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Mike Magers
David Burnett, Contact Press Images
Mike Magers
Mike Magers

Mike Magers

Country: United States
Birth: 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
 

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Isaiah West Taber
United States
1830 | † 1912
Isaiah West Taber was an American daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer who took many pictures of noted Californians, which he donated to the California State Library "that the state may preserve the names and faces, and keep alive the memory of those who made it what it is." He was also a sketch artist and dentist. His studio also produced a series of stereoscopic views of west coast scenery. Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and between 1845 and 1849 he worked at sea on a whaler. He first moved to California in 1850., then returned East in 1854 and opened his first photography studio in Syracuse, New York. In 1864, Taber returned to California, where he worked in the studio of Bradley and Rulofson until 1873. In 1871, Taber opened his own studio, where he gained fame for reproducing the photos of Carleton Watkins after Watkins went bankrupt, although the reproductions were published without credit to Watkins. In 1880, Taber made a six-week photographic trip to the Hawaiian Islands where, among other subjects, he photographed the Hawaiian King Kalākaua, completing a commission for three full-length portraits. The following year Kalākaua visited Taber's studio in San Francisco. At this time the Japanese photographer Suzuki Shin'ichi (1855–1912) was studying photographic techniques with Taber; Suzuki also photographed King Kalākaua (in 1881) and may have been the source of some views of Japan included in Taber's stock. By the 1890s, Taber had expanded his operations to include studios in London, England and in elsewhere Europe. However, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his San Francisco studio, gallery, and negative collection, ending his photographic career.Source: Wikipedia Massachusetts native, he was one of the most successful 19th century photographers and photographic publishers. He worked as a gold miner, rancher, and dentist before learning the daguerreotype process and opening one of the first photographic studios in Syracuse, New York. Taber moved to San Francisco in 1864 and joined the photographic publishing firm of Bradley & Rulofson. In 1871 he opened his own studio and photographic publishing company and soon was operating a successful portrait, landscape, and urban photography business. Like photographers promoting other cities, Taber linked much of his work to the tourist trade. His landscapes and views of San Francisco appeared in publications such as Hartwell and Mitchell's souvenir city-view book and his own two-album set, California Scenery and California Scenery and Industries. The albums were part of a commercial endeavor and contained images from Taber's extensive files, surrounded by advertising text. Taber employed numerous staff photographers whose work he published under his own name. He also published under the Taber imprint, images by Carleton Watkins after acquiring negatives from the bankrupt photographer in 1876. By the 1890's Taber was internationally famous, with studios in London and on the Continent.Source: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Newsha Tavakolian
Newsha Tavakolian (born 1981) is an Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer. She has worked for TIME Magazine, The New York Times, Le Figaro, and National Geographic. Her work focuses on women's issues and she has been a member of the Rawiya women's photography collective which she co-established in 2011. Tavakolian is a full member of Magnum Photos. Born and brought up in Tehran, at age 16, Tavakolian took a six-month photography course, after which she began working as a professional photographer in the Iranian press. She started at the women's daily newspaper Zan, and later worked for other nine reformist dailies, all of which have since been banned. She covered the July 1999 student uprising, using her Minolta with a 50mm lens, and her photographs were published in several publications. However, she was forced to go on hiatus from her photojournalist work following the "chaos" of Iran’s presidential election in 2009. During this time, she began other projects focusing on art using photography as well as social documentary. Tavakolian’s photographs became more artistic and involved social commentary. She got her international break in 2001 at age 21, when she met J.P. Pappis, founder of Polaris Images, New York at a photography festival in Perpignan, France. She began covering Iran for Polaris Images, in the same year, and started working as a freelancer for The Times in 2004. Tavakolian has worked internationally, covering wars, natural disasters and social documentary stories in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen. Her work has been published by international magazines and newspapers such as TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad and National Geographic. Common themes in her work are photo stories of women, friends and neighbors in Iran; the evolving role of women in overcoming gender-based restrictions; and contrasting the stereotypes of western media. Her photo projects include Mother of Martyrs (2006), Women in the Axis of Evil (2006), The Day I Became a Woman (2010) and Look (2013). Tavakolian was part of the 2006 Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo. In 2007 she was a finalist for the Inge Morath Award. Her work has been exhibited and collected at institutions such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Somerset House, London. (April 2014), where she was one of eight Iranian photographers featured in the critically acclaimed Burnt Generation exhibition. In June 2015 Tavakolian became a nominee member of Magnum Photos and in 2019 a full member. She lives and works in Tehran and is married to the Dutch journalist Thomas Erdbrink. In 2019, the Iranian authorities barred her from working in the country.Source: Wikipedia Newsha Tavakolian is known for her powerful work covering wars in Iraq and social issues in her native Iran. With clarity and sensitivity, Tavakolian has photographed female guerilla fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Colombia, prohibited Iranian female singers and the lives of people living under sanctions. Over the years, her practice has shifted from photojournalism to photography as art. A self-taught photographer, Tavakolian began working professionally in the Iranian press at the age of 16, at women’s daily newspaper Zan. At the age of 18, she was the youngest photographer to cover the 1999 student uprising, which was a turning point for the country’s blossoming reformist movement and for Tavakolian personally as a photojournalist; a year later she joined New York-based agency Polaris Images. In 2003, she started working internationally, covering the war in Iraq. She has since covered regional conflicts, natural disasters and made social documentary stories. Her work has been published in international magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. Commercial clients include Qatar foundation, who commissioned her to make a book about education around the world and Shiseido, who commissioned a two-year assignment looking at the meaning of beauty in Paris, France.Source: Magnum Photos
Carl De Keyzer
Belgium
1958
Carl De Keyzer (27 December 1958) is a Belgian photographer. Major subjects in his work have included the collapse of Soviet Union and India. He became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1994. De Keyzer has exhibited his work in many European galleries and has received several awards, including the Book Award from Rencontres d'Arles, the W. Eugene Smith Award and the Kodak Award.Source: Wikipedia Carl de Keyzer started his career as a freelance photographer in 1982 while supporting himself as a photography instructor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. At the same time, his interest in the work of other photographers led him to co-found and co-direct the XYZ-Photography Gallery. A Magnum nominee in 1990, he became a full member in 1994. De Keyzer likes to tackle large-scale projects and general themes. A basic premise in much of his work is that, in overpopulated communities everywhere, disaster has already struck and infrastructures are on the verge of collapse. His style is not dependent on isolated images; instead, he prefers an accumulation of images that interact with the text.Source: www.carldekeyzer.com Magnum photographer Carl de Keyzer was born in Kortrijk, Belgium, in 1958. In his early work he focused on social groups outside of the mainstream. The God, Inc. series explores the various sects of Christianity in the United States and the drastically different and often extreme ways in which people communicate with God. Currently de Keyzer is tackling large-scale projects and general themes relating to overpopulated communities, disasters, and infrastructures. He prefers to work with an accumulation of images that interact with text, and in a series of large tableaux he has covered India; the collapse of the Soviet Union; and modern-day power and politics. His photographs have been published in The Guardian, LIFE, El País and Le Monde, and de Keyzer’s works are held in collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Fotomuseum in Belgium. He also is a recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography.Source: International Center of Photography Carl De Keyzer tackles large-scale themes through an accumulative, expansive approach. He builds up narratives through collected images, which often interact with text (taken from his travel diaries). In a series of large-format prints, he has covered India, the collapse of the Soviet Union and – more recently – modern-day power and politics in North Korea. His seminal project, God, Inc., captured religious life on the margins of American society. A basic premise in much of his work is that, in overpopulated communities everywhere, disaster has already struck, and infrastructures are on the verge of collapse.Source: Magnum Photos
John Thomson
Scotland
1837 | † 1921
John Thomson, one of the great figures of nineteenth century photography, is known for the unusual and exotic nature of his chosen subject matter. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1837, Thomson took up photography as a profession in his early twenties. For ten years, from 1862, he traveled and explored the Far East, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang and the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Formosa and especially China. Utilizing a large wooden box-type camera capable of accommodating a glass plate of up to 12 x 16 inches, John Thomson photographed commoners and kings, attempting to capture the individual behind the veneer of social status. His photographic record of the Far East documented a complete panorama of the cultures and people of the Far East at a time when Westerners were a few and curious lot. John Thomson not only created a photographic history, but also wrote numerous articles and books on his travels and views of life in the Far East. There is no doubt that it was Thomson’s sympathetic approach to his subjects, and the dignity with which he embued them, as much as his great technical expertise, which enabled him to produce such an outstanding photographic documentary. It is this marriage between sensitivity, technical expertise and sheer professionalism, not to mention his voluminous literary output and descriptions of the scenes and people, which he photographed, that has earned Thomson the title of the ‘first of the great photo-journalists’. His work, which has only recently gained full recognition, represents one of the great photo-historical records in the history of documentary photography. Source Westwood Gallery
J.M. Golding
United States
J. M. Golding is a photographic artist based in the San Francisco Bay area. She chooses plastic, pinhole, and vintage film cameras as her primary tools: plastic cameras such as the Holga for the spontaneity they promote and their capacity to help create dreamlike images, pinhole cameras for their simplicity and their contemplative quality, and vintage film cameras for the subjectivity of the images that are possible. J. M.'s photographs have been shown internationally in numerous juried and invitational group exhibitions, and she is the recipient of the 2013 Holga Inspire Award, the Lúz Gallery Curator's Choice Award (2009), Best of Show in Wanderlust (Dickerman Prints, 2017, in collaboration with Al Brydon), and several Honorable Mentions in other juried exhibitions. Her work has also appeared in Black & White, Diffusion, Shots, F-Stop, Square, and Insight magazines, Inside the Outside, Don't Take Pictures, The Holga Darkroom, and The Shot and in two books of pinhole photographs. She has been profiled in LensCulture, F-Stop Magazine, Wobneb Magazine, Mother F-Stop, Toycamera.es, and Pinholista. About Transitional Landscapes These photographs contain transitions from outer landscape to inner, from objective landscape to subjective. Square frames of film that are typically separate join together to form new, integrated images that would not have been possible otherwise, wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts, landscapes that are simultaneously real and imaginary. In this way, and also by transcending the literal separation of the component scenes, they allude to psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott's concept of the transitional object. The photographs embody the eye's transitions across the scene, moving incrementally from one perspective to another as they take on and combine multiple points of view. Because the overlapping exposures used to create the images are made sequentially, as compared to the single moment typically seen in photographs, the series of exposures in each image portrays transitions in time from one moment to the next, creating a connection between past and present, and possibly, present and future. Although the time and distance traversed are in many ways small, the transitions across them create surprising changes in what is visible.
Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Mexico
1902 | † 2002
Manuel Álvarez Bravo was a Mexican artistic photographer and one of the most important figures in 20th century Latin American photography. He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with its artistic peak between the 1920s and 1950s. His hallmark as a photographer was to capture images of the ordinary but in ironic or Surrealistic ways. His early work was based on European influences, but he was soon influenced by the Mexican muralism movement and the general cultural and political push at the time to redefine Mexican identity. He rejected the picturesque, employing elements to avoid stereotyping. He had numerous exhibitions of his work, worked in the Mexican cinema and established Fondo Editorial de la Plástica Mexicana publishing house. He won numerous awards for his work, mostly after 1970. His work was recognized by the UNESCO Memory of the World registry in 2017.Source: Wikipedia Manuel Álvarez Bravo, one of the founders of modern photography, is considered the main representative of Latin American photography in the 20th century. His work extends from the late 1920s to the 1990s. Alvarez Bravo was born in downtown Mexico City on February 4, 1902. He left school at the age of twelve in order to begin making a contribution to his family's finances after his father's death. He worked at a textile factory for a time, and later at the National General Treasury. Both his grandfather (a painter) and his father were amateur photographers. His early discovery of the camera awakened in him an interest that he would continue to cultivate throughout his life. As a self-taught photographer, he would explore many different techniques, as well as graphic art. Influenced by his study of painting at the Academy of San Carlos, he embraced pictorialism at first. Then, with the discovery of cubism and all the possibilities offered by abstraction, he began to explore modern aesthetics. He had his initiation into documentary photography in 1930: when she was deported from Mexico, Tina Modotti left him her job at the magazine Mexican Folkways. He also worked for the muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Álvarez Bravo is an emblematic figure from the period following the Mexican Revolution often called the Mexican Renaissance. It was a time of a creative fertility, owing to the happy though not always tranquil marriage between a desire for modernization and the search for an identity with Mexican roots, in which archaeology, history and ethnology played an important role, parallel to the arts. Alvarez Bravo embodied both tendencies in the field of visual arts. Between 1943 and 1959, he worked in the film industry doing still shots, which inspired him to realize some of his own experiments with cinema. While Manuel Álvarez Bravo was alive, he held over 150 individual exhibitions and participated in over 200 collective exhibitions. According to several critics, the work of this "poet of the lens" expresses the essence of Mexico. However, the humanist regard reflected in his work, the aesthetic, literary and musical references it contains, likewise endow with a truly universal dimension. He died on October 19, 2002, at the age of one hundred.Source: www.manuelalvarezbravo.org Manuel Álvarez Bravo was a teenager when he first picked up a camera and began taking pictures, before he enrolled in night classes in painting at the Academia San Carlos, in 1917, or sought instruction in the darkroom of local German photographer Hugo Brehme. Initially self-taught, Álvarez Bravo’s style developed through study of foreign and local photography journals. In these pages, he first encountered the work of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, who came to Mexico in 1923; the latter became a close colleague and supporter, introducing Álvarez Bravo to the artists of Mexico’s avant-garde, including Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, and Rufino Tamayo, as well as encouraging him to send photographs to Weston. In the 1930s, Álvarez Bravo met Paul Strand, traveling with him while he worked in Mexico, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. With Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans he exhibited in a three-man show at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, in 1935. Mexico was a cultural hub for many in the international avant-garde in these years; André Breton visited, including Álvarez Bravo in the Exposition of Surrealism he organized in 1940 in Mexico City. Although the artist never identified with Surrealism, it was a major theme in the analysis of his pictures throughout his career. Revealing the influence of his formative years following the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Álvarez Bravo would instead speak of his interest in representing the cultural heritage, peasant population, and indigenous roots of the Mexican people in the face of rapid modernization.Source: Museum of Modern Art
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).Artist statement: "Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting." Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres. Discover Saint Louis in Senegal
Désirée Dolron
Netherlands
1963
Désirée Dolron is a Dutch photographer and filmmaker. Her oeuvre ranges from documentary photography and still lifes to portraiture and film.Throughout her career, Dolron has been investigating themes such as the passing of time, the relation between finite and transcendent and the complexity and impermanence of the human condition. Dolron was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL). Her work is represented in numerous international public and private collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Collection H&F in Barcelona, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, la Collection Neuflize Vie in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Désirée Dolron lives and works in Amsterdam. Source: desireedolron.com The meticulous attention to production details characterizes her body of work, and elements such as sound (or its absence –silence) are often used as important tools of narration, helping the viewer to enter into the conceptual depth of Dolron’s works. Both moving and still images are composed by the artist and manage to recreate a reality that is a-temporal, undefined yet extremely present. Desirée Dolron (1963 Haarlem, NL) was awarded the 1996 Laureate Prix de Rome (Amsterdam, NL), and her work is part of major international collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (US), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (SP), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (NL), and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK). Source: GRIMM Gallery
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