. But now I started getting bored again shooting mountains product and off and on some fashion. I still needed to express myself in a different way. I decide to work towards my first solo exhibition and I show my landscapes and mountain work to the management of INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE. After seeing my work they agree to sponsor my show fixing the date to 28th November 1998.It is pertinent to mention here that I had then "only" shown them my beautiful landscapes and mountain TP's as I had nothing more at that time in my kitty. I started a new journey, first shooting Ladakh. I found immense peace and tranquility (acting as a balm for my troubled mind )in the monasteries I visited. The filtrations of light from the windows and doors into the dark interiors of the monasteries were indeed very beautiful, tranquil and peaceful. I would sit inside these monasteries for hours at a stretch calming my taut nerves. The prayer gong would echo inside the main hall and seep deep inside my soul. I have always equated light with God and have believed that the darkness of the human soul will ultimately come alive with the play of Light (God) on it. My next visit was to Banaras. Here I found people visiting the Ghats in very colorful attires. A activity on these ancient Ghats like the Dashashwamedh Ghat would start very early in the morning. People from all over India visit Banaras to perform various religious rituals, right from the birth of a child to the cremation of the dead and also later to perform rites for their safe and comfortable passage after death. The quality of light that I found in Banaras was very warm & golden and I wouldn't hesitate a moment to call it heavenly. Now a special reference to the Manikarnika Ghat " the ghat of the dead" is needed. People from all over India come to Kashi (ancient name of Banaras)to cremate their dead at Manikarnika.It is believed by Hindus that a cremation at Manikarnika Ghat gives the human soul an unhindered passage to heaven. Pyres are being lit here continuously without getting extinguished for the last 3000 years. But it was on this BURNING GHAT that my worst nightmare was to begin. I would visit this ghat daily looking at the activities. It was not very long before I realised that whenever a body of a poor person would come in, it would be cremated in a bizarre manner. It required two mun wood at the least (mun is an Indian measure of weight equivalent to 20 kgs) to cover a human body completely for cremation. But the person accompanying the dead body did not have that much money in his pocket. So only that much wood was purchased in which only the torso could be covered by wood. The legs and head were left hanging out and the pyre lit. The head would get burnt in a horrific manner with the head and feet falling away from the torso partially burnt. Then these torn away parts were picked up and put into the pyre or thrown into the Ganges. This whole sequence was so bizarre that I decided to get it on film and show it to the world. This I did manage to photograph secretly even after a lot of objections and hindrances from the people in charge at Manikarnika. Man really "was" meeting his God in Kashi, though in a very bizarre manner. So much for Kashi, our GATEWAY TO HEAVEN.I have posted only a few of those pictures on this website just to avoid unnecessary disturbance to people's minds. In the meantime the Purn Kumbh was being held at Hardwar. This again has become a very interesting event to relate. I was aghast to see completely naked so called Naga "sadhus" storming the streets of Hardwar. It was here I came to understand from the local inhabitants of Hardwar that this whole show was a complete farce. These so called ascetics only stormed the streets during the Khumb. Neither do they live in the remoteness of the Himalayas leading a renounced life, but on the contrary live in air conditioned lavishly furnished akharas in Hardwar itself. They were a weird sight. ( I have shown some photographs of them in my Black & White section). Here I saw them fight pitched battles with the police before the procession. DOWNRIGHT CRIMINALS TO THE VERY CORE, MOST OF THEM. On the day of the procession I got up early in the morning and positioned myself on roof top of a house near the Niranjani Akhara.This was very early in the morning and I was testing the auto focusing of my telephoto 300mm Canon lens when I saw a group of nagas in the akhara compound. I was taken aback when I saw one Naga fiddling with the genitals of the other Naga, "AND I TOOK THE SHOT".(later to appear on the first page of THE INDIAN EXPRESS). There were hutments built for sadhus by the kumbh authorities across the river bed. I would visit those and sit with some real sanyasis and listen to their discourses and hear them sing bhajans. This was a very nice and peaceful experience. The Kumbh ended and my exhibition date also was drawing near. The IIC Gallery wanted to see the final prints that I had decided to display. Nowhere in my final selection were those beautiful landscapes to be seen. Their place had been taken by naked sadhus with Trishuls and burning ghats & corpses. The Gallery management told me in no uncertain terms that they will not allow the show to go on unless these pictures were withdrawn. My dilemma was that my photo essay "Where Man Meets God'" was a story of a man's passage of life, his wanderings, his search for God. This essay was incomplete without these pictures. I told the management that I will show my work as it is and will not remove any picture from the list. Much courage to take this right stand was coming from Satyasri Ukil who stood by me all this while withstanding this massive ONSLOUGHT . IIC Management banned my exhibition. It was during this period that me and Satyasri Ukil were introduced to Suneet Chopra a reputed Art Critic. He later introduced us to Siddharth Tagore, a gallery owner at Art Consult Hauz Khas Village. Siddharth Tagore offered to hold my preview party at his gallery inviting respected artists like B.C.Sanyal, Jatin Das and many other artists of repute. The preview was a major success with all these stalwarts in their respective art fields giving their nod to my exhibition. Mr.Khushwant Singh the famous and a very respected writer too came up with an article on me in his column "Malice Towards One And All .Now IIC started shifting its stance and a compromise was reached. "That the images will be allowed to display but only facing towards the Gallery wall, whoever who wanted to see them could do so at his own discretion". Almost everybody saw those images.. Many reputed people visited the exhibition, some of them I mention in my TESTIMONIAL column. Eight major newspapers wrote elaborately on this exhibition. There was a TV interview also held by a channel also. The exhibition was a huge success on the whole. I am now planning another exhibition with a different theme and gearing up to hold another show in Milan. Life for me as a photographer continues...
Claudio Allia
Italy
1962
Claudio Allia (1962), is an Ophthalmologist, jazz and classical music producer, and an amateur awards-winning photographer living in Sicily. Music and photography have always been his main passions that he has cultivated all his life since childhood. Fascinated by fine art and conceptual photography, at early 90's Claudio began to devote himself to the creation of photographic projects and series trying to transfigure and filter most disparate social themes, even the most crude and brutal, through his personal sensitivity and imagination. Since 2005, started to experiment with new visual and creative approaches into his photographic world, exploring and developing as well his knowledges in the digital editing field and spacing his body of work from fine art to surrealistic or conceptual photo collections/series up to pure social/documentary photography. Slum Glam series Despite the harsh living conditions I have recognised the high level of dignity shown by the Mathare residents and my Slum Glam series attempted to depict this. A hand painted, makeshift wooden chair rests in front of a multi coloured shack wall that the women have decorated using brightly coloured designs wearing their best clothes to pose for my camera. Flower Pots series (Mathare Valley Slum - Nairobi) "Now we go into the vulnerable realm of an impossible privacy, constantly threatened and modified by all that's happening outside; rooms as decorated trenches of a never-ending battle; 9 square meters where to try a claustrophobic but worthy independence, where to keep dignity at low cost. Now focus in the flowerpots; the picture is a transparent flowerpot allowing you to check every corner of these rooms... look again: the dwellers are the flowers." --Claudio Torres Remote Control series (Mathare Valley Slum – Nairobi) For the Remote Control series some of the children of Mathare joined me on a photo shoot, turning up well dressed and carrying a favourite, or only toy. As they walked through the area of corregated dwellings I handed them a remote control i had brought withme in preparation and they instinctively grasped the significance and started pointing it towards areas that they wished to see change to improve their existence.
Pieter Hugo
South Africa
1976
Pieter Hugo was born 1976 and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a South African photographer who primarily works in portraiture and whose work engages with both documentary and art traditions with a focus on African communities. Hugo is self-taught, having picked up a camera aged 10. He remembers the first image he printed, which was a homeless person in Johannes. After working in the film industry in Cape Town, Pieter Hugo spent a two-year Residency at Fabrica, Treviso, Italy. Hugo has called himself a political-with-a-small-p photographer... it's hard not to be as soon as you pick up a camera in South Africa'. He believes that "the power of photography is inherently voyeuristic but I want that desire to look to be confronted." He also states that he is "deeply suspicious of the power of photography." Early on in his career he noticed that, "he often found himself being critically scrutinized by the subject he was photographing. It was then that he decided to switch to a larger and more cumbersome format of photography, one that would require negotiating consent and dialogue with the person being photographed - a more sedate and contemplative approach." He is known to use a Hasselblad camera and regularly shoots in the 4x5 format. His influences range from South African photojournalist David Goldblatt to Boris Mikhailov. However, his work reacts against 'the culture of realism that defined South African photography in the struggle years.' Hugo's first major photo collection Looking Aside consisted of a collection of portraits of people "whose appearance makes us look aside", his subjects including the blind, people with albinism, the aged, his family and himself. Explaining his interest in the marginal he has said, "My homeland is Africa, but I'm white. I feel African, whatever that means, but if you ask anyone in South Africa if I'm African, they will almost certainly say no. I don't fit into the social topography of my country and that certainly fuelled why I became a photographer." This was followed by Rwanda 2004: Vestiges of a Genocide which the Rwanda Genocide Institute describes as offering "a forensic view of some of the sites of mass execution and graves that stand as lingering memorials to the many thousands of people slaughtered." His most recognized work is the series called The Hyena & Other Men and which was published as a monograph. It has received a great deal of attention. Hugo won first prize in the Portraits section of the World Press Photo 2005 for a portrait of a man with a hyena. In 2007, Hugo received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 07. Hugo was also working on a series of photographs called Messina/Mussina that were taken in the town of Musina on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa and which was published as a monograph. At the time Colors magazine asked Hugo to work on an AIDS story and he was fascinated by the marginal aspect of the town. This was followed by a return to Nigeria with Nollywood, which consists of pictures of the Nigerian film industry. Permanent Error followed in 2011 where Hugo photographed the people and landscape of an expansive dump of obsolete technology in Ghana. Sean O'Toole writes "if Nollywood was playfully over-the-top, a smart riposte to accusations of freakishness and racism leveled at his photography..., Permanent Error marks Hugo’s return to a less self-reflexive mode of practice." In 2011 Hugo collaborated with Michel Cleary and co-directed the video of South African producer/DJ Spoek Mathambo's cover version of Joy Division's She's Lost Control, the fourth single from his album Mshini Wam. Commissioned by Italian luxury label Bottega Veneta, Hugo photographed models Amanda Murphy and Mark Cox for the brand’s spring/summer 2014 campaign, with the images shot in a wood in New Jersey. In the Spring of 2014, Hugo was commissioned by Creative Court to go to Rwanda and capture stories of forgiveness as a part of Creative Court's project Rwanda 20 Years: Portraits of Forgiveness. The project was displayed in The Hague in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall for the 20th commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. A selection of the photos have also been displayed in New York at the exhibition Post-Conflict which was curated by Bradley McCallum, Artist in Residence for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Flat Noodle Soup (2016) chronicles Hugo's lengthy engagement with the city of Beijing, exploring how concerns with expressing personal identity within societal norms and pressures are universal and transnational. La Cucaracha is a 2019 body of work made during four trips to Mexico over a two-year period. The photographic series explores Hugo's perception of the flamboyant and violent environment of Mexico with overt art historical references to the nation's visual canon of pre-colonial customs and revolutionary ideology.Source: Wikipedia Between 2006 and 2013, Pieter Hugo worked on a project that he called Kin. This deals with home, proximity, identification and a sense of belonging – something that, in South Africa, he has always experienced as being critical and riddled with conflict: How can one live in this country, which only shed its colonial heritage relatively recently, and which is plagued by racism and a growing chasm between rich and poor? Hugo shot photos at home, in townships and at historical sites, taking portraits of his pregnant wife, of domestic servants and of homeless people. The calm and clearly composed shots show beauty and ugliness, wealth and poverty, private and public, historical and topical. Without either idealising or dramatizing the subject matter, they paint a portrait of the complex society in South Africa today. This is because any notion of harmony in the “Rainbow Nation” is wishful thinking. Even twenty years after the end of apartheid, black and white South Africans are still very much divided. In the series of 94 platinum prints There Is A Place in Hell for Me and My Friends (2011-2012), Pieter Hugo explores the supposed differences between skin colours. To do so, he took portraits of himself and South African friends. The close-ups, generally in the form of frontal head and shoulder portraits, were digitally processed afterwards. The image manipulation, whereby the colour channels were translated into grey tones, emphasise the pigmentation of the skin, using UV irradiation to render visible skin damage and small blood vessels directly beneath the skin. The results are quite astounding: on these photographs, all people are coloured. There is no longer a difference between “white” and “black” skin, but rather a variety of individual shades. The portraits show the powerful presence of each individual and, at the same time, the fragility of all people and the softness and utter vulnerability of their outer shell. With his various photo series, Pieter Hugo has put together an impressive body of work in the space of just a few years. Through this intense perception of corporeality, he captures the complexity and inconsistency of society. Constants in his work include seriousness, neutrality and an underlying respect for his protagonists, whose dignity always remains intact. In this regard, his works are comparable with the monumental portrait works of August Sanders, who created a contemporary picture of the Weimar Republic with his large-scale cycle “Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts” (People of the 20th Century).Source: Priska Pasquer
Bruno Barbey
France
1941 | † 2020
Bruno Barbey is a Moroccan-born French photographer. Throughout his four-decade career he has traveled across five continents, photographing many wars. Barbey was born in Morocco and in 1959-1960 he studied photography and graphic arts at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. During the 1960s he was commissioned to photograph European and African countries by Editions Rencontre in Lausanne. In 1964 Barbey began a relationship with Magnum Photos, becoming an Associate member in 1966, and a full member in 1968, at which time he was photographing student riots in Paris. He eventually served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and from 1992-1995 as President of Magnum International. He spent 1979 to 1981 photographing Poland, resulting in his book Portrait of Poland. He rejects the label of 'war photographer', although he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Kuwait. From 2005 Barbey has, among other work, been pursuing a project on Istanbul. Source: Wikipedia Bruno Barbey was born on Feb. 13, 1941, in Berrechid, Morocco, just south of Casablanca, and grew up in various parts of the country: Rabat, Salé, Marrakesh and Tangiers. His father, Marc, was a diplomat; his mother was Marie Clement-Grandcourt. From a young age he knew he wanted to travel the world like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French writer and aviator. Bruno’s parents sent him to Paris for high school, where he was a “dunce and a thwarted lefthander,” he wrote in his retrospective photographic book, Passages (2015). He and his friends skipped classes to see movies by Italian neorealist filmmakers like Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. Mr. Barbey entered Ecole Des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1959 to study photography and graphic arts, but left after a year, because his courses had focused on advertising and industrial photography. He craved the freedom to pursue a single subject for an extended period as the Swiss documentary photographer Robert Frank did in his groundbreaking book The Americans, which was published in France in 1958. Following Frank’s example, Mr. Barbey drove through Italy in a used Volkswagen in the early 1960s, photographing its people in black-and-white in a neorealist style. “My goal,” he wrote in Passages, “was to capture the spirit of the place.” He caught dozens of moments in the life of a nation: a family racing along on a scooter, each person ebullient save for the pregnant mother; a group of girls whose joyful expressions contrast with that of a doleful beggar holding out his hand behind them; little boys playing with realistic-looking weapons; and a host of other characters like prostitutes, priests, old men and Mafiosi. The photographs - which would later be published as The Italians in 2002 - brought him to the attention of Magnum, where he worked for more than 50 years. In addition to the Paris demonstrations, he covered conflicts in the Middle East, Nigeria, Vietnam and Cambodia and recorded life in China, Brazil, India, Japan and Spain. He spent much of 1981 in Poland during the rise of the Solidarity trade union, capturing Poles in a period of turmoil and torment. He collected the pictures in Portrait of Poland (1982). “He brought genteel attention to the human experience — with a lot of kindness,” Gilles Peress, another Magnum photographer, said in a phone interview. Mr. Barbey, whose photographs have been widely exhibited, received the French National Order of Merit and was elected a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts, Institut de France, in 2016. He served as a Magnum executive at two different times. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Aurélie Barbey; a son, Igor; two sisters, Loïse Barbey-Caussé and Adelaïde Barbey-Guissinger; two brothers, Dominique and Guy; and four grandchildren. Although he left Morocco at age 12, Mr. Barbey kept returning there, lured by its rich colors, light and architecture. Many of his photographs were of quiet moments: a bride showing off her hands decorated with a henna design; a golden-hued interior with a distant figure in a black-and-white striped robe blending into the floor’s design; red hides drying in the sun; and a person in black walking down a lane bracketed by pink walls. “Its very difficult to photograph there,” Mr. Barbey was quoted as saying on Magnum’s website, “because in Islam photography is supposed to bring the evil eye.” He added: “You have to be cunning as a fox, well-organized and respect some customs. The photographer must learn to merge into walls. Photos must either be taken swiftly, with all the attendant risks, or only after long periods of infinite patience.”Source: New York Times
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