Posts by: Alison Zavos

Call for submissions: ‘Flora and Fauna’ Group Show at Photoville, Brooklyn


Feature Shoot is asking photographers of all ages, locations and stages in their career to submit up to 5 images around the theme ‘flora and fauna’ for possible inclusion in our annual group photography show at Photoville on September 10-20, 2015 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Photoville is the largest annual photographic event in New York City, with over 70,000 visitors in 2014. Produced by United Photo Industries, Photoville is “a modular venue built from re-purposed shipping containers” that includes over 60 exhibitions. For the last 3 years, the Feature Shoot team has curated a container alongside esteemed companies and institutions such as Instagram, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, The Pulitzer Center and the Magnum Foundation.

To celebrate over 20K followers on the Feature Shoot Instagram feed, we’ve have decided to do something a little different this year and let our community of followers curate the show. Instead of choosing the participating photographers as we have done the past 3 years, we want to see what our readers are interested in seeing exhibited.

The way it will work is that the Feature Shoot team will select images from the submissions to run on our Instagram feed daily.  Followers of the Feature Shoot Instagram will be able to like each image as per usual. Photos with the most likes on our Instagram (by July 20th) will be exhibited at Photoville.

There are 2 ways to submit:

Via email: Send up to 5 images at 620 px wide to [email protected] with ‘Flora and Fauna’ in the subject line. Please include your Instagram handle (if you have one) and any additional hashtags.

Via Instagram: After posting the images you’d like to submit to your own Instagram, please hashtag #featureshootshow to be considered. If we select your image, we will regram it on our Instagram feed for our followers to see and judge.

Deadline for submissions is July 17, 2015.

It is FREE to submit, however by doing so, you agree to our Terms and Conditions found here.

Any questions, please email us at [email protected]

16 Photographers From Diverse Backgrounds Reveal Why They Take Pictures


Image from Living On A Dollar A Day: The Lives And Faces Of The World’s Poor © Renée C. Byer

Renée C. Byer: I think of myself as a journalist who chooses the art of photography to bring awareness to the world. Art is a powerful means of expression, but combined with journalism it has the ability to bring awareness to issues that can elevate the public’s understanding and compassion. It’s the basic reality of why I do what I do.

Peter Dench: I take pictures generally because I’m nosey. The privilege of being a photographer is you can live on the frontline of somebody else’s life.

Maggie Steber: As the late great Leonard Freed said, when asked this question, “to retain my sanity.” It’s true. Photography helps us make sense of the world;, it organizes it for us; it makes us think about it and about the lives of others; it takes us out of ourselves or thrusts us more deeply into ourselves and ultimately, if one is very fortunate, it gives us a life we never expected to have.

10 NYC-Based Photographers Will Discuss ‘Subcultures’ at The BlowUp #2 Event


© Deidre Schoo

Looking at photographs of subcultures is often as alluring as becoming a part of one. When captured well, a portrait of an exclusive society can enlighten us about its secrets while concealing just enough to keep us intrigued. For the second edition of The BlowUp, a new quarterly event by Feature Shoot, we’re inviting ten NYC-based photographers to disclose the stories behind some of their most gripping images of subcultures. The event will take place on June 26, 2015, from 6:30-9:00 PM, at ROOT, New York City.

The second BlowUp will welcome photographers who have straddled genres of documentary, fine art, entertainment photography and film, with each one recounting a short form (5 to 7 minute) tale behind an image of his or her choice. Selected photographs range from Stefan Ruiz’s evocative portraits of Cholombianos, a devoted group of Mexican teens who enjoy Cumbia music, to Deidre Schoo’s behind-the-scenes vision of Flex dancers, a group of innovative New York street choreographers who perform and compete in a boisterous event called “Battlefest.” In addition to Stefan Ruiz and Deidre Schoo, confirmed speakers include Larry Fink, who will be discussing his experience with the Beat Movement, Chris Arnade, who will share a powerful glimpse into street addiction, and Martha Cooper, who will takes us back in time to the 1980s NYC graffiti scene. Andrew Hetherington will take us aboard a Kid Rock cruise; Brian Finke will introduce us to the hip hop honeys, and Gillian Laub will reveal one of her subculture images. Additional photographers will be announced shortly.

Tickets are available for $20, which will include an open bar from 6:30-7:30. Reserve your ticket here (the last event sold out quickly).

The BlowUp is generously sponsored by our friends at ROOT and Agency Access . Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates.

Remembering Iconic Photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Back in 2005, when I thought I wanted to be a photographer, I took a few classes at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. One was a lighting class taught by one of Mary Ellen Mark’s previous assistants (who had since moved on to do lighting at a museum). To my surprise and delight, Mary Ellen Mark was actually a student in the class. She showed up, took notes, did the assignments and asked questions. She was also very generous with her time (and stories) and she indulged all of our incredibly naïve questions about her her work and career. She even signed my book (see below).

Like the rest of the photography community, I’m very saddened to hear of her death today. I didn’t know her personally, but she has always been one of my favorite photographers. And her kindness and complete lack of pretension is something that has always stuck with me and something that I will always remember when I look at her work. RIP MEM.


We Asked 10 Photographers: Has There Ever Been a Time When You Regretted Not Taking a Photograph?


Spirit Medium at Taung Pyone Spirit Festival near Mandalay, August 2014 © Mariette Pathy Allen

Mariette Pathy Allen: Yes, many times! Sometimes the camera wasn’t ready, sometimes I just wasn’t fast enough, sometimes I was too shy. Just recently I was in Myanmar photographing “Spirit Mediums”-people who were possessed by spirits. I had confusing moments when I didn’t know if I was allowed to shoot or not, and missed some great moments.

Giles Clarke: Many times…too many times to mention. Usually everyday when I get home from a day out, I think about something, or angle or situation that I could have done better. I am in Haiti as I write this and was at a protest yesterday in downtown Port-au-Prince. A few local press and I were following a man being dragged away toward a police pick-up truck where they began beating him. When the beating started, I picked up my camera and the cops began screaming at I stopped shooting and turned around a walked away… I kicked myself after, as I felt that I’d been intimidated successfully, which was annoying to say the least.

The other time was many years ago, the last time I saw my grandfather. I had just been given my camera – an Olympus OM2. I always regret not taking his picture that day…because it was the first day I had a camera…and the last day I saw him.

Brett Gundlock: Yes, daily. I live in Mexico City, so I am seeing photos constantly. I carry a small film point and shoot camera religiously, but I still have to be in a pretty daring mood to jump in front of a stranger like some crazed gonzo tourist. But that being said, I know that if I am not comfortable shooting and I force it, it is not going to work out. When I am shooting my projects, I have a general rule of not taking a photo until I know the person’s name. I think the biggest strength of my photography is the connection between the subject and me, the camera and actual photo is just a formality. So yeah- I don’t really stress about this. If it is meant to be, it will happen again and probably be better.

The Best Photo Links of the Week (April 11-17)

From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • Rambo the octopus becomes the world’s first aquatic photographer [Colossal]
  • “Baby Jesus” wins San Francisco’s “Hunky Jesus” contest [Lost At E Minor]
  • ‘Analyzing ISIS’ Photography’ [dvafoto]
  • ‘Remembering Lars Tunbjörk’ [TIME]
  • “If a photographer’s only job is to take the photos, then I succeeded. If my job is to create change, I have failed,” says photographer a year after the abduction of missing Nigerian girls [TIME]
  • How artists are reconfiguring the endless array of selfies, food shots, and vacation pics uploaded by the masses []
  • Astonishing photos of China’s “nail houses” [The Atlantic]
  • Sally Mann: “What an artist captures, what a mother knows and what the public sees can be dangerously different things” []
  • ‘EyeEm Raises $18 Million in Quest to Sell Your Smartphone Photos’ [Re/Code]

We Asked 17 Photographers How They Define Success As a Professional Image Maker


© Ricky Rhodes

Ricky Rhodes: I think any photographer who can support themselves from taking pictures is successful.

Chloe Aftel: Making any assignment work. No matter the budget, location, talent, etc. Whatever constraints put upon you, you come out with something awesome. That and being able to pay your bills.

Julia Fullerton-Batten: There are two levels of measurement of success as a professional photographer. The most basic one is that you earn enough to live from your career. The other is that you achieve recognition for your work, be it from agencies, art collectors and the general public.

Matt Black: To be able to show things that otherwise would go unseen. That’s the only reason to do this work, in my book.

Photographers Discuss Why They Work With Offset to License Their Images

Because we profile so many amazing Offset photographers on Feature Shoot, we often get questions from photographers about what it’s like to work with the agency. Well, Offset has recently made it easy for us to answer this question by putting together this engaging video in which some of our favorite photographers (many of which we have profiled on Feature Shoot) discuss their work and why they work with Offset to license their images.

Whether you specialize in commercial, editorial, lifestyle, food, portraits or family moments, Offset is always on the lookout for new and talented photographers to work with. Find out more about working with Offset here, and get ready to share your photos with a global audience of image buyers.

Offset is an exclusive category partner on Feature Shoot.

The Best Photo Links of the Week (April 4-10)


From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign [BUST]
  • “40,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year. Drones and supercomputers can stop it” [Indiegogo]
  • Cute photo booth shots of shelter dogs = 93% adoption rate [PetaPixel]
  • ‘France Moves to Ban Ultrathin Fashion Models’ [WSJ]
  • Photos of people endorsing Rand Paul are from a stock photographer [Buzzfeed]
  • “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015″ reveals just how sexist vintage ads were [The Cut]
  • ‘Huskies looking magical on mirror-like frozen lakes in Russia’ [Lost At E Minor]

15 Pieces of Advice for Emerging Photographers


© Rob Brulinski

Rob Brulinski: Photograph like it’s your job. Press the shutter button until your eyeballs hurt. Hang out with other photographers, look at each others work, and argue ’til sunrise about it. Drop out of art school and save the money for travel and books. Don’t worry so much about “camera specs,” but know how to use your camera in any scenario you might find yourself in. Learn how to crop and stop counting Instagram likes.

Carli Davidson: Climb that ladder with people you feel supported by. Work hard. Take responsibility for everything. Shoot something every day, even if it’s on your phone. Don’t make excuses for not having the best gear; I’ve known photographers that shoot on 10 year old digital point and shoot cameras and still make brilliant work.

Ricky Rhodes: Keep shooting, keep experimenting. Never settle and always do the best work that you can do. Shoot for yourself and always work to push the boundaries. Stay out of your comfort zone.

Joan Lobis Brown: Keep on taking images. Practice your craft. Sometimes you know immediately when you click the shutter that you have captured something special – I get a kind of rush. It’s that feeling that I strive for over and over again. And then sometimes, I just get lucky and the photography gods give me a gift. In either event, I’m grateful. Have fun. When it stops being fun and you don’t get nervous anymore that you aren’t going to get something good, that’s when I think it’s time to look for something else to do.