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Tommaso Rada
Tommaso Rada
Tommaso Rada

Tommaso Rada

Country: Italy

Tommaso Rada is an Italian photographer currently living in São Paulo, Brasil. Tommaso Rada is a documentary photographer working on socio-economic issues. His projects describing the surrounding society are aims more to create questions than to looking for answers. His works has been published in several magazines and newspapers such as Financial Time, Der Spiegel, Monocle, Popoli, Popoli e Missioni, Private online edition, Expresso, Helsingin Sanomat, Courrier International, Le Pelerin, Washington Post and Forbes Brazil. He collaborated with Unicef Mozambique, Comunità di Sant'Egidio and Habitat for Humanity Portugal.

About Domestic Borders

Since the creation of the European Union (EU) one of the goal has been the unification of the different countries belonging to the EU and the abolishment of the frontiers between these countries. The Schengen treaty stipulated in 1985 have had the aims to gradually create an EU without borders, later in 1990 with the Schengen Agreement finally eliminate the borders between European countries allowing the free movement of people across the several European countries and the abolition of internal border controls.

In the last decade separatist movements grow up all across Europe, the economical differences between the European countries increased, the foreign politics aren't common for all the countries, in a period in witch Europe should consolidate his union new obstacles and challenges appear.

The domestic borders of Europe, now - after the Schengen Treaty and with the European unification - are gone. Just mountains, rivers and imaginary historical lines, are what have left: a liquid frontier between apparently distinct countries. The rivers, the mountains, the history trapped in the places define the communities, the interaction and the contacts between the people of two neighbouring countries, where the territory and the communities shape reciprocally around a specific space - physical, human and cultural - that get dissolved in the same rivers, mountain places that divide them. Empty of its political value, from a strange limbo made of controls and checkpoints the domestic borders become just a line on a map. The emptiness of the frontier, that have should fill of new life and new dynamics after the unification, get reflected in the territory, the time get stopped and while the world around is changing, on the border the space is assuming a proper physiognomy, and the time is sometimes frozen. "Domestic Borders" becomes a route where each photos is a stop on the way, not searching for answer but interrogating the social reality, the relations between habitants and the territory and the meaning of Europe today. "Domestic Borders" ends up being an unusual and unexpected trip, a dystopian portrait of the relationships between and across the border, showing the challenges of living in an unique space with a different passage of time.
 

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Vivian Maier
United States
1926 | † 2009
Vivian Dorothea Maier was an American amateur street photographer, who was born in New York City but grew up in France. After returning to the United States, she worked for about forty years as a nanny in Chicago, IL. During those years, she took about 100,000 photographs, primarily of people and cityscapes in Chicago, although she traveled and photographed worldwide. Her photographs remained unknown and mostly undeveloped until they were discovered by a local Chicago historian and collector, John Maloof, in 2007. Following Maier's death, her work began to receive critical acclaim. Her photographs have been exhibited in the US, England, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, and have appeared in newspapers and magazines in the US, England, Germany, Italy, France and other countries. A book of her photography titled Vivian Maier: Street Photographer was published in 2011. Many of the details of Maier's life are still being uncovered. Initial impressions about her life indicated that she was born in France, but further researching revealed that she was born in New York, the daughter of Maria Jaussaud and Charles Maier, French and Austrian respectively. Vivian moved between the U.S. and France several times during her childhood, although where in France she lived is unknown. Her father seems to have left the family for unknown reasons by 1930. In the census that year, the head of the household was listed as award-winning portrait photographer Jeanne Bertrand, who knew the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1951, at 25, Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked for some time in a sweatshop. She made her way to the Chicago area's North Shore in 1956 and became a nanny on and off for about 40 years, staying with one family for 14 of them. She was, in the accounts of the families for whom she worked, very private, spending her days off walking the streets of Chicago and taking photographs, most often with a Rolleiflex camera. John Maloof, curator of Maier's collection of photographs, summarizes the way the children she nannied would later describe her: "She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men's jacket, men's shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone." Between 1959 and 1960, Maier traveled to and photographed in Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, Italy and the American Southwest. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Alsace. For a brief period in the 1970s, Maier worked as a nanny for Phil Donahue's children. As she got older, she collected more boxes of belongings, taking them with her to each new post. At one employer's house, she stored 200 boxes of materials. Most were photographs or negatives, but Maier collected other objects, such as newspapers, and sometimes recorded audiotapes of conversations she had with people she photographed. Toward the end of her life, Maier may have been homeless for some time. She lived on Social Security and may have had another source of income, but the children she had taken care of in the early 1950s bought her an apartment in the Rogers Park area of Chicago and paid her bills. In 2008, she slipped on ice and hit her head. She did not fully recover and died in 2009, at 83.Source: Wikipedia Sometime in 1949, while still in France, Maier began making her first photographs with a modest Kodak Brownie– an amateur camera with only one shutter speed, no focus control, and no aperture dial. In 1951, she returned from France alone and purchased a Rolleiflex camera the following year. In 1956, she moved to the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, where a family employed her as a nanny for their three boys. She enjoyed the luxury of a darkroom as well as a private bathroom, enabling her to process prints and develop her own rolls of black and white film. As the children entered adulthood, Maier had to seek other employment, forcing her to abandon developing her own film. Moving from family to family thereafter, her rolls of undeveloped, unprinted work began to collect. It was around this time that Maier decided to switch to color photography. Her subject matter shifted away from people to found objects, newspapers, and graffiti. In the 1980s, financial stress and lack of stability once again put Maier’s processing on hold, and the undeveloped color rolls began to accumulate. Sometime between the late 1990s and the first years of the new millennium, Maier put down her camera and stored her belongings while she tried to stay afloat. She bounced from homelessness to a small studio apartment, which a family she used to work for helped pay the rent. With meager means, the photographs in storage became lost memories until 2007, when they were sold off due to non-payment of rent. In 2008, Maier’s health began to deteriorate after she fell on a patch of ice, forcing her into a nursing home. She never made a full recovery, leaving behind an immense archive of work when she died in 2009.Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery When John Maloof, a real-estate agent, amateur historian, and garage-sale obsessive, acquired a box of photographic materials and personal detritus at an auction in suburban Chicago in 2007, he quickly realized that he had stumbled upon an unknown master of street photography. But despite his vigorous snooping, he could find no record of Vivian Maier, the name scribbled on the scraps of paper that he found among the negatives, prints, and undeveloped rolls of film. He tracked down the rest of the boxes emptied from an abandoned storage garage, amassing a collection of hundreds of thousands of frames shot in New York, Chicago, France, South America, and Asia between the nineteen-fifties and the nineteen-seventies. Two years after he bought the first box, he Googled the name again and, to his surprise, found an obituary announcing that Vivian Maier had died only a few days before. The short text had just enough information for Maloof to deduce that Maier had worked as a nanny in suburban Chicago.Source: The New Yorker
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
Willy Ronis was a French photographer best known for his photographs of life in postwar Paris and Provence, who spent his career roaming the Parisian streets capturing people in love, at work, and at play in lyrical black-and-white images, claimed an interest in "ordinary people with ordinary lives." He was a central figure in the "humanist photography" movement, alongside colleagues Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Brassaï, celebrating the poetry in the everyday in warm, witty images. I have never sought out the extraordinary or the scoop. I looked for what complemented my life. The beauty of the ordinary was always the source of my greatest emotions. -- Willy Ronis Working in his parents' photography studio, Willy Ronis honed his sense of proportion and composition. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a Lithuanian refugee who had fled the pogroms. His father established a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother taught piano. The boy's first love was music, and he aspired to be a composer. When Ronis returned from military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer forced him to take over the family portrait business; His love of music can be seen in his photographs. When his father died in 1936, the business collapsed, and Ronis went freelance, with his first photographs appearing in Regards. Willy Ronis met David Szymin and Robert Capa in 1937 and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938-39, he reported on a Citroen strike and traveled in the Balkans. Ronis, like Cartier-Bresson, was a member of the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires and remained a leftist. Ronis was inspired to start exploring photography by the work of photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. After his father died in 1936, he closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, where he worked alongside Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, and Ergy Landau. Most of my photographs were taken on the spur of the moment, very quickly, just as they occurred. All attention focuses on the specific instant, almost too good to be true, which can only vanish in the following one. -- Willy Ronis Willy Ronis was the first French photographer to work for Life magazine. In 1953, Edward Steichen curated a show at the Museum of Modern Art called Five French Photographers, which featured Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï. He was also featured in the Family of Man exhibition in 1955, and received in 1957 the Gold Medal from the Venice Biennale. Ronis began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint Charles, Marseilles in the 1950s. The Minister of Culture awarded him the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography in 1979. In 1981, Ronis won the Prix Nadar for his photobook Sur le fil du hasard. Marie-Anne Lansiaux (1910-91), a Communist militant painter, was the subject of Ronis' well-known 1949 photograph, Nu provençal (Provençal naked). The photograph, which was taken in a house that Marie-Anne and he had just purchased in Gordes, showed Marie-Anne washing at a basin with a water pitcher on the floor and an open window through which the viewer can see a garden; it is notable for its ability to convey an easy feeling of Provençal life. "The destiny of this image, published constantly around the world, still astonishes me," Ronis said of the photograph. Ronis spent the 1960s and 1980s in Provence and photographed Marie-Anne, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease at the time, sitting alone in a park surrounded by autumn trees.
John R. Pepper
John Randolph Pepper, (1958) is an Italian photographer, screenwriter, theatre and film director, the son of sculptress Beverly Pepper and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, editor of Newsweek and manager of its Rome office. He was born and raised in Rome; lives in Palermo and works worldwide. Pepper started his career in Black & White analogical photography with an apprenticeship to Ugo Mulas at 14. He published his first photograph at 15 and had his first show at 17. He studied History of Art at Princeton University, where he was also the youngest member of the exclusive painting program, '185 Nassau Street'. He then became a 'Directing Fellow' at The American Film Institute, (Los Angeles) and subsequently worked as a director in theatre and film for 20 years. For thirty years, he dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film. During that time he continued to take photographs with his Leica camera always using the same Ilford HP5 film stock. John R. Pepper, represented by the Art of Foto Gallery (St. Petersburg, Russia) and The Empty Quarter Gallery (Dubai, UAE), is a 'Cultural Ambassador' of numerous Italian Institutes of Culture in may parts of the world. Since 2008 he has exhibited his different projects 'Rome: 1969 - An Homage to Italian Neo-Realist Cinema', 'Sans Papier', 'Evaporations' in the United States, France, Italy, the Middle East and Russia. He has published three books and is represented in several major museums around the world. Since 2015 Pepper has been working on his project 'Inhabited Deserts', where he explores deserts and their effect on time, history and people. 'Inhabited Deserts' debuted in Paris in November 2017; in September 2018, with the support of the Italian Embassy in Iran and the Italian Foreign Ministry, Pepper exhibited at the Aaran Projects Gallery in Tehran where he was one of the first Italian photographers since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In November 2018, after participating at Paris Photo with the Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, 'Inhabited Deserts' went to Tel Aviv, Israel, representing Italy at the 6th International Photo Festival 'Photo Is:Rael'. From December 12th 2018 to February 15th Inhabited Deserts was presented at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, U.A.E. with curatorial text by Kirill Petrin. Subsequently the show opened on March 19, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Art of Foto Gallery and shortly thereafter, on April 18th, it returned to Tel Aviv at the NOX Contemporary Gallery. In 2020 Inhabited Deserts will be seen in the United States and Italy. Per John Pepper "When talking about photography, we're talking about time. The image is fixed in time. We also talk about black and white and color, digital and film, reality and punctum - the critical concept of the French philosopher Roland Barthes, denoting the wounding, personally touching detail, which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. Is a photographer an artist or not? The ones who feel they are, modestly define themselves as artisans. Still others, who do not think of themselves as photographers will snap photos relying on destiny's outcome. Finally, there are the ones who fantasize conceptual sequences snapped in extravagant situations - most of which without interest. About photography, much has been said. There are established masters, schools of thought, and many hopes. Yet whoever is sufficiently open to a vision within himself, who has cherished and assimilated the masters, will emerge with something new. Passion triumphs when backed by culture. When looking at one of John Pepper's photographs - the one with the group of people, friends and family, in front of their home, for example - I think of Paul Strand's image in his book, published with Zavattini 'Un paese' del 1955. There is a similar gathering of characters at the doorstep of their home. Time here is not just in the shutter time and lens aperture - a sixtieth of a second at eight - but in the transformation of the people, in the process of revealing themselves. With John, however, the appearances differ from those of Strand - moved up in time as evident in the shoes and pants, the motorcycle helmet, the technology of the wheelchair and the modern necklace of the young girl. They appear happy and to be speaking to the photographer. Despite some apparently expensive upper-class possessions, we perceive they are of a modest condition. In Strand's photograph, there is no doubt they are of peasant culture. Motionless, they stare at the photographer with a serious gaze, though ignorant of the world of images. Today, image is consumerism. It goes beyond diffidence. Everyone can have a camera, a motorcycle helmet and Nike shoes. People are well nurtured; they have even grown in height. With John the scene is of movement. The characters interact with ease, and the photographer is part of the game. He uses black and white film enhanced by the fine art of printing - images stemming from classical photography. John was just a boy when he came to my house in Milan, in piazza Castello, above the studio that once belonged to Ugo. I like to think that the darkroom at that time influenced him. Who knows? However, I do believe that Ugo's work helped him to become a photographer. His reportage in Italy is filtered through the memory of many great photographers - Diane Arbus, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, the first Richard Avedon, and William Klein to name a few. He has also traveled through Italy, in the streets and byways of youth, finding dramatic, enlightened faces in the theater of life. His portrait of the religious procession is most beautiful, with a perfect, compact, composition, among astonished angels and those bearing a religious float against a sharp background of light. John lives and works in Palermo, an outward antithesis of New York. An American born and raised in Italy, it is as an Italian that he grasps the vital spirit, the soul, and the humanity of people. His choice to live in a region like Sicily, so full of contradictions and archaic values, will surely help him in chronicling the history of change in our era. Then, apart from making art, he will have absorbed it as his own - a part of his life that will recur in defining time, space, and the evolution of the human condition." Antonia Mulas, Todi, May 5, 2012
Sonia Melnikova-Raich
Russia/United States
1947
Sonia Melnikova-Raich was born in Moscow in 1947 and has been living in San Francisco since 1987. She was trained as an artist and architect, with a Master's degree from the prestigious Moscow Architectural Institute. Her approach to photography is shaped by her background in painting and architecture. Influenced by the vision of Russian Constructivists of the 1920s and the photography of the Bauhaus movement, she is interested in exploring the abstract in the material world, drawing the viewer's attention to the inner geometry of the photograph and its compositional structure. Her Light+Shadows series, which revolves around the mystery of perspective and geometry created by light and darkness in the architectural image, was inspired by the words of the famous American architect Louis Kahn: "The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building." Distinct from her high-contrast architectural photography, many of Sonia's other works (Within My Sight, Råbjerg Mile Dunes, Waking Dreams, and other series) explore the poetry and mystique of low-light environments, capturing fleeting moments, barely visible, ambiguous or disappearing things. She feels a strong affinity with the Japanese philosophy and aesthetic of wabi sabi, with its reverence for the subtle beauty in old and simple things, and focus on transience and impermanence. She believes that photography is the best medium to express these concepts, as each photograph is inherently an image of disappearance, a reflective connection to the past forever stamped by time. Since 2005, Sonia's photography has been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to three solo gallery shows in San Francisco, her photographs have been exhibited at LoosenArt Gallery in Rome, Fotogalerie Friedrichshain in Berlin, and various venues in the USA, with some of her works in the permanent collection of the Lafayette Public Library in California. She has been among the winners in many juried competitions, had her works featured in professional photography journals, and was listed in 100 Hot Photographers of 2022 and 2023 by YourDailyPhotograph.com, the project by Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, an internationally recognized gallery specializing in 20th and 21st Century fine art photography. Winner AAP Magazine #30 Shadows
Avarino Caracò
My Love for Photography comes from an anthropological background that over the years has led me to observe every aspect of the cultural expressions that I happened to observe. The leitmotif of each of my projects always has an identity basis, whether it is collective or individual expressions, through travel or personal experiences, conceptual representations or close portraits. I live my photographic experiences as a continuous revolution, as if it were a magnet that projects me towards a future, partly visible, but mostly to be discovered. The commitment in my projects is mainly to establish a relationship with a social context, through the technique of participating observation, trying each time to establish an honest balance between what my gaze is able to see and what the subject that photographer wants to convey. T Life T life is a very intimate project in which I wanted to know the daily life of some transgender people in Palermo (Sicily). The aim of my project is to emphasize the dignity and strength that the people I present here have every day facing all the difficulties that there are in their social contexts that have a binary structure of gender identity. Gabriel is 22 years old and has just undergone a mastectomy, the very important support of his mother Caterina has made this path very serene and she herself declared that her son's body must be shown to the world to allow them to understand what it means to face a path of identity reassignment. Rashmi is 19 years old and is a non-binary person, she recognizes herself as both a man and a woman. During my interview I got to know the different aspects of her personality, her way of seeing herself as a woman and a man, the most problematic aspects of her relationship with her family and her dreams. Fed and Giorgia are 18 years old. Fed is a transgender person in a pre-hormonal phase, but his family does not allow him to complete the transition by putting a deep communication barrier between them. Giorgia is cisgender and bisexual but has not come out with her family because she is afraid in their violent reaction. They live a hidden love and are planning to go and live in France where they can study at university and feel freer.
Roger Ballen
United States
1950
One of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen's photographs span over forty years. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people's doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg. Over the past thirty five years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In the earlier works in the exhibition his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as 'documentary fiction'. After 2000 the people he first discovered and documented living on the margins of South African society increasingly became a cast of actors working with Ballen in the series' Outland (2000, revised in 2015) and Shadow Chamber (2005) collaborating to create powerful psychodramas. The line between fantasy and reality in his subsequent series' Boarding House (2009) and Asylum of the Birds (2014) became increasingly blurred and in these series he employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. There was an absence of people altogether, replaced by photographs of individuals now used as props, by doll or dummy parts or where people did appear it was as disembodied hands, feet and mouths poking disturbingly through walls and pieces of rag. The often improvised scenarios were now completed by the unpredictable behaviour of animals whose ambiguous behaviour became crucial to the overall meaning of the photographs. In this phase Ballen invented a new hybrid aesthetic, but one still rooted firmly in black and white photography. In his artistic practice Ballen has increasingly been won over by the possibilities of integrating photography and drawing. He has expanded his repertoire and extended his visual language. By integrating drawing into his photographic and video works, the artist has not only made a lasting contribution to the field of art, but equally has made a powerful commentary about the human condition and its creative potential. His contribution has not been limited to stills photography and Ballen has been the creator of a number of acclaimed and exhibited short films that dovetail with his photographic series'. The collaborative film I Fink You Freeky, created for the cult band Die Antwoord in 2012, has garnered over 125-million hits on YouTube. He has taken his work into the realms of sculpture and installation, at Paris' Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (2017), Australia's Sydney College of the Arts (2016) and at the Serlachius Museum in Finland (2015) is to name but a few. The spectacular installation at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2017, "House of the Ballenesque" was voted as one of the best exhibitions for 2017. In 2018 at the Wiesbaden Biennale, Germany, another installation "Roger Ballen's Bazaar/Bizarre" was created in an abandoned shopping centre. Ballen's series, The Theatre of Apparitions (2016), is inspired by the sight of these hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women's prison. Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then 'drawing on' or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through. The results have been likened prehistoric cave-paintings: the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen has carved his thoughts and emotions. He also released a related animated film, Theatre of Apparitions, which has been nominated for various awards. In September 2017 Thames & Hudson published a large volume of the collected photography with extended commentary by Ballen titled Ballenesque Roger Ballen: A Retrospective. Halle Saint Pierre in Paris opened an exhibition September 6th 2019 titled The World According to Roger Ballen. Thames & Hudson published the book in French and English to accompany the show. His work took over the entire space for more than a year closing in January 2021. The World According to Roger Ballen has since been successfully exhibited at Jakopic Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia; as well as the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague. In October 2020, Hatje Cantz released Roger the Rat which was produced in Johannesburg between 2015 and 2020. Here Ballen creates and documents a part-human, part-rat creature who lives an isolated life outside of mainstream society. This book presents the cycle of photographs in the form of an impressive show that keeps the reader reflecting long after the last page. Ballen also produced a film that accompanies the book launch during October 2020. Roger Ballen has published over 25 books internationally. His works are in more that 50 of the most important international museum collections. In the fall of 2022, Thames and Hudson released a second volume of Ballenesque Roger Ballen: A Retrospective in paperback. Roger Ballen will be one of the artists representing South Africa at the Venice Biennale Arte 2022 in Italy.
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