Posts tagged: documentary photography

‘Boomerang Kids’: Portraits of Millennials Living Back Home with Mom and Dad


Mikey Billings, 29, Statesville, N.C.
Degree: B.A., Film studies, Full Sail University
Career Goal: Film or music industry
Current Job: Working part time at a malt shop
Student Loans: $80,000


Jacqueline Boubion, 30, Diamond Bar, Calif.
Degree: B.A. Communications, California State University, Fullerton
Career goal: Film director 
Current job: Production assisting in commercials and music videos
Student Loans: None, but $22,000 in credit-card debt

According to the The New York Times Magazine, 1 in 5 people in their 20s and early 30s find themselves living with their parents. Photographer Damon Casarez contextualizes the struggle for independence in his series Boomerang Kids. Shot in 8 states and over 14 cities, the work is a revealing and compassionate story of Millennials in the United States. A recent graduate with an excessive amount of student loan debt himself, Casarez moved back in with his parents and was inspired to connect with others in his same situation. The perfect storm of economic crises places many young people in a surreal limbo of re-adolescence, the metamorphasis from teenager to independent adult no longer a straight line.

Photo du Jour: ‘The Edge of Light’


The Edge of Light is a tale of two cities in one. Adam Ryder and Brian Rosa collaborated to document the fascinating story of Wendover, an area made up of roughly 5,000 people and split down the state line of Utah and Nevada. Established in 1906 as a maintenance stop on the Western Pacific Railroad, the tiny industrial town changed dramatically in 1931 when Nevada legalized gambling. The inaugural Stateline Casino was the first to be built and several others sprung up all along what became West Wendover. Today, the two locations are divided not just by political geography, but by population and wealth, the casino Wendover thriving while the other struggles. As the economy worsens, a great number of the Utah residents now cross the border to work in the casinos.

Thought-Provoking Photographs Depict the Psychological Effects of War in Iran

Gohar Dashti

Gohar Dashti

For her powerful series Today’s Life and War, photographer Gohar Dashti catalogues the emotional effects of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980, giving form to the invisible but pervasive anxieties that linger in the minds of civilians decades after its close in 1988. In these staged narrative images, the artist explores the complex and contradictory impulses that govern even the most routine tasks. A couple eats breakfast and cleans their laundry, inescapably haunted by the violence that springs forth from newspapers and television sets. As they navigate uneven, chaotic terrain, their humble wedding party is trailed by tanks and troops.

Fascinating Series tells the Story of How a Crime-Ridden Town in Mexico Reclaimed Harmony

Brett Gundlock

Brett Gundlock

Sparks of light among the generally horrific news about Mexico are woefully rare. Toronto-based photographer Brett Gundlock has captured one such spark with El Pueblothe remarkable story of Cherán, a small town in Michoacán, whose residents drove out a group of cartel-associated loggers and took back their town.

Photo du Jour: A Captivating Portrait of Young Boys at a Novitiation Ceremony in Myanmar


© Gentl and Hyers / Offset

The country of Myanmar continues to uphold beautiful, ancient traditions despite its troubled history. Photography team Gentl and Hyers capture a Novitiation Ceremony, a crucial and precious event for children of the Buddhist faith. Also known as “shinbyu”, the ritual is believed to have originated some two thousand years ago, when the Buddha’s own son requested to abandoned his princely role and join the monastery. The custom is now an important part of Myanmar culture, all boys between the ages of 5 to 20 expected to shed their earthly possessions to become novice monks or “Sons of the Enlightened One”. 

Coming of Age in NYC: Photos Explore the Frenzied Lives of Teenage Girls in the City



If you were ever a fifteen year old girl, you likely remember it as a confusing time of experimentation and self discovery. In her recent recent documentary series Fifteen, Austin-based photographer Ilana Panich-Linsman examines both the defining moments and the subtleties of female teenage culture. Taking a fly-on-the-wall approach, Panich-Linsman observes as an outsider peering in at the sometimes peculiar and banal behaviors of girls at an arbitrary time in their lives.

Our Darkest Fears Brought to Life with Powerful Photographs of Disasters



With her dramatic photographs, Marina Gadonneix explores the terrain of post-9/11 fear, delving headfirst into locations and situations haunted by lingering dread. For Crime Scenes, The House That Burns Everyday, and Playground Disorder, she visits police training schools, firefighter training centers, and military bases, respectively. Absent of people yet bearing the marks of abrupt departures and hurried evacuations, the empty spaces invite dark fantasies. Evidence of disorder—numbered plaques laid out by police, a coating of burnt, ashy soot—interrupts the rational, mundane rituals of daily domestic life, and the comforting landscape of the home is overwrought with suspense.

Wonderland of Dough: Photos of American Convenience Stores that Have Sold Million-Dollar Lottery Tickets


Fast Freddie’s, Wakefield, MA.

Site of the first winning $10 million scratch ticket in the country. The store received the maximum bonus commission, which in MA is $50,000.


Elizabeth, recovering scratch ticket addict.

Elizabeth used to spend as much as $100 each week buying scratch tickets: “I was convinced it would solve all my problems.”

Edie Bresler’s series of photographs, We Sold a Winner, at first could be taken for a simple Pop typology — a collection of pictures of convenience stores in all their colorful, cheesy glory. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find the Boston photographer and teacher found something else at the brightly lighted shacks, sheds, and cinder block cubes of Playland Market, Cassie’s Corner Shop and Minihan’s Handy Store. Dangling over gaudy ranks of Cheetos, M&M’s, and bottles of Five Hour Energy Drink are festoons of lottery tickets. They bark slogans like “Set for Life” and “Wonderland of Dough.” They are at the heart of Bresler’s project. She photographs stores that have sold million-dollar tickets.

Colorful Photo Series Reveals What’s Inside Your Favorite Fireworks

Andrew_Waits_04Ground Bloom Flower

Andrew_Waits_03Orange Ammo Smoke

For Boom City, photographer Andrew Waits catalogues the outrageous fireworks sold north of Seattle, Washington in the Tulalip reservation. Each year on the 4th of July, families make a mad dash through hundreds of vendors to collect the best bargains on cherry bombs, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and roman candles. Adjacent to the rows of firework stands sits an open field and pit of gravel on which customers set off their recent purchases in elaborate one-man shows.

Lost and Not Found: A Haunting Series Depicts Clothing of Missing Persons in El Salvador

Fred RamosDate found: December 27, 2012. Time: not available. Location: riverbank in the village of Soyanpago, San Salvador. Gender: female. Age: between 14 and 17 years old. Time of disappearance: Not known. 

Fred Ramos

Date found: February 1, 2013. Time: 15:45. Location: a sugar plantation in Apopa, San Salvador. Gender: female. Age: between 17 and 18 years old. Time of disappearance: not known.

The Last Outfit of the Missing, a devastating series by San Salvador-based photographer Fred Ramos, tackles the subject of los desaparecidos (the disappeared) in El Salvador, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world, largely due to gang violence. The series depicts the clothing worn by people who have vanished and whose bodies are later found. Since Ramos photographed this clothing, over a year ago, not one of these victims has yet been identified.