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Michael Young
Michael Young
Michael Young

Michael Young

Country: United States

Michael Young is a New York-based photographer. His work has been shown internationally in Switzerland and Australia as well as nationally in New York City, Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon and Massachusetts. His work will be on display this coming spring at Fotofestival Lenzburg's "Search for Beauty" open-air show. He was a finalist in Shoot the Frame's Shoot the Face competition this past January and won 2nd place in color photography from the Plymouth Center for the Arts in Massachusetts. His work will be published later this year in the first annual Feature Shoot's The Print Swap book. Additionally, his work has previously been published in Spunk [arts] Magazine, Taking Pictures (Black Box Gallery), and The Literate Image (Plymouth Center for the Arts). Michael has a MA in Teaching from New York University and a BA in Spanish Language & Literatures from Yale University.

Artist Statement

Starla, Photographer in Her Studio is part of of the series Ashes to Ashes/Dust to Dust that I began eight years ago when I first visited my partner's family, the Groves, in western Kentucky. Since I grew up in the northeast, my upbringing was different from my partner's, and initially I thought that I had little in common with his family. As an outsider I received a lukewarm welcome by many, but I remained intrigued by his family. It was my camera that afforded me an invitation into their lives and helped me build meaningful relationships with his relatives. As the project has continued, not only have I become closer to my partner's family, but I have also been fortunate to document a part of the US that has been ignored by many and deemed "flyover country."

The Groves, who have lived in Muhlenberg County for generations, are a microcosm for Muhlenburg county. Most are hardworking coal miners, farmers, nurses, and entrepreneurs looking to better their lives. Sadly, however, some have lost parents to addiction and others have passed due to overdoses. Like many rural towns in the Bible Belt, industry continues to leave the area. While well-paying jobs in the coal industry disappear, miners must travel about an hour to find lucrative work. When Trump announced promises to rollback legislation restricting coal emissions, many in the community grew excited for a return to the prosperous past that has for many years been slipping away. These images show the dichotomy between the current stark realities and flickers of hope and beauty as the county works to rebuild and redefine itself.
 

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Vanessa Winship
United Kingdom
1960
Born in the United Kingdom. Vanessa Winship lives in London. After studying cinema and photography at Westminster University (Polytechnic of Central London), Vanessa shares her time between photography and teaching. She then fully devotes herself to photography and lives for about 10 years in the Balkans and Turkey. She joins Agence VU in 2005,and the Gallery VU in 2009. Laureate of numerous prizes, including the World Press Photo (Amsterdam) twice, the National Portrait Gallery Prize (London), PhotoEspana Descubrimientos (Madrid). Exhibited her works in numerous museums and festivals such as the Rencontres d'Arles, the Kunstall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam or the Horst Gallery and Photographers Gallery in London. Prize-winner of the HCB Award 2011 for her project "Out there: an American Odyssey." Source: Agence VU Winship grew up in Barton-upon-Humber, rural Lincolnshire. She studied at Baysgarth School; Hull Art College (which included a photography module); photography at Filton Technical College, Bristol; and photography, film, and video at the Polytechnic of Central London from 1984 to 1987, graduating with a BA (Hons). She met her husband, the photographer George Georgiou, on the degree course. From 1999 she spent a decade living and working in the Balkans and surrounding territories of Turkey and the Black Sea. First she lived in Belgrade, for a short while in Athens, and five years in Istanbul. Her work is about the concepts of borders, land, desire, identity, belonging, memory and history, how those histories are told and how identities are expressed. Her books have been widely acclaimed. Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian, said "She is perhaps best known for Sweet Nothings, one of my favourite photography books of recent years". She Dances on Jackson was considered by Simon Bainbridge (editor of the BJP), Sean O'Hagan, Rob Hornstra and other reviewers to be shortlisted amongst the best photography books released in 2013. Phil Coomes, Picture editor at BBC News said "This is pure photography, and in my view, when viewed as a whole, is about as good as it gets." Winship and George Georgiou travel together, alternating between one working and the other either supporting them or experimenting with their own photography. She uses black-and-white photographic film in natural light. For her work in a reportage – or street – style she has used a 35 mm hand-held camera, for her landscape work she has at times used a medium format camera and for her portraiture work she has at times used a 5×4 inch large format camera. She says of the difference between using 35 mm and large format that "Each methodology makes for a different relationship with my subjects [and] both have their own beauty for me." Source: Wikipedia
Ed Sievers
United States
1932 | † 2002
Ed Sievers was born in 1932 in St. Louis, MO, the son of a family doctor that made house calls and an aspiring opera singer. He attended Grinnell College, graduating with a degree in Speech in 1954. His first job was as a creative writer for Hallmark Cards. The slogans he penned were notable for the wry wit and wisdom with which he commented on the human condition. At the same time, his interest in the arts was expanding from the literary to the visual, and would ultimately lead him in a new direction. In 1966 he was accepted into the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design to study photography with Harry Callahan. Upon graduation in 1968 he joined the faculty of California State University, Northridge, as a specialist in fine art photography. He took up residence in the Carlton Hotel in Venice Beach and soon realized he had walked into a street photographer's dream. Originally designed as a resort community modeled after its Italian namesake, Venice had fallen on hard times. Buildings were in disrepair and rents were cheap. Influenced by the Bohemian lifestyle of its poets, artists, students and a struggling lower class, the boardwalk suddenly sprang to life. There were musicians, dancers, jugglers, mimes, magicians, comedians, roller skaters, fortune tellers, gritty street people and colorful hippies. And, of course, there was the sprawling nude beach. Throngs of gapers flocked from throughout Southern California to enjoy the expressive spirit of the moment. But that was only on weekends. A quieter, more sensitive mood prevailed during the week. The gentle gestures of holocaust survivors at the Israel Levin Center. The recovering alcoholics quietly heading home after Al-Anon meetings. The homeless searching for food and drink. The once cheerful cottages longing for attention. The iconic murals. The myopic murals. The motions of a people not sure of what lay ahead. Within a decade the Venice that Ed knew had been swallowed up by rampant commercialism and the inexorable influx of the nouveau riche. Upon his death in 2002, the Edwin R. Sievers Memorial Award was established to share his vision with future students; "His approach to photography was straight forward: use the nuances of available light to enhance the subject, whatever that may be: ordinary, quirky, or sublime." Source: Robert Mann Gallery
Szymon Brodziak
What you see, is who you are - says Szymon Brodziak, the master of black and white photography. The youngest aritist exhibited at the Museum of Photography - Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin (2015). The best black & white campaign photographer of the world, acclaimed by the jury of FashionTV Photographers Awards, during 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In 2019, Brodziak confrmed his mastery by winning 1st Place in World's Top 10 Black & White Photographers contest curated by OneEyeland. He loves to photograph women. He's inspired mainly by locations, where he brings to life his monochromatic visions. Brodziak received Johnnie Walker Keep Walking Award for constant fulflment of dreams and passion for setting new paths in the search of beauty. In Europe, Brodziak received numerous medals and honourable mentions in various editions of the renowed Prix de la Photographie Paris, both for commercial and personal projects, including the title of Advertising Photographer of the Year (2016). In the USA, he won frst place in Fashion category in two photo competitions: International Photography Awards (2016) and Black and White Spider Awards (2016), which rewards the best monochromatic images from all over the word. His frst photo album ONE had its ofcial premiere in Rome (2014). It presents the frst 10 years of his professional activity. The publication starts with a personal dedication from June Newton, wife to the legendary photographer Helmut Newton. Szymon's new photographic book entitled WHAT YOU SEE IS WHO YOU ARE won a Gold Medal (Book: Cover) and 2 Bronze Medals (Book: Fine Art & Other) at Prix de la Photographie Paris 2019 and also Honorable Mention at 2019 International Photography Awards (USA). The artist's work can be seen and ordered in his own galleries of photography located in Poland and are also available worldwide at Online Shop www.szymonbrodziak.com as well as www.saatchiart.com/brodziak.
Hendrik Kerstens
Netherlands
1956
Since 1995, Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula. His photographs have been collected by museums around the world and have inspired taste-makers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen. (McQueen, in fact based his Fall 2009 collection on Kerstens' image of Paula with a plastic bag as a head-dress, using the image as his invitation for the show.) Initially Kerstens' photographs were created out of the artist's desire to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade of childhood. The pictures recorded everyday events – his daughter's sunburn, the child's bath. However, one day there was a moment of revelation when Kerstens not only saw her in relation to the events of her own life, but also projected on her his interest in the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century.
 As Kerstens recalls, "One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this." A number of the portraits of Paula are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photograph, its clarity, the serene expression on the young girl's face, and not least, the characteristic "Dutch" light, all combine to create this impression.
 However, Kerstens was not just imitating painting. As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. The titles give the game away. "Napkin" looks like a maid's bonnet. In "Bag", a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood. In other pictures no pretense is made to imitate 17th century clothing but Paula's face and Kerstens' light turn a thoroughly modern hoodie into a classic and timeless garment. Conceptually, Kerstens' photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, with seriality, and time. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.Source: Danziger Gallery Hendrik Kerstens' (1956) oeuvre consists of a consequent sequence of portraits from his muse, his daughter, each time with a different angle, meaning or purpose. In the hemisphere of the radically realist paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Kerstens explores the photograph as a surface, a platform to study contemporary ordinary objects and its meaning in historical tradition. With his typical selection for down-to-earth forms of headwear, from a napkin, a wet towel, spheres of lace to folded aluminium foil, he recalls how daily life has always been an integral subject of art, whether in the 17th or in 21st century. With his clear ambition to illustrate the dialogue between history and contemporary life, rich and sober, functional and valuable, Kerstens also accomplishes to renew and contemporize history while boosting the position and function of day-to-day objects. In connecting todays photography techniques with the camera obscura techniques in earlier times, Kerstens raises awareness for the use and development of the photographic process. It is not accidental that he is a state-of-the-art perfectionist, taking nothing for granted and giving a lot of attention to the work process. The printing proces itself, the hardly visible transition of the many dark tones, the interplay of light and shadow, Kerstens dedicates himself completely in refining the image, where details and the way of looking play a key role. Kerstens, who worked many times with Kathy Ryan from The New York Times Magazine, was awarded the PANL award (2001) in the Netherlands; the Taylor Wesing Photographic Portrait Prize (2008) at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the silver LeadAward Medaillon, Porträtfotografie des Jahres (2010) in Germany and the 11th Lucie Award (2013). Kerstens work and ideas were included in Alexander McQueen's spectacular show The Horn of Plenty: Everyting but the Kitchen Sink, a retrospective on 15 shocking years in fashion.Source: Flatland Gallery Galleries:   Danziger Gallery   Jenkins Johnson Gallery   Dean Project   Flatland Gallery
Alicia Moneva
The common thread in all my work is the footprint of the human, with humanized objects and spaces made by man, architectural painting and photography, trying to explain social and psychological concepts through the figure.Coming from the world of painting my type of photography is built. Based on a generic idea, will be taking individual photos that will form part of the final work. Each shot in digital format, will later join with the help of photoshop. This tool is almost exclusively used for the matrix composition. All these pictures are real, the waters of colors are stained for each session, lights, ropes, etc. are used maybe that way I put me more in the concept that I want to express.My work models are people I know, in my environment, there is a complicity and prior understanding, they bring to the session his way of expressing the idea, much enriched the work. Also, say the interest that raised me shadows, which is evidenced in my way of photographing. Penumbra, in my opinion, they dimension the vacuum of space, they materialize it, make it real. My work is the antithesis of the photography, which I would call operating room, without just shadows.Overhead view of my work, is strongly influenced by the years that I was in contact with the architects. At the end of my studies of biological sciences I worked continuously with them. My task there was the explanation of the urban projects through roof planes. With a pictorial abstraction were given a human scale. I was very lucky, I found interesting people that opened a world of possibilities, which taught me to see after looking at. At the same time, painting was transformed into something serious in my life, I started to exhibit and to devote myself more professionally to art.Photography was in principle a work tool, a tool more for my collection of data, it helped me to paint everything you had no way of doing so natural. Little by little I found comfortable with the photographic image and the human figure to express the ideas that were emerging. I went through a very unproductive at work time, since I opposed the painting to photography, when they were actually for me very complementary. At this time that seemed to lost went back to College, first studying psychology and later philosophy. None of the two races ended them, as it was not so important to have an academic degree, but if you continue learning, similar of being alive. My exhibitions were photography, although in principle and respect for the world of photography, I thought that I was an intruder, had the desire and the security to do so, also the need.Self-portrait I submit for publication to reflect a state of confusion we all, from time to time we have suffered, when a mesh does not let you see clearly the reality. As if it were a necessary self-deception on occasions.Alicia Moneva Madrid, October 2013All about Alicia Moneva:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?It was progressive. I needed to work with the human figure and I felt more comfortable with photography.AAP: Where did you study photography?I didn't study painting or photography. My teachers were architects who knew the method and had perception.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?I have been taking photographs for 20 years but, professionally, just 10.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?They were objects that I wanted to paint in my Studio and I couldn't move them from the place they were. And also black and white portraits, many portraits.AAP: What or who inspires you?I am inspired by philosophy, anthropology, biology... and now also particle physics. Science and arts basically.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?My favorite series are the last I have been working on: "the disease in our culture", which is about chronically ill people, the unknown heroes of our time. It is a tribute to them, their carers and families. AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?When I started I used an old Pentax, with black and white rolls for portraits and color rolls for objects I painted later. Now I work with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 7D. The lenses are also Canon.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?My pictures are made of many individual photographs. I use photo editing programs to assemble and compose the final image. For me it is important to convey the idea I have in mind and I edit the photos until I think the concept is understood.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I really like Spanish creativity. My favorite are perhaps Chema Madoz for his pulchritudinous images which I would summarize in "less is more". And Cristina García Rodero because she transmits me all the strength of human feelings.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?To be passionate about what he is doing, to follow his instincts. And, especially, to be honest with what he thinks, beacuse that will be his way of looking at what the others see.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Wanting to be very original? Or thinking you already know everything?AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?I would mention a fragment of one of José Hierro's poems that summarizes well how sometimes a moment can be turned into something timeless. "...But there are things that do not die and others who never lived. And there are some that fill the universe, And it is not possible to get rid of its memory". (José Hierro / "Alegría" 1947).AAP: What are your projects?I have been working lately on a new project with another Spanish photographer, Judith Sansó. It is shared project with a performance which combines photography and video art. The first of these series is called "the distance between her and yesterday is a photo" and talks about memories and how they shape our personality. These are some of the links to the performance and the making of the video work.YouTube video (In Spanish)YouTube videoYouTube videoAAP: Your best memory as a photographer?None in particular. I like when I start a new project.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?I can't remember. A well-known neurologist (Á. Pascual Leone) once said that it's more important to forget than to remember, especially bad memoriesAAP:If you were someone else who would it be?I would have liked to be a good silent film director like Fritz Lang, Renoir or Murnau.
Myriam Boulos
Lebanon
1992
I was born in 1992 in Lebanon, right after the end of the war, in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself. At the age of 16 I started to get closer to Beirut and used my camera to question the city, its people, and my place among them. I graduated with a master degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in 2015. Today I use photography to explore, defy and resist society. It is my way of constantly reinventing myself in the body and the city I live in. Statement The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019. Since then everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening. It all feels as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship and to finally say: No, this is not normal. When the revolution started in Lebanon, it was the most natural thing for me to take my camera and go to the streets. Photography has always been my way of participating to life as it is today my way of taking part in the revolution. In the ongoing socio-political context it felt to me like there was no choice: the subject of my photography imposed itself on me. It was more a question of need and necessity than a question of desire. The slow documentary that normally constitutes my approach was ever so naturally replaced by something else something new, and within the revolution I let myself carry by the big wave coming towards me, big wave much bigger than me. My project is about documenting the different facettes of the Lebanese revolution from a local point of view. My approach is characterized by the direct flash I use in this project but also in others. This potentially comes from my need to make things real. The direct flash also helps me work on textures, bodies and skins. In the context of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies says a lot about the situation. It is the first time that we claim our public spaces, our streets, our country. It is the first time that different social classes mix together in the streets. In our streets. In parallel to the photographic documentation, I am also documenting the evolution of my emotions during the revolution. It is sort of a diary that accompanies the pictures. Example: Monday, 20 Jan Beirut, Lebanon Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed. They say the moment of a picture is a black out. I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?
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