All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Benjamin Hoffman
Benjamin Hoffman
Benjamin Hoffman

Benjamin Hoffman

Country: France
Birth: 1986

Benjamin Hoffman is a documentary filmmaker and a photographer with a journalistic education and background. He is mainly focused on documenting issues related to cultural migrations and population displacements.

He has published several photography books, Beta Israël, the Remnant of Ethiopian Jewry (2012), Testament Manouche (2016), Au Bord (2018), Farewell Cape Town (2019) and The Bay (to be published in 2020).

Benjamin Hoffman is also the founder and curator of the Studio Kameni project that aims to explore, discover and give new life to photographic archives of the Cameroonian photographer Michel Kamni.
 

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #29 Women
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Denis Olivier
France
1969
My first encounter with photography took place when my parents performed some strange static dances with an object in front of their face. Later they would close themselves up in a special room under the house for long periods of time, and no one was allowed in. They diligently made sure that they were left to their own devices while inside. One day I was given permission to enter the room and allowed to stay, but on the condition that I didn't move or went out. I remember there was a unique chemical perfume and a red light. I was bewildered: my parents appeared flashing a white light on a piece of paper using a strange apparatus. Then they dipped it into a clear liquid and Behold! I couldn't believe it, A miracle! They were wizards who created pictures. In the following years I didn't really follow his experiments, I was too young to manipulate cameras and I preferred to draw. Photography, Architecture and Art was always present around us and I still remember the black and white exhibitions that we visited. When I was a teenager, I continued to draw and started to paint a little. I even took part in some local exhibitions. At the age of 17 I began to take some photographs, I was especially fascinated by mineralogical micro mounts. I started studying biochemistry, but after 3 years I changed to Poitiers school of fine-arts, and took an interest in computer graphics and generated imagery. While I was there I meet Alain Fleig who introduced me to art photography. I also felt a need to practice photography, and with a friend we spent a lot of time learning how to develop films and photographs. We did sessions with models, scenery, and discovered France. The second year I had my first personal exhibition in a gallery, which was a great experience, then a training placement with Philippe Salaün, who was at this time Robert Doisneau's developer. Following this I did some jobs for organizations, shows and commissioned works. I then started in December 1995 working with computer graphics and made use of the Internet. I worked in artistic direction for several years, then digital cameras came along and I found a way to work quickly and experiment without using too many resources such as film, chemicals, photo sensitive paper and of course the wonderful resource of water.
Gustave Le Gray
France
1820 | † 1884
Gustave Le Gray was born in 1820 in Villiers-le-Bel, Val-d'Oise. He was originally trained as a painter. He even exhibited at the salon in 1848 and 1853. He then crossed over to photography in the early years of its development. He made his first daguerreotypes by 1847. His early photographs included portraits; scenes of nature such as Fontainebleau Forest; and buildings such as châteaux of the Loire Valley. He taught photography to students such as Charles Nègre, Henri Le Secq, Nadar, Olympe Aguado, and Maxime Du Camp. In 1851 he became one of the first five photographers hired for the Missions Héliographiques to document French monuments and buildings. In that same year he helped found the Société Héliographique, the "first photographic organization in the world". Le Gray published a treatise on photography, which went through four editions, in 1850, 1851, 1852, and 1854. In 1855 Le Gray opened a "lavishly furnished" studio. At that time, becoming progressively the official photographer of Napoleon III, he became a successful portraitist. His most famous work dates from this period, 1856 to 1858, especially his seascapes. The studio was a fancy place, but in spite of his artistic success, his business was a financial failure: the business was poorly managed and ran into debts. He therefore "closed his studio, abandoned his wife and children, and fled the country to escape his creditors". He began to tour the Mediterranean in 1860 with the writer Alexandre Dumas, père. They crossed the path of Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Dumas enthusiastically joined the revolutionary forces with his fellow travelers. His striking pictures of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Palermo under Sicilian bombing became as instantly famous throughout Europe as their subjects. Dumas abandoned Le Gray and the other travelers in Malta as a result of a conflict about a woman. Le Gray went to Lebanon, then Syria where he covered the movements of the French army for a magazine in 1861. Injured, he remained there before heading to Egypt. In Alexandria he photographed Henri d'Artois and the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and wrote to Nadar while sending him pictures. He established himself in Cairo in 1864; he remained there about 20 years, earning a modest living as a professor of drawing, while retaining a small photography shop. He sent pictures to the universal exhibition in 1867 but they did not really catch anyone's attention. He received commissions from the vice-king Ismail Pasha. From this late period there remain a mere 50 pictures, some of them as beautiful as ever. He probably died on July 30, 1884, in Cairo. Source: Wikipedia
Norman Seeff
South Africa
1939
Ex-medical doctor, Norman Seeff, emigrated from South Africa to the United States in 1968 to pursue a new career as a photographer, designer and filmmaker. After three-years in New York capturing stunning images of Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Richard Bernstein, Johnny Winter, James Taylor and The Band, he relocated to Los Angeles as Art Director at United Artists Records. Two years later he established his own studio and focused on photographing and documenting artists and innovators in the act of creation in the context of his sessions. Seeff has worked with hundreds of renowned artists and innovators including Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Ike & Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Martin Scorsese, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Sir Francis Crick, Steve Jobs, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys and many others; including Nobel Laureates, space scientists and engineers. The authenticity of his images reflects his skills as a communicator and his ability to create an environment for artists and innovators conducive to the revelation of how they function creatively. This has enabled him to capture the very essence of his subjects. Utilizing his vast archive of images and over 1000 hours of film and video documenting his sessions, Seeff’s work is currently focused on the exploration of the inner dynamics of creativity as it applies to personal and collective creative excellence.Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery South African photographer, Norman Seeff is known for his outstanding black and white photographs of celebrities such as Steve Jobs, Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Miles Davis, and many more. His work focuses on the exploration of human creativity and the inner dynamics of the creative process. “My whole thing was, it’s not about photography- it’s about communication,” Seeff tells Rolling Stone. Norman Seeff was born in 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Seeff qualified as a medical doctor in 1965 ad for three years he worked in emergency medicine at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, focusing on the management of traumatic shock. In 1968 Seeff took a turn in his career and immigrated to the United States to pursue his creative passions and artistic abilities. Shortly after Seeff arrived in New York City, his photographs of the life he encountered on the streets of Manhattan were discovered by graphic designer, Bob Cato. Cato was the former Vice President of Creative Services at Columbia Records. Cato became an important mentor to Seeff and gave him his first major photographic assignment producing images for The Band’s Stage Fright album. Seeff’s iconic image of the group was reproduced as a poster inserted in the album, which when unfolded, became a popular collectors’ item. Seeff relocated to Los Angeles at the end of 1971 to become the creative director of United Artists Records. His innovative approach to collaborative art-direction resulted in multiple Grammy Award nominations for graphic design. In 1973 Seeff opened an independent studio on the strip on Sunset Boulevard. His photographic sessions became legendary. For Seeff, the session became the art-form itself, transforming into a multi-disciplinary process of photography, filmmaking and creative communication. Seeff’s first solo exhibition was at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York and featured photos and videos from these sessions.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Shannon Taggart
United States
Shannon Taggart is an artist and author based in St. Paul, MN. In a past life, she contributed to printed publications including TIME, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Discover, New York, Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest. Her work has been exhibited internationally and recognized by PDN, Nikon, Magnum Photos + Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, International Photography Awards and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press), was published in 2019. Currently, she is working on an illustrated book about The Society for Research on Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRAT), one of the most exotic cases within the history of psychical research.Source: www.shannontaggart.com As a teenager, photographer Shannon Taggart was introduced to the world of spiritualism after a medium told her cousin details about her grandfather’s death that proved to be true. The reading had taken place at the Lily Dale Assembly in New York, the world’s largest spiritualist community. Curious but with reservations, Taggart headed to Lily Dale to delve into the history of spiritualism thinking she would learn what all the tricks of the trade were, but she didn’t end up getting the explanations she thought she would. Instead, she discovered a mysterious world she began to document with her camera. She certainly wasn’t the first photographer to do this, as spiritualism and spiritualist photography have long been connected. Both surfaced in the mid-1800s in Rochester, N.Y.,—home of Kodak. At the time, spiritualists naturally gravitated toward this new technology in hopes of recording what they had been experiencing. One of the most well-known spiritualist portraits of this era purports to show the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln with his hand placed nonchalantly on the shoulder of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. When Taggart first began taking photos at Lily Dale, she remained an observer. After the first year, she became involved as a student and a participant while continuing her photography. Although at first she had a hard time understanding spiritualism, Taggart was curious and said she has since experienced numerous mysterious experiences that have helped her tap into her own creative process. One of these inexplicable events occurred during one of her first visits to the Lily Dale Museum. Taggart said that a large purple orb appeared on the shoulder of a woman she was photographing, but she wasn’t shooting into the sun. “When I brought a copy back for her, she calmly said, ‘Oh, that’s Bob,’ her deceased husband. She was thrilled with the picture,” Taggart said. Taggart was also interested in physical mediumship, which claims to involve perceptible manifestations—such as loud raps or voices—and is practiced outside the New York community. While at Lily Dale, she met a medium who suggested she visit England, where, along with other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, a “new age of physical mediumship” was happening. Taggart said one of the strangest things she witnessed happened during the mediumship of Gordon Garforth, a deep trance and physical medium in Stansted, England. Garforth told Taggart that his hands enlarge during his séances. About 20 minutes into one, Garforth’s wife, who operates as his “spirit control,” said that the spirits were going to work with his hands. While seated under a dim red light, Garforth held out his hand to Taggart. “Unbelievably to me, it seemed to effortlessly stretch, and the entire hand became large, instantly. I gasped and yelled ‘Oh my God!’ ” Taggart remembered. She said that the 30 other people in the room also reacted with amazement; she worried the experience was merely “hypnotic” and that her camera, set to one-second exposures, wouldn’t capture the growth. “The photographs made seem to confirm a distorted large hand … I was able to sit with Gordon on two additional occasions and I saw the same thing,” Taggart said. While some of her experiences struck Taggart as downright supernatural, some of her images were more straightforward, including her photo of bent spoons. It may not come as a surprise to learn the spiritualists bend them with their hands as a sort of symbolic connection to what they believe to be possible. “It is taught as an exercise of the power of the mind, a physical example of our ability to do things that seem impossible,” said Taggart of her most asked-about image.Source: Slate
Advertisement
Solo Exhibition January 2023
Sony World
AAP Magazine #29: Women

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Patrick Cariou
For more than 25 years, French photographer Patrick Cariou has traveled to places around the globe, documenting people living on the fringes of society. Whether photographing surfers, gypsies, Rastafarians or the rude boys of Kingston, Cariou celebrates those who meet the struggles of life with honor, dignity and joy. Bringing together works from his groundbreaking monographs including Surfers, Yes Rasta, Trenchtown Love and Gypsies, Patrick Cariou: Works 1985–2005 (published by Damiani) takes us on a scenic journey around the world, offering an intimate and captivating look at cultures that distance themselves from the blessings and curses of modernity.
Exclusive Interview with Niko J. Kallianiotis
Niko J. Kallianiotis' Athênai in Search of Home (published by Damiani) presents photos taken in and around Athens, the city in which he grew up. The images reflect the artist's eagerness to assimilate back into a home that feels at once foreign and familiar. Throughout the years the city and the surrounding territories have experienced their share of socio-economic struggles and topographic transformations that have altered its identity. The city of Athens in Kallianiotis' photographs is elliptically delineated as a vibrant environment that binds together luxury and social inequality. The photographer depicts a city in which the temporal and the spatial elements often clash with each other while conducting his research for a home that has changed over the years as much as he did.
Exclusive Interview with Ave Pildas
My new book STAR STRUCK focuses on the people and places of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon after I moved to Los Angeles in the '70s, I started shooting there. I was working at Capital Records, just a block and a half away, as a one of four art directors. At lunchtime, we would go out to eat at the Brown Derby, Musso, and Franks, or some other local restaurant, and I got to observe all the activity that was occurring on Hollywood Boulevard. It was amazing and it was fun, even though the location was ''on the turn''.
Exclusive Interview with Elaine Mayes
In The Haight-Ashbury Portraits, 1967-1968 (published by Damiani) during the waning days of the Summer of Love, Elaine Mayes embarked on a set of portraits of youth culture in her neighborhood. Mayes was a young photographer living in San Francisco during the 1960s. She had photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and, later that year the hippie movement had turned from euphoria to harder drugs, and the Haight had become less of a blissed-out haven for young people seeking a better way of life than a halfway house for runaway teens.
Exclusive Interview with Theophilus Donoghue
A new release, Seventy-thirty (published by Damiani) depicts humanity's various faces and expressions, from metropolitans to migrants, unseen homeless to celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Muhammad Ali, Rene Magritte, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. Steve Schapiro photographs early New York skateboarders while Theophilus Donoghue documents current Colombian breakdancers. Alternately profound and playful, father and son's photographs capture a vast range of human emotions and experiences. For this project, Schapiro selected images from the 60s civil rights movement and, with Donoghue, provided photos from today's Black Lives Matter protests and environmental rallies.
Exlusive Interview with Jessica Todd Harper about her Book Here
Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper looks for the value in everyday moments. Her third monograph Here (Published by Damiani) makes use of what is right in front of the artist, Harper shows how our unexamined or even seemingly dull surroundings can sometimes be illuminating
Exclusive Interview with Roger Ballen about his Book Boyhood
In Boyhood (published by Damiani) Roger Ballen's photographs and stories leads us across the continents of Europe, Asia and North America in search of boyhood: boyhood as it is lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, the islands of Indonesia, the provinces of China, the streets of America. Each stunning black-and-white photograph-culled from 15,000 images shot during Ballen's four-year quest-depicts the magic of adolescence revealed in their games, their adventures, their dreams, their Mischief. More of an ode than a documentary work, Ballen's first book is as powerful and current today as it was 43 years ago-a stunning series of timeless images that transcend social and cultural particularities.
Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 – October 11, 2022.
Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition January 2023
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in January 2023