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Photographer Gillian Laub on Segregated Proms and a Fight for Civil Rights

On June 26th, Feature Shoot hosted the second edition of The BlowUp, a new quarterly event in which we ask a selected group of NYC photographers to each tell the stories behind one of their favorite images. This time, the theme was Subcultures, and Gillian Laub chose this shot, titled Prom Prince and Princess Dancing, from her work in Montgomery County, Georgia, which she has since published in the book and documentary film Southern Rites. Her journey began in 2002, when she first learned about the community’s segregated proms, in which teenagers were divided into a “white folks prom” and a “black folks prom,” and extended into 2011, when she was finally allowed—after being run out of town several times—to document the now-integrated prom in Lyons, GA, a hard-won victory fought for by generations of youngsters who dared to challenge the status quo.

The BlowUp is sponsored by Agency Access.

Call for Entries: AI-AP’s International Motion Art Awards 4

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As photography broadens its horizons, new opportunities for artists are cropping up around the world, including AI-AP’s International Motion Art Awards 4, or IMAA4, which celebrates and connects global creatives working across genres as diverse as photography, illustration, animation, and design.

Celebrity and Fashion Photographer Max Montgomery Talks Inspiration, Travel, and Heidi Klum (Sponsored by Squarespace)

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From the Squarespace website of Max Montgomery

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For New York-based fashion and portrait photographer Max Montgomery, image-making is second-nature. When he isn’t shooting covers for leading magazines, he’s snapping away just for the joy of the craft, capturing candid and unfiltered moments in the lives of everyone from A-list celebrities to passersby on the street. Whether they’re commissioned or personal, Montgomery’s images capture what is alluring and fantastical about fashion and beauty while remaining true to the grit and serendipity of real life moments. The photographer’s extensive portfolio, visible on his Squarespace website, is a testament to the dedication and finesse that comes with never slowing down.

Photographer Seeks Out Havana’s Cool Kids in ‘Cuban Millennials’

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Cristobal (22) has graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and is now working as a tattoo artist in Pinar del Río. Young Cubans are embracing foreign cultural trends more than at any other time. The fondness for tattoos is big and growing, despite the difficulty of tattoo artists to import the necessary equipment (needles, sterilizers, and ink). Recent reforms have not formally legalized the activity, although the first official tattoo studio has opened, attached to an urban art gallery in Havana .

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22-year-old Shellys Mayara is a second-year student of the ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte), but she also works as an actress and model. “I am doing very well and I am very happy because I am lucky to be very busy working as an actress, makeup artist and model.” She will participate in a US/Mexican horror film soon.

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Night party at King Bar, Vedado. In recent years, many private restaurants, bars and new clubs opened, often at prices beyond the reach of ordinary Cubans.

Barcelona-born, New York City-based photographer Edu Bayer has always valued and felt close to Cuban culture and history, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that he finally made the trip to see for himself the metamorphosis of the nation. Cuban Millennials is his ongoing investigation into the lives, heritage, and futures of a the country’s rising generation of creatives and intellectuals, who in the wake of reparations in US-Cuba relations, are forging a new and unchartered path.

Photographer Transforms His Kitchen Into a Skatepark for Fruits and Vegetables

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Since childhood, Paris-based photographer Benoit Jammes has held a passion for skateboarding and extreme sports; although throughout the years he has turned his attention towards his artistic pursuits, he has found a way to marry his boyhood passion and his current everyday life with Skitchen, a photographic investigation into the unknown and clandestine adventures of foods.

A Collection of Bruce Gilden’s Up Close and Personal Portraits

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“They’re my friends for twenty minutes,” says New York City-based photographer Bruce Gilden of the personalities that together make up his newest book Face. Over the past few years, he has collected the countenances of those who spend their lives overlooked and unseen in crowds, visages that when scrutinized, slip from the familiar and banal and over—ever so slightly—into the extraordinary.

Photographer Diana Markosian on the Most Important Photo She’s Ever Taken

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Roza Yevloyeva, mother of 20-year-old suicide bomber Magomed Yevloyev, sits on her son’s bed during an interview at her house in the town of Ali-Yurt, southeast of Ingushetia’s biggest city Nazran, February 16, 2011. Speaking softly through tears in her family’s tiny home in the North Caucasus, Yevloyeva apologized for her son’s suicide bomb attack on Russia’s busiest airport. Yevloyev detonated explosives strapped to his body at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Jan. 24, killing 36 people. © Diana Markosian

Diana Markosian: I was introduced to photography through photojournalism — so the first phase of my work was spent shooting news events. In January 2011, a terrorist bomber detonated himself at the busiest airport, killing 36 people. I was there along with a dozen or so photographers, a handful of them working for the same agency as me. We circled each other, and by the end of the night, I had sold one image and made none I was proud of. I was disappointed in myself, but still wanted to cover this story. I decided I would meet the family of the terrorist bomber. I traveled to Chechnya, a two hour flight from Moscow, and drove to their home, which was blocked off given the situation. When I arrived in their village in the North Caucasus, I found myself alone. I met the terrorist’s mother, and interviewed her on her dead son’s bed, speaking softly through tears. The image I made, and the experience behind making it, changed the course of my photography. It helped me realize that I can’t be where everyone else is.

Inside the Austere Lifestyle of Religious Community in Siberia who Follow a ‘Messiah’ as their Spiritual Leader

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Julia Sellmann’s documentary photo project, Ecopolis Tiberkul explores a religion born after the dissolvent of the Soviet Union called The Church of the Last Testament (CLT). Sellmann captures a community of followers living in Siberia who sold their belongings, adapted a lifestyle in wooden houses, and live without modern technology to be close to their Messiah, Sergej Torop. Sellmann states, “Their austere lifestyle is an expression of their faith, so I tried to capture it in my images.” Her title, Ecopolis Tiberkul, alludes to this lifestyle: Eco (ecological/habitat), polis (city) and Tiberkul is a lake located near their Messiah’s abode. Torop, who calls himself Vissarion, founded the Church. According to Sellmann, Vissarion was a former policeman, who concluded that he was the latest reincarnation of Jesus Christ. “He wrote the so-called “Last Testament” to follow the biblical Old Testament and New Testament, joining the fundamental beliefs of various religions.” Today, approximately 4,000 members are willing to build a new utopia.

Your Art Gallery Teams Up with Artist Spencer Tunick to Present Previously Unseen Images (Sponsored) 

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In the last decade, photography has become more accessible than ever, and with Your Art Gallery, the art buying experience has never been more democratic. Launched in May 2015, Your Art Gallery is a new kind of online gallery, designed to provide equal support and opportunities to photographers as well as those looking to grow their art collection.

Gripping Photos Document the Uncertainty of Families Living Out of a Florida Motel

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Tyrone Washington holds his 3-month-old daughter Ritcheousness in the motel room that he shared with his family in Orlando.

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John Cruz takes a swim in the pool at the Remington motel where his family is temporarily staying. They were evicted from their apartment when their car broke down and they were unable to get to work.

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Preziyana Presy, 8, who cannot afford dance lessons, dances ballet in the motel room she shares with her four brothers and sisters, mother and father in Northern Orlando.

Last year, Rome-based photographers Nadia Shira Cohen and Paulo Siqueira, along with their young child Rafa, moved for a period of two weeks into a room at the Remington Inn near Orlando to tell the stories of some of the five hundred families living out of Florida motels, sometimes moving between rentals and the adjacent woods or homeless shelters.