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Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Maureen Ruddy Burkhart
Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

Country: United States
Birth: 1954

My creative quest has always been about the 'journey' as opposed to the 'destination'. The first is experiential, alive, organic; that latter seems rushed.

I grew up in places that I now see as exotic, but at the time I just thought it was terribly inconvenient and definitely too far from friends back 'home'.

In 1971, at age 17, I left Iran, after three years, in tears and some relief. I immediately thought 'why didn't I take any pictures there?'. I fell in love with that country and its people, but I would not be going back (at least, not yet!).

Holding onto what memories I had taken with me, I vowed this would not happen again. So I enrolled in the SFAI. Many years have unfolded since then, and I've been a filmmaker (when 'film' was film), a writer/director, an I.Q. tester, stock photographer, and a documentary and fine art photographer.

My most seminal work to date, in terms of how it changed my worldly perceptions, came after spending some three years on and off working for a documentary project in the Kibera slum of Kenya. "Kibera: A Slice of Heaven" earned numerous international awards and press, but my favorite was a local 'Artist of the Year' in Longmont, Colorado. The Firehouse Art Center curator, Jessica Kooiman Parker, called it an 'act of bravery'. Reflecting on that, I realized that bravery is a way to change the world AND the photographer, one heart at a time. The power of photography is truly unlimited.

Amidst a crazy world (and always being on the move), I developed a love of landscape photography. Most people acknowledge that nature can be a place of solace and inspiration. While it is definitely the same for me, I've been creating 'scenes' from nature. I often photograph the same landscape over and over, taking my favorite parts of the series and compositing them into a singular landscape that mimics my relationship to it. It's fantasy, whimsy, and hope. In my darker landscapes, there's a moody melancholia…but I never lose sight of the hope.

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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
Li Zhensheng
China
1940
Li Zhensheng (born September 22, 1940) is a Chinese photojournalist who captured some of the most telling images from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, better known as the Chinese Cultural Revolution. His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, which followed the party line, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him access to scenes otherwise only described in written and verbal accounts. His recent publication of the book, "Red-Color News Soldier" exhibits both the revolutionary ideals and, more notably, many of the atrocities that occurred during the Cultural Revolution. The Heilongjiang Daily newspaper had a strict policy in accordance with a government dictate that only "positive" images could be published, which consisted mostly of smiling revolutionaries offering praise for Chairman Mao. The "negative" images, which depicted the atrocities of the time, were hidden beneath a floorboard in his house before he brought them to light at a photo exhibit in 1988.Early lifeLi Zhensheng was born to a poor family in Dalian, which is located in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China. At the time of his birth this was Kwantung Leased Territory, where Japan maintained the puppet regime, Manchukuo. His mother died when he was three, and his older brother, who was a member of the People's Liberation Army was killed during the Chinese Civil War. Zhensheng helped his father, who was a cook on a steamship and later as a farmer, until Zhensheng was 10-years-old. Zhensheng quickly rose to the top of his class despite starting school late. He later earned a spot at the Changchun Film School, where he acquired much of his photographic knowledge. In 1963, he briefly achieved a job at the Heilongjiang Daily, however the Socialist Education Movement soon intervened and he ended up back in the countryside for nearly two years, living with peasants and studying the works of Chairman Mao.Cultural RevolutionZhensheng returned to Harbin just months before the outbreak of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the spring of 1966. A lack of photographic film, marauding Red Guards, and a political dictate against photographing the negative aspects of the revolution restricted what he was able to portray. He soon realized that only people wearing the red-colored arm band of the Red Guards could photograph without harassment. To achieve this, he founded his own small rebel group at the newspaper. Zhensheng then captured some of the most horrific acts of the Cultural Revolution. His collection includes photos depicting dehumanizing tactics used by the Red Guards to humiliate or degrade alleged counterrevolutionaries. Some of the images depict public displays of "denunciations," where the hair of prominent individuals is shaved. Other images show people bearing "dunce" hats; people with black paint spread over their faces; others wearing signs around their necks with writings that criticize their profession or names. Zhensheng also captured scenes of public executions of counterrevolutionaries who were never given a trial for their alleged crimes. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Zhensheng was once more sent back to the countryside in September 1969. He was sent to the May 7th Cadre School in Liuhe, a labor camp where he and his wife, Zu Yingxia, spent two years performing hard labor. Zhensheng had taken meticulous care of the documented "negative" images he captured while at the newspaper, hiding them beneath a floorboard of his one-room apartment. The dry atmosphere and mild temperatures of Harbin aided the preservation of the photographic negatives. While he was sent away, Zhensheng entrusted a friend to care for the apartment, and instructed him to never reveal the secrets it contained. Zhensheng returned to the newspaper in 1972 as the head of the photography department, and later became a professor at Peking University in 1982.Red-Color News Soldier"Red-Color News Soldier" is a literal translation of the Chinese characters written on the armband Li Zhensheng wore during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Although, he says he never gave his alliance to Chairman Mao, wearing the arm band gave him unprecedented access to historic events, which have since shaped Chinese culture. [4] The book covers the period from just before the Cultural Revolution in 1965 to just after in 1976. It is separated into five chronological sections: 1964-1966 titled "It is right to rebel"; 1966 titled "Bombard the Headquarters"; 1966-1968 titled "The Red Sun in our hearts"; 1968-1972 titled "Revolution is not a dinner party"; and 1972-1974 titled "Die Fighting." The veteran China analyst John Gittings was among the reviewers who welcomed Li's book. He noted that Li was a Red Guard as well as a photographer and did not deny that he also led "struggle sessions" against innocent victims; but his pictures reflect a deeper desire to record and understand. Li's book was "unique" for a simple reason: "Although the post-Mao Chinese government has labelled the cultural revolution '10 years of chaos,' it still tries to suppress any real inquiry into the countless human tragedies it caused..." The book, which has not been published in China, took many years to publish. Zhensheng's "negative" pictures (those that depicted the atrocities of the cultural revolution) were first revealed publicly in March 1988 at a Chinese Press Association's photography competition in Beijing. The show, entitled "Let History Tell the Future" consisted of twenty images from his collection, which were deemed "counterrevolutionary. " In December of that year, Zhensheng met Robert Pledge, an American who was director of Contact Press Images, an international photo agency, who had come to Beijing. They agreed to work together on a book of Zhensheng's photos, but to wait until the political climate was right. Seven months later, in June 1989, the brutal events of Tiananmen Square made worldwide headlines, and Zhensheng became determined to produce a book to show the world the images from the Cultural Revolution. Work on the book began in 1999. Since Pledge did not speak Chinese, and Zhensheng did not speak English, the two had to coordinate work through the use of translators — many of whom became integral parts of their relationship. Zhensheng sent over 30,000 brown envelopes to Pledge's office in New York City, each containing photographic negatives. A number of the images are self-portraits of Zhensheng. This was the result of always returning to the paper with one extra frame on the film roll; a photojournalism technique of always being prepared to cover a breaking news event at the last minute. Zhensheng would "burn off" the last image with a photo of himself shortly before developing the film. Often the poses were humorous and playful. One such image of Zhensheng exposing his bare chest was published in the book He said he was attempting to recreate the old expression of "baring one's chest in the face of adversity," or in his case, communism. During book tours Zhensheng makes a point to speak of his love for China. He says while he disagrees with the government, he still loves his country and hopes democracy will perhaps prevail in the long-term future. He does not believe his images or the book should be considered anti-Chinese, rather a reminder of the painful past many countries endure during their evolution.Source: Wikipedia
Chuck Kimmerle
United States
Despite knowing little about photography at the time, I knew I was destined to make my living as a photographer when I received my first camera, a Canon Canonet QL17 GIII, as a high school graduation present. The entire process mesmerized me. I was hooked. However, a prior enlistment in the U.S. Army Infantry, which began shortly afterwards, put that dream on the back burner for a few years.Following my discharge, I enrolled in the Photographic Engineering Technology program at St. Cloud State University, thinking it a solid career backup plan should my dream of being a photographer be unrealized. The technically-focused program provided me with a solid background in photographic science, chemistry, processes and sensitometry.While at the university, I began working at the school paper, which was followed by a photojournalism position at the St. Cloud Times and, subsequently, jobs at newspapers in Pennsylvania and finally North Dakota, where I was part of a four-person staff named as finalists for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. In 2000, I left the erratic schedule of photojournalism to the more predictable hours as the staff photographer at the University of North Dakota, where I remained for the next 10 years.In 2010 I followed my wife, a New York City native, to her new job in the least populated state in the U.S., Wyoming, where I now work as an educational and commercial freelance photographer.Throughout the years working as a photographer for others, I spent a great deal of my free time doing personal work for myself. These images, which were infinitely more important to me that the work images, were primarily landscapes. However, I have never considered myself a nature photographer. Instead, I tend to gravitate towards those areas which are influenced by both man and nature.Despite having embraced the digital medium, I consider myself a landscape photographer in the traditional sense of the word. My style is straightforward and formal, with a deep depth-of-field and an unabashed honesty to the subject matter, and is in direct contrast to the contemporary trend of highly conceptualized pictorials. Who says newer is always better?In the past few years I've had the honor to study with such esteemed photographers as Alan Ross, George DeWolfe, Jean Meile, Jay Dusard, Jack Dykinga and Bruce Barnbaum. Source: chuckkimmerle.com
Alice De Kruijs
The Netherlands
1981
Alice de Kruijs is a fine-art photographer based in The Netherlands. She frequently touches the subject of identity and diversity and aims to go against the standard ideals and showcase stories through culture and different ethnic backgrounds, her work is a celebration of these differences in culture. As her way of life, she loves to conceptually and symbolically tell stories. Usually by showing a different perspective on personal daily life struggles. Born in 1981 in the east of The Netherlands she grew up in an artistic family. Nevertheless her true artistic passion in photography started in her late twenties. After graduating from Internation Fashion Design and later on from Applied Photography Design with a specialisation in Fine-art portraits she dedicated her life to conceptual photography. In her early thirties she gradually moved to fine-art photography in combination with story telling photography. Family Member(s) In this serie I honour my beloved grandmother. She has been a friend and inspiration my entire life. Although she passed away in 1994, when I was just 13 year old my memories are vibrant. This year (2020), August 2nd she would have celebrated her 100th birthday. On this day, I have publish the complete body of work existing of 18 images plus 10 original images. In some images, I copied the old photo from our family photo books. The story starts with an images from my great grandma before and after pregnancy of her 5 children (see family picture), following with an image of my grandmother at age 3. It continues with images of her when she was a young teenager and as a young adult just before World war II. During the war, not many pictures were taken of her. The first image after WWII is the marriage photo. She struggled with a lot of miscarriages in the late 1940's but finally my father was born in May 1950, I would be her only child. During the 1980's she started having breast cancer and later on bone cancer. After many years trying to fulfill life as much as possible, she died from bone bone cancer at age 74. The last image represents her death. As this is a very personal project and shot during COVID 19 period I only photographed myself or my direct family members for the duo image. This created an even stronger bound. This serie is dedicated to Jeanne Margaretha de Kruijs - Slotboom 02/08/1920 - 14/01/1994
Sandra Tamos
Lithuania
1989
Since my childhood I was attracted to visual arts, painting mostly. I had a dream to become a fashion costume designer when I grow up. When I was 14 things changed. I didn’t lose my passion for painting, but the camera my dad gave me drew me into photography. Since then I started taking self-portraits and gained some photography experience. Later I started reading books about photography and wasn’t taking any pictures for the time being. When I was 18 I bought my first digital camera and started taking pictures of nature. I became addicted to macrophotography, as the camera revealed worlds unseen by a naked eye. When I graduated from school I studied, Technology of photography at Vilnius University of Applied Engineering Sciences, and obtained a Photo Journalist bachelor degree. In photography my most beloved avenues are portrait and dance photography, especially ballet. Ballet for me is something above reality, something spiritual, fantastic. In photos I try to show ballet, the way I see and feel it. I try to create pictures which remind fairy tales or dreams, which look out of this world.All about Sandra Tamos:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?Before graduating, as I remember. It's hard to say what led me to like it. it simply drew me. I never wanted to, but I suppose it was my destiny to become a photographer.AAP: Where did you study photography?Vilnius College of Technologies and Design, Lithuania.AAP:Do you have a mentor?NoAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Since my first shot, five years aproximatelyAAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?The first digital photo was a dandelion fluff with water drops. However my absolutely first picture was self-portrait, photographed with old russian film camera, when I was 14.AAP: What or who inspires you?Little bits of everything, I would have to write a book to metnion everything what inspires me, so I will save your time and will only mention few key sources of inspiration. Life, from germination/birth to blossom and so on. Water, in all forms. Fog, tiny drops on leaves or spider web, rain, ponds, rivers.AAP: How could you describe your style?Sensual, mystical, darkly romantic.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?I use Pentax K-5 digital camera, and my favorite lenes are SMC Pentax A 50 f/1,7 and Sigma 30 f/1,4.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Yes, it takes skill and time to turn diamonds into brilliants, same with photos. But I enjoy the process so I dont mind if it takes time.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Too many to mention all of them. Lately especially admire Gregory Colbert creation.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Learn how to operate the camera perfectly, theres nothing worse than perfect moment slipping away, or when a moment that was felt right for a perfect picture, ends in dissapointment of failing to freeze it in camera, when it simply doesnt look the way it had to and the way it was perceived.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?Loosing faith, should be avoided.
James Nachtwey
United States
1948
James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966–70). Nachtwey started working as a newspaper photographer in 1976 at the Albuquerque Journal. In 1980, he moved to New York and began working as a freelance photographer. In 1981, Nachtwey covered his first overseas assignment in Northern Ireland illustrating civil strife. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union shooting pictures of war, conflict and famine, and images of socio-political issues (pollution, crime and punishment) in Western Europe and the United States. He currently lives in New York City. In 1994, Nachtwey was covering the upcoming elections in South Africa, the first non-racial ones in decades. As an associate of the Bang-Bang Club, he was at the scene when Ken Oosterbroek was killed and Greg Marinovich was seriously injured. Nachtwey had been injured previously in his work, but it was during his extensive coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq that he received his first combat injury. As Nachtwey, along with Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf rode in the back of a Humvee with the United States Army "Tomb Raiders" Survey Platoon, an insurgent threw a grenade into the vehicle. Weisskopf grabbed the grenade to throw it out of the humvee, but it exploded in his hand. Two soldiers were injured in the explosion, along with the Time journalists. Nachtwey managed to take several photographs of medic Billie Grimes treating Weisskopf before passing out. Both journalists were airlifted to Germany and later to hospitals in the United States. Nachtwey recovered sufficiently to return overseas to cover the tsunami in Southeast Asia of December 26, 2004. Nachtwey has worked with Time as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked for Black Star from 1980 until 1985 and was a member of Magnum Photos from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he was a founding member of the VII Photo Agency (he disassociated from VII in August 2011). Nachtwey was present during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, and produced a well known related body of work. He also compiled a photo essay on the effects of the Sudan conflict on civilians. In February 2011, Nachtwey contributed to a controversial piece for Vogue Magazine, which shone a favorable light on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his family. The article and the photo series were particularly controversial as a peaceful protest movement in the context of the Arab Spring that was gathering steam at the same time, was brutally put down by the Syrian regime's military and secret police services. By December 2011, death toll estimates of the uprising ranged between 3,500 and 5,000, while an approximate 30,000 civilians were imprisoned and, in many cases, tortured severely. Vogue later decided to remove the article from its pages. Nevertheless, the article can still be accessed on the Syrian presidency's own website. Source: Wikipedia James Nachtwey grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science (1966-70). Images from the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement had a powerful effect on him and were instrumental in his decision to become a photographer. He has worked aboard ships in the Merchant Marine, and while teaching himself photography, he was an apprentice news film editor and a truck driver. In 1976 he started work as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico, and in 1980, he moved to New York to begin a career as a freelance magazine photographer. His first foreign assignment was to cover civil strife in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the IRA hunger strike. Since then, Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues. He has worked on extensive photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States. Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time Magazine since 1984. He was associated with Black Star from 1980 - 1985 and was a member of Magnum from 1986 until 2001. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Culturgest in Lisbon, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Canon Gallery and the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the Carolinum in Prague,and the Hasselblad Center in Sweden, among others. He has received numerous honours such as the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Henry Luce Award, Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice), Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (three times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Canon Photo essayist Award and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts. Source: www.jamesnachtwey.com
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Call for Entries
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Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.