Posts tagged: documentary photography

Bewitching Photos of Bolivian Witch Doctors Mix Fantasy with Reality



For Waska Tatay, photographer Thomas Rousset and graphic designer Raphaël Verona unearth the spellbinding spiritual rituals performed by indigenous peoples in Bolivia’s Altiplano. After years of cultural and political oppression of native Aymara populations, contemporary Bolivian youths are now returning to and embracing traditional devotional practices, including elaborate carnivals honoring the gods of the mountains and the underworld.

‘Camp Sundown’: A Summer Camp For Kids with XP, a Rare Disorder That Forces Them to Live Out of the Sun

Adi Lavy

Adi Lavy

Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) is a rare genetic disorder causing sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Consequences range from severe blistering after just a few minutes of UV light—both natural and artificial—and almost without exception lead to skin or eye cancer that ends up killing many XP sufferers before they turn 30. Tel Aviv-based photographer Adi Lavy’s extraordinary series Camp Sundown is named after the upstate-New York summer camp for children with XP, run by the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society.

Magical Photos of Families Camping on Piémanson Beach in the South of France



For Piémanson, photographer Vasantha Yogananthan documents the last free beach in France, capturing the vibrant community that emerges on its shores each summer. Every May, the idyllic beach, located the Camargue Regional Nature Reserve, opens its ten kilometer expanse to campers, who build temporary lodgings out of tents, recreational vehicles, wood, and plastic sheeting. Despite official regulations permitting only one night’s stay per family, many visitors wind up staying for far longer. At the height of the season, the beach will house roughly 5,000 people. Come September, the area is closed by police and cleared entirely, and the disposable elements of the makeshift summer houses are burned on one final community bonfire.

Powerful Series Confronts Anti-LGBT Violence in Russia



Approximately one year ago, Russia passed a law against “gay propaganda,” prohibiting the education of minors on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and culture. Since the ban, homosexuals have been further stigmatized, hate crimes have increased, and LGBT individuals face the constant threat of violence. In the last year alone, participants of a pride march were beaten in the streets, a man was blinded after being shot with an air gun, and a gay club in Moscow was assailed with poisonous gas.

‘The Other Side of the American Dream’: Powerful Portraits Document the Abuse of Migrants Passing Through Mexico


Mariana, 29 years old, Honduras. She was assaulted during her crossing as an undocumented person through mexico, with the intent to arrive in the United States. She was pushed by the assailants into a ravine, and was able to avoid an attempted rape. Mariana’s travel companion was beaten when she attempted to defend her. She was moved to a hospital in Tenosique, Tabasco, and then three others where they did not perform the necessary operation. Fifteen days had passed (8 days were in a Hospital in Villahermosa, Tabasco) and the operation became urgent. The last doctor that saw her only requested a new splint and a call to immigration. – Tapachula, Chiapas, 2010.


Teofilo Santos Rivera, 42, Panamá. He was the victim of an attempted mass assault by gang members during the crossing through Mexico. He jumped off the roof of the train, hurting his feet. Also suffers from liver cirrhosis and a cancerous sore on the back. In January 2014, the doctor gave him only 40 days to live. His idea is to reach his children and grandchildren in the U.S. to say goodbye. – Tapachula, Chiapas, 2014.

For Al Otro Lado del Sueño, or The Other Side of the American Dream, photographer Nicola “Ókin” Frioli catalogues the heartbreak and devastation suffered by migrant families and individuals seeking security and stability in the United States. Having left El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, or Nicaragua in hopes of escaping from the gang violence that pervades much of Central America and delivering their families from the brink of economic collapse, a great number of men, women, and children pass through Mexico.

It’s All Lies!: Photographer Expertly Fabricates Evidence of Animals, Plants, Landscapes, Constellations and Religious Practices


The Miracle of Dolphin-Surfing, Joan Fontcuberta © Joan Fontcuberta from Karelia, Miracles & Co, 2002


Cercophitecus Icarocornu from the Fauna series by Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera, 1985 © Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera

Scientists recently found fossil evidence of a species closely resembling the mermaid; known as the Hydropithecus, or “water monkey,” the creature is estimated to have lived approximately 18 million years ago. This, of course, is a lie, birthed from the imagination of Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta, who over the course of his decades’ long career, has fabricated photographic evidence of fictional animals, plants, landscapes, constellations, and religious practices.

Another Person’s Treasure: Intriguing Photos Taken At Yard Sales Across America

Greg_Ruffing_03 Albany, Kentucky

Greg_Ruffing_09 Seville, Ohio

For Yard Sales, Chicago-based photographer Greg Ruffing documents the nuanced phenomenon of American rummage sales. Visiting homes turned inside out by moves, foreclosures, or military reassignments, he captures the massive heaps of stuff that compose a typical modern household. In this fascinating subculture of wheelers and dealers of all ages, the discarded possessions of strangers take on deeper meanings. With an unerringly sensitive gaze, Ruffing cuts through the outlandish to touch on a universal story of human sentiment and struggle.

Fun-Filled Portraits of Life After 55 in an Arizona Retirement Community



For Sun City: Life After Life, Los Angeles-based photographer Kendrick Brinson documents an Arizona city catering exclusively to retirees. With an the requirement that all residents be a minimum of fifty-five years old, Sun City houses 42,500 individuals, 10,000 of whom are in their eighties. Far from being a typical old age community, Sun City positively bursts with youthful energy, boasting dozens of recreational activities, including golfing, synchronized swimming, and cheerleading, complete with bedazzled outfits.

Photo du Jour: Sisters with Slurpees


There’s nothing quite like the bond between sisters. Photographer Andrea Chu originally grew up in Northern California, documenting her nieces Vicky (22) and Annie (21) over a period of 10 years as they matured into young women. Chu captured the sisters in a variety of places that they frequented, quite often the exact locations the photographer herself wiled away hours as a teenager some years before. Though close in age, Vicky and Annie’s relationship was strained in later years as each tried to individualize themselves from their parents and one another. The series was a launching point for Chu’s work, and she continues to explore themes of family ties and friendship through various projects.

Image © Andrea Chu 2014

‘Deadline’: A Fascinating Look Behind the Scenes of a Struggling Philadelphia Newspaper

Will_Steacy_01 Don Sapatkin, Deputy Science & Medicine Editor, 6:44pm, 2009

Will_Steacy_17 Classified Department, 1:01pm, 2011

“News is the part people don’t ask for and should know. News is what can help people govern their nation, their city, their neighborhood, their school. By definition, news does not soothe. News breaks. Those big investigative projects help people understand how and why it broke and sometimes how to put it back together.” -James Naughton
Executive Editor,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1991-1996

With the increased presence of large-scale media conglomerates and online news forums, the newspaper industry has taken a disastrous hit, yet over half of American citizens remain unaware of the trials now facing our trusted journalists and photographers. For Deadline, photographer Will Steacy confronts the brutal truth of contemporary news by photographing the historic offices of The Philadelphia Inquirer, where his father worked for decades.