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Avarino Caracò
Avarino Caracò
Avarino Caracò

Avarino Caracò

Country: Italy
Birth: 1974

My Love for Photography comes from an anthropological background that over the years has led me to observe every aspect of the cultural expressions that I happened to observe.

The leitmotif of each of my projects always has an identity basis, whether it is collective or individual expressions, through travel or personal experiences, conceptual representations or close portraits. I live my photographic experiences as a continuous revolution, as if it were a magnet that projects me towards a future, partly visible, but mostly to be discovered. The commitment in my projects is mainly to establish a relationship with a social context, through the technique of participating observation, trying each time to establish an honest balance between what my gaze is able to see and what the subject that photographer wants to convey.

T Life
T life is a very intimate project in which I wanted to know the daily life of some transgender people in Palermo (Sicily). The aim of my project is to emphasize the dignity and strength that the people I present here have every day facing all the difficulties that there are in their social contexts that have a binary structure of gender identity.

Gabriel is 22 years old and has just undergone a mastectomy, the very important support of his mother Caterina has made this path very serene and she herself declared that her son's body must be shown to the world to allow them to understand what it means to face a path of identity reassignment.

Rashmi is 19 years old and is a non-binary person, she recognizes herself as both a man and a woman. During my interview I got to know the different aspects of her personality, her way of seeing herself as a woman and a man, the most problematic aspects of her relationship with her family and her dreams.

Fed and Giorgia are 18 years old. Fed is a transgender person in a pre-hormonal phase, but his family does not allow him to complete the transition by putting a deep communication barrier between them. Giorgia is cisgender and bisexual but has not come out with her family because she is afraid in their violent reaction. They live a hidden love and are planning to go and live in France where they can study at university and feel freer.
 

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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
Ian van Coller
South Africa
1970
Ian van Coller was born in 1970, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and grew up in the country during a time of great political turmoil. These formative years became integral to the subject matter van Coller has pursued throughout his artistic career. His work has addressed complex cultural issues of both the apartheid and post-apartheid eras, especially with regards to cultural identity in the face of globalization, and the economic realities of every day life. Van Coller received a National Diploma in Photography from Technikon Natal in Durban, and in 1992 he moved to the United States to pursue his studies where he received a BFA from Arizona State University, and an MFA from The University of New Mexico. He currently lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife, children, and three dogs, and is a Professor of Photography at Montana State University. His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many significant museum collections, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, and The South African National Gallery. Van Coller's first monograph, Interior Relations, was published by Charles Lane Press (New York) in 2011. He is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the Piece of Cake collective. Van Coller's most recent work focuses on environmental issues related to climate change and deep time. These projects have centered on the production of large scale artist books, as well as direct collaborations with paleo-climatologists. About Naturalists of the Long Now Climate change has compressed and conflated human and geologic time scales, making it essential to find ways to conceptualize “deep time.” My project, Naturalists of the Long Now, seeks to make notions of deep time comprehensible through visual exploration of glacier ice, as well as other earthly archives. Initially inspired by the 10,000 Year Clock Project of the Long Now Foundation, I have begun collaborating with scientists to make art that challenges viewers to think about the vast scales of geologic time-both past and future-that are recorded not only in the earth’s ice bodies, but in trees, sediments, corals and fossils. Photography is a unique and powerful visual language. However, what that language sometimes lacks is the information needed to bring about understanding of what is represented in the photograph itself. In 2015, I was able to accompany a team of geoscientists who specialize in climate science related to Quelccaya Glacier in Peru. I was astonished at the endurance of these men and women. Every day they would climb to the summit of the glacier at 18,600ft, and then work over 10 hours straight, drilling ice cores, digging snow pits, and collecting data. It would be exhausting work at sea level, let alone at altitude. I realized I really had a lack of understanding of what the scientists were trying to do. Where the symbolic conversations in my ice portraits ended, the deep knowledge of ice possessed by the scientists would sustain and expand it. When I was a young person, I was fascinated by the annotated drawings and paintings of Victorian era naturalists, botanists and ornithologists. These brought together the two things I loved most in the world-art and nature. Since that expedition to Peru, I have started intimate collaborations with scientists by having them annotate directly onto my photographic prints-a contemporary taxonomy of ice and climate-thus re-inventing a genre of naturalist imagery. Naturalists of the Long Now breaks down barriers between art and science, and creates a dialogue between text and image, landscape and viewer, expert and novice, past, present and future. My intention is that Naturalists of the Long Now is to encourage people to think in terms of longer spans of time, and consider what humanity will look like in 100 or even 10,000 years-instead of just considering our personal and immediate desires.
Formento & Formento
United States/United Kingdom
BJ Formento is the light. Richeille Formento is the pigment. This dynamic husband-wife team have made an art of their unique strain of photography. Exuding an eerie sensuality combined with a narrative cinematic sensibility, the ambiguous nature of the characters and scenarios remind us of David Lynch and Hopper-esque landscapes. They couldn’t have landed in the photographic landscape at a more opportune moment. With the enormous interest in their work—success is eminent. Vogue Italia has been a forerunner and loyal supporter of their work, as well as cutting edge magazines like Aesthetica, Blink, Musee and L’oeil de la Photographie. 2012 was a breakthrough year for F+F. They were nominated top finalist to American Vogue’s New Exposure Competition working with Bottega Venetta and Red Digital Camera. In 2014 their works were selected by Alessia Glaviano, photo editor of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue for a “Glimpse at Photo Vogue” at Carla Sozzani Gallery and in 2015 for “45 Frames from Photo Vogue” at Leica Milan Gallery. Amazing response from the shows at Art Basel Miami Beach, Aipad and Armory NYC. Solo exhibitions across Europe starting in Paris, London, Berlin, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf. Their work also been exhibited in New York at Edelman Arts Gallery in February 2013. The most notable event this year is the publication of their first coffee table book by YK editions, as well as a film to promote the book which has been shown this fall at the Pompidou in Paris. Fahey Klein Gallery has offered them the coveted summer slot and the inaugural exhibition of Japan Diaries. A Photo Shanghai booth dedicated to their works Circumstance, September 2014. The inaugural exhibition of “She is Cuba” at Art Miami 2014 was received with great applause as well as the celebrity studded opening at Miami Fahey Klein and Chrome Hearts during Art Basel 2014. BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines, studied in San Francisco and moved to New York in 1999. Richeille Formento was born in London and attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer in the fashion industry. They split their time between NYC and Miami with their 3 siamese cats.
Alexander Gronsky
Alexander Gronsky was born in 1980 in Tallinn, Estonia. He moved to Russia in 2006 and he became member of the Photographer.Ru agency in 2004. His works have been published in numerous international newspapers and magazines, such as The Sunday Times, Esquire, Le Monde 2, Vanity Fair, Spiegel, Bolshoy Gorod, Ojode Pez. He was awarded the Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2009, the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2010 and the World Press Photo 3rd place for Daily Life stories in 2012. Alexander Gronsky is represented by Agency.Photographer.Ru and Gallery.Photographer.Ru.Alexander Gronsky has joined INSTITUTE for Artist Management in 2012. About Pastoral In his photographic account Pastoral, Alexander Gronsky portrays the outskirts of Moscow: the places where humanity takes refuge to find solace far from the cities, colliding with urban expansion and frailty of nature. The space explored lives “in between”, suspended in the nothingness of the unknown and what stands “on the other side”. Gronsky is a landscape photographer with an incredibile ability to capture natural scenes with an allegorical meaning: expanses and hills, spectacular lights, broad horizons. His skilful use of perspective and his ability in composition, lead the observer’s eye deeply into the landscape, generating a sense of astonishment for every place portrayed in photo. In the images, human presence is constant, Gronsky looks for infrequent but precious moments of relief and diversion in woody areas and open beaches, in remote corners and common meeting places. Meanwhile, he always bears in mind the proximity of the big city: glimpses of skyscrapers and industrial parks can be seen in the distance between the trees or, sometimes, surprisingly close to the people “surrounded by nature”. (Source: www.contrastobooks.com)
Attar Abbas
Iran/France
1944 | † 2018
Abbas Attar, better known by his mononym Abbas, was an Iranian photographer known for his photojournalism in Biafra, Vietnam and South Africa in the 1970s, and for his extensive essays on religions in later years. He was a member of Sipa Press from 1971 to 1973, a member of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, and joined Magnum Photos in 1981. Attar, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, dedicated his photographic work to the political and social coverage of the developing southern nations. Since 1970, his major works have been published in world magazines and include wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa with an essay on apartheid. From 1978 to 1980, he photographed the revolution in Iran, and returned in 1997 after a 17-year voluntary exile. His book iranDiary 1971-2002 (2002) is a critical interpretation of its history, photographed and written as a personal diary. From 1983 to 1986, he travelled throughout Mexico, photographing the country as if he were writing a novel. An exhibition and a book, Return to Mexico, journeys beyond the mask (1992), which includes his travel diaries, helped him define his aesthetics in photography. From 1987 to 1994, he photographed the resurgence of Islam from the Xinjiang to Morocco. His book and exhibition Allah O Akbar, a journey through militant Islam (1994) exposes the internal tensions within Muslim societies, torn between a mythical past and a desire for modernization and democracy. The book drew additional attention after the September 11 attacks in 2001. When the year 2000 became a landmark in the universal calendar, Christianity was the symbol of the strength of Western civilization. Faces of Christianity, a photographic journey (2000) and a touring exhibit, explored this religion as a political, a ritual and a spiritual phenomenon. From 2000 to 2002 he worked on Animism. In our world defined by science and technology, the work looked at why irrational rituals make a strong come-back. He abandoned this project on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. His book, In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (2009), is a seven-year quest within 16 countries : opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but are they not winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the "creeping islamisation" of all Muslim societies? From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye for his book Les Enfants du lotus, voyage chez les bouddhistes (2011). In 2011, he began a similar long-term project on Hinduism which he concluded in 2013. Before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world. He died in Paris on 25 April 2018, aged 74. About his photography Abbas wrote: "My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity – the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder. A reflection on the subject precedes it. A meditation on finality follows it, and it is here, during this exalting and fragile moment, that the real photographic writing develops, sequencing the images. For this reason a writer's spirit is necessary to this enterprise. Isn't photography "writing with light"? But with the difference that while the writer possesses his word, the photographer is himself possessed by his photo, by the limit of the real which he must transcend so as not to become its prisoner." Source: Wikipedia Born a photographer, Abbas is an Iranian transplanted to Paris. He has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In his major work since 1970 he has covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after seventeen years of voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a private journal. During his years of exile Abbas traveled constantly. Between 1983 and 1986 he journeyed through Mexico, attempting to photograph a country as a novelist might write about it. The resulting exhibition and book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask, helped define his photographic aesthetic. From 1987 to 1994, he focused on the resurgence of Islam throughout the world. Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam, the subsequent book and exhibition, spanning twenty-nine countries and four continents, attracted special attention after the 9/11 attacks by Islamic jihadists. A later book, Faces of Christianity: A Photographic Journey (2000), and touring show explored Christianity as a political, ritual and spiritual phenomenon. Abbas' concern with religion led him in 2000 to begin a project on animism, in which he sought to discover why non-rational ritual has re-emerged in a world increasingly defined by science and technology. He abandoned this undertaking in 2002, on the first anniversary of 9/11, to start a new long-term project about the clash of religions, defined as culture rather than faith, which he believes are turning into political ideologies and therefore one of the sources of the strategic struggles of the contemporary world. From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye. In 2011 he started a similar long term project on Hinduism. A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985. Source: Magnum Photos
Thomas Wrede
Germany
1963
Thomas Wrede was born in 1963 in Iserlohn (Germany). He studied Fine Art in Muenster and Berlin. From 1998 until 2005 he taught photography at the Kunstakademie Muenster. During the last few years numerous exhibitions presented his works in- and outside of Germany. Particularly, the solo exhibitions at the Museum Kunst der Westkueste, Alkersum (2010), the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2010) and at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Koeln (2007) and the following group exhibitions should be mentioned: at the National Museum for History and Art, Luxembourg (2013), the Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2011) and the Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2009). Since 1998 Wrede has shown his works in several galeries of the United States (New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles). Wrede's photographs have also been placed in these major art collections: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Muenster, The West Collection Philadelphia, Kunst-am-Bau-projects in Berlin for the German State, UBS Zuerich & Lucerne, DZ-Bank Frankfurt. The artist won some important awards, among others the Karl-Hofer-Preis of the Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin. Thomas Wrede published all photographic series in several nice books.About Real Landscape from the Press Release by Beck & Eggeling:Thomas Wrede already counts as an established position to the Duesseldorf photography scene. His large format, quiet, but also dramatic landscape photographs fascinate in a particular way, as the observer immediately feels himself confronted with all the facets of human existence. Idyll and catastrophe, longing and debacle form the fine line of atmospheres which through Wrede's complex direction have a thought-provoking effect. Scenic cloud formations or glistening sunsets at the horizon blur the boundaries further. Point of origin of his photographic works is time and again the longing for nature. Wrede thereby utilizes in his „Real Landscapes“-series requisites from model railways, placing miniature houses and trees into real nature – at the beach, into the snow or in a nearby puddle. Yet, only a small excerpt of nature measuring at most a few steps in circumference is of concern. The observer's perception is thus set on the wrong track because in the photograph the whole setting is perceived in line with the size of the trees and houses. The illusion, generated through the inconsistencies and discrepancies of the proportions, is the result of Wrede's skilful use of his analogue plate camera with wide angle – he interferes with scales and reduces distances. A puddle thereby becomes a lake, a pile of snow turns into snowcapped mountain ranges and a few centimetres of even sand become a milelong beach.
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Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #12 B&W
$1,000 cash prizes | Winning image(s) published in AAP Magazine #12 | Extensive press coverage and global recognition