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The Story of Former Mexican Gang Members Who Now Pursue Their Passion for Art and Tattooing

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In the desert landscape of Indio, California, eight young men cast off their involvements within the Mexican gang system in hopes of forging non-violent lives as a brotherhood of tattoo artists. For Desert Ink, Australian photographer Jonathan May tells the story of the men of Art and Ink tattoo shop, weaving together a murky and enigmatical tale of loss and redemption.

‘Technically Intimate’ Offers a Revealing Portrait of the ‘Sexting’ Phenomenon (NSFW)

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When Chicago-based photographer Evan Baden first embarked on Technically Intimate seven years ago, homemade pornography and sexting were just beginning to gain momentum. Couples were making and selling their own sex tapes for profit, and individuals were snapping nude shots and sending them away for the remote enjoyment of a sometimes uncontainable audience.

We Asked 18 Photographers: Do You Always Get Permission From People That You Photograph?

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© Ayesha Malik

Ayesha Malik: It depends on the situation. If I am walking around with a small camera or my iPhone, I do not necessarily ask. I value the lightness of that process. Sometimes I will exchange a glance of acknowledgement if I sense a person would prefer that. In my more recent work exploring/documenting Saudi Arabia, I have chosen to actively ask my subjects to be photographed. I do not want them to be stolen moments. I want them to be given, to be honest, for a person to be seen as they wish to be seen. I started carrying around a laminated note in Arabic stating what my project was about and if I could take a photograph. I have no interest in telling people how to see Saudi Arabia. I believe Saudi Arabia has to be seen on its own terms. I hope that through this process, it will speak for itself, in all its variations. I find it is a country of private people, and I will always choose to respect that over anything else.

Ron Haviv: It is a situation by situation decision regarding permission. In the United States, if you and your subject are in public, there is no legal requirement for permission. If you are on or in someone’s personal property, permission is needed. In many cases, if I point a camera towards someone, and there is no negative reaction, I feel fine in taking the image. If they say no, verbally or otherwise, I respect their choice. If, however, there is a crime, violent act, or people are there for the purpose of being photographed, I will take the image.

Bieke Depoorter: Normally yes. I often feel uncomfortable with taking pictures in the streets, because it somehow feels like stealing… I feel better if I first ask for permission. When I enter in peoples home, it’s more easy, as I explain to them my ideas before they invite me into their home. I understand, though, if street photographers do not ask for permission first… the moment can be easily gone if you asked. It’s all about having respect for your subject. If you have that, not a lot of things can go wrong.

Photographer Salvages Expired Photographic Paper for ‘The After Life of Things’

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San Francisco-based photographer David Wolf has no interest in discovering the next big thing; instead, he’s drawn to the forsaken, to the has-beens and the rejects of decades past. For The After Life of Things, Wolf documents items that have been discarded on street corners and roadsides, ultimately printing their effigies on expired and discontinued photographic paper.

The Story of One Photographer Who Tracked Down Her Birth Mom After 22 Years Apart

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“My whole life, I have been curious,” says Massachusetts-based photographer Ashley Comer of her birth mother Sheila, to whom she reached out this winter after twenty-two years apart. Meeting Sheila documents the friendship they forged over a series of four weekends.

Beautiful Photos Document the Daily Life of a Little Girl with Down Syndrome Living in the Denmark Countryside

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Emmy loves meeting new people, says German photographer Mario Wezel of the five-year-old girl whom he documented every other day throughout her kindergarden school year. From his time with her, the photographer discovered that Emmy has the rare ability of taking in the world slowly, of becoming absorbed in fully her present surroundings, without making prejudgements or assumptions. Emmy also happens to have been born with Down syndrome.

64 Photos of Unforgettable Summer Vacations

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The Gorge, near Portland, OR © Justin Nunnink

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Honolulu, Hawaii © Adrian Mueller

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French Riviera © Laurent Roch

For our latest group show, we invited you to submit your photographs of summer vacation. Judged by April Jenkins, Photo Editor for Offset, a new collection of high-end stock photography and illustration from artists around the globe, the images selected for this collection capture locales as diverse as the French Riviera and the Bahamas, Romania and Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s said that the human brain is more likely to hold onto memories that are new and exotic than those that are familiar and routine, a theory that might help explain why so many of our most cherished recollections are associated with vacations abroad rather than day-to-day life at home. For many, the most meaningful part of a summer vacation is the opportunity to make memories that are hard to forget, that will stay lodged in our consciousness for years to come. For this reason, photographs have become a key ingredient in summer vacations around the world, meant to be mounted and remembered long after we have returned home.

The Weather Channel and Toyota’s ‘It’s Amazing Out There’ Photo Contest Is Offering the Chance to Win $15,000 and Other Prizes

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If there’s one thing that photographers will never be able to control, it’s the weather. No matter how advanced cameras become or how much the industry changes course, Mother Nature will remain a constant, and she will always have the upper hand. When photographers are faced with unusual weather, they have two choices: to resign and go back home, or to embrace the unpredictability and power of our planet. This year, The Weather Channel’s annual It’s Amazing Out There Photo Contest celebrates those who have chosen the latter and gone on to make unforgettable images relating to the themes of nature, adventure, and the elements.

We Asked 19 Photographers: Would You Ever Pay Someone In Order to Take Their Portrait?

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© David Pace

David Pace: I would not pay anyone to take their portrait. That would make it an impersonal business transaction. I believe in establishing a relationship with the people I photograph, and I feel strongly that it should be reciprocal. I give a print to every person who enters into that photographic relationship with me. Since I photograph in West Africa, that usually means locating my subjects as much as year later on my next trip. I always find them. This has the added benefit of strengthening our relationship. On my last trip, in January 2015, I distributed more than 900 prints.

Ian Willms: In my heart, paying someone in order to photograph them feels like paying someone for sex. I can’t say I’d never do it, but I haven’t yet.

Cristina de Middel: Yes, I normally pay people to take their portrait since most of my work is sold in galleries now. I believe sharing a part of the potential profit is the right thing to do. I even have projects where paying my models is an important part of the whole idea, like when I pay prostitutes’ clients to take their picture. I become their client just like when they go with prostitutes, and it would not work if they were doing it for free.

Cast Your Vote for Our ‘Flora and Fauna’ Group Photography Show at Photoville

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© Kate Sweeney [@kate_sweeney], 619 votes

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© Winky Lewis [@winkylewis], 575 votes

Last week, we announced that for our fourth annual Photoville exhibition, Feature Shoot is inviting our Instagram followers to curate the show. The theme is ‘Flora and Fauna,’ and submissions and votes have been rolling in. Each day, we will continue to post selected images to our Instagram feed, where you may cast your vote for your favorite images simply by “liking” it on Instagram. Submissions are due by July 17th, 2015, but voting will remain open until July 20th. The 20-25 images with the most “likes” will be exhibited on September 10th-20th at Photoville, New York City’s largest annual photo event. Here are our top five frontrunners so far, selected from more than 2,000 submissions and counting. A lot can change in eleven days, so be sure to submit and keep on voting.