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Deb Achak
Deb Achak
Deb Achak

Deb Achak

Country: United States

Raised in New Hampshire, Deb Achak holds a master's degree in social work and is a self-trained photographer and filmmaker. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and sons in a grand old home that was once a bed and breakfast. Deb's fine art photography explores natural elements of water and grasses - earth elements with clean, simple compositions meant to calm and soothe. Her children are also a growing subject of her fine art work. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR; Sante Fe Photographic Workshops, Sante Fe, NM; the SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC: and Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, VT.

About She Told Us To Trust Our Intuition
My mother's last words to my siblings and I before she died were "trust your gut instincts". It's struck me over the years how profound and revolutionary that one simple phrase is. It has become my mantra - my north star. When we still our mind, free it of conscious thought, intuition can be heard and felt, and becomes the perfect guide. Some years ago, I started to notice that when I am in a deep flow with my art, it becomes a meditation and I am able to hear my inner voice with complete clarity. In this series I use water, color, movement and the human form to express the meditative quality I feel when I am in synch with the flow of creating. I seek to capture that single moment where my camera, my intuition, and the natural world are perfectly aligned, and to give gratitude to my mother for bestowing such a powerful parting gift.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Antonin Kratochvil
Czech Republic/United States
1947
Antonin is a founder of the VII photo agency. As photojournalists go, Antonin Kratochvil has sunk his teeth into his fair share of upheaval and human catastrophes whilst going about his documentation of the time in which he lives. As people go, Kratochvil's own refugee life has been much in the way the same as what he has rendered on film. Kratochvil's unique style of photography is the product of personal experience, intimate conditioning and not privileged voyeurism. Over the years his fluid and unconventional work has been sought by numerous publications stretching across widely differing interests. From shooting Mongolia's street children for the magazine published by the Museum of Natural History to a portrait session with David Bowie for Detour, from covering the war in Iraq for Fortune Magazine to shooting Deborah Harry for a national advertising campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union, Kratochvil's ability to see through and into his subjects and show immutable truth has made his pictures not facsimiles but uncensored visions. And yet, what set his kind apart from the many is his consistency and struggle to carry on. For Kratochvil this fact comes in the form of his numerous awards, grants and honorable mentions dating back to 1975. The latest of these are his two, first place prizes at the 2002 World Press Photo Awards in the categories of general news and nature and the environment. The next is the 2004 grant from Aperture publishing for Kratochvil's study on the fractious relationship between American civil liberties and the newly formed Homeland Security since the World Trade Center bombings.In addition, Kratochvil's fifth book Vanishing was presented in April 2005 and marks another significant milestone for the craft to which he belongs. Vanishing represents a collection of natural and human phenomena that on the verge of extinction. What makes this book so innovative is the twenty years it has taken to produce, making it not only historical from the onset, but a labor of love and a commitment to one man's conscience.
Frances Benjamin Johnston
United States
1864 | † 1952
Frances "Fannie" Benjamin Johnston (15 January 1864 – 16 May 1952) was an early American female photographer and photojournalist whose career lasted for almost half a century. She is most known for her portraits, images of southern architecture, and various photographic series featuring African Americans and Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century. The only surviving child of wealthy and well connected parents, she was born in Grafton, West Virginia, raised in Washington, D.C., and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and the Washington Students League following her graduation from Notre Dame of Maryland Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies in 1883 (now known as Notre Dame of Maryland University). An independent and strong-willed young woman, she wrote articles for periodicals before finding her creative outlet through photography after she was given her first camera by George Eastman, a close friend of the family, and inventor of the new, lighter, Eastman Kodak cameras. She received training in photography and dark-room techniques from Thomas Smillie, director of photography at the Smithsonian. She took portraits of friends, family and local figures before working as a freelance photographer and touring Europe in the 1890s, using her connection to Smillie to visit prominent photographers and gather items for the museum's collections. She gained further practical experience in her craft by working for the newly formed Eastman Kodak company in Washington, D.C., forwarding film for development and advising customers when cameras needed repairs. In 1894 she opened her own photographic studio in Washington, D.C., on V Street between 13th and 14th Streets, and at the time was the only woman photographer in the city. She took portraits of many famous contemporaries including Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington. Well connected among elite society, she was commissioned by magazines to do "celebrity" portraits, such as Alice Roosevelt's wedding portrait, and was dubbed the "Photographer to the American court." She photographed Admiral Dewey on the deck of the USS Olympia,[6] the Roosevelt children playing with their pet pony at the White House and the gardens of Edith Wharton's famous villa near Paris. Her mother, Frances Antoinette Johnston, had been a congressional journalist and dramatic critic for the Baltimore Sun and her daughter built on her familiarity with the Washington political scene by becoming official White House photographer for the Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, "TR" Roosevelt, and Taft presidential administrations. Johnston also photographed the famous American heiress and literary salon socialite Natalie Barney in Paris but perhaps her most famous work, shown here, is her self-portrait of the liberated "New Woman", petticoats showing and beer stein in hand. Johnston was a constant advocate for the role of women in the burgeoning art of photography. The Ladies' Home Journal published Johnston's article "What a Woman Can Do With a Camera" in 1897[9] and she co-curated (with Zaida Ben-Yusuf) an exhibition of photographs by twenty-eight women photographers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, which afterwards travelled to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Washington, DC. She traveled widely in her thirties, taking a wide range of documentary and artistic photographs of coal miners, iron workers, women in New England's mills and sailors being tattooed on board ship as well as her society commissions. While in England she photographed the stage actress Mary Anderson, who was a friend of her mother. In 1899, she gained further notability when she was commissioned by Hollis Burke Frissell to photograph the buildings and students of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Hampton, Virginia in order to show its success. This series, documenting the ordinary life of the school, remains as some of her most telling work. It was displayed at The Exhibit of American Negroes of the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. She photographed events such as world's fairs and peace-treaty signings and took the last portrait of President William McKinley, at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 just before his assassination. With her partner, Mattie Edwards Hewitt, a successful freelance home and garden photographer in her own right, she opened a studio in New York in 1913 and moved in with her mother and aunt. Hewitt wrote Johnston love letters over the course of their relationship, which are chronicled in "The Woman Behind the Lens: The Life and Work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1864–1952." Many of the early letters focused on Hewitt's admiration for Johnston's work, but as their romance progressed, they became increasingly full of words of love: "...when I need you or you need me — [we] must hold each other all the closer and with your hand in mine, holding it tight..." She lectured at New York University on business for women and they produced a series of studies of New York architecture through the 1920s. In early 1920 her mother died in New York. In the 1920s, she became increasingly interested in photographing architecture, motivated by a desire to document buildings and gardens which were falling into disrepair or about to be redeveloped and lost. As her focus in architecture grew, she became specifically interested in documenting the architecture of the American South. Johnston was interested in preserving the everyday history of the American South through her art; she accomplished this by photographing barns, inns, and other ordinary structures. She was not interested in photographing the grand homes and estates of the American South, but rather the quickly deteriorating structures in these communities that portrayed the life of common southerners. Her photographs remain an important resource for modern architects, historians and conservationists. She exhibited a series of 247 photographs of Fredericksburg, Virginia, from the decaying mansions of the rich to the shacks of the poor, in 1928. The exhibition was entitled Pictorial Survey--Old Fredericksburg, Virginia--Old Falmouth and Nearby Places and described as "A Series of Photographic Studies of the Architecture of the Region Dating by Tradition from Colonial Times to Circa 1830" as "An Historical Record and to Preserve Something of the Atmosphere of An Old Virginia Town." Publicity from the display prompted the University of Virginia to hire her to document its buildings and the state of North Carolina to record its architectural history. Louisiana hired Johnston to document its huge inventory of rapidly deteriorating plantations and she was given a grant in 1933 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to document Virginia's early architecture. This led to a series of grants and photographs of eight other southern states, all of which were given to the Library of Congress for public use. In December 1935, she began a year long project to capture the less evolved structures of the Colonial Era in Virginia. This was effort was intended to be a one year project, but evolved into an eight year extensive project, in which she surveyed 50,000 miles and 95 counties in Virginia. Johnston was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects for her work in preserving old and endangered buildings and her collections have been purchased by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Although her relentless traveling was curtailed by petrol rationing in the Second World War the tireless Johnston continued to photograph. Johnston acquired a home in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1940, retiring there in 1945, where she died in 1952 at the age of eighty-eight.Source: Wikipedia
Richard Dweck
United States
Photography has been Richard Dweck's vehicle for expressing what he sees and feels when he moves through the world. He has been through some extraordinarily difficult experiences in life but has been able to use them to see and feel the world more acutely. For him there is no greater pleasure than having someone who is looking at his photograph understand the feelings that he felt when he took that photograph. He also enjoys hearing them express very different feelings and show him things in his own photographs that he might never have seen or felt. The Old City of Jerusalem Last year, for the first time, I photographed at the Western Wall and other sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. The impetus for my travel to this area to photograph was the interplay between my Arabian and Jewish roots combined with my own deep self-reflection following a tragic family loss. When I found that so many people were dressed in black and white it only seemed natural that my photographs should be B&W as well. I shot my pictures from the same level as my subjects (or even from below when that was possible) giving me the sense that I could look into them more deeply and imagine their thoughts. The Gaze shows both the deep reflection of the elder along with the reverence of the child. The child's focus and that of my camera are on the elder. The backdrop is the historic 2000+-year old wall. My landscape and architectural photographs tend to the more abstract, while my portraits are more representational. Nonetheless, geometry and textures still play a big part in portraits. The main focus for me is the emotions that I can capture that can resonate deeply within me and very hopefully with the viewers of my work. I definitely look forward to returning for another emotional and introspective journey there one day.
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia is a world-wide acclaimed and exhibited fine-art photographer. She has had portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, that are held in permanent collection. She is a winner of the HSBC Fondation pour la Photographie award and a Hasselblad Master. Her images are on the front covers of 'A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography' (Thames and Hudson, 2012) and Eyemazing Magazine. She is widely sought after as a judge for adjudicating at prestigious international photographic competitions and as a speaker at international events. The foundation of her success as a fine-art photographer was 'Teenage Stories' (2005), an evocative narrative of the transition of a teenage girl to womanhood. It portrays the different stages and life situations experienced by an adolescent girl as she grapples with the vulnerability of her teenage predicament – adjustments to a new body, her emotional development and changes in her social standing. Her book ‘Teenage Stories’ was published in 2007. This success was followed by other projects illuminating further stages a teenager experiences to becoming a woman - In Between (2009) and Awkward (2011). Julia freely admits to many of her scenes being autobiographical. This was even more so the case with her next project, Mothers and Daughters (2012). Here she based the project on her own experiences in her relationship with her mother, and the effects of her parents’ divorce. Unrequited love – A Testament to Love (2013) – completes Julia’s involvement with the female psyche, illustrating poignantly the struggles experienced by a woman when love goes wrong. Again there is no happy end, the woman is left with the despair of loneliness, loss and resignation. More recently, Julia has shot a series of projects where she has engaged with social issues. Unadorned (2012) takes on the issue of the modern Western society’s over-emphasis on the perfect figure, both female and male. For this project she sourced overweight models and asked them to pose in the nude in front of her camera against a backdrop similar to that of an Old Master’s painting, when voluptuousness was more accepted than it is now. ‘Blind (2013)’ confronts the viewer with a series of sympathetic images and interviews with blind people, some blind from birth, others following illness or an accident. Sight being one of mankind’s essential senses and her career being absolutely dependent on it, Julia hoped to find answers to her own personal situation if she were ever to become blind. Her most recent project, In Service (2014), exposes some of the goings-on behind the walls of the homes of the wealthy during the Edwardian era in the UK (1901 – 1911). Millions of poorer members of society escaped poverty by becoming servants in these homes, where it was not only hard work, but they were often subjected to exploitation and abuse. Julia’s very distinctive style of fine-art photography is epitomized by her use of unusual locations, highly creative settings, street-cast models, and accented with cinematic lighting. She insinuates visual tensions into her images, and imbues them with a hint of mystery, that combine to tease the viewer to re-examine the picture continuously, each time seeing more content and finding a deeper meaning with every viewing. Major events in which she has recently participated include Fotografiska, Stockholm; Noorderlicht, International Festival of Photography, Kristiansund, Norway; Dong Gang Photo festival, Korea; Daegu Photo Biennale, Korea; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundacion Caja, Madrid; Pompidou Center, Paris; Shanghai International Photographic Art Exhibition; Hereford Photo Festival; The Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA Shanghai). Guest Speaker - National Geographic Seminar in Washington DC; Fotografiska, Stockholm, and Noorderlicht, Norway.
Clay Lipsky
United States
Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer & Emmy Award winning graphic designer based in Los Angeles. He has applied his unique visual style across a variety of mediums, from print and multimedia to TV and film. Despite his varied interests, photography has always been a part of Clay’s life. Recently, he has experienced a new-found interest with the medium and is now passionately focused on pursuing photography as fine art, free from clients and limitless in creative possibilities. Clay is self-taught and strives to create images that can stand the test of time. His photos have been exhibited in various group shows, including those at the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, Wall Space, Rayko and Impossible Project Spaces in NYC & Warsaw, Poland. Clay has been published internationally in print and online, most notably with Esquire Russia, Wired Italia, Fraction, Square, Lenscratch, Diffusion, i-ref, Daily News (UK), Yahoo! Lifestyle (Germany), La Republica (Italy), Libération (France), Shots & um[laut] Magazines. Clay Lipsky's project, In Dark Light, is intriguing on a number of levels. First, the work was created, for the most part, on a trip to Iceland and as we know, creating conceptual fine art images while in a foreign place, with no opportunity for previsualization, is not an easy task. But somehow, Clay instinctively found a narrative and way of working within a concentrated period of time. The other interesting aspect is what the work is about. Making imagery about depression, about loss and solitude has to have subtle nuances that are at once personal and universal, and Clay captured this subject with emotion and simplicity. Clay works as fine art photographer and graphic in Los Angeles. His photos have been exhibited in group shows across the country, including the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, PhotoPlace and Impossible Project NYC. He has been featured internationally in print and online in publications such as Fraction, Square, Diffusion, F-Stop, PH and Shots Magazines. Recently, he was a featured "Ten" through Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, and North Light Press will be publishing an edition of his Cuba photos through their 11+1 series. He is also an avid self-publisher with several titles that exhibit as part of the Indie Photobook Library. Source: www.lenscratch.com About the series In Dark Light This series of self portraits examines my loss of identity and enduring personal journey through depression. It is a solitary path that encompasses loss of home and parent, the pursuit of beauty, work and perseverance under no religious or visceral compass. Imagined as a vast, shadowed plane it is a private purgatory mired in fog with colors muted and senses numbed. The varied landscape acts as metaphor for life's many obstacles. Beyond the horizon lies hope for brighter days and so the lone soul carries on, albeit cast in dark light. Discover Clay Lipsky's Interview
Stefano Galli
Italy
1981
Stefano Galli is an Italian photographer born in 1981. After graduating at the University of Turin, with a BA in cinema, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he worked with director Lars Von Trier. During these years he attended Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art & Documentary Photography. Fascinated with traveling and the discovery of new environments, Galli is currently working on a new series that belong to a trilogy started with 'Cars' and followed by '80 Skies'. He recently terminated a non-narrative documentary-film, based on the stories of random people met along a journey through the USA. Galli exclusively works on a traditional analog way, both in his motion and still project. Currently based in Los Angeles. About '80 skies'Gazes at the sky. The beauty and power of pure light entering the camera. A project that recalls Claude Monet’s study of the influence of light on objects. Stefano Galli brings his own light studies to the extreme, focusing on the sky and its myriad variations. In “80 SKIES”, the protagonists of Galli’s frames are airplanes or - better said - the small shapes that fly over our heads daily. Because of their height in the sky and the sunlight by which they are surrounded, the shapes Galli captures become something entirely different than just giant devices that move hundreds of human beings. In many cases, the planes are insignificant elements when compared to the magnificence of the heavens. In fact, the eye of the viewer becomes lost in the contemplation of the colors, in the totality of the photographs; looking at these images, the impression of hearing the deafening noise or the usual imagery of the airplane is not perceived. Fascinated by movement and travel, Stefano Galli dedicates this project to the aircraft for the purpose of studying the sky. The result is a creative pictorial but also a tiring study that begins in the early hours of dawn and ends with the fall of the sun. Pushing 35mm negatives to the extreme through a 90mm lens, he lets the film be flooded by the infinite heavenly hue, the changing colors of the horizon sometimes grayish, or yellow and pink, the broad spectrum of colors that characterize the sky. The intensity of the light seems to struggle with the film speed, so the photographs are characterized by a thick grain that gives the picture a three-dimensional effect, as if it had been given a brushstroke.A photographic project that shows the endless variations of the light system in which we live. About 'Cars': Stefano Galli’s work documents his journey of crossing deserts, through forgotten villages, on remote and empty roads. In ‘Cars’ , geography is just as important as photography even if in his shots - distinctive sharp cuts - he leads away from the dusty streets and daily life. Galli conducts the imagination to an elsewhere where lines play with material and shape, where the tail lights and fenders are transformed into surreal and alien beings. Yet ‘Cars’ goes far beyond a mere figurative research, the work is conducted with rigor and awareness, typical of a geographer or an archivist. In fact, Stefano meticulously notates the physical location of the intersection shown in each photograph. Therefore, the project goes beyond the cult of the American car. Through this adventure, Galli tracks and defines - snap after snap - a cognitive path of the new continent. So there is an aspect that links these works to a deep investigation of American society and to aspects of decay and yet, mixed with a splendor that still dazzles. The essence of his idea lies not only in the aesthetics of the work, but also in his decision to show the layers of dust on the cars, the broken headlights and swollen wheels. In this series, a fascination with America remains. A fascination with all its vastness and complexity, which attracts and disturbs at the same time. Discover Stefano Galli's Interview
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