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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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Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
Russia
1863 | † 1944
Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky (Russian, August 30, 1863 Russian Empire – September 27, 1944) was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia.Prokudin-Gorsky was born in the ancestral estate of Funikova Gora, in what is now Kirzhachsky District, Vladimir Oblast. His parents were of the Russian nobility, and the family had a long military history. They moved to Saint Petersburg, where Prokudin-Gorsky enrolled in Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology to study chemistry under Dmitri Mendeleev. He also studied music and painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1890, Prokudin-Gorsky married Anna Aleksandrovna Lavrova, and later the couple had two sons, Mikhail and Dmitri, and a daughter, Ekaterina. Anna was the daughter of the Russian industrialist Aleksandr Stepanovich Lavrov, an active member in the Imperial Russian Technical Society (IRTS). Prokudin-Gorsky subsequently became the director of the executive board of Lavrov's metal works near Saint Petersburg and remained so until the October Revolution. He also joined Russia's oldest photographic society, the photography section of the IRTS, presenting papers and lecturing on the science of photography. In 1901, he established a photography studio and laboratory in Saint Petersburg. In 1902, he traveled to Berlin and spent six weeks studying color sensitization and three-color photography with photochemistry professor Adolf Miethe, the most advanced practitioner in Germany at that time. Throughout the years, Prokudin-Gorsky's photographic work, publications and slide shows to other scientists and photographers in Russia, Germany and France earned him praise, and in 1906 he was elected the president of the IRTS photography section and editor of Russia's main photography journal, the Fotograf-Liubitel. Lithograph print of Leo Tolstoy in front of Prokudin-Gorsky's camera in Yasnaya Polyana, 1908. Perhaps Prokudin-Gorsky's best-known work during his lifetime was his color portrait of Leo Tolstoy,[6] which was reproduced in various publications, on postcards, and as larger prints for framing. The fame from this photo and his earlier photos of Russia's nature and monuments earned him invitations to show his work to the Russian Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich and Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1908, and to Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1909. The Tsar enjoyed the demonstration, and, with his blessing, Prokudin-Gorsky got the permission and funding to document Russia in color.[8] In the course of ten years, he was to make a collection of 10,000 photos. Prokudin-Gorsky considered the project his life's work and continued his photographic journeys through Russia until after the October Revolution. He was appointed to a new professorship under the new regime, but he left the country in August 1918. He still pursued scientific work in color photography, published papers in English photography journals and, together with his colleague S. O. Maksimovich, obtained patents in Germany, England, France and Italy.In 1920, Prokudin-Gorsky remarried and had a daughter with his assistant Maria Fedorovna née Schedrimo. The family finally settled in Paris in 1922, reuniting with his first wife and children. Prokudin-Gorsky set up a photo studio there together with his three adult children, naming it after his fourth child, Elka. In the 1930s, the elderly Prokudin-Gorsky continued with lectures showing his photographs of Russia to young Russians in France, but stopped commercial work and left the studio to his children, who named it Gorsky Frères. He died at Paris on September 27, 1944, and is buried in the Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery.Documentary of the Russian EmpireAround 1905, Prokudin-Gorsky envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advances that had been made in color photography to document the Russian Empire systematically. Through such an ambitious project, his ultimate goal was to educate the schoolchildren of Russia with his "optical color projections" of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the empire. Outfitted with a specially equipped railroad-car darkroom provided by Tsar Nicholas II and in possession of two permits that granted him access to restricted areas and cooperation from the empire's bureaucracy, Prokudin-Gorsky documented the Russian Empire around 1909 through 1915. He conducted many illustrated lectures of his work. His photographs offer a vivid portrait of a lost world—the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming Russian Revolution. His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia's diverse population. It has been estimated from Prokudin-Gorsky's personal inventory that before leaving Russia, he had about 3500 negatives. Upon leaving the country and exporting all his photographic material, about half of the photos were confiscated by Russian authorities for containing material that seemed to be strategically sensitive for war-time Russia. According to Prokudin-Gorsky's notes, the photos left behind were not of interest to the general public. Some of Prokudin-Gorsky's negatives were given away, and some he hid on his departure. Outside the Library of Congress collection, none has yet been found.By Prokudin-Gorsky's death, the tsar and his family had long since been executed during the Russian Revolution, and Communist rule had been established over what was once the Russian Empire. The surviving boxes of photo albums and fragile glass plates the negatives were recorded on were finally stored in the basement of a Parisian apartment building, and the family was worried about them getting damaged. The United States Library of Congress purchased the material from Prokudin-Gorsky's heirs in 1948 for $3500–$5000 on the initiative of a researcher inquiring into their whereabouts. The library counted 1902 negatives and 710 album prints without corresponding negatives in the collection.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Félix Bonfils
France
1831 | † 1885
Félix Adrien Bonfils was a French photographer and writer who was active in the Middle East. He was one of the first commercial photographers to produce images of the Middle East on a large scale and amongst the first to employ a new method of colour photography, developed in 1880. He was born in Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort and died in Alès. Félix worked as a bookbinder. In 1860, he joined General d'Hautpoul's expedition to the Levant, organized by France following the massacre of Christians in the civil conflict between Christians and Druze in Mount Lebanon and Damascus. On his return to France, it is thought that Félix was taught the heliogravure printing process by Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor and opened a printing office in Alès in 1864. Soon after returning from Lebanon, he became a photographer. In 1857, he married Marie-Lydie Cabanis. When his son, Adrien, fell ill, Félix remembered the green hills around Beirut and sent him there to recover, being accompanied by Félix's wife. The family moved to Beirut in 1867 where they opened a photographic studio called "Maison Bonfils". Source: Wikipedia Félix Bonfils and his wife Lydie (1837-1918) came from Saint Hippolyte du Fort in the Gard. As a binder, then a printer, and finally a photographer trained by Niépce de Saint Victor, Félix Bonfils stayed in Lebanon in 1860 during France’s military expedition. He soon decided to transfer his activity there, and so Bonfils’s photographic studio was founded in Beirut in 1867. Bonfils was not a pioneer photography, yet he was the first Frenchman to open a studio in Beirut. His wife, soon assisted by their son Adrien (1861-1929), produced portraits and genre scenes as they travelled throughout Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Turkey and Greece before bringing back their shots. The Bonfils studio was above all renowned for its landscapes, sites and views of architecture made first of all for artists, wealthy travellers, art historians and archaeologists, then for an increasing number of tourists. Bonfils immediately became extremely active: at the beginning of the 1870s his catalogue included some fifteen thousand shots, five hundred and ninety-one negatives from Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Greece, and nine thousand stereoscopic views. In 1876, Constantinople was added. A new catalogue resuming these images was published in 1876. These shots were sold one by one on demand, but also brought together in albums. In 1872, Bonfils started out by presenting Architecture antique. Egypte. Grèce. Asie Mineure. Album de photographies published by Ducher in Paris and including fifty albumen originals tipped onto cards with printed captions. For the Paris World Fair in 1878, he produced a series of five volumes entitled: Souvenirs d’Orient : album pittoresque des sites, villes et ruines les plus remarquables… published by their author in Alès in 1877-1878 and covering the Orient from Egypt and Nubia (volumes I and II) to Athens and Constantinople (volume V). Each album included around forty original, tipped-in photographs, as well as an “historical, archaeological and descriptive notice opposite each plate”. These collections were thus offered to the buyers in a finished form, a little like the engraved keepsakes from the 1830s. They won a medal at the World Fair and the department of Stamps at the then Bibliothèque Impériale acquired the entire collection. At this time, the firm, which was now divided between Alès and Beirut, was renamed Bonfils et Cie. This enterprise had a commercial rationale: it was important for it to offer as broad an offer as possible covering all the countries of the Middle East, with all the sites, monuments and landscapes sought-out by its clientele. For this reason, Félix Bonfils was soon unable to do everything on his own. Apart from his wife and son, he took on the help of assistants who have mostly remained anonymous, as well as local photographers also from the Gard, such as Tancrède Dumas (1830-1905) and Jean-Baptiste Charlier (1822-1907) who sold on their shots to him. In 1875 Félix Bonfils felt the need to distribute his prints from Europe, even if he also had a network of foreign correspondents as can be seen in their often bilingual captions. He left his wife and son to manage the Beirut studio and moved back to Alès in the Gard to organize mail ordering of all the images they produced on the banks of the Mediterranean. After his death in 1885, the firm which had opened up several subsidies around the Middle East, was run by his wife and son, until 1895 when the latter turned towards the hotel business. It was only at the death of Lydie Bonfils in 1918 that Abraham Guiragossian, who had been an associate since 1909, brought up the business, which finally closed in 1938. The entire catalogue of works provided by the Bonfils company is as large as it is interesting, especially because these images marry a documentary concern with an aesthetic approach to composition and framing. The large number of photographers explains the obvious fluctuations of quality. The great demand, trade requirements, and the interest of the clientele in the obviously picturesque explains why a part of the production can be judged to be rather mediocre, unjustly obscuring pieces of great quality. This huge production spread out over more than half a century explains why Bonfils’s photographs are today heavily present in French public collections (the BnF, Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Musée Niépce…).Source: Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Mike Magers
United States
1976
Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist based in New York City. He is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning books, "Rice Noodle Fish" and "Grape Olive Pig" (as well as contributing to the 3rd book in the series "Pasta Pane Vino") published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His images are exhibited both internationally and in the U.S. and have appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue Italia, Huck Magazine, Outside, The California Sunday Magazine, CNN's Explore Parts Unknown, Saveur, New York Times - T Magazine (Instagram Takeover), Grantland, Barron's, The Guardian.com, and L'oeil de la Photographie. Michael's work documenting craftsmanship in Japan was named a 2016 Critical Mass Finalist. About Independent Mysteries Independent Mysteries (pub. November 2019) is the first monograph from documentary photographer Michael Magers. In it, Magers exposes the persistent tension between connection and disconnection -- a feeling of "intimate distance" -- he grappled with while traveling to places like Japan, Haiti, and Cuba for various assignments and personal projects. Drawing on nearly a decade of work, each image can be viewed as a film-still, with little context other than light brushes of human contact, fleeting intimacy, solitude and vulnerability. Every one of the grainy, black-and-white photographs in this book carries with it a secret to be discovered and explored. Read more about Independent Mysteries here
Mark Power
United Kingdom
1959
Mark Power is a British photographer. He is a member of Magnum Photos and Professor of Photography in The Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Brighton. Power has been awarded the Terence Donovan Award and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society. Power was born in Harpenden, England, in 1959. He studied Fine Art at Brighton Polytechnic (1978–1981), and then travelled extensively, discovering a love for photography along the way. Upon his return, he worked as a freelance for several UK publications and charities. Power happened to be in Berlin on 9 November 1989 and photographed the fall of the Berlin Wall. He later published the photographs in the book Die Mauer ist Weg! (2014). Between 1992 and 1996, he embarked on The Shipping Forecast — a project that involved travelling to and photographing all 31 areas covered by the Shipping Forecast broadcast on BBC Radio 4. This project was published as a book and was a touring exhibition across the UK and France. He used a Volkswagen campervan as his mode of transport for the project, echoing the late Tony Ray-Jones, whose work has similarities in style and meaning to Power's. Between 1997 and 2000, Power was commissioned to document the Millennium Dome in London, a project that resulted in another touring exhibition and the accompanying book, Superstructure. Around this time his technical methods changed and he began to use colour film and a large format camera. This was followed by The Treasury Project, published in 2002, which recorded the renovation of the UK government's treasury building on Whitehall, London. In 2003, he undertook another personal project, using the London A–Z map as inspiration. The work, titled 26 Different Endings, is a collection of images examining the areas on the outer boundaries of the map. The project was exhibited at the Centre of Visual Art at the University of Brighton, and was published as a book in 2007. Between 1988 and 2002 Power was a member of Network Photographers. In 2002 he became a nominee of Magnum Photos, an associate in 2005 and a full member in 2007. Between 1992 and 2004 he was Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Brighton, becoming Professor of Photography in 2004, until the present. From 2004, he spent five years working on The Sound of Two Songs, on Poland's first five years as a member of the European Union. Between 2006 and 2010 Mark Power collaborated with poet Daniel Cockrill to document the rise in English nationalism. The pair undertook a series of road trips around England, culminating in the book Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment. In 2011 he undertook a commission from Multistory to make work that explored the social landscape of the Black Country through photography and film. He made urban landscapes; a series of photographs of elegant footwear; and a series of short films made in beauty salons, tattoo parlours and nightclubs. In 2014 Power began a self-publishing imprint, Globtik Books, with the publication of his book Die Mauer ist Weg!. Power primarily uses a digital medium format view camera, after he worked with large format film for many years. More recently he diversified into short film making.Source: Wikipedia As a child, Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens. His interest in photography probably began at this moment, though he later went to art college to study life-drawing and painting instead. After graduating, he travelled for two years around South-East Asia and Australia. To support himself Power tried a number jobs (he was an English teacher, a television actor and a fish farm attendant in Hong Kong; he painted cinema murals in Bangkok; produced large numbers of identical paintings for others to sell as their own in the Australian outback (very questionable, this one!) and ended up running the camera department of a large chemist in Bankstown, in the Western Suburbs of Sydney). While travelling Power began to realise he enjoyed using a camera more than a pencil and decided to 'become a photographer' on his return to England, two years later, in 1983.Source: www.markpower.co.uk
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.
Charles Scowen
United Kingdom
1852 | † 1948
Charles Thomas Scowen (11 March 1852 – 24 November 1948) was a British photographer during the nineteenth century. He was active as a photographer from 1871 to 1890, working in Sri Lanka and British India in the early 1870s. By 1876 Scowen had established a studio, Scowen & Co, in Kandy and by the 1890s, he had opened a second in Colombo. His work, which included landscapes and portraits of Malay women, is noted for its lighting, technically superior printing, and strong compositional qualities. Scowen's photographs are represented in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Charles Scowen became a tea planter before retiring and returning to England around the turn of the century. He died in Sudbury, Suffolk, aged 96.Source: Wikipedia Described as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the island Ceylon was conquered by the English in 1796 and for many years was at the center of the spice and trade routes. Rich in ivory, cinnamon, coffee, tea, gems, and pearls the island became increasingly accessible during the nineteenth century. Its exotic scenery was well documented by commercial photographers throughout the nineteenth century. One of the most accomplished and successful photographic firms working in Ceylon was Charles T. Scowen and Co. Scowen and his team produced records for the tourist market, as well as for commerce and industry. These documents included images of plantation economies, railroad, native people, architectural city views, and ancient ruins. The photographs are of superior quality, representing the rich beauty and detail found only in an albumen print.Source: Joseph Bellows Gallery
Sumit Gupta
India
1983
While a software engineer by profession, Sumit has been capturing and sharing the stories of cities and cultures since 2013. He finds the experience of walking around the city streets with a camera almost therapeutic and meditative. Inspired by the human condition, Sumit has photographed mostly in India and Europe. Sumit's photographs are inspired by a personal desire to find meaning in the world around us and attempt to draw attention to the poetic and inspirational nature of human life all around us. All about the project 'The River' The Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering of humans on our planet. Over the two month period that this festival happens, once every 12 years in 4 Indian cities, millions of people come from all over the country (and outside of it) to take an auspicious bath in the holy waters of the river Ganga. I'm interested in portraying how the contemporary experience of the Kumbh Mela is influenced by aspects such as globalization, consumption and current trends of social behavior. People from all over India come to this event as a pilgrimage to wash away their sins, but they're also cohabiting with people that see this as a cultural attraction, as a possibility to experience a foreign culture and filter it through social media. What's the impact of hyper-communication and advertising in the collective atmosphere of this spiritual gathering? The project tries to reflect on those ideas by working through the psychological climate of the different people that are present in the event. The images evidence the paradoxical and complex nature of a spiritual event that feeds on tradition when young people seem to drift away from old collective habits. The river, the sacred area where people transcend their humanity, is the perfect metaphor for the current situation; affected by mass production and consumerism, the polluted river is still worshipped as a place for cleansing; time will tell if the memory that holds this identity will keep flowing through the divine water, or if it will drown to the mirage of pleasures that float in the immediacy of today's world.
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