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Portraits of ‘Vision Questers’ in a Small Eco Village in Colombia

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In February of 2015, London based photographer Baker traveled to a small eco-village in southern Colombia to take part in a Vision Quest. In this ancient ceremony, ‘questers’ spend several days in the wilderness without food or water praying to the great spirit for a vision to guide them on their path in life. We speak to him about his experience here and the photographs he captured on this spiritual journey.

Photographer Makes Landscapes of Contaminated Areas, Treats Film with the Same Harsh Chemicals

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Photographer Brandon Seilder remembers well the chemical spill that took place alongside Route 287 in northern New Jersey, when six hundred gallons of toxic methyl methacrylate were dumped into the surrounding environment. Years later, in his senior year as an undergraduate, he returned to the site of the spill to photograph the terrain; this time, he planned to re-conceptualize the spill on a smaller—and far less devastating—scale. For Impure, the photographer chemically manipulates his negatives using the same chemicals that were once spilled in the very landscapes they depict, evidencing the sinister ramifications such accidents might have for our environment in uncanny, distorted images.

While Living with an Elderly Community in Miami, a Young Photographer Becomes Their Surrogate Granddaughter

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Marie and Sonja by the pool, 2000

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Dick and his dirty photo, 2000

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Leigh, 1999

Los Angeles-based photographer Naomi Harris describes herself as an “old soul,” noting that even in her twenties, when she went to live with the senior residents of Miami’s Haddon Hall hotel, she coveted the company of those who had lived long, fruitful lives. From December 1999 until April 2002, she became, as she puts it, the “surrogate granddaughter” of the eighty and ninety-something retirees who made the hotel their home.

Intimate Portraits Give Voice to Transgender Youth

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Three years ago, Belgian photographer Farida Lemeatrag embarked on a journey that would lead her to tell the stories of twenty-five transgender adolescents and youngsters through a series of intimate and vulnerable portraits born of mutual trust and collaboration.

We Asked 19 Photographers: ‘Would You Ever Work For Free?’

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Nancy Borowick for The Touch A Life Foundation

Nancy Borowick: I’ve certainly snapped a few friends’ head shots for a bottle of wine here and there, but generally, no, I would not work for free. Starting out, I took a few small jobs for pretty much pennies, but I also had no work to show in my portfolio, so who was going to hire me with no experience? I was in Ghana years ago, when I was still very much an amateur photographer and had been working on my own project when I came across an organization that worked with trafficked children. I fell in love with the children immediately and wanted to help raise awareness for this program. I asked if I could photograph the children and get to know them, and I ultimately shared those images with the org free of charge. They didn’t pay for the images, but I not only took advantage of the opportunity to shoot and connect with a this cause now dear to my heart; I was able to build up my body of work and prove to the org that I could be an asset. Since then, they have hired me and flown me back to Ghana numerous times. I think you have to make smart decisions about how you charge and your relationship development with clients.

Seth Casteel: My entire career is based on working for free. I started out as a volunteer photographer at animal shelters which led to a part-time gig as a lifestyle pet photographer. My general advice on working for free is that there are situations where it absolutely makes sense, but as a full-time photographer, you have to be careful to find a balance between paid gigs and non-paid since you have bills to pay. But there is no question that working for free has unexpectedly opened many doors for me.

Peter Dench: I’m answering these questions for free, which is beginning to feel like work in contrast to the sound of tinkling of wine glasses from the bar opposite.

In terms of providing a service as a photographer, I would never work for free. Personally, I think it’s an insult to my profession, colleagues and family. I understand the argument and that the decision, particularly for those starting out in the profession, can be a tricky one, but it must be up to the photographer to say “NO! I have a skill and that skill has a value.” The photographic industry must unite to end unpaid work and send a message to those who are culpable that there must be change; as long as photographers keep saying yes to unpaid work, the question will continue to be asked for them to do so.

Touching Portraits of Dogs Taken Years Apart, from Puppyhood to Old Age

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Lily, 8 months

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Lily, 15 years

Although Massachusetts-based portrait photographer Amanda Jones has been working with dogs for two decades, the first canine she could call her own was a longhaired Dachshund named Lily. As Jones’s first-born, Lily was there for it all— various relocations, the arrival of the photographer’s human baby— until she passed away after sixteen years of friendship. Lily, says the photographer, was the companion who ultimately led her to create Dog Years, a book for which she captured dogs in mirrored photographs of their youth and old age, taken years apart.

45 Astonishing, Abstract Aerial Images Found on Google Earth

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Grand Canyon Village, United States

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Iran

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Rikaze, China

In the fourteen years since Google Earth has redefined the map, using satellite and drone imagery, aerial photography, and government archived shots to chart and catalogue the world. Virtual travel is available with the click of a button, transporting us from Chile to China, Greenland to Antarctica, and back again.

Photographer Comes Out to Her Parents, Documents the Process in Raw, Emotional Images

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Throughout her life, London-based photographer Paola Paredes has on a few occasions found herself on the precipice of coming out to her parents, but it was only recently that she sat down with her sisters to tell her mother and father, “I’m gay” as three cameras captured the entire experience and discussion, which lasted three hours.

Portraits Capture the Humanity of Primates

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As the single male gorilla amongst five females housed together at the Berlin Zoo, Ivo the silverback familiar to many throughout Europe for his rare and curious response to the throngs of visitors that pass by his run. The twenty-something-year-old animal has yet to find a mate and spends much of his days colliding with and hammering upon the glass that separates him from spectators. Sometimes, he’ll simply gather toss rocks at the crowd until they disperse in fear. Meeting Ivo, says Warsaw-based photographer Pawel Bogumil, marked the beginning of what would become inHUMAN, a series that has lead him to conclude that although they may not be human, apes are— in the most essential sense— people.

Eve Fowler’s Portraits of Male ‘Hustlers’ in 1990s LA and NYC

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Los Angeles-based photographer Eve Fowler is slow to divulge details about the male sex workers she encountered in 1990s New York City and Hollywood; she prefers instead to keep their stories and our relationship to them ambiguous and unresolved.