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Melvin Pirard
Melvin Pirard
Melvin Pirard

Melvin Pirard

Country: Belgium
Birth: 1992

My name is Melvin Pirard, I am 27 years old and I come from Belgium. I practice the photo seriously for a little less than three years. I have a degree in Agronomy and it is therefore as a passionate self-taught that I learned the picture. It was my mother who made me liked the photo, she always had a camera on holiday. I stung her the camera from time to time and I liked immerse myself in my imagination and try to represent at best what I saw with my child's eyes.

I had the chance to travel a lot and so a little over two years ago I wanted to be more serious about photography when I was going through in Africa. I already had in mind to become a professional photographer. Now I'm doing it, I start as a professional photographer right now. And winning this 2nd prize is very important for me, it encourages me and pushes me to go further.
 

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Thomas Devaux
France
1980
Thomas Devaux has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition.The works in the "ATTRITION" series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. "ATTRITION", thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments.The final result is both sensual and onirique in the in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic." Source: Anne Biroleau-Lemagny, General Curator Charge of Contemporary 21st Century: French National Library Born in 1980. Lives and works in Paris.Thomas Devaux moved frequently when he was young and he never stopped being "in motion". He moved to London after graduating from high school, and then he started his studies in Montpellier, while exploring the image in all its forms: photography, experimental cinema, painting and collage...He achieved through this artistic extension to remove the boundary between drawing and photography. Finally, he obtained diploma of Licence in Performing Art in Paris (Paris X). Developing great interest in traveling and exploring the world, he found his place in 2006 working for a fashion magazine: Fashion Insider. He first started as a photographer and cameraman, and became the artistic director of the magazine in 2009. He attended the world's most famous fashion shows and worked in many countries (France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Georgia, UK, Turkey, Denmark, Cyprus...). Opening up to the world, and to all the celebrities he met and interviewed for his magazine, was the opportunity to develop and make his style recognized: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Donatella Vercace, Sonia Rykiel, Usher, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Milla Jovovich, Beth Ditto, Pedro Almodovar... Source: 1:1 Photo Magazine At first sight, portraits. At second glance, the questioning. Paintings or photographs? Thomas Devaux artwork throws off. By its form as its content, it upsets any certainty. And, it is precisely though that movement that it comes to its full magnitude.Fashion photographer, Thomas Devaux keeps from its reports thousands of shoots made behind the scenes that feed a later digital work. Indeed, in front of his screen, he cuts, deconstructs, assembles and recomposes his pictures until he creates images full of contradictions. Far from being frightened, Thomas Devaux finds with these dualities a remarkable tool to transcend the boundaries and ward off any kind of fatality. Of fashion, he likes the aesthetics but condemns the stylistic dictum and the imperative beauty. Of photography, he praises the documentary force but fears the frozen relation to time. And, from these considerations, comes out the idea of an nonconformism, un-postural, in the original meaning, as Thomas Devaux refuses any reductive normativity without denying for all that any legagy. Entitling his series "Attriction", he seems to insist on the idea of wear. A notion that does not necessarily imply deterioration. As, if the marks of time destroy some aspects, they also reveal some others. Finally, his work damages beauty to enhance it out of the conservative models. It brings together traditional approaches and opens them to modernity. It integrates the cyclic dimension of existence and reminds that what springs dies and what dies springs again with a new form. Source: Ozarts Etc
Thomas Hackenberg
Thomas Hackenberg was born in 1963 and lives in the German city of Braunschweig. With first strong influences going back to the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and German photojournalist Thomas Hoepker, he describes himself as a street photographer today. In the language business by profession and design, in street photography with his heart, Hackenberg characterizes himself as a classical flaneur-with-a-camera – though sometimes definitely more of a long-distance-runner, as he states. For him, a good picture must have a thought-provoking note, some humorous or quirky details, some kind of storyline. He likes pictures that pose questions rather than provide answers, and all of his photos are taken candidly. "What I like so much about street photography is the fact that you step out of the door, and you're right in it: no clumsy gear, you don't have to travel anywhere, you're always there. That's why it is so magical for me, many have said this before: It's positively an obsession! The big theater of life is always open with no closing hours." He also mentions the documentary aspect of street photography: The two old grannies he captured in 1991 in San Gimignano, Italy, one with the Hanimex 110 pocket camera: a time document today. As all the millions of smartphones today will be at some point in the future… Else, he feels drawn to social photography and photojournalism and likes to take photos at demonstrations. Thomas Hackenberg's work was featured by resources and hubs such as EYESHOT, Lensculture, Street Photographers Foundation, and Street Sweeper Magazine. He received Finalist awards in the 2017 edition of the Street Foto San Francisco Festival, Siena International Photo Awards 2020, London Street Photography Festival 2020, Miami Street Photography Festival 2020 and won 3rd Prize in the Fujifilm Moment Street Photo Awards 2020 organized by the Center for the Promotion of Culture in Częstochowa, Poland. Weekly interview at UP Photographers
Miina Savolainen
Miina Savolainen is a community art oriented photographer and an art and social educator from Helsinki whose works deal social engagement. Alongside her artistic work she explores, teaches and develops the use of photography as a pedagogic and therapeutic method. Her work has resulted in the method of empowering photography. Miina Savolainen, her project The Loveliest Girl In The World and the method of empowering photography have received several awards in Finland. Miina Savolainen is a member of The Finnish Phototherapy Association and The Union of Artist Photographers.Besides The Loveliest Girl in the World, Miina Savolainen is an instructor in a communal art project concerning fatherhood. For two years now, a group of amateur photographers have been preparing an exhibition on the theme of fatherhood to Helsinki Jugendhall for autumn 2007, using the method of empowering photography. She is currently working on a community art project involving intersexed and transgendered individuals.The Loveliest Girl in the World is a community art project undertaken by photographer, art and social educator Miina Savolainen with ten girls from Hyvönen Children's Home. It has taken almost a decade to complete. The project is based on the idea of “empowerment” and the belief that everyone has the right to feel unique and special. The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life - the person each young girl feels she really is inside. It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people. These photographs are deeply authentic, revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable. “Photography can help to show people how they are treasured; how much they mean to me,” writes Miina Savolainen. “Accepting one's own portrait is a metaphor for accepting one’s own personality. During years the photographing has become an intimate and profound way to interact with the girls. This exceptional long-term relationship can be seen in the special kind of openness and intimacy of the photographs. Although the pictures in the series of the Loveliest Girl in the World are artificial and not from the everyday life they are bound to the tradition of realistic photography. The documentary quality of the pictures is multilayered. On one hand the pictures are documents of growing up, the young girls' personalities and dreams. On the other hand the pictures make certain features of the girls visible which cannot be seen in their everyday selves. The childhood of the young who have grown up in a Children's home includes a lot of feelings of being abandoned and of being invisible. It also includes the burden of other people's prejudices, the stigmatisation of being a Children's home resident. The fairytale-like pictures are juxtaposed with real life story that seldom had fairytale qualities. The pictures express sadness but also hope and desire to see oneself in a more gentle way. With the aid of the non-everyday world of the pictures the young have been allowed to be seen and to see themselves differently like never before. The girls do not see the pictures as role-playing. In the everyday life the girls may also lead “roles” which appear wrong and foreign to the girls. The pictures may show, for the first time, a side that the young person holds real and dear to herself, a picture that she wants to cherish in her mind. The Loveliest Girl in the World -pictures are extreme documents: they are pictures of a person’s inner identity. This inner side becomes visible and the deeper emotional “truth” can be reached by mixing the truth and the fiction. Every human being has an inviolable right to feel himself or herself special. The pictures are a proof of conclusiveness of the photograph, which is not only bound to what’s visible. The Loveliest Girl in the World doesn't portray the Children's home residents the way the people living in margins are usually portrayed. The pictures are also something else from the sexist way of how young women and girls are exhibited in today's public places. Above all the fairy-tale feeling of the pictures is metaphorical; it is a longing for a clean, innocent state of dreaming where you can see yourself as a whole and an ideal person, protected from the gaze and the expectations of other people. The series brings up questions on how the present visual culture makes one a part of the society. The pictures of the young in the Children's home tell stories of being a girl and being a human in general. The deepest content of the pictures, the need to be seen, is familiar to anyone. The attempt to learn to see oneself in a more gentle way is especially addressing in our time where people are surrounded by the endless requirements from different fields of life. The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibitions have prompted the public to think about the capacity of the photograph to influence on societal and personal levels. From the point of view of photography the project also raises questions about the author and ethics. This project could be seen as community photography. It includes the models not only in the creation of the photographs but also in the selection of the exhibited pictures.The project, its accompanying exhibition and Miina Savolainen has been awarded the Spotlight of the Year 2003 special prize of the jury, the Vision of the Year award 2004, Duodecim Finnish Medical Association’s 2005 Cultural Award, the Young Photographer of the Year award 2005 and the State Award for Children´s Culture 2006. Patricia Seppälä Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnfoto and the City of Helsinki have supported the production.
Graeme Williams
South Africa
1961
I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era, when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens. My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished. My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects. In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay, highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
Anthony Goicolea
United States/Cuba
1971
Anthony Goicolea is a New York-based fine art photographer. Goicolea's photographs frequently deal with issues of androgyny, homosexuality, and child sexuality. Goicolea, Cuban-American and gay, was educated at the University of Georgia and studied painting, photography, and sculpture at that institution. He holds an MFA in fine arts from the Pratt Institute. He made his debut in 1999, and now shows work with Postmasters gallery in New York and Aurel Scheibler in Berlin, Germany. In 2005, he received the BMW-Award for Photography. Some of his work features photographs of "pre- to barely pubescent boys" (Art in America, Dec, 2001) in elaborately staged tableau settings, commonly showing multiple boys wearing traditional private school uniforms either engaged in school-life or recreation after school — but with often transgressive and erotic twists in their activities. Of great interest in these compositions is the fact that Goicolea himself portrays all of the boys in his photographs through the astute use of costumes, wigs, make-up, and post-production editing via the software Adobe Photoshop; "always looking uncannily like a boy on the edge of puberty" (The Advocate, August 14, 2001). Therefore, despite having numerous figures in them, Goicolea's photographs are actually very complex large-scale self-portraits, and are always done in a flawlessly realist manner. The pioneering fine-art photographer Cindy Sherman is an apparent influence on Goicolea's work, given her own extensive use of self-portraits and emphasis on sexually-charged narrative topics. Sherman and Goicolea have also had several joint exhibitions. His work can be strongly compared to similar manipulated and/or staged art photography featuring children and adolescents, such as that of Bernard Faucon, Loretta Lux, and Justine Kurland. Recently, Goicolea has also been producing and exhibiting his drawings, which follow much of the same subject matter as his photographs. He has also published several books. Goicolea is also represented by Gow Langsford Gallery based in Auckland, New Zealand.Source Wikipedia
Szymon Barylski
Poland
1984
Szymon Barylski Polish freelance photographer born in 1984 based in Ireland. He has been published, among others, The Irish Times, National Geographic Poland, The Eye of Photography, Edge of Humanity Magazine. He has had a number of exhibitions in many countries including 3rd Documentary Photography Days in Istambul, MIFA Photography, The SE Centre for Photography- Documentary Photography. His pictures were awarded in many competitions. Szymon is involved in documentary photography and photo essays. Photographing for he is a tool for exploring and learning about the world. He tries to tell a story and show it directly. In his opinion, people are an inexhaustible topic and a source of inspiration. Szymon said: „When traveling, I meet people; as a result, I create the image of my relation with them. The exploration of the environment where I take photos allow me to create emotional and convincing scenes.“ He thinks you cannot photograph the things you do not know well. That is why he prepares himself for each project individually, accurately, going into detail in the newspapers and on the Internet. Next, he looks for an inspiration in other photographer’s photos and conversations, as a result, he can create real pictures. His own narrative presented in his photos are at the same time very personal and common. Szymon thinks that a lot of people can identify themselves with his works. Photographer wish his photos could increase individual and collective awareness about the social, political and economic need and urge people to act, be part of positive changes.
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