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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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Tina Modotti
Italy / United States
1896 | † 1942
With her camera, Tina Modotti presents a distinctive vision of 1920s Mexico. As a Hollywood actress turned Comintern agent, Modotti used photography as an artistic and political outlet. Born​ in Udine,Italy,​ ​Modotti emigrated to San Fransico at the age of sixteen. She quickly established herself as a successful actress and modeled for notable photographers including Jane Reece and Edward Weston. The latter became her lover and artistic mentor. In 1923, Weston and Modotti set up a successful portrait studio in Mexico City. While there, Modotti moved within avant-garde circles, befriending Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It was during this period in Mexico that she developed her passion for both photography and politics; this culminated in a solo exhibition at the National Library in 1929 which emphasized the revolutionary quality of her work. A year later Modotti was exiled from Mexico because of anti-communist sentiments and in 1931 she set aside a promising career in photography to devote herself entirely to political activism. She worked as a Comintern agent until her death in 1942. Although her life and photographic style are often linked with Edward Westo​n, her political engagement and the eye for composition she harnessed to express it are her own. Calla Lilies (1925) represents a cool appraisal of natural beauty and shows Modotti’s interest in formalism, something she shared with Weston, as she emphasizes the stark lighting, the near symmetry, and the tactile presence of the flowers. In Workers Parade (1926), however, while Modotti’s skill in formal composition is still evident, as the lighting and angle emphasize the repeated pattern of the hats, this dramatic view of a May Day parade in Mexico City reveals Modotti’s Communist sympathies and her ambition to use photography to promote political change.Source: Hundred Heroines Tina Modotti was an Italian American photographer, model, actor, and revolutionary political activist for the Comintern. She left Italy in 1913 and moved to the USA, where she worked as a model and subsequently as a photographer. In 1922 she moved to Mexico, where she became an active Communist. Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Friuli, Italy. Her mother, Assunta, was a seamstress; her father, Giuseppe, was a mason. In 1913, at the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States to join her father in San Francisco, California. Attracted to the performing arts supported by the Italian émigré community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Modotti experimented with acting. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist's model. In 1917, she met Roubaix "Robo" de l'Abrie Richey. Originally a farm boy from Oregon named Ruby Ritchie, the artist and poet assumed the more bohemian name Roubaix. In 1918, Modotti began a romantic relationship with him and moved with him to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. Although the couple cohabited and lived as a "married couple", they were not married. She was listed as a U.S. citizen in the 1920 Los Angeles township census. Often playing the femme fatale, Modotti's movie career culminated in the 1920 film The Tiger's Coat. She had minor parts in two other films. The couple entered into a bohemian circle of friends. One of these fellow bohemians was Ricardo Gómez Robelo. Another was the photographer, Edward Weston. As a young girl in Italy her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio. Later in the U.S., her father briefly ran a similar studio in San Francisco. While in Los Angeles, she met the photographer Edward Weston and his creative partner Margrethe Mather. It was through her relationship with Weston that Modotti developed as an important fine art photographer and documentarian. By 1921, Modotti was Weston's lover. Ricardo Gómez Robelo became the head of Mexico's Ministry of Education's Fine Arts Department, and persuaded Robo to come to Mexico with a promise of a job and a studio. Robo left for Mexico in December 1921. Perhaps unaware of his affair with Modotti, Robo took with him prints of Weston's, hoping to mount an exhibition of his and Weston's work in Mexico. While she was on her way to be with Robo, Modotti received word of his death from smallpox on February 9, 1922. Devastated, she arrived two days after his death. In March 1922, determined to see Robo's vision realized, she mounted a two-week exhibition of Robo's and Weston's work at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. She sustained a second loss with the death of her father, which forced her to return to San Francisco later in March 1922. In 1923, Modotti returned to Mexico City with Weston and his son Chandler, leaving behind Weston's wife Flora and their youngest three children. She agreed to run Weston's studio free of charge in return for his mentoring her in photography. Together they opened a portrait studio in Mexico City. Modotti and Weston quickly gravitated toward the capital's bohemian scene and used their connections to create an expanding portrait business. Together they found a community of cultural and political "avant-gardists", which included Frida Kahlo, Lupe Marín, Diego Rivera, and Jean Charlot. In general, Weston was moved by the landscape and folk art of Mexico to create abstract works, while Modotti was more captivated by the people of Mexico and blended this human interest with a modernist aesthetic. Modotti also became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Between 1924 and 1928, Modotti took hundreds of photographs of Rivera's murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City. Modotti's visual vocabulary matured during this period, such as her formal experiments with architectural interiors, blooming flowers, urban landscapes, and especially in her many beautiful images of peasants and workers during the depression. In 1926, Modotti and Weston were commissioned by Anita Brenner to travel around Mexico and take photographs for what would become her influential book Idols Behind Altars. The relative contributions of Modotti and Weston to the project has been debated. Weston's son Brett, who accompanied the two on the project, indicated that the photographs were taken by Edward Weston. In 1925, Modotti joined International Red Aid, a Communist organization. In November 1926, Weston left Mexico and returned to California. During this time Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with her: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali. Starting in 1927, a much more politically active Modotti (she joined the Mexican Communist Party that year) found her focus shifting and more of her work becoming politically motivated. Around that time her photographs began appearing in publications such as Mexican Folkways, Forma, and the more radically motivated El Machete, the German Communist Party's Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ), and New Masses. Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo divided Modotti's career as a photographer into two distinct categories: "Romantic" and "Revolutionary", with the former period including her time spent as Weston's darkroom assistant, office manager and, finally, creative partner. Her later works were the focus of her one-woman retrospective exhibition at the National Library in December 1929, which was advertised as "The First Revolutionary Photographic Exhibition In Mexico". As a result of the anti-communist campaign by the Mexican government, Modotti was exiled from Mexico in 1930. She first spent several months in Berlin, followed by several years in Moscow. Traveling on a restricted visa that mandated her final destination as Italy, Modotti initially stopped in Berlin and from there visited Switzerland. The Italian government made concerted efforts to extradite her as a subversive national, but with the assistance of International Red Aid activists, she evaded detention by the fascist police. She apparently intended to make her way into Italy to join the anti-fascist resistance there. In response to the deteriorating political situation in Germany and her own exhausted resources, however, she followed the advice of Vittorio Vidali and moved to Moscow in 1931. After 1931, Modotti no longer photographed. Reports of later photographs are unsubstantiated. During the next few years she engaged in various missions on behalf of the Workers International Relief organizations as a Comintern agent in Europe. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Vidali (then known as "Comandante Carlos") and Modotti (using the pseudonym "Maria") left Moscow for Spain, where they stayed and worked until 1939. She worked with Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune during the disastrous retreat from Málaga in 1937. In 1939, following the collapse of the Republican movement in Spain, Modotti left Spain with Vidali and returned to Mexico under a pseudonym. In 1942, at the age of 45, Modotti died from heart failure while on her way home in a taxi from a dinner at Hannes Meyer's home in Mexico City, under what are viewed by some as suspicious circumstances. After hearing about her death, Diego Rivera suggested that Vidali had orchestrated it. Modotti may have "known too much" about Vidali's activities in Spain, which included a rumoured 400 executions. An autopsy showed that she died of natural causes, namely congestive heart failure. Her grave is located within the vast Panteón de Dolores in Mexico City. Source: Wikipedia
Lara Wilde
Germany
1988
Lara Wilde dances in her projects between the themes of raw human emotions and the complexity of the outside world. As a photographer and psychologist she is interested in what moves us as humanity on an individual level. Besides an intensive involvement with her protagonists, she stands for technical perfection in the execution, which has earned her several awards. Since 2016 Wilde is working as a fine art photographer and creative director. Statement A few years ago I moved from a Norwegian village back to Berlin to study photography. What I didn't know back then is that you unlearn being a city person when you are gone long enough. I really thought I would die in the anonymous streets of the city I once loved so much. As you know, when we are determined to solve a problem, we go deeper into it. So I wanted to meet strangers and see how they feel outside of their awesome social herds. A lot of nights I now invited myself to other peoples houses, men and women, all strangers, drinking coffee and photographing them in the process. I shot them in longterm exposures, first, because I didn't want to bring a lot of equipment, but later I enjoyed the slow process, sitting there in darkness and waiting for the picture to come through. For some people, it was torture sitting around in the darkness, confronted with their thoughts without their smartphones, friends or busy surroundings. For me they looked like something was missing when they were just sitting by themselves. It felt really personal watching them trying to get comfortable in this inputless scene, to see them struggle, or to see them think and sometimes sharing the feelings that were coming forward. All these conversations with strangers, waiting around in the dark, gave me a feeling of togetherness, becoming a tiny particles of their lives and giving them something that they normally didn't have: Stillness. They were so open and thankful for conversations and most of the times we talked about the real shit: About being lonely, about dying, about calling our parents and our first love. All the stories found their way into the pictures and reminded me of everything we talked about. But I personally got my Berlin back. Not at the streets, but at the dark corners of their homes. Everything in their homes told their stories as loud as they did and I had the honor of being part of it for a short period of time. I get you now, Berlin-people: You are kind and giving, but you are afraid of being used. You are interested in others, but don't want to be tangled up in other peoples problems. You want to show yourself, but want to be accepted. And if you like it our not, the people around you want that too.
Marcel Giró
Spain
1913 | † 2011
Marcel Giró was born in Badalona (Spain) in 1913. Since his youth he was fond of mountain trekking and photography. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War he enlisted as a volunteer on the Republican side. In 1937, disappointed by the constant fighting between the different factions fighting against Franco, he decided to exile. He walked through the Pyrenees to France where he spent nearly two years doing all kinds of jobs. Finally in 1940 he was able to travel to Colombia with two Catalan companions, where they set up a small textile business. He married Palmira Puig, and they moved to Brazil, where they settled. In Brazil Giró resumed his hobby and ended devoted to professional photograpy. In 1953 he opened his own studio in Sao Paulo, Estúdio Giró. Marcel Giró became one of the leading photographers of the country, an active member of what became known as Escola Paulista. This movement, pioneer of modernist photography in Brazil was born around Foto Cine Club Bandeirante, in the 50s and 60s, with photographers like José Yalenti, Thomaz Farkas, Gertrudes Altschul, Eduardo Salvatore, Chico Albuquerque, Geraldo de Barros, Rubens Teixeira Scavone, Ademar Manarini, German Lorca and Gaspar Gasparian among others. He exhibited his works all over Brazil and around the world. His works are today in collections like the MASP (Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art), Itaú Cultural (Itaú Bank), the Metropolitan Museum and the MoMA, in New York, among others. Giró was also one of the pioneers of advertising photography in Brazil. In his studio worked young assistants that later become world-renowned as great photographers like Marcio Scavone and JR Duran. After the death of his wife in 1978, he left professional photography and artistic photography. He sold the studio and returned to Catalonia. During the 80's and 90's, he began to paint with a very close criteria to his Photography works of the 50s. He died in Mirasol (Barcelona) in 2011, at age 98. For exhibitions and sales in Europe contact Toni Ricart Giró: toniricart@marcelgiro.com For exhibitions and sales in rest of the world Isabel Amado: isabel@isabelamado.com.br
Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
United States
1954
My creative quest has always been about the 'journey' as opposed to the 'destination'. The first is experiential, alive, organic; that latter seems rushed. I grew up in places that I now see as exotic, but at the time I just thought it was terribly inconvenient and definitely too far from friends back 'home'. In 1971, at age 17, I left Iran, after three years, in tears and some relief. I immediately thought 'why didn't I take any pictures there?'. I fell in love with that country and its people, but I would not be going back (at least, not yet!). Holding onto what memories I had taken with me, I vowed this would not happen again. So I enrolled in the SFAI. Many years have unfolded since then, and I've been a filmmaker (when 'film' was film), a writer/director, an I.Q. tester, stock photographer, and a documentary and fine art photographer. My most seminal work to date, in terms of how it changed my worldly perceptions, came after spending some three years on and off working for a documentary project in the Kibera slum of Kenya. "Kibera: A Slice of Heaven" earned numerous international awards and press, but my favorite was a local 'Artist of the Year' in Longmont, Colorado. The Firehouse Art Center curator, Jessica Kooiman Parker, called it an 'act of bravery'. Reflecting on that, I realized that bravery is a way to change the world AND the photographer, one heart at a time. The power of photography is truly unlimited. Amidst a crazy world (and always being on the move), I developed a love of landscape photography. Most people acknowledge that nature can be a place of solace and inspiration. While it is definitely the same for me, I've been creating 'scenes' from nature. I often photograph the same landscape over and over, taking my favorite parts of the series and compositing them into a singular landscape that mimics my relationship to it. It's fantasy, whimsy, and hope. In my darker landscapes, there's a moody melancholia…but I never lose sight of the hope. Exclusive Interview with Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Alex Majoli
Italy
1971
Alex Majoli (b. 1971, Italy) is a photographer whose work has focused on the human condition and the theater within our daily lives. He has received many awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015, the W. Eugene Smith Grant(2017), the Getty Images Grant For Editorial Photography 2009, and the Infinity Award for Photojournalism in 2003. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2001 and is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery NY.Source: LensCulture At the age of 15, Alex Majoli joined the F45 Studio in Ravenna, working alongside Daniele Casadio. While studying at the Art Institute in Ravenna, he joined Grazia Neri Agency and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the conflict. He returned many times over the next few years, covering all major events in Kosovo and Albania. Majoli graduated from art school in 1991. Three years later, he made an intimate portrayal of the closing of an asylum for the insane on the island of Leros, Greece, a project that became the subject of his first book, Leros. In 1995 Majoli went to South America for several months, photographing a variety of subjects for his ongoing personal project, Requiem in Samba. He started the project Hotel Marinum in 1998, on life in harbor cities around the world, the final goal of which was to perform a theatrical multimedia show. That same year he began making a series of short films and documentaries. After becoming a full member of Magnum Photos in 2001, Majoli covered the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later the invasion of Iraq. He continues to document various conflicts worldwide for Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Granta and National Geographic. Majoli, in collaboration with Thomas Dworzak, Paolo Pellegrin and Ilkka Uimonen, had an extremely successful exhibition and installation Off Broadway in New York in 2004, which traveled to France and Germany. He then became involved in a project for the French Ministry of Culture entitled BPS, or Bio-Position System, about the social transformation of the city of Marseilles. A recently completed project, Libera me, is a reflection on the human condition. In 2013 Majoli, in collaboration with Pellegrin, completed a massive photographic project in the Congo, which resulted in a his largest book project to date being published with Aperture, in 2015.Source: Magnum Photos At the age of fifteen, Alex Majoli joined the F45 photo agency in Ravenna, Italy, and he graduated from the city’s art Institute in 1991. While in art school, Majoli became a member of Grazia Neri Agency and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the ongoing political conflict. In 1995, Majoli published his first book documenting the patients in a mental hospital that was formerly used as a military hospital in Leros, Greece. That same year he traveled to Brazil where he started the project Tudo Bom. In this, he visualizes the darker side of a complex society where daily life is often shaped by hardship and violence. Majoli has been working on this project for twenty years. The series Hotel Marinum that Majoli started in 1998 documents life in harbor cities around the world and was inspired by his life growing up in the port of Ravenna. Majoli has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2001 and has worked on assignments for a variety of publications, including The New York TIME Magazine, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and National Geographic. Majoli has been inspired by the theories of the Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello, who believed there is a thin line between theater and real-life and that people take on a role in their daily lives. Over the years, the photographer has examined this philosophy more fully. Majoli does not aspire to document reality. Rather, in his more personal projects, he explores this idea of people as actors in their own lives. In his most recent work, he uses powerful strobe lights to make his subjects aware of the roles they play in the scene that he records. The result is cinematic; the dark surroundings of a scene highlight powerful human emotions.Source: International Center of Photography
Byung-Hun Min
South Korea
1955
Byung-hun Min was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1955. Min started out as a musician and vocalist, then a student of electronic engineering, before finally discovering photography. He turned to study photography in his late 20’s at the Soon-tae Hong studio, from where he has pursued a successful career in photography. He has been awarded the Dong-A International Photography Salon’s silver medal (1984). Min's work has been widely exhibited and collected by institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Brookings Institution, Washington, DC; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Seoul Art Center; and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwachon, Korea. Min's work was included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography exhibition Alienation and Assimilation: Contemporary Images and Installations from The Republic of Korea, presented April 4 through May 30, 1998. Byung-hun Min takes inspiration from the Korean landscape and culture; his photographs embody a blend of beauty, intricacy, and metaphor. Min's photographs of grasses were taken on repeated visits to the same site where weeds have grown up against vinyl greenhouses and dried to their surfaces. In these austere works, Min captures patterns that masterfully rephrase a delicacy and sensitivity to nature inherited from traditional Korean art.Source: Miyako Yoshinaga Min’s black-and-white photography often represents nature and the environment; and his pictures aim to capture the essence of the Korean landscape. His photographs also draw references to traditional Korean and East Asian art and culture, with a resemblance to ink scroll paintings, floral themes, and a focus on simplicity and minimalist compositions. His pictures are often attributed to being able to capture the delicacy and silence of nature. Min’s photographs also require effort on the part of the viewer. The subject of his pictures may be obscured, like the canvas of a greenhouse in his Weeds series, or obscured by light, like in the Snowland series. The subject may be in the distance beyond a fog-like veil, forcing the viewer to focus his attention persistently in order to have the subject of the picture revealed, as in the Trees and Flowers series. Min's poised and gentle approach to photography has granted him with a distinct, naturalistic style. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery
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