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Rising Photographers / S

Miina Savolainen
Miina Savolainen is a community art oriented photographer and an art and social educator from Helsinki whose works deal social engagement. Alongside her artistic work she explores, teaches and develops the use of photography as a pedagogic and therapeutic method. Her work has resulted in the method of empowering photography. Miina Savolainen, her project The Loveliest Girl In The World and the method of empowering photography have received several awards in Finland. Miina Savolainen is a member of The Finnish Phototherapy Association and The Union of Artist Photographers.Besides The Loveliest Girl in the World, Miina Savolainen is an instructor in a communal art project concerning fatherhood. For two years now, a group of amateur photographers have been preparing an exhibition on the theme of fatherhood to Helsinki Jugendhall for autumn 2007, using the method of empowering photography. She is currently working on a community art project involving intersexed and transgendered individuals.The Loveliest Girl in the World is a community art project undertaken by photographer, art and social educator Miina Savolainen with ten girls from Hyvönen Children's Home. It has taken almost a decade to complete. The project is based on the idea of “empowerment” and the belief that everyone has the right to feel unique and special. The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life - the person each young girl feels she really is inside. It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people. These photographs are deeply authentic, revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable. “Photography can help to show people how they are treasured; how much they mean to me,” writes Miina Savolainen. “Accepting one's own portrait is a metaphor for accepting one’s own personality. During years the photographing has become an intimate and profound way to interact with the girls. This exceptional long-term relationship can be seen in the special kind of openness and intimacy of the photographs. Although the pictures in the series of the Loveliest Girl in the World are artificial and not from the everyday life they are bound to the tradition of realistic photography. The documentary quality of the pictures is multilayered. On one hand the pictures are documents of growing up, the young girls' personalities and dreams. On the other hand the pictures make certain features of the girls visible which cannot be seen in their everyday selves. The childhood of the young who have grown up in a Children's home includes a lot of feelings of being abandoned and of being invisible. It also includes the burden of other people's prejudices, the stigmatisation of being a Children's home resident. The fairytale-like pictures are juxtaposed with real life story that seldom had fairytale qualities. The pictures express sadness but also hope and desire to see oneself in a more gentle way. With the aid of the non-everyday world of the pictures the young have been allowed to be seen and to see themselves differently like never before. The girls do not see the pictures as role-playing. In the everyday life the girls may also lead “roles” which appear wrong and foreign to the girls. The pictures may show, for the first time, a side that the young person holds real and dear to herself, a picture that she wants to cherish in her mind. The Loveliest Girl in the World -pictures are extreme documents: they are pictures of a person’s inner identity. This inner side becomes visible and the deeper emotional “truth” can be reached by mixing the truth and the fiction. Every human being has an inviolable right to feel himself or herself special. The pictures are a proof of conclusiveness of the photograph, which is not only bound to what’s visible. The Loveliest Girl in the World doesn't portray the Children's home residents the way the people living in margins are usually portrayed. The pictures are also something else from the sexist way of how young women and girls are exhibited in today's public places. Above all the fairy-tale feeling of the pictures is metaphorical; it is a longing for a clean, innocent state of dreaming where you can see yourself as a whole and an ideal person, protected from the gaze and the expectations of other people. The series brings up questions on how the present visual culture makes one a part of the society. The pictures of the young in the Children's home tell stories of being a girl and being a human in general. The deepest content of the pictures, the need to be seen, is familiar to anyone. The attempt to learn to see oneself in a more gentle way is especially addressing in our time where people are surrounded by the endless requirements from different fields of life. The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibitions have prompted the public to think about the capacity of the photograph to influence on societal and personal levels. From the point of view of photography the project also raises questions about the author and ethics. This project could be seen as community photography. It includes the models not only in the creation of the photographs but also in the selection of the exhibited pictures.The project, its accompanying exhibition and Miina Savolainen has been awarded the Spotlight of the Year 2003 special prize of the jury, the Vision of the Year award 2004, Duodecim Finnish Medical Association’s 2005 Cultural Award, the Young Photographer of the Year award 2005 and the State Award for Children´s Culture 2006. Patricia Seppälä Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnfoto and the City of Helsinki have supported the production.
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller was born in 1980 in Inowroclaw, Poland. Grew up in the countryside surrounded by loving family and beautiful nature. She has graduated at the Faculty of Journalism in Poznan in 2003. Lived for several months in Scotland, spending time drawing and taking pictures of landscapes with her first camera Zenit. In 2006, she has made Masters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, drawing workshop. Moved to Warsaw and began postgraduate studies at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, which she graduated in 2009. Worked for several years as an interior and furniture designer. In 2010 she moved to Beijing for 3 years, working, living and taking lifestyle pictures. In Beijing began her journey in darkroom focused on discovery old techniques of classical photography such as wet plate. Beijing is also a place, where was held her first solo exhibition „Sol oriens” in 2011 at the Polish Embassy in Beijing, and then at the Chaoyang Culture Center in Beijing. She took part in several collective photo exhibitions in Poland. Her photography is not only a lifestyle photography looking for a beauty in simplicity of Scandinavian interior style and magic of everyday life. But the closest to her heart are nostalgic portraits of women, found somewhere between the worlds, living in a dreams. Agata’s fine art photography is characterized by tension between sensual experience and intellectual construction. Agata currently lives and works in Warsaw as a freelance photographer.
Trini Schultz
Trini Schultz is a self-taught fine-art photographer living in Orange County, California with her husband, Dan, and two children. She was born on July, 1961 in Peru, South America. Growing up watching her grandfather paint, she grew an appreciation and interest for art. With the encouragement of her family & friends she pursued in her enthusiasm of drawing and painting from a young age. Photography intrigued her but it wasn't until her father bought her her first camera at the age of 16, a Pentax K1000, when her passion for taking pictures began. She studied Commercial Art in Fullerton College where she also took a class in black and white photography to learn how to develop her own film. A few years after her second child was born, she started her own photography business creating black & white photos in her home-built darkroom and then hand coloring the images. With the evolution of the digital camera and photo software, traditional film and darkroom supplies started to become less available. Trini then set off to learning the new techniques of digital age photography. Her husband taught her the basics of Adobe Photoshop and she took it from there. She began creating painterly-like images with the use of photoshop techniques she had picked up over the years and more recently with the inspiration of surreal photography slowly becoming a popular style of art.From www.mymodernmet.comCalifornia-based photographer Trini Schultz, aka Trini61, explores new worlds through her lens filled with haunting and, at times, romanticized portraits of people with their own captivating narratives. Time stands still in each of her surreal images as wafts of dust billow around a mysterious man, floating umbrellas fill the sky, and a rainstorm of rocks are caught in midair like weightless aerial objects. The fine art photographer's portfolio boasts a fantasy-driven collection that exposes an expressive beauty in the uncontrollable nature of her imagined worlds. There's an engaging charm about the photos that are both intriguing and captivating. With the help of her family, who often serve as her willing models (including a husband who wound up breaking his foot while performing a stunt for a photo shoot), Schultz is able to bring her creative visions to life.All about Trini Schultz:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?When my dad bought me my first "real" camera. A Pentax K1000. It was a Christmas gift, and I was about 16. He got me a huge Polaroid camera before that, but it wasn't the same as having an actual 35mm camera. I loved photography but I didn't think of it as a choice for a career, it was more of a hobby, but family and friends kept telling me I should consider being a photographer. So it wasn't till after I got married and had my second child that I picked up the camera again after many years, and took photography more seriously, and fell in love with it all over again.AAP: Where did you study photography?I took a class at a local community college in black & white developing many years ago, but that was it. I'm mostly self taught. Same with photoshopping, taught myself.AAP:Do you have a mentor?NoAAP: How long have you been a photographer?Oh gosh...a long time! Probably 30 yrs or more. But there was a period in my life where I didn't do it as often, because the rolls of film and to having them developed could get expensive. Then I started developing my own pictures at home, but photo papers and the chemicals could get expensive too. Then came digital photography and my life changed.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?No, I don't remember but it was probably a family member or a friend. People was my favorite subject. Still is.AAP: What or who inspires you?Everyday I'm inspired. Looking at other photographer's work on the internet. The shapes of the mountains and the clouds. The way the sun shines thru the window and creates shadows on the walls and floor. Music videos, movies, fashion shows, paintings. I love going to antique shops, so much inspiration and ideas pop up. Interesting buildings abandoned or new. Artists look at the world with awe and inspiration, every little detail from a dead insect on the floor to fog rolling over the hills, seeing the beauty in it and the potential in them to make an amazing subject on a photograph or a painting.AAP: How could you describe your style?Surreal or conceptual photography. i love fashion photography too so I would like to experiment more with editorial type of photography as well, especially now that my daughter is studying costume/fashion design.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? I used to use a digital Nikon D80 for a little while, and then got myself a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera. I use two different lenses, Canon EF 24-105mm 0.45m/1.5ft, and a Canon EF 85mm F1.8.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Depending on the image. If it has a lot of details, a lot of work needed, then it takes me a while. I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I find myself spending more time than I need to on a single image. Some images only take a few hours, and some take weeks! Even when I'm finished with it, I sit on it for a little while, making sure it doesn't need anything else.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I love the work of Martin Chambi, a Peruvian photographer from the early to mid 20th century. He was one of the first major indigenous photographers in Latin America. Another Peruvian photographer I admire is Mario Testino. The beautiful black & white work of Dorthea Lange and Ansel Adams. And of course, Annie Leibovitz & Richard Avedon, who's work I've admired since I first started taking photos. But it's the incredible work of lesser known or not as famous photographers I see on the internet every day, that leave me very much inspired and excited about photography.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Not give up. It takes a lot of practice & playing around with. Try different styles, subjects, experiment with it, it helps to take a class or two at your local college if you like, and never stop learning and trying new things, it's how you grow artistically. Don't be afraid to think outside the box too.AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?The feeling that you failed cause the only failure is when you give up.AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?It's a personal one. I was inspired by the photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz in her book 'A Photographer's Life' in which she included images of her partner's ordeal during her cancer treatments all the way to her death. They were so beautifully documented in black & white photos. Before my grandmother passed away my mother and I were caring for her, and during this time I documented some of the moments in black & white photos. I never plan to show the images to anyone, except close family, if they wish to see them. They are bittersweet memories, of my grandmother's final images of her life. And out of all the images, a close-up photograph of her hands is probably my favorite.
Oriol Torra Segon
He was born in Manresa (Spain) in 1981. He studied photography at Catalan Institute of Photographic Studies (IEFC). He participated in several documentary workshops taught by Antoine d’Agata (Magnum Photos), Franco Pagetti (VII), Jose Manuel Navia (Agence Vu) or Arianna Rinaldo, among others. Since 2011 he is a freelance photographer. His photography focuses in human frailty and vulnerability. His photographic project Young Patriots has been has received the EXPOSURE AWARD 2014 of See Me (New York, United States), has been one of the photographic projects selected as Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña 2014 (Madrid, Spain), was exhitibted at the Emerging Photography PA-TA-TA Granada Festival (Granada, Spain) and will be exhibited at DOCfield 2014 Festival (Barcelona, Spain), La Kursala de la UCA gallery (Cádiz, Spain) , Backlight Festival (Findland) and Encontros da Imagem Festival (Braga, Portugal). Young Patriots was also published in CNN and Cicero Magazine (Germany). Currently he works on commercial assignments and he is also a contributor of the Echo Photo Agency.About Young Patriots: “Young patriots documents the daily life in a military summer camp for children and teenagers focusing on the fragility of the atendees, in transition between from the childhood to the adulthood”The military summer camp in Mogyoród, Hungary, is a private project which each year sees the arrival of hundreds of children and teenagers between 10 and 15 years old. Some came attracted by the fascination of the military way of life, a militarism which is omnipresent in Hungarian society thanks to its imperial past and the memories of both the Nazi and the Communist periods. Others are brought here by their parents (mostly Hungarian nationalists) so as to introduce them to the unforgiving adult world where emotions are rarely permitted and life must be faced with rectitude and discipline.For a week they will live in tents, will receive military training from experienced soldiers who are still active, will acquire notions regarding Order and the Homeland, will endure long nights on guard duty without sleep, will learn how to use old out of service AK-47s built in Czechoslovakia (with blanks) and will even simulate being under teargas attacks.It will be a week of screamed orders during which intense physical exercise, educational behaviorism and precooked food will prevail; a place where any vulnerabilities and all questioning of military methods are simply overlooked, silenced and inwardly repressed.The young soldiers who had previously already felt the call of the Homeland will live the week’s activities impregnates wit epic airs. On the other hand, the skeptical protagonists, increasingly desensitized, more obedient, more docile, will have been transformed into disciplined young patriots of the great Hungary which one day will go back to being what it once was.All the images of this project were taken in Mogyoród, Hungary in the first week of July, 2013.
Lauren Semivan
United States
1981
Lauren Semivan (b. 1981) was born in Detroit, Michigan. She received a BA in studio art from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her work has been exhibited at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, The Griffin Museum of Photography, The Hunterdon Art Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, Paris Photo, and The AIPAD Photography Show among others. She has taught photography at College for Creative Studies, The Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Wayne State University. Semivan has received numerous awards for her work including Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50, and The Griffin Museum of Photography’s Griffin Award. In 2014, she was a finalist for The John Gutmann Photography Fellowship, and SF Camerawork’s Baum Award for Emerging Photographers. Her work was recently published in Series of Dreams (Skeleton Key Press, 2018) and has appeared in The New Yorker, Artforum, Harper's Magazine, Interview Magazine, The Village Voice, and Photograph magazine. Semivan’s work is part of permanent collections at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Cranbrook Art Museum, The Wriston Art Galleries at Lawrence University, and The Elton John Photography Collection. She lives in Appleton, WI and is represented by Benrubi Gallery in New York, and David Klein Gallery in Detroit, Michigan. Artist Statement "The staged photograph exists as a document of a pre-conceived, imagined event. It can be compared to a scientific apparatus, utilizing both control and the unknown. My ongoing body of work, Observatory, combines drawing, an archive of objects, and the human presence as a narrative tool. In scientific disciplines, a line is classified as an event. Something as primitive as a scrawl on a surface reveals an aggregate of events, intersecting and changing course. Drawings made on the seamless backdrop describe an emotional space. Science is inherently experiential, as is art making. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. Observatory elegantly draws upon a tension that exists between irrational and physical worlds. Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere and memory. Photographs allow me to access the extraordinary, to keep a record of dreams, and to employ the unknown. My interest in photography is interdisciplinary and synergistic, informed by the written word, painting, drawing, sculpture, and the raw material of human experience. All images are made using an early 20th century 8x10" view camera. Large format negatives are scanned and printed without digital manipulation in editions of 5 (40"x50") and 10 (24"x30")."Source: www.laurensemivan.com Her ongoing body of work, Observatory, combines drawing, an archive of objects, and the human presence as a narrative tool. Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere and memory. "Photographs allow me to access the extraordinary, to keep a record of dreams, and to employ the unknown. Science is inherently experiential, as is art making. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. Observatory elegantly draws upon a tension that exists between irrational and physical worlds". Semivan’s work resides in the collections of the Nelson Atkins Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University, and has been featured in Wall Street International Magazine, the New Yorker, Artforum, and Photograph magazine.Source: Benrubi Gallery
Manjari Sharma
Manjari Sharma is a photographer born and raised in Mumbai, India and based in Brooklyn, New York. Rooted in the study of relationships and personal mythology, since it’s inception Manjari’s work has been recognized as walking the line of fine art and traditional portraiture. Manjari‘s work has been showcased in several group and solo exhibitions both in the US and internationally and she's been invited to speak at the School of Visual arts and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Manjari was chosen as an honorable mention for the Santa Fe Prize in 2012, her work selected by Review Santa Fe and featured by the Critical mass top 50. Manjari has been featured in various magazines print and online. Her works have appeared with Forbes India Magazine, Vogue India, Geo Magazine, America Online. She has been commisioned to work with advertising agencies such as JWT and Contract, India and has had features and interviews with New York Times, lens blog, Wired Raw File Nikon Asia, NPR, Time, PDN, Huffington Post, CNBC, Mumbai, The Times of India group and Leica, China. Before moving to the U.S. in 2001 Manjari worked for the national news daily of her country, The Times of India. Manjari has also worked as a staff photojournalist with the leading south asian photography magazine, Better Photography. She holds a bachelors degree in Visual Communication from S.N.D.T University, Mumbai and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Still Photography from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
Jennifer Shaw
United States
Jennifer Shaw earned a BFA in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her photographs have been featured in B&W, American Photo, Shots, Light Leaks, The Sun, and Oxford American magazines, online publications including NPR, Fraction Magazine, One One Thousand, Lenscratch, and Brain Pickings, and are included in two recent monographs: Hurricane Story (Chin Music Press, 2011), and Nature/Nurture(North Light Press, 2012). Her work is exhibited widely and held in collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Shaw is based in New Orleans, Louisiana where she teaches the disappearing art of darkroom photography at the Louise S. McGehee School in addition to chasing after two young sons.Statement:Photography is always an act of discovery for me. It’s about the joy of seeing and the mysterious convergence of light, texture and form as translated onto film. A sense of wonder and a reverence for beauty are motivating factors that lead me to document and interpret the world through the camera’s lens. I attempt to create images that transcend literal description, reaching beyond the physical surface of the subject to resonate with viewers on an emotional level. Most of my work is created using toy cameras. These simple plastic devices lend a whimsical spontaneity to the act of photographing. Although they offer little control in making exposures, their quirks can sometimes result in magic. I print my black and white images in the darkroom on traditional silver paper, then split-tone them to add depth and color. This toning method can be unpredictable, and like every other part of my process, owes a bit to serendipity. The color work is shot on film, then scanned to make archival pigment prints on Hahnemuhle Rag 308 paper.
S. Gayle Stevens
United States
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