The Funny, Scary World of One Young Photographer

Japanese photographer Izumi Miyazaki, like each of her pictures, is a bit of a mystery. She photographs herself, but the self-portraits aren’t actually about her. “I don’t think my pictures show my personality,” she told CNN in the summer of 2015, “I feel that this model is another person.” A year earlier, in conversation with TIME, she didn’t refer to the woman in her photographs as “me.” She called her “double me.”

Instagram Hashtags for Documentary Photographers

© Malin Fezehai, IG: @malinfezehai, seen on @everydayusa

For years now, photo editors, curators, and brands have turned to Instagram to search for talented photographers. The key to those searches is often hashtags. Instead of entering “photojournalism” into a search bar, they’ll click on #photojournalism to see what images have been tagged, or they’ll go to a popular feed that regularly features great documentary work, like @everydayeverywhere.

This spring, Feature Shoot and Photoshelter put together a hashtag guide specifically for photographers. We covered eleven genres of photography, and for each, we provided a list of hashtags. The hashtags are broken into two sections: “searchable” and “submittable.” A “searchable” hashtag isn’t affiliated with any brand or Instagram feed. It’s simply a way of letting people know what you’re doing and boosting the chances of showing up on someone’s feed. “Submittable” hashtags, on the other hand, are hashtags photographers can use to send images in for consideration on a popular feed. If your work is selected featured, it’s another way of getting your name out there.

We’ve decided to publish two excerpts from The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags right here on Feature Shoot. Yesterday, we shared hashtags related to fine art and landscape photography. Today, we’re sharing the section on documentary photography. You can find the full guide here.

Instagram Hashtags for Fine Art Photographers

© Téber, IG: @teber, seen on @acolorstory

In April, we teamed up with Photoshelter to create The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags, a comprehensive how-to for photographers who want to get noticed on Instagram. We interviewed leading photo editors from the New York Times, TIME, and Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, along with photographers with a strong Instagram presence, to put together a collection of 67 useful hashtags.

We chose to break the guide into eleven sections, centered around photographic genres. The hashtags we selected are broad enough to have a wide reach without being too general. We cover two different types of hashtags. “Searchable” hashtags are popular hashtags photo editors often use to search for content.

“Submittable” hashtags can be used to submit work directly to an influential feed, where it can be seen by a wide audience. Our hashtag, #myfeatureshoot, is an example of a submittable hashtag. To date, more than 700,000 images have been submitted to our feed via Instagram using this hashtag, and we feature selected images every single day.

Today and tomorrow, we’ll be releasing excerpts from the guide, which you can download in full (and for free) here. Below, you’ll find the sections to photographers working in the “Fine Art” field, with a few helpful landscape-specific tags added in for good measure.

Photos of Lonely Strangers in the Streets of NYC at Night

“The people in the photos are all strangers,” NYC photographer and filmmaker Daniel Soares tells us, “And I make up these stories in my head, about why they are going to get beer or cigarettes at 1:00 AM.” He’s created Neon Nights over the course of many midnight walks through the hushed side-streets of the city.

On Lake Chad, People Are Living on One Meal a Day

A chipped bowl containing a few grains of rice and some dried beans. Grains are in short supply because the government has banned farmers from allowing their crops to grow more than three feet tall along Cameroon’s highways. Militants had been hiding in the fields in order to ambush passing convoys.

Not so long ago, Lake Chad was one of the largest bodies of water in Africa. The thick reeds and vital wetlands around its basin provided vast freshwater reserves, breeding grounds for fish, fertile soil for agriculture, and grasslands where farmers grazed their animals. But as climate change has taken its toll, the lake has shrunk by 90 percent. Today, only 965 square miles remain. Those who still live by the lake struggle to survive, beset by chronic drought and the slow onset of ecological catastrophe.

This looming crisis has only worsened with the rise of Boko Haram, which has driven some 74,000 Nigerians into neighboring Cameroon. More refugees and fewer crops have proven to be a deadly combination in a region already ravaged by climate change. More than seven million people around Lake Chad are now suffering from severe hunger, including 500,000 children wracked by acute malnutrition. Those fortunate enough to be granted a spot in a refugee camp often receive no more than one meal a day.

We often turn away from images of the starving and hungry, from the skeletal profiles and ­hollowed­­-­out eyes that attest to the misery and suffering. But photographer Chris de Bode has found a way to focus our attention on this forgotten crisis. A single vegetable, a dried fish, a bowl of red maize—sometimes this is all a mother has to divide between her children each day. She may have to choose to feed her two youngest and send the teenagers to a village to beg for food. These images do not ask us to look into their eyes and see ourselves. They ask us to look at the emptiness of their bowls and reflect on the fullness of our own. We see their hunger through what little they have. We measure their suffering in the most universal unit of all: a single meal.

Read the rest of Lisa Palmer’s article on Chris de Bode’s photographs at The New Republic.

Photos of a Strange and Beautiful Australian Mining Town

In 2008, French photographer Antoine Bruy spent a year in Australia. When he returned home, he planned to bring with him more than a hundred rolls of film. All of them were lost. “Since then, I kept thinking of going back, to do something about this place,” the artist says.

Powerful portraits confront the politics of race and representation

‘I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other. My reality is that I do not mimic being black; it is my skin, and the experience of being black is deeply entrenched in me. Just like our ancestors, we live as black people 365 days a year, and we should speak without fear.’  -Zanele Muholi

Photojournalists and editors know it—some consumers do too—exoticism sells. People in the west are fascinated by images that reinforce their preconceived ideas of what a culture “out to look like”, seeking poverty, isolated traditions and stereotypes such as African women adorned with cowrie shells and color. Their quest for “authenticity” is so narrow in scope that its seekers often ignore the complex, modern realities experienced by black people in different regions of the world.

Visual activist photographer Zanele Muholi has her first solo exhibition opening this month at the East London gallery Autograph ABP. For more than a decade, she has focused on documenting black LGTBQI people in South Africa. Her ongoing portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama was inspired by her experiences on the road and the socio-political events she encountered along the way. Using her body as a canvas, her psychologically driven portraits confront the politics of race and representation.

Photographer seeks solitude in some of the world’s remotest wildernesses

Nature is beautiful, though also capable of arousing fear in those who have settled in densely populated areas where comfort is found in numbers and light. Many of us have gotten used to a more restrained nature in fields and city parks, a far cry from impenetrable dark forests and wildernesses where only animal cries and running water break the silence. We’ve severed ties with what shaped us.

Heartfelt Photos of a Father Near the End of His Life

Dad, 84 yrs old, Omachi, Kamakura, Dec 2014

Dad, 86 yrs old, Sagamihara, May 2017

In April 2014, Japanese photographer Shin Noguchi took a picture of his father. A doctor had recently diagnosed 83-year-old with Stage IV Lung Cancer, but Noguchi hadn’t yet told his dad the news. “It was the first time I had a secret about my father that he didn’t know himself,” Noguchi remembers. Over the last three years, he has continued to photograph his father.

This Is What Dinnertime Looks Like in Different Households

Tuesday: Alex, Sophia, Kathy, David, Claudia, Eva & Ana. 2015

Wednesday: Emilio, Rhonda, Benedetto, Skylrae, and Jacomo. 2014

Wednesday: Willie Mae. 2013

“I’m super nosy about people’s habits,” Milwaukee photographer Lois Bielefeld admits. “I’ve always craved going into people’s homes- it’s inspiring, curious. It gives so many sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant insights about someone.”

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