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Jodi Champagne
Jodi Champagne
Jodi Champagne

Jodi Champagne

Country: United States

Born in Phoenix Arizona, Jodi Champagne had a passion for drawing from a very young age. While other children drew flowers and smiley faces Jodi´s artistic interest was more in the eyes and character of a person. At the age of 15 Jodi became a mother, so her creative ventures were put on hold while she raised her family and devoted herself to the corporate world of engineering. As her family grew older she found herself becoming the designated photographer and videographer of all their family vacations and outings. One day she realized that she had replaced her pencil and paper with a Canon DSLR camera.

Jodi began working as a portrait, wedding, family and sports photographer and quickly discovered her true passion in documentary and street photography. Telling a story, bringing awareness and making a difference with her work is what she strives for. She has traveled to the corners of Myanmar to the corners of downtown Los Angeles to capture humanity with compassion and heart.

Jodi´s award winning work has been featured in group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Her photographs have been widely published in books, magazines, and used for editorial and commercial work. Along with a myriad of other honors, Jodi’s work has recently been shown in Sports Illustrated, Corbis Images, Getty Images and is available with National Geographic Creative. Jodi lives and works in Palmdale, California.

Interview by Tera Bella Media

TBMPN: What best describes your particular style of photography?
JC: I have sampled various genres of photography, but ultimately my style and passion is documentary work. I incorporate that style in my imagery when I do street or travel work. I am primarily a “candid” photographer.

TBMPN: What equipment do you regularly use?
JC: When I shoot documentary or the streets I use a Canon 50D for reach and a 5D Mk3 for close ups. I use various lenses, but for my main “go to” lenses I use a 24-70mm 2.8L and a 70-200mm 2.8L.

TBMPN: Who or what do you consider your major influences?
JC: I am an “emotional” photographer, and my goal is to evoke emotion in an image or a series of images. With that said, my major influences have been James Nachtwey and Dorothea Lange. Just one of James Nachtwey’s images is so passionately powerful and exudes more than words can. Dorothea Lange is yet another strong influence, as she took her street photography of the depression and poverty and made it her passion to create a difference.

TBMPN: Why did you choose photography as your method of expression?
JC: From a very young age I painted and drew. I did not like to limit myself and found that my camera gave me a larger canvas. It’s not easy to capture the decisive moment, but with my camera I can show the world what I see.

TBMPN: What do you wish to accomplish with your photography?
JC: Whether it is in my street, travel or documentary photography I wish to make a difference. I would like to show others certain issues of which they may be unaware. I wish to reveal cultures they might not have a chance to see and the hardship of others of which they may not be aware.

TBMPN: What are your current projects?
JC: I am currently working on the completion of my “Life Lines” and “Obsessions” series. I do have other projects such as “Waiting on a Friend” and “Silent Cries” which I feel I will always continue to work on as society changes. I also just published my first documentary book, “Courage Under Wraps”, which has taken two years to complete. It’s a photographic documentary of a young boy named Nicholas Zahorcak who has a rare, genetic disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa.

TBMPN: What are your plans for future projects?
JC: I will continue to work with the Epidermolysis Bullosa organizations on some future work in order to raise awareness. Though “Courage Under Wraps” is my first published documentary, it is not my last.

In the works is an amazing project called “Diminishing Generations.” This is a documentary of our Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It’s a powerful, emotional and very personal experience, as you will hear stories that have never been told. I will also be collaborating with Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design to help put the book into reality and to give a real voice to the subjects. The book(s) will be published early 2015. I’m also working with an amazing composer, Marco De Bonis, from Italy. We are collaborating on a few projects together. With his music you can feel the emotions which will enhance my work.

 

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Lisa Kristine
United States
1965
Acclaimed humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine specializes in images of remote indigenous peoples. Best known for her evocative and saturated use of color, her fine art prints are among the most sought after and collected in the world. Lisa has documented in over 100 countries on six continents, using a 19th century 4×5” field view camera for the majority of her work.Lisa Kristine was born in San Francisco, California, on September 2, 1965. She developed an early interest in anthropology and photography. Lisa was mentored in her youth in Silver Gelatin and Cibachrome printing. Following graduation from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, Lisa photographed for nearly five years in Europe and Asia. Lisa has collaborated with international humanitarian organizations. When the State of the World Forum convened in San Francisco in 1999 and in New York in 2000, Lisa was asked to present her work to help inspire discussions on human rights, social change, and global security. Her work was auctioned by Christie’s New York to benefit the United Nations with Kofi Annan. She was also honored to be the sole exhibitor at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Reverend Tutu and award winning Nobel Laureates.In 2010 Lisa collaborated with Free the Slaves documenting modern day slavery. She traveled into the heart of broiling brick kilns, down rickety mine shafts, and into hidden lairs of sex slavery. She bore witness to the most horrible abuses imaginable and the astonishing glimpses of the indomitable human spirit. A groundbreaking photographic book entitled Slavery in which Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote the foreword was released in the fall of 2010. The sales of the book will help to end slavery. John C. Sweeney, Director of the United Nations, says of her work, “Lisa Kristine’s sensitive and beautiful portrayal of isolated and distant peoples helps us to better appreciate the diversity of the world. She captures the sheer beauty of the differences in people and places and allows us to comprehend the shared nature of the human condition: its hope, its joy and its complexity.”Her work is made distinctive by her passion and intuition and her intense interest in the humanity of her subjects. “I want a person to feel at ease with me, so that they remain who they are and are unchanged by a new, foreign element such as a stranger (myself) or a camera. In order for me to photograph a person in this unaffected environment of ‘self,’ there must be a firm trust between us. Without this, one might still create a beautiful image, but not a stirring one. I’m drawn to people who have been living closer to the earth, and who have very old traditions. People who have not, in any way, been altered by modernity.” “The saturation of color opens our eyes to those who are living in ways very different from our own,” says Paul Oppenheimer, a highly regarded philosopher and teacher. “Lisa invites each of us as humans to look into the eyes of those whom we cannot understand—in a setting that does not diminish our differences. In those differences we find the roots of our unity.”The images, both inspiring and evocative, draw a connection between the viewer and the subject. Lisa Kristine’s art is her personal statement about the connection of humanity, and about the diversity, beauty, and hardship of our world. Published in 2003, Lisa’s limited edition hardcover monograph A Human Thread of 120 photographs sold out within a year. The accompanying short documentary film, A Human Thread, explores the process behind the photographs and includes interviews with Kristine as well as footage of her on location. Following on the success of her first book, Kristine published This Moment in 2007. This Moment won the bronze metal for the Independent Publisher Book Awards The book consists of 62 full color plates showcasing her use of the large-format 4x5 field view camera. A second documentary film, Through the Lens, was produced in association with the book. The film illuminates her photographic and artistic process in using a 4x5 large-format view camera.
Zaharia Cusnir
Moldova
1912 | † 1993
Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations. Life Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria. Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa. The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic. Discovery In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive. Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts. Further Development The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
Frank Horvat
Italy
1928 | † 2020
Frank Horvat is an internationally renowned fashion photographer, who has recently celebrated fifty years experience in the field. Throughout these years he has not only embraced fashion photography, but also been unafraid to experiment and adapt to new technologies, transcending the confines of photographic borders. His photography is diverse and considerably more complex than a cursory glance could reveal. He is perhaps best known for his spontaneity, trust and empathy, qualities that express themselves in his sophisticated photographs. Frank Horvat was born in Italy in 1928. He first started photographing at age fifteen with a 35 mm Retinamat camera, and moved to Milan to study art in 1947. By 1950 he was doing freelance work for Italian fashion magazines; Epoca published his first photographic essay in 1951. Horvat was one of the first artists to apply the 35mm film camera and reportage techniques to fashion art photography. He created a new and more realistic style that revolutionized the development of fashion-based photography in England, France, and the United States. He stylistically combined realism and artifice, movement, and inventive locations, which won him immediate success as a French fashion photographer. His photographs have appeared in leading European and American magazines including Life, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Jardin des Modes from 1951-61. Horvat initially worked for the American picture agency, Magnum, but since he “posed” his subjects he left for Realities and Black Star. He moved to Paris three years later and currently divides his time between the city and the south of France. Horvat’s work with French fashion photography has been exhibited around the world and can be found in the permanent collections of numerous prestigious museums including Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Kunst-bibliothek, Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman House, and numerous other collections. Source: Holden Luntz Gallery
Nicola Perscheid
Germany
1864 | † 1930
Nicola Perscheid (3 December 1864 - 12 May 1930) was a German photographer. He is primarily known for his artistic portrait photography. He developed the "Perscheid lens", a soft focus lens for large format portrait photography. Perscheid was born as Nikolaus Perscheid in Moselweiβ [de] near Koblenz, Germany, where he also went to school. At the age of 15, he began an apprenticeship as a photographer. Subsequently, Perscheid earned his living as an itinerant photographer; he worked, amongst other places, in Saarbrücken, Trier, and Colmar, but also in Nice, Vienna, or Budapest. In Klagenfurt in Austria he finally found a permanent position and on 1 March 1887, he became a member of the Photographic Society of Vienna (Wiener Photographische Gesellschaft). In 1889, he moved to Dresden, where he initially worked in the studio of Wilhelm Höffert (1832-1901), a well-known studio in Germany at that time, before opening his own studio in Görlitz on 6 June 1891. The next year he was appointed court photographer at the court of Albert, King of Saxony. In 1894, Perscheid moved to Leipzig. Perscheid had his first publication of an image of his in a renowned photography magazine in 1897, and subsequently participated in many exhibitions and also had contacts with artist Max Klinger. As an established and well-known photographer, he moved in 1905 to Berlin. There, he experimented with early techniques for colour photography, without much success, and when his assistant Arthur Benda [de] left him in 1907, Perscheid gave up these experiments altogether. His portraits, however, won him several important prizes, but apparently were not an economic success: he sold his studio on 24 June 1912. In October 1913, he held a course at the Swedish society of professional photographers, the Svenska Fotografernas Förbund, which must have been a success as it was praised even ten years later. In 1923, he followed a call by the Danish college for photography in Kopenhagen. Percheid had several students who would later become renowned photographers themselves. Arthur Benda studied with him from 1899 to 1902, and joined him again in 1906 as his assistant for experimenting with colour photography. Benda left Perscheid in 1907; together with Dora Kallmus he went to Vienna and worked in her studio Atelier d'Ora, which he eventually took over and that continued to exist under the name d'Ora-Benda until 1965. Kallmus herself also had studied from January to May 1907 at Perscheid's. Henry B. Goodwin, who later emigrated to Sweden and in 1913 organized Perscheid's course there, studied with Perscheid in 1903. In 1924 the Swedish photographer Curt Götlin (1900-1993) studied at Perscheid's studio. Perscheid also influenced the Japanese photographer Toragorō Ariga, who studied in Berlin from 1908 to 1914 and also followed Perscheid's courses. He returned in 1915 to Japan. The Perscheid lens was developed around 1920. It is a soft-focus lens with a wide depth of field, produced by Emil Busch AG after the specifications of Perscheid. The lens is designed especially for large format portrait photography. Ariga introduced the Perscheid lens in Japan, where it became very popular amongst Japanese portrait photographers of the 1920s. Even after the sale of his studio, Perscheid continued to work as a photographer and even rented other studio rooms in 1917. Besides artistic photography, he also always did "profane" studio portraits, for instance for the Postkartenvertrieb Willi Sanke in Berlin that between 1910 and 1918 published a series of about 600 to 700 numbered aviation postcards, including a large number of portraits of flying aces, a number of which were done by Perscheid. Towards the end of the 1920s, Perscheid had severe financial problems. In autumn 1929 he had to sub-rent his apartment to be able to pay his own rent. Shortly afterwards, he suffered a stroke, and was hospitalized in spring of 1930. While he was at the hospital, his belongings, including his cameras and photographic plates, but also all his furniture were auctioned off to pay his debts. Two weeks after the auction, on 12 May 1930, Perscheid died at the Charité hospital in Berlin. Source: Wikipedia
Désirée Dolron
Netherlands
1963
Désirée Dolron is a Dutch photographer and filmmaker. Her oeuvre ranges from documentary photography and still lifes to portraiture and film.Throughout her career, Dolron has been investigating themes such as the passing of time, the relation between finite and transcendent and the complexity and impermanence of the human condition. Dolron was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL). Her work is represented in numerous international public and private collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Collection H&F in Barcelona, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, la Collection Neuflize Vie in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Désirée Dolron lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: desireedolron.com The meticulous attention to production details characterizes her body of work, and elements such as sound (or its absence –silence) are often used as important tools of narration, helping the viewer to enter into the conceptual depth of Dolron’s works. Both moving and still images are composed by the artist and manage to recreate a reality that is a-temporal, undefined yet extremely present. Desirée Dolron (1963 Haarlem, NL) was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL), and her work is part of major international collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (US), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (SP), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (NL), and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK). Source: GRIMM Gallery
Peter Allert
Peter Allert co-founded Munich-based Allert&Hoess Photography in 1989, specializing in still life , technical and scientific photography. This brought him while his study of biology before, to start as self-taught photographer. After setting up its own studio in 1991 and establishing its own light, lab and print facilities, the company made its breakthrough in 1992 with a photo series for the portfolio „Joop! – women’s shoes“. Its subsequent client list is long and prestigious: Mercedes Benz, Audi, VW, BMW, Ford, Philip Morris, McDonalds, Ballantines, Wrigleys, Veltins, Wella, Miele, Bosch, Dresdner Bank, Deutsche Bahn AG, Siemens, LogiTech, MAN, Microsoft, GREENPEACE... to name a few. Today his photography actually is artistic. His works now are altogether advanced elaborations. He is working with multiple-exposures and different focus adjustments within a photograph. Additionally he highlights his subjects with spotlights (DEDO Lights) for every individual exposure in different adjustments and configurations.Source: www.peterallert.de Interview with Peter Allert All About Photo: Where did you study photography? Peter Allert: At the age of 7, I've been fascinated by photography. I got my first camera for his birthday and it went right now with this new adventure. During the whole period of schooling and youth I was obsessed with the possibilities of this medium... it was back then to my great passion. My love of nature and my subsequent study of biology, were another fertile ground for the expansion of my photographic works in new and fascinating areas. Later, I got access to advertising photography. I worked very successfully for 17 years in advertising, primarily for the automotive industry and in fashion. Ten years ago, then started my burnout, I was too other-directed and under constant pressure. Finally I lost my soul - I fell emotionally in a Coma, which never ended and I lost all my passion for photography! Only after many painful and difficult years, then a miracle, my miracle! In September 2013, I suddenly felt a new and ever expectant strength in me. She became stronger and stronger and I got my second chance! I quickly realized that I may never work externally determined with photography again - so I had a strong desire to completely new and original ways to go in photography. And so the desire as an artist within the photograph was made to work. AAP: Do you have a mentor? PA: I am self-educator and have teach me everything completely yourself. I have been doing all learned to make all analog laboratory processes such as color negative films and slide films to develop or color enlargements and edit. But also all black & white I have processes teach me ... Method as bromoil print have inspired to my digital workflow in today's time to orient myself to it. I grew up with analog photography and this has shaped me first of all. Thus, I am now very well be able to touch this analog in my image processing to achieve! AAP: How long have you been a photographer? PA: I have worked for over 20 years as a professional photographer. Before that, I financed my studies in Biology with smaller photo jobs. My first photos were nature photography, macro photography of animals and plants. After this the portrait photograph was added. AAP: What or who inspires you? PA: Edward Steichen & Robert Mapplethorpe! Both have always touched my soul in a special way!But in general I consider myself away from These kinds of inspiration! It would be too manipulative and determined by others, to allow more of it than I do this currently... AAP: How could you describe your style? PA: My style has only an analog touch, which often is derived from the early days of analog photography. I am fascinated by this authenticity that has shaped this wonderful photography. The soul of this unique works is always a great motivator for my own photography! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? PA: I'm using a Canon EOS mark II and a zoom ED 21-70 mm and a 100 mm lens for portraits. Lately I have been photographing with the camera of my Gallaxy S4 smartphones .. just for trying new. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? PA: My image processing is very complex and requires a lot of time, which I'm taking. Often I need this more than a week! It is a process, similar to an adventure through your own soul. I have to feel all this, sometimes in a painful way - they are pure emotions of myself, which I will in this work with integrate into my images. There is no motivation necessary because it is the pure passion, if the appropriate moment has arrived! It's all about that moment, that when my emotions are ready and my soul opens up entirely! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? PA: Edward Steichen & Robert Mapplethorpe! AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? PA: My main advice is: Stay always hear and feel your self-determined and soul in your work! Everything should come from your heart and your soul and feed into your work. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? PA: Photography is the dierekte wire to my soul - my pictures are the direct reflection of my soul .. this my pictures tell of my feelings and my emotions. Each photo tells its own to profound story. Each image is thus a profound adventure of a portion of my own soul! This means to me that photography today! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? PA: As a little boy I dreamed of good spirits and fairies - I was intrigued by this mystical world! And so this dream accompanied my life ... When I felt my soul again in September 2013, I knew very quickly with this message deal. I was aware that puts a special soul in some, few people! And this I felt ever again. So this new photography had to include this topic. "Ghosts & Fays" and "Souls"!
Ren Hang
Chinese
1987 | † 2017
Ren Hang (Chinese: 任航; March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer and poet. During Ren's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. His work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. For these erotic undertones, he was arrested by PRC authorities several times. He received the backing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who included Ren in his 2013 Netherlands show, Fuck Off 2 The Sequel, and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in Paris, France. Ren's erotic, playful and casual yet provocative expression gained him worldwide fame. Ren was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, Jilin province, in northeastern China. In 2007, in order to relieve the boredom of studying advertising at college, he bought a point-and-shoot camera and began shooting his friends. As a self-taught photographer, he said his style of photography was inspired by the artist Shūji Terayama. Ren suffered from depression. He posted a series of diary entries titled My depression on his blog, recording the fear, anxiety and internal conflicts he experienced. Ren died by suicide on February 24, 2017 in Beijing. Ren Hang first began taking pictures of his roommates and friends in 2007, shooting them in the nude as all were close and seeking excitement. In an interview, he also admitted: “I usually shoot my friends, because strangers make me nervous.” He arranged his subjects' naked limbs in his photographs. Ren did not consider his work inappropriate: “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context. I don’t intentionally push boundaries, I just do what I do.” This may account for his reticence to limit his work to indoor settings. He said there were no preferred places for him to work, as he believed anywhere was beautiful and worthy to be shot, including sparse studios, parks forests, and atop buildings. Ren's photos employ nude groups and solo portraits of men and women often contorted into highly performative positions. For example, hands reach down milky thighs, a limp penis flops onto a watermelon and a series of backsides imitate a mountain range. Questioning the purpose of his work, he once stated that his creation was a way to seek fun for both photographer and the photographed. However, once he had reached fame on an international level, he began to think deeply about his work. The British Journal of Photography quoted him as once saying: "I don't want others having the impression that Chinese people are robots... Or they do have sexual genitals but always keep them as some secret treasures. I want to say that our cocks and pussies are not embarrassing at all." Ren also focused on marginalised people in Chinese society with gender identity disorders by 'indeterminating' sex and gender in some of his work: a group of naked bodies stacked together, men wearing silk stockings and wearing lipstick. He denied having a preference in models: “Gender… only matters to me when I’m having sex.” The international quarterly photography journal Aperture used his photo as the cover for its Queer theme. Commentators also see his work, the naked body and the starched penis, as evolving sexual mores and the struggle for creative and sexual freedom in a conservative, tightly controlled society. But Ren Hang also announced "I don't try to get a message across, I don't give my works names, I don't date them. I don’t want to instill them with any vocabulary. I don't like to explain my photos or work as a whole". It has been mentioned that Ren's work is softcore pornography because of the degree of nudity and sex in it, but he also worked with other themes. The most famous was titled My Mum. Although still under a fetishistic atmosphere, posing with usual props in Ren's works like animals and plants, Ren's mother posed as a clothed model, in a light-hearted way to represent her daily life. Ren's photographs have been included in magazines L'Officiel, GQ Style, and Vice. He worked with fashion companies Gucci, Rick Owens, and Loewe. Ren's work is included in Frank Ocean's magazine Boys Don't Cry. Ren Hang is noted to be greatly influenced by Chinese and Asian contemporary art and in particular, Japanese photographer and contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki. Ren Hang mainly worked with a simple point-and-shoot camera. He would direct the models as to how to place their bodies and shoot in quick succession. Genitalia, breasts and anuses were not covered up, but featured, or accentuated with props and close-ups. Colors were rich and high in contrast, increasing visual impact. This, along with the fact all bodies were slim, lithe and relatively hairless, made the impact of his photographs more impressive. His work communicated a raw, stark aesthetic that countered taboos and celebrated sexuality and it was this contemporary form of poeticism in a visual context in which Ren Hang expressed themes of identity, the body, love, loss and death. Nudity is not a theme in art that can be widely accepted by the Chinese older generation. Ren Hang's works are sometimes misinterpreted by the public as pornography. Although some have written that Ren Hang used his photographs to challenge Chinese cultural norms of shame around nudity, he did not believe he was challenging the stereotype and leading a revolution. For him, nudity and sexuality are natural themes which he used in his work. "Nudes are there since always. We were born nude. So talking about revolution, I don't think there's anything to revolutionize. Unless people are born with clothes on, and I want to take their clothes off, then I think this is a revolution. If it was already like that, then it's not a revolution. I just photographed things on their more natural conditions." He said he was not trying to liberate nudity and sexuality since he believed that the Chinese young generation was open-minded and less affected by the old-fashioned cultures. When Ren Hang talked about the question whether the topic of sexuality was still a taboo in China, he said: "I don't think it's related to our times, these are individual cases. Like how to say it, I think it depends on different people, it doesn't really relate to other things. I was not in the whole parents told you that you can only have sex if you get married era. The time after I grow up was already over that period, it was already different like everyone was already more relaxed."Source: Wikipedia Flesh, corpses, souls and bland flashlights, all composite into seconds or milliseconds of lights and shadows, projecting onto the film that never knows how to lie. Focus gathering and the shutter releasing, connecting his unpretentious, rebellious, wild and free perspectives towards the naked human body. The images look so natural, yet fun and unexpected. One soul after another all blossom like a newborn baby, urging to crawl out of his mother’s womb, dying to be redefined. In this era that we live in, being censored by the Chinese government has almost become a stamp of approval for contemporary artists. Ren Hang, a young man with a mature look and tanned skin, hair as short as a Chinese soldiers’, always carrying an irresistibly cute and innocent smile on his cheeks. He is, perhaps, the sole artist and photographer with the most edgy outlook towards the naked human body. Ren Hang continues to stress the fact that he is “boring“. Especially when asked about those basic questions of his inspirational origins and meanings behind the photos, he always just smiles naively, shakes his shoulders and says, “I don’t really know. I never really thought about it.” Perhaps he is such a paver, heading towards the direction of happiness and creative freedom without realizing the pathways he has left behind. You might find him confusing and puzzling, but he has the ambience of such kindness that you would always trust that no evil can come out from him. He is merely a pure form of naked human beings. Source: ITSLIQUID
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Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based photographer who focuses on portrait and lifestyle photography for advertising and media publications, as well as large organisations. He has won numerous awards for his Vietnamese photography portrait series called cBikes of Hanoi', including the Smithsonian Grand Prize; the Lens Culture Portrait Award and the Portraits of Humanity Award in 2020. The images were also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and they won the gold Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) award in 2019. The set of portrait images were featured on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and went viral on websites across the world.
Exclusive Interview with Oliver Stegmann
Olivera Stegmann is a Swiss photographer and also the winner of AAP Magazine #16 Shadows with his project 'Circus Noir'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Francesco Gioia
Francesco Gioia is an Italian photographer who lives in England. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 15 Streets with his project 'Wake Up in London'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Paul Brouns
Paul Brouns is a Dutch photographer who found his voice by capturing architecture. The urban landscape is his ideal playground for apprehending rhythm, color and geometrical elements. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 14 "Colors" with his project 'Urban Tapestries'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Réhahn
Referred to as someone who "captures the souls of his models", (Wanderlust Travel Magazine, 2018) Réhahn is more than just a man behind a camera. Behind each click is a story. Whether the photograph shows a child with startling blue eyes, a woman pulling a needle through indigo fabric or a man walking alone down a brightly painted street, these are more than just images to Réhahn. They are the culmination of an experience. The stories of his subjects as well as his passion to learn more about their culture, diversity and changing traditions are what drives Réhahn's work.
Craig Varjabedian: Found Horizons
Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West illuminate his profound connection with the region and its people. His finely detailed images shine with an authenticity that reveals the ties between identity, place, and the act of perceiving. For Varjabedian, photography is a receptive process driven by openness to the revelation each subject offers, rather than by the desire to manipulate form or to catalog detail. He achieves this vision by capturing and suspending on film those decisive moments in which the elements and the spirit of a moment come together
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AAP Magazine #20: Travels
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