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Fashioning A New Visual Language at the Photo Vogue Festival

Omari © Kyle Weeks, from Embracing Diversity

From the series Two Figures In A Room © Katie Burdon, from Embracing Diversity

The intimate grandeur of the fashion photograph allows the worlds of fantasy and reality it mix and mingle across a two dimensional surface. It is here, in the construction of beauty, glamour, and style that we discover the space where iconography ascribes to the ideals of the culture from which it comes, fusing tradition and innovation into a glorious new visual language that exists in equal parts for consumption and contemplation.

In the third annual Photo Vogue Festival, held in Milan from November 15-18, 2018, the conversation around fashion photography is centered in a fresh look at masculinity, diversity, and new technologies in three beautifully curated exhibitions, as well as a host of programming.

Chaired by Emanuele Farneti, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, and directed by Senior Photo Editor Alessia Glaviano, the Photo Vogue Festival presents All that Man Is – Fashion and Masculinity Now and Embracing Diversity, both at Base Milano, as well as Sølve Sundsbø: Beyond the still image at the Palazzo Reale, which continues through December 9.

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards!

After reviewing hundreds of phenomenal submissions from photographers working across the globe, we’re thrilled to announce the ten winners of the 4th Annual Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards. One up-and-coming photographer, selected by Feature Shoot Founder Alison Zavos, will receive a cash prize of $5000, and nine more will exhibit with one of our esteemed jurors: Louise Clements of FORMAT International Photography Festival in the UK, Moshe Rosenzveig of Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, or Laura Roumanos of United Photo Industries in Brooklyn, New York.

Exhibiting images will be shown as as stunning ChromaLuxe metal prints, trusted by gallerists and museums around the world for their vibrancy and durability. Special thanks to Squarespace, the all-in-one platform to build your online presence, for sponsoring the awards! Photographers can try Squarespace free for 14 days. When you’re ready to subscribe, be sure to use coupon ‘FSAWARDS18’ for 10% off your first purchase.

© Lucia Sekerkova

Feature Shoot Founder Alison Zavos selected Lucia Sekerkova as the winner of the $5000 cash prize. In her series Vrajitoare, the Slovakian photographer tells the stories of Romanian Wallachian Roma women. As modernization collides with the traditional roles of witches, fortune tellers, and healers, these women are sought-after online. “The profession has been transformed into a business, inherited across generations,”Sekerkova writes. “Nine-year-old girls are already starting their promotional ‘vrajitoare’ profiles on the Facebook.”

Louise Clements, the Artistic Director QUAD and the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival selected a total of five photographers to be part of a group exhibition at the FORMAT19 Festival in the UK: Lucia Sekerkova, (see above)  SynchrodogsSharbendu De, Camillo Pasquarelli, and Dylan Hausthor.

© Lucia Sekerkova

Untitled #2 from Slightly Altered project © Synchrodogs

For their series ‘Slightly Altered’, Synchrodogs, an artistic duo composed of Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven, take us to the Carpathian Mountains, where they spent a month traveling and reflecting on the complex relationship between humankind and the wilderness. “The project is about interdependency of humans and nature and the new ways the Earth begins to look as a result of our interventions into the environmental processes,” they write. “Witnessing intrusions into nature, Synchrodogs have started reflecting upon how much we, like all life, both alter our environment and are altered by it.”

© Sharbendu De

The Indian photographer Sharbendu De takes us to the forests of Namdapha National Park & Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, where he spent time with members of the the Lisu tribe. Though they are Indian citizens, the Lisu people have experienced decades of isolation, oppression, and loss. In 1983, their ancestral land was converted into a national park without their consent. “A largely unadministered terrain, they survive without roads, electricity, schools, doctors, hospitals, phone network or most modern amenities,” De writes. “Despite the adversities, they cohabit symbiotically with nature –– revelling in its mysteries as a self-sufficient community. They treat their sick, build each other’s home, pray, celebrate and mourn together.”

For his series Imagined Homeland, he’s constructed lyrical tableaux with members of the tribe. “I intend to evoke feelings that portray their state of mind and emotions over resorting to a spectacle,” he continues. “I adopted poetic aesthetics, reference archetypal interconnections between man, animal and nature, and borrow from dream symbolism.” You can read our interview with De here.

Amir Kabir Beigh, 26 years old, Baramulla. “In September 2010 I was going to buy some medicine for my mother by evening time when a group of security forces fired at me near the bridge of the old town. There had been clashes throughout the day but it was calm at that time. I was alone on the street so only after some minutes somebody found me and took me to the hospital. I have gone through a lot of surgeries all over India but I am still completely blind”. Amir is the first pellet victim of Kashmir, he received hundreds of iron balls on his body. © Camillo Pasquarelli

In the project The valley of shadows, Camillo Pasquarelli takes us to the militarized zone of the valley of Kashmir, tracing the stories of individuals who have been affected by the pellet guns used by security forces.”Defined as a ‘non-lethal’ weapon, it should be aimed at the lower part of the body during the urban protests,” the Italian photographer writes. “According to a UN report released in 2018, the new weapon is responsible for blinding around 1000 people and killing dozens. Many of the victims were not involved in the clashes with security forces. Those who were hit during the protests tend to avoid speaking about it openly, fearing retaliation by the police. For youngsters left with one eye reading has become too painful, thus forcing them to abandon their studies, giving up the chance of pursuing higher education. Men left blind, the only breadwinner in the family, are unable to work and provide for their beloved ones.”

Dead Men, Look at Me © Dylan Hausthor

An unusual thing happened in Dylan Hausthor’s town: a friend of his lit another friend’s barn on fire, and in the midst of the deed, she went into labor. “She ran across the street to the property owner’s house demanding a ride to the hospital as the proof of her arson was smoking right behind her,” the photographer writes. Inspired in part by this event, his series Past the Pond, Setting Fires takes a poetic approach to the thin and mysterious line that separates the idea of truth from fiction, reality from mythology. “The characters and landscapes in these images are documents of the instability found in storytelling—told by an even more precarious narrator,” Hausthor continues.”I’m interested in pushing past questions of validity that are traditional in documentary photography and into a much more human sense of reality: faulted, broken, and real.”

Moshe Rosenzveig, the Founder and Director of Head On Photo Festival, chose three artists to exhibit in Sydney: Jordan Gale, Gloria Oyarzabal, and Gary Beeber.

Portrait of myself. Family photo. North Liberty, IA. 2018 © Jordan Gale

In It Is What It Is, the Iowa photographer Jordan Gale revisits his upbringing in Cedar Rapids, a nuanced history touched by drug dependency and poverty. “It creates a portrait of youth and decrepitude, addiction and recovery, all coexisting in a Midwest town,” the artist writes. “Through a personal narrative, the series highlights the frustration, sorrow, and longing of multigenerational stagnation in America’s Heartland.”

STUDIO STRIPES (On exotification, hypersexualization, victimization and other -ations) © Gloria Oyarzabal

The Madrid-based photographer Gloria Oyarzabal dismantles Western colonial ideas on gender in her project Woman go no’gree. “One consequence of Eurocentrism is the racialization of knowledge: Europe is represented as the source of knowledge and Europeans, therefore, as thinkers.In addition, male privilege as an essential part of the European ethos is implicit in the culture of modernity,” the artist writes. “I explore the intersections of gender, history, knowledge-making, stereotypes, clichés.”

Gary Beeber, a photographer and filmmaker based in Centerville, OH, looks beyond the surface of things to reveal nuances and details others might overlook. This particular image comes from his series Sylvester Manor. “Unbeknownst to me, this hauntingly bucolic overgrown garden was the former slaveholding planation purchased in 1652 by Nathaniel Sylvester for 1600 pounds of sugar,” the artist writes. “I find myself compelled to chronicle it’s evolving decay while attempting to understand its complex history.

Laura Roumanos, the Executive Producer & Co-Founder United Photo Industries will show work by two artists–Amelie Satzger and Lauren Menzies–in a dual exhibition at the UPI gallery in Brooklyn, New York. 

Time Dilation © Amelie Satzger

With What is Reality?, the Munich-based photographer Amelie Satzger invites us into a surrealist universe inspired by the works of Stephen Hawking. Every image in the series illustrates one of the concepts set forth by the preeminent theoretical physicist.

Femme Fiction #1 © Lauren Menzies

Femme Fiction is a series of self-portraits by the New York City photographer Lauren Menzies; in each picture, she reveals a facet of her personality (i.e. a “persona”). “Using myself as the figure, I explore the history of female portraiture through ideas of beauty, irony, and perception,” she writes. “The figure’s features are removed to aesthetically disguise the immediate recognition of self-portraiture. This shapes my desire for the viewer to imagine a story about each woman.”

The Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards are generously sponsored by Squarespace, ChromaLuxe United Photo Industries, Head On Photo Festival, and FORMAT International Photography Festival.

Celebrating Black Womanhood, One Photo at a Time (Sponsored)

From Deun Ivory’s Squarespace website

Deun Ivory has a saying: “Authenticity is my superpower.” As a photographer, illustrator, writer, and art director, she’s built a thriving career by staying true to herself. Ivory empowers women of color to feel seen and heard; her portraits of black female movers and shakers feel honest, beautiful, and strong, while her words inspire countless others to accept and embrace their talents. It’s hard to put this artist in a box; as a former English and Art teacher, she straddles genres and media with grace and purpose, bringing her dreams to life while encouraging young women to follow their own.

This year, Ivory released her first book black women + good grain, an enduring testament to Black Girl Magic that incorporates pictures, prose, and poetry. In addition to her photography projects, Ivory serves as the art director of Black Girl In Om, a preeminent health and wellness platform for women of color. At the same time, she continues to host workshops both online and in person for fellow creatives. With all she has going on, it’s easy to get lost in her stellar website, which includes stunning imagery, powerful essays, and an online shop.

When it came time for Ivory to set up an online presence, she chose to do it herself with the website builder Squarespace. While she’s out and about reshaping culture and uplifting others, Squarespace makes sure she can showcase everything in one place using one of their award-winning website templates. With a website design that’s both engrossing and minimal, the artist invites us to explore her world at our own pace. She’s even used Squarespace to show some of her clients how to make a website that reflects their personal vision. We interviewed the artist about her work, her muses, and her website.

Stirring Photos of Animals in the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

Pigs who survived the hurricane and escaped their farm swim through flood waters in North Carolina. © Kelly Guerin / We Animals

Drowned body of a broiler chicken on a porch in North Carolina. © Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Cows who survived the hurricane, stranded on a porch, surrounded by flood waters in North Carolina. © Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

When the filmmaker Kelly Guerin was on the ground in Duplin County, North Carolina, in the wake of Hurricane Florence, she encountered a group of pigs stranded on a highway bridge. It was already getting dark, but she and local activists Daniel Turbert and Caroline Byrd couldn’t leave the pigs behind. After coordinating with local sanctuaries, Guerin and Turbert stayed with the animals all night, counting them, checking that they were still breathing, and waiting for their rescue. Many of the pigs in the area had never seen the outdoors before Florence; raised for meat, they had spent their lives confined to factory farms, and when the hurricane came, they were been taken by the water.

Dreamy Pictures of Life on the Seashore

All That Is Above Me and Nothing That Is Below

Endless Season

“When I’m on the beach and faced with the blue horizon, wide-open sky, and a miles-long expanse of sand, sometimes my mind starts racing,” the Seattle-based photographer and digital artist Tony Nahra tells me. “Usually, I’m looking for a figure in a minimalist scene… on the sand, in the waves, or on a dune.” His images are an ode to the sea, its benevolent and violent whims, and the sense of solitude we find on its shores.

A Portrait of the Amazon on the Brink of Catastrophic Change

March 29, 2014. A group of boys climb a tree on the Xingu River by the city of Altamira, Para State, Brazil. Major areas of the city have been permanently flooded by the construction of the nearby Belo Monte Dam Complex displacing over 20,000 people while impacting numerous indigenous and riverine communities in the region.

November 26, 2014. Members of the Munduruku indigenous tribe walk on a sandbar on the Tapajos River as they prepare for a protest against plans to construct a series of hydroelectric dams on their river in Para State, Brazil. The tribe members used the rocks to write ‘Tapajos Livre’ (Free Tapajos) in a large message in the sand in an action in coordination with Greenpeace. After years of fighting, in 2016 the Munduruku were successful in lobbying the government to officially recognize their traditional territory with a demarcation. This recognition forced IBAMA, Brazil’s Environmental Agency, to suspend the environmental licensing process for the 12,000 megawatt Tapajós hydroelectric complex, due to the unconstitutional flooding of their now recognized land.

The mouth of the mighty Amazon River lies in the state of Pará, Brazil, which has been home to the people of the rainforest for over 5,000 years. During the 1960s, the government created the nation’s very first Indigenous Park, which was, at that time, the largest preserve in the world.

Home to 14 tribes that survive off the land, Xingu Indigenous Park became the site of controversy when the government began to develop plans for the Belo Monte Dam Complex on the Xingu River in 1975. In 1989, the Kayapo, a warrior tribe, mounted a massive campaign in opposition to the construction. International financers pulled out, and the project was shelved until 2007, when President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced the Accelerated Growth Program.

Positioned at the forefront of construction of more than 60 major hydroelectric project in the Amazon over the next 15 years, Belo Monte is poised to become the fourth largest dam in the world — displacing up to 40,000 people living in the park while destroying the complex ecosystems in order to fuel continued mining of the rainforest.

In his series, Where the River Runs Through, which was chosen for the Critical Mass Top 50, photographer Aaron Vincent Elkaim presents Where the River Runs Through, a profound portrait of the people and the landscape at the precipice of a massive change whose impact on the indigenous communities and the environment are devastating. Elkaim shares his insights into the impact of industry on the earth.

Stunning Photos Tell the Story of Gay Men in Swaziland

Unidentified 85, 2018 © Kyle Meyer / Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

When artist Kyle Meyer began photographing gay men in Swaziland, or eSwatini, five years ago, his subjects were initially wary about the exposure. Their concern was justified: Same-sex relationships are against the law there, and people who are suspected of being gay risk unemployment, ostracism and even violence.

“The LGBT community is pushed into a corner,” says Meyer, 33, whose series “Interwoven” explores sexual and gender identities in the southern African country. Meyer, who is openly gay and lives in New York, was forced back into the closet when he began traveling to Swaziland. “I could have easily ‘disappeared,’” he says.

Despite their anxieties, the men who agreed to have their portraits taken for the project, on view this month at the Yossi Milo Gallery in Manhattan, seemed to relish the idea of finally being seen for who they are. Inspired by the vibrant colors of Swazi wax cloth, Meyer asked them to pose wearing elaborate headdresses in patterns each man chose from fabric collected at a local market. Because the style is traditionally associated with Swazi women, the photo shoots offered a rare chance to play with gender norms and celebrate each man’s individual sense of beauty. “They just wanted to be heard,” Meyer says.

After every visit to Swaziland, Meyer returns to his Hudson Valley studio, where he prints the images on paper up to seven-and-a-half feet high. He then shreds the photographs and the fabric from the head wraps, and, using a technique he learned from Swazi basketmakers, spends as much as 60 hours weaving them together.

Read the rest of Amy Crawford‘s article and see more of Kyle Meyer‘s photographs over at Smithsonian Magazine.

Scenes from Whitby Goth Weekend on the British Shore

The town of Whitby is perched upon the British shore, overlooking at Gothic ruins of a Benedictine abbey, which itself sits upon the site of an ancient Saxon structure. It is the quintessential Gothic locale, steeped in history. It was here that Bram Stoker stayed, in a house with a view of it all — the dramatic remains of the Catholic order long abandoned to Anglican designs, the perfect setting for a blighted sky, as storms whipped across the coast and on to shore, filling the Irish theatrical manager with the perfect setting in which the undead would rise at night with a taste for blood, eager to feast on the innocent of Victorian England.

Invariably such a setting couldn’t help but continue to attract the romantic of heart driven to embrace the dark and that resides within the spaces that we can touch but never see. It is in this space that the occult may manifest among those receptive to its charms, those who see it not as good or bad but as realm all its own. It is here, in this magical sublime that the dark glamour of Stoker’s Dracula has found expression in Goth subculture that first emerged in Britain during Thatcher’s reign.

Hailing from the Midlands, Lancashire, and Yorkshire, the Goths became inspired by their working class roots, embracing “Edwardian” dandyism combined with the literary styling of Stoker, Lewis Carroll, and Edgar Allen Poe, then turned it up to 10 with ‘80s bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, and Sisters of Mercy to create a wholly new style and subculture that still goes hard today.

A Deep Dive Into Elliott Erwitt’s Remarkable Life in Photography

Elliott Erwitt, USA. Santa Monica, California. 1955.
Courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX.

Elliott Erwitt, USA. New York City. 2000, Courtesy PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX.

What is a life but a thousand points of light that flicker through our minds as moments rise and submerge through the murky banks of memory? Of all the people we’ve seen, places we’ve been, things we’ve done, words we’ve heard, thought, or said — of all the moments we’ve gasped, laughed, sighed, or cried, raised our fists in anger or our chins with pride. Life could be considered a panoply of the good, the bad, and the ugly — grandiose and the mundane in equal part.

For those of us fortunate enough to keep a record of where we’ve been, life takes on new possibilities as our experiences can travel into new realms, transforming the way that people look and see, while becoming a part of the collective memory.

“Working as a freelance photographer has given me with kind of life that many people dream of — with extensive travels throughout the world, and to witness situations that are only available to my profession,” Elliott Ewritt tells Feature Shoot on the occasion of he publication of Personal Best, his magnum opus just published by teNeues, and self-titled exhibition at PDNB Gallery, Dallas, through November 10, 2018.

A Stunning New Exhibition of Powerful Photos of Women

Tiana © Renée Jacobs

Sleeping Madje © Maggie Steber

Throughout her career, the photographer Renée Jacobs has heard men tell her about how women “should” be portrayed. She’s photographed hundreds of women and exhibited across the globe, all the while facing comments like “Women can’t look like this” and “They must look like that.” Now, she’s pushing back with Photos de Femmes, a traveling festival of images that depict women in ways that are truthful, raw, and resonant. Jacobs, along with her wife and collaborator Wendy Hicks, unveiled their first exhibition of many, womenSEEwomen, as part of the Porto Photo Fest. The show is now in its final weekend at the Centro Português de Fotografia.

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