Posts tagged: documentary photography

Photographer Has Identity Stolen, Decides to Stealthily Photograph the Thief




When the police showed up at Jessamyn Lovell’s front door in Albuquerque, New Mexico one afternoon in 2011, she was blindsided with the news that her ID had been stolen and several crimes were committed by a woman using her identity. When investigators couldn’t answer her questions or assist any further in the situation, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She hired a private investigator to track down her identity thief, Erin Hart. Several trips led her to San Francisco to document and gain an understanding of this women who had been masquerading under her name. We speak with Lovell about her experience, and subsequent art project, Dear Erin Hart.

A Look Inside ‘Photographers’ Sketchbooks’

SothThe sketchbook of Alec Soth

Vanden-Driessche The sketchbook of Thomas Vanden-Driessche

The mechanical nature of photography often results in the perception that photographers are “button-pushers;” that they have a keen eye and sense of timing, but the artistry stops there. Photographers’ Sketchbooks, a new book by Stephen McLaren and Bryan Formhals, provides a behind-the-scenes look into the idea conception and thought process of forty-nine photographers from around the globe.

Powerful Self-Portraits Document One Woman’s Mastectomy and the Physical Effects of Chemotherapy



After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, San Francisco photographer Kerry Mansfield stood in the shower of her small apartment, set up her camera, and closed her fist around its cable release. For the artist, the images began in 2005 as private documents of her body as it existed before her mastectomy and chemotherapy, and regular portrait sessions continued as a way of cataloging the painful road ahead.

For Aftermath: Battling Breast Cancer, Mansfield captures over one and a half years of her treatment within the close confines of her bathroom. The faded blue tiles that line its walls, she notes, recalled for her the coldness and sterility of her medical routine. As a visceral and subjective narrative plays out against this unchanging and impersonal backdrop, even the smallest gesture becomes imbued with significance, preserving these rare and confidential moments in which to reflect—and grieve— upon the demanding days proceeding and to anticipate those to come.

A Look at the Lives of Three Older Drag Queens in the Last Gay Bar in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District

Donna Personna

Donna adjusts her wig before her number.


Olivia attaches her false eyelash.

For Beautiful by Night, San Francisco-based photographer and filmmaker James Hosking chronicles life in Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, the one and only gay bar left standing in the Tenderloin, a neighborhood that decades ago, was renowned for its thriving LGBT community. In tracing the nightly routines of three of its older drag queens— Donna Personna, Collette LeGrande, and Olivia Hart, Hosking traces the rich history and uncertain future of drag in the crime-ridden area.

Photographer Susan Swihart Captures the Coming of Age of Her Identical Twin Daughters



For About Face, Los Angeles-based photographer Susan Swihart chronicles the evolution of her identical twin daughters as they transition from childhood into adolescence. Beginning when the girls were eight-years-old, she has spent the last three years discovering and exploring the complexities of their bond as well as her own relationship to them.

Strange and Unnerving Photos Capture the Chaos of Life and Death


Los Angeles, CA 2012


San Diego, CA 2012


St. Petersburg, Russia 2013

For Everything Is Fine, San Diego-based photographer Brooke Frederick unearths violent aspects of the familiar, recording quietly obscene moments in the lives of unsuspecting strangers she encounters during her travels. Navigating such diverse regions as California, Costa Rica, Berlin, and Russia, she traces the grotesque and beguiling threads that ultimately bind us together.

Father Uses Photography to Cope with Uncertainty of His Prematurely Born Son



In 2010, photographer Diego Saldiva received news he was going to be a father. The joyous anticipation soon faded into fear and anxiety as his child was born only seven months in to his wife’s pregnancy. To make matters worse, a rare disease was subsequently diagnosed in the tiny, two pound infant. Chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant were to follow, there was much waiting involved. Break of Day is a father’s response to this precarious time in his family’s life. The title of the series is a reference to the time between the ‘darkness’ and the moment the day breaks, moments spent waiting in uncertainty.

Rollerblades, Jean Jackets and Flannel: Photographer Spends 20 Years Photographing the Most Pervasive Trends of Our Generation



For People of the Twenty-First Century, Netherlands-based photographer Hans Eijkelboom conducts a twenty-year-long survey the everyday fashion choices of unassuming citizens of the world’s largest metropolises, including New York, Shanghai, Paris, and of course, Amsterdam.

Sebastian Junger’s Quest to Provide Emergency Medical Training to Freelancers Working in Dangerous Environments


Muchachos await counterattack by the Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 1978 © Susan Meiselas


Always Crashing in the Same Car, 2011. From the series “Infra.” South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, 2011. A car is hauled from a cliff precipice by Hutus on the Numbi road. © Richard Mosse

Sebastian Junger knows the minimum distance at which you can “dodge a bullet” is 800 yards. “You’d need a quarter second to register the bullet is coming toward you … a quarter second to instruct your muscles to react … and half a second to actually move out of the way,” he wrote in his 2010 best-selling book, War. But too often, in the chaos of modern battle, journalists just don’t see the bullets coming.

Intimate Photos Explore the Wonder of Motherhood and Early Childhood



For Drei, Berlin-based photographer Fred Huening chronicles the raw and tender moments that punctuate early childhood by capturing his son and wife along the Berlin countryside. The book comes third within a series of what the artist explains will ultimately be nine, following Einer, a visual lamentation over a stillborn child, and Zwei, an intimate document of his abiding love for his wife, who was at the time his girlfriend.