Posts by: Ellyn Kail

Behind the Scenes of a 3 Minute Photo Shoot with Trump

The 20th-century philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, “Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery.” Today, as President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office, his prophecy is beginning to take shape. Photographers are the new historians.

Matt McClain, Staff Photojournalist for The Washington Post, sat down with Mr. Trump for just over three minutes last Tuesday, the 17th of January. Drawing inspiration from the Armenian-Candian photographer Yousuf Karsh’s 1941 portrait of Winston Churhill, McClain’s intention was to make what he calls “A power portrait.”

Churchill is said to have given Karsh barely two minutes of his time. The photographer was only able to make the now-iconic image because he literally removed a cigar from the Prime Minister’s mouth, inspiring quite a scowl.

McClain’s Trump session was less rocky, but it was just as historic. The renowned photographer was indeed “nervous” prior to the shoot and can be seen pacing in the video below, but in the end, he told the Post, everything went well.

McLuhan followed up his prediction for the future of imagery with the following line: “The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.” With that in mind, it’s hard to deny the significance of this particular photograph.

You can read more about the shoot over on The Washington Post.

80 Angry Women on the Election of Donald Trump

Mon Blossom © AM DeBrincat

© Anne Arden McDonald

On November 9th, 2016 multimedia artist Indira Cesarine watched Hillary Clinton concede the presidential election to Donald Trump. That very same day, she got to work on what would become UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN.

Hiroshi Sugimoto and the Magic of the Darkroom

Lightning Fields 327, 2014 © Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographs are often described as “timeless,” but the truth is, they’re all about the passage of time.

A Treasure Trove of Photos from Vancouver in the 1950s and 1960s

Ferry Barber Shop, 1959 © Fred Herzog and Equinox Gallery

Black Man Pender, 1958 © Fred Herzog and Equinox Gallery

The Vancouver of the 1950s and 1960s has vanished. The wooden houses have been replaced by concrete, and the wide streets have narrowed and filled. But before Vancouver changed, it was photographed in color by Fred Herzog.

Revealing the Unexpected Magic of Small-Town Iowa


Strawberry Point, IA


Grant Wood Scenic Byway, IA

“I thought the future would be uniformly futuristic,” Iowa City photographer Barry Phipps says, looking back on his childhood daydreams, “The reality is more of series of layers of cultural accumulations.”

‘Flying Dogs’ Have the Time of Their Lives

Amy © Julia Christe

Scotch © Julia Christe

It all started with a dog named Flinn and his frisbee. His owner, photographer Julia Christe, set out to capture in an instant the unbridled joy of playing dogs like Flinn, and after quite a lot of shenanigans with dozens of canines, Flying Dogs was born.

In ‘Children of War’, Photographer Captures Daily Life in Syria

In the center of Aleppo, civilians are being shot at and killed.

Syrian kids playing in a car that was blasted in the war in Zahabiyah, an area in the south of Aleppo.

In Aleppo and Damascus, Iranian photographer Ali Khara has seen bullets, rockets and grenades raining from the sky, but even under the most precarious circumstances, it’s hard for him to stay fixed in the present moment. He’s thinking about the future, and he’s thinking about what will happen to Syria’s children when they grow up.

Powerful Photos of the Body After Death

When photographer Patrik Budenz first requested permission to document the work at Berlin’s Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in 2007, the answer was no. When he wrote a proposal to the head of the institute, he was told to wait two weeks for a response. Twenty minutes later, he got the phone call. He was invited to bring his camera into the autopsy room, labs, and after some time, onto crime scenes.

Lust, Desire, and Longing Behind-the-Scenes at Japan’s Love Hotels

Belgian photographer Zaza Bertrand doesn’t speak Japanese and was only able to gather bits and pieces of words exchanged between the people she met in the country’s popular rabuhos, or love hotels. The mystery was part of the appeal.

When Sex Workers Grow Old, This Is Where They Go

Portrait of Norma Angelica, a resident of Casa Xochiquetzal © Bénédicte Desrus

The residents of Casa Xochiquetzal in Mexico City range from the age of fifty-five to eighty-six, and at some point in their lives, they have all been sex workers. It’s a two-story house, with food and medical care provided by the government and public donations.

In exchange for a safe place to live, the women must participate in the daily chores and activities. They attend courses on human rights. Some write poetry; others paint. One does yoga on the patio.

French photographer Bénédicte Desrus has spent nearly eight years documenting life at Casa Xochiquetzal, beginning two years after it was founded by a woman and former sex worker named Carmen Muñoz and a passionate group of intellectuals and activists.

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