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Craig Varjabedian
Craig Varjabedian
Craig Varjabedian

Craig Varjabedian

Country: United States
Birth: 1957

"Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West would be the perfect illustrations to a Cormac McCarthy book. They have a surreal beauty and poetic emptiness that border on the fictional. It's as if this isn't the real West, but the West of tall tales and American dreams."
Claire O'neill, "The Picture Show," National Public Radio

Craig Varjabedian is an award-winning photographer, author, and teacher. His stunning photographs of the people and places of the American West are critically acclaimed, not only for their powerful imagery and artistic composition, but also for their ability to transcend the commonplace-immanently engaging the viewer with scenes that passionately reflect the artist's connection to his subjects. Varjabedian achieves this goal through a skillful visionary acuity and intuition, allowing him to make photographs that expand awareness. As a result, viewers are presented with new ways of seeing and experiencing this region so integral to our collective imagination and our unique American identity.

Varjabedian's gift lies in his ability to blend both technical expertise and illustrative narrative-depicting lyrical images that reveal the humanity and character of a vast sometimes barren country known for its legendary beauty and dramatic heritage. Varjabedian's photographs tell contemporary stories that continue to inspire today what has historically been recognized as the "spirit of the Great American West."

Craig graduated from the University of Michigan witha Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and received his Master's degree from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology. As a fine art photographer for over forty years, Varjabedian has been widely praised for his masterful images ranging from awe-inspiring, expansive landscapes, to intimate soul-revealing portraits. He is also the director of Eloquent Light Photography Workshops in Santa Fe.

In further recognition of his work, Varjabedian has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the New Mexico Humanities Council. His photographs have been exhibited in, and his prints collected by, museums around the country, including the William Benton Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Albuquerque Museum of Art.

In 1991, Craig received an Emmy Award for his collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Karl Kernberger on the PBS documentary En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico. Photographs from this project were published in a 1994 book by the same name. Craig's other books include By the Grace of Light: Images of Faith from Catholic New Mexico (1998), Four & Twenty Photographs: Stories from Behind the Lens (2007); Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby (2009), which received the prestigious Wrangler Award for Outstanding Photography Book from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; and Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait (2012), released to coincide with the New Mexico State Centennial.

Varjabedian's latest book, Into the Great White Sands, a photographic celebration of White Sands National Monument, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2018. The book received a prestigious New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.

Craig Varjabedian's Interview
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Lise Sarfati
France
1958
Lise Sarfati has lived and worked in the United States since 2003. She has realized six important series of photographs there. They have been followed by exhibitions and publications. Each of her works makes clear the identity of an approach focused on the intensity of the rapport established with the person photographed, and of that person with the context. A vision in which the individual is environment, a map outlining a perilous cultural geography. The richness of perception is constructed without effects. The compositions are flawless in the simplicity and unity of the image – the style tends to be elementary and clean, avoiding all qualifications, but the traits of each thing and each person trace a hundred thousand folds. The dimension of the interplay of postures is that of a solemn immaturity: the scenery formed by the people and places is the silent crumpling of a dream in which each risks his or her skin. A feminine seduction tinged with fateful coincidences; the beauty of the adolescents looks like a magic spell. Their solitude and strangeness in the world turn the image into an echo chamber inhabited by the photographer, her subject and the viewer. The earlier period of a photographic work carried out in Russia (continuously from 1989 to 1999) confirms the tendency of this research. She identifies a very precise and endless psychological spectrum. The projections, the ambitions associated with the immense space, the way in which they compose these figures, play an essential role: the supporting roles are incandescent. A determinism of the heroic, inevitably tragic figure, as if not even we really have another choice.
Hector Acebes
United States/Spain
1921 | † 2017
Hector Acebes was an American photographer, notable for his expeditions to Africa and South America. He was born in 1921 in New York City, and spent most of his childhood in Madrid (Spain) and Bogotá (Colombia). He went on his first long-distance voyage at the age of thirteen, going 400 miles from Bogota to the city of Barranquilla when he ran from home to "sail around the world". He was trained at the New York Military Academy and would serve in the US army in World War II on the European front. He studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduated in 1947. He married Madeline Acebes in Boston, and they would have a son and two daughters. His first major photographic expedition was to North Africa in 1947. He embarked on a second trip to West Africa, specifically Timbuktu in 1949. Between 1950 and 1953, he embarked on several expeditions to the Orinoco River in Venezuela, and to other parts of South America. He went on his final, most extensive African expedition in 1953, going throughout the continent, from Dakar to Zanzibar. After this, he began a career as an industrial filmmaker for engineering projects throughout South America. In his final years Acebes lived in Bogota, and worked on creating the Hector Acebes Archive. He died in Bogota on 22 April 2017. Acebes's African photographs are often viewed as a departure from colonial anthropologists such as Casimir Zagourski, in whose footsteps he followed. He himself rejected the label of "anthropologist", seeking to distance himself from its colonial connotations. The work of many previous photographers was often in service to the European colonization of Africa, and sought to document Africans as colonial subjects, Acebes's portraits gave the subjects more agency to pose, express emotions and individuality, thus departing from this tradition to an extent. Hector Acebes thus existed in a transitional area between colonial anthropologists, and concurrently emerging native African photographers such as Seydou Keïta, in terms of the agency and depiction of Africans within his work.Source: Wikipedia Hector Acebes was born in New York City in 1921. He was raised in Madrid, Spain, and attended the Colegio del Pilar. His family moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where he attended the Gimnasio Moderno. Acebes returned to the United States for high school at the New York Military Academy. He gained much of his technical photographic skill by participating in the school’s camera club and through study and practice on his own. After graduating from the Chauncey Hall School in Boston, he entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering. While in college, he maintained his own photo studio. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany. On his return, he completed his degree at MIT and then moved with his wife to Bogotá. He has a son and two daughters. Throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s, Acebes took expeditions through Africa and South America and started his work as a professional filmmaker and lecturer. By the late 1950s, Acebes Productions had established a reputation for creating excellent documentary and industrial films. Acebes wrote, filmed, directed, and edited each of the forty-three films Acebes Productions released. Hector Acebes died at the age of 96 on April 22, 2017 in Bogotá. For the last ten years, the Hector Acebes Archives has been active in bringing Acebes' work to the attention of galleries, collectors, and museums. It is managed by Ed Marquand.Source: Hector Acebes Archives
Marsha Guggenheim
United States
1948
Marsha Guggenheim is a fine art photographer based in San Francisco. Storytelling is a guiding influence in her work. Marsha is deeply interested in photographing people and uses her diverse city to capture their stories. A street photographer for many years, her comfort and ease while shooting on the street has provided numerous opportunities for closer connections within her community. Complementing her street photography, Marsha spent years working as a photographer with formerly homeless women. This work resulted in the monograph, “Facing Forward,” which highlights these hard-working, proud women through portraits and stories of their life experiences. Without a Map is a personal project Marsha has developed over the past five years. Through the use of family photos, creating pictures from her memories and by turning the camera on herself, she has found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions that were buried long ago. About Without a Map "How does one move through life with the scars of the past? When I was ten, my mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. I couldn’t understand where she went or when she would return. Just as I began to comprehend this loss, my father died. I was without support from my family and community. I was lost. Without a Map reimagines this time that’s deeply rooted in my memories. Visiting my childhood home, synagogue and family plot provided an entry into this personal retelling. Working with family photos, creating new images from my past and turning the camera on myself, I found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions born from early imprints that were buried long ago."
Alice Boughton
United States
1866 | † 1943
Alice Boughton (14 May 1866 - 21 June 1943) was an early 20th-century American photographer known for her photographs of many literary and theatrical figures of her time. She was a Fellow of Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-Secession, a circle of photographers whose artistic efforts succeeded in raising photography to a fine art form. Alice Boughton was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 14 May 1866. Her parents were Frances Ayres and William H. Boughton, a lawyer in New York. As educational opportunities were made more available in the 19th-century, women artists became part of professional enterprises, including founding their own art associations. Artwork made by women was considered to be inferior, and to help overcome that stereotype women became "increasingly vocal and confident" in promoting women's work, and thus became part of the emerging image of the educated, modern and freer "New Woman". Artists then, "played crucial roles in representing the New Woman, both by drawing images of the icon and exemplyfying this emerging type through their own lives." In the 1880s, Boughton began studying art and photography at the Pratt School of Art and Design. It was there that she met fellow student Gertrude Käsebier, with whom she later studied in Paris. Käsebier also employed her an assistant in her studio, most likely at the same time Boughton was studying at Pratt. In 1890, she opened her own portrait studio on East 23rd Street in New York, which she maintained for the next forty years. In 1904, she sent a letter to William Butler Yeats that listed a studio address on Madison Avenue, indicating that she established or used more than one studio for at least a brief period. Around 1901, Boughton studied art in Rome and photography in Paris, where she worked in Käsebier's summer studio. She won an honorable mention for her work at the Turin International Decorative and Fine Arts Exhibition in 1902. It is not known when she met Alfred Stieglitz, but it is clear he knew of and admired her work by 1902 when he included two of her works in the inaugural exhibition at his Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession in New York City. Four years later, in 1906, Boughton was appointed by Stieglitz as a Fellow of the Photo-Secession. The following year Stieglitz gave her, along with fellow photographers C. Yarnall Abbot and William B. Dyer, an exhibition at the Little Galleries. In 1909 she had six of her photographs and an essay called "Photography, A Medium of Expression" published in Stieglitz's journal Camera Work (No 26, April, 1909). During this same period, her photographs were included in major exhibitions around the world, including shows in London, Paris, Vienna, The Hague and New York. Boughton became one of the most distinguished portrait photographers of New York, although she did many landscapes in this country and Europe including the famous Rockefeller estate Kykuit at Pocantico Hills, New York. She produced studies of children, as well as female nudes in allegorical or natural settings. Among her more famous works are portraits of Eugene O'Neill, Albert Pinkham Ryder, George Arliss and Robert Louis Stevenson. Her portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson was an inspiration for John Singer Sargent's own portrait of the writer. From at least 1920 until her death, Boughton shared her residences with artist and art teacher Ida C. Haskell (1861-1932). Haskell is known to have been an instructor at Pratt while Käsebier and Boughton studied there. When Boughton traveled to Europe in 1926, Haskell, her partner, accompanied her on the trip. In 1931, Boughton closed her studio and discarded thousands of prints. She moved permanently to the home in Brookhaven, Long Island, that she shared with Haskell. Boughton died of pneumonia on 21 June 1943. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British National Portrait Gallery, the U.S. National Portrait Gallery, the George Eastman House and other important museums.Source: Wikipedia
Chuck Fishman
United States
1953
Raymond Depardon
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente. In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months. In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside. While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d'Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books. Source: Magnum Photos Raymond Depardon (born 6 July 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France) is a French photographer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Depardon is for the most part a self-taught photographer, as he began taking pictures on his family's farm when he was 12. He apprenticed with a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône before he moved to Paris in 1958. He began his career as a photojournalist in the early 1960s. He travelled to conflict zones including Algeria, Vietnam, Biafra and Chad. In 1966, Depardon co-founded the photojournalism agency Gamma, and he became its director in 1974. In 1973 he became Gamma’s director. From 1975 to 1977 Depardon traveled in Chad and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1977. The next year he left Gamma to become a Magnum associate, then a full member in 1979. In the 1990s, Depardon went back to his parents’ farm to photograph rural landscapes in color, and then in 1996 published a black-and-white road journal, In Africa. In May 2012, he took the official portrait of French President François Hollande. Source: Wikipedia
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