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Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma

Sirli Raitma

Country: Estonia
Birth: 1975

Sirli Raitma is a London based photographer. She was born and grew up in Suure-Jaani in Estonia. Sirli's images span portraiture, landscapes and interiors, but portraiture - especially involving ambiguity via costume or displacement - is her heartland.

Project - Eha

EHA is a series of portraits of my mother, portrayed in a series of unusual situations, poses and attire. Eha was born in Estonia in 1950. Widowed, suffering from epilepsy and lacking great command of English, Eha stayed tightly involved in our lives. In 2015 Eha began to suffer from depression. Life became bleaker. Something had to be done. I came up with a plan to give her something new to focus on, beyond her new procession of doctor's appointments and medications. The 'EHA' project was born.

'Eha revealed herself to be a natural model, happy to play along with my increasingly imaginative visual fantasies. The 'EHA' project has had an effect on both of us. It is encouraging to see that the results for us are also having a resonance for others. The project has featured in UK and Estonian magazines. The feedback from readers has been fantastic and is consistent it that it has prompted many to look at their own family situations and how they treat each other.'
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Marco Panzetti
Marco Panzetti (Italy, 1981) is a freelance documentary photographer, multimedia journalist and visual artist. His work focuses on contemporary issues related to social injustice, migration and collective identity. He successfully carried out projects in Europe, Latin America and Asia, frequently in collaboration or on assignment for nonprofit organizations and media outlets. His long-term body of work on the European migrant crisis, 'The Idea of Europe' (2015 – present) received international recognition including an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Lange-Taylor Prize and the first prize in the video category at the 2017 Migration Media Award. 'The Idea of Europe' is a long-term documentary work on the human impact of the European refugee crisis. Fleeing from conflicts, humanitarian crisis and economical distress in their countries of origin, and escaping the slavery practices commonly reported in Libya, since early 2015 more than 10,000 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, and about 3 million people applied for asylum in EU countries. This huge influx highlighted the limits and unfairness of border control policies and asylum systems still anchored to the post-WWII treaties, and caused a major discussion among the public opinion. Can Europe still indulge in considering itself the cradle of human rights? With this question as motivation and common thread, 'The Idea of Europe' follows the migrants' journey from the desperate Mediterranean crossing to the asylum request in Italy. This project encompasses work from 'In Between', a project done in 2016-2017 from a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean to report on the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in international waters, 'We are not going back', a project work done in 2015-2016 from the disembarking port of Lampedusa and at the Italian border town of Ventimiglia where I documented the migrants' encounter with the resurging (physical, ideological and bureaucratic) walls of Europe, and 'Life after Hell', a project done in 2017 from various reception centres across Italy where I portrayed the daily lives of those waiting for a decision on their asylum request, which could take up to two years.
John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
Peyman Naderi
Peyman Naderi is a Persian contemporary fine art and portrait photographer born in 1990. He is a self-taught photographer who started his first professional projects in the year 2013. As he began his career as a professional photographer, his first motto was to create original and creative photos through which his own perceptions of the world and art could be understood. Also, he is eager to represent a unique way of looking at various concepts in the world. "Concept" is one of the most important parts of his photography projects, and Peyman tries to spend enough time and energy on finding the right concept. To create and discover the right idea he usually listen to classical music during his free time or at nights. Such high-quality music can inspire him and help him to concentrate on finding ways to present the world in ways that he sees. Besides, the colors that he uses in his photos create the illusion of a painting, and, hence, most people usually mistake his works as paintings. Peyman has received several awards including Second Place In Portrait in Fine Art Photography Awards 2020, Particular Merit Mention in All About Photo Awards 2020, Bronze in Fine Portrait and Fine Art Other in One Eyeland Photography Awards 2019, 1st Place in Conceptual in Chromatic Awards 2019, 2nd Place in Fashion in Chromatic Awards 2019, Gold In Moscow International Foto Awards 2019 in Portfolio Category, Bronze In Fine Art Photography Awards 2019 In Fine Art Category, Bronze In PX3 2019 In Fine Art - People and Also Peyman has been chosen as a 100 Great Photographers of 2018 and also Took 2nd Place In Conceptual Photo In 35Awards 2018, and also he has been Winner in ND Awards, Tokyo International Foto Awards, PX3, and International Photography Awards and V Concurso International De Fotografía 'Alicante' 2019. His work has been published in international publications including Harper's Bazaar Magazine and The Exhibition was In Ontario, 2019 CONTACT Photography Festival and Also The Last Exhibition was in France, 2019 Voies Off, Galerie Des Arènes. Statement My name is Peyman Naderi, and I am a contemporary Persian fine art and portrait photographer. I am a self-taught photographer who started his first professional projects in the year 2013. As I began my career as a professional photographer, my first moto was to create original and creative photos through which my own perceptions of the world and art could be understood. Also, I am eager to represent a unique way of looking to various concepts in the world. My first experience as a subject of portrait photography was quite funny though. I remember that I was only six years old, and I was terrified by seeing various equipment and cameras. Trying to make me calmer, the photographer gave me a toy camera to play with while sitting on the chair. This memory, somehow, triggered my curiosity and interest in this art. I bought my first camera years later, in 2010, and started to take photos of my friends and family members. The more I got engaged in this art, the more I found out about my artistic talents and the passion I have for photography. I remember that I used to go to a burnt cotton factory located on the outskirt of Tehran, my hometown. Although the fire had ruined almost everything in the factory, a small hall with a high ceiling and golden walls was left intact. When I first entered this building, seeing this magnificent scenery inside a totally destroyed and abandoned building took my breath away and provoked my first fine art ideas inside me. As I started my first project, I used to go to this place every day to try different photography techniques and become master in them. Then, I started studio photography to learn about various lighting techniques. I tried to include my own ideas and perceptions here, and manipulate the lighting based on my perceptions and concepts. Winning the silver medal in the Victor Polynsky competition for one of my photos called Oblivion, further increased my self-confidence and my persistence in photography. In the years after that, I won several awards in many competitions like Moscow International Foto Awards, Chromatic Awards, ND Awards, Tokyo International Foto Awards, PX3 and IPA, and I had my works published in various international magazines. "Concept" is one of the most important parts of my photography projects, and I try to spend enough time and energy on finding the right concept. To create and discover the right idea I usually listen to classical music during my free time or at nights. Such high-quality music can inspire me and help me to concentrate on finding ways to present the world in ways that I see. Besides, the colors that I use in my photos create the illusion of a painting, and, hence, most people usually mistake my works as paintings. In this project, I tried to exhibit the mind and though barriers that humans face. To fully present my idea I decided to use handmade metals and natural flowers, and then I tried to expand my idea to show both emancipation and captivity at the same time. Also, I have been attempting to display my own viewpoint in all of my works and to enable the viewer to connect with the world that I see. I genuinely hope to create a permanent path in the art of photography inspire other talented and hardworking artists.
Monia Merlo
Italy
1970
She was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, 1970. After finishing her studies in Venice, she teamed her work as an architect with her passion for Photography, making it her main expression medium. Monia currently works as a freelance photographer, her work is focused on fashion, including prestigious collaborations with famous brands. Her photos find inspiration in literature, poetry and her most inner feelings. They are means of creation, research and development of a work which undergoes a constant evolution, as well as being a way to represent, through fragile feminine bodies, the artist's search of herself.Source: www.moniamerlophotographer.com All the work of Italian photographer Monia Merlo (45) is a feast for the eye: magical lighting, vulnerable intensely pale female bodies in a silent floral dreamscape. Sensuous and physical, yet innocent. Mystical femininity which verges on the sacred. It’s so beautiful you could almost drown in it. A view shared by many, since she has now collaborated with a number of prestigious fashion labels. Her work has been published in various international magazines including Italian Vogue, and has been displayed in leading galleries such as Art + Commerce in New York and Sakura Gallery in Paris. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that Monia only started working as a photographer 5 years ago. Monia’s work focuses on fashion and flowers. She uses only natural light, bringing out the contours and detail more beautifully and making her photographs resemble paintings. She finds her inspiration in literature, poetry and the idealised femininity of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A period which is currently enjoying increasing popularity amongst the creative elite and trendsetters. She likes to use romantic flowers in delicate colours with an air of vulnerability, such as blossom, fragile roses and daisies.Source: The Green Gallery
Mitch Dobrowner
United States
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Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards
Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.