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Undisclosed location. South Carolina. The Sigil of Baphomet, from the series The Black Parlor © Anthony Karen

As part of Feature Shoot’s new and improved Reader Submission Spotlight, we invited photographers from around the globe to submit their best bodies of work, with all genres welcome. After reviewing a collection of outstanding entries, Feature Shoot’s Founder, Alison Zavos, has selected three winners as part of our first edition: Anthony Karen, Diane Meyer, and Emily Rose Larsen.

As the winners of our December Spotlight, Karen, Meyer, and Larsen will have their work showcased as part of our regular reader submission newsletter plus our new Special Edition newsletter, which goes out to an additional 40,000 photography professionals–including gallerists, editors, agents, publishers, and more. Between the two newsletters, their images will reach an estimated 80,000 inboxes, and they’ll also be featured on our Instagram page, @featureshoot, where we have more than 229,000 followers. They each win a Feature Shoot portfolio review with the reviewer of their choice.

As the theme for the Spotlight is open, the winners span a range of subjects and practices. Karen, a photojournalist, explores the occult by documenting the rites and rituals of a Satanic priesthood in South Carolina. Larson challenges the artificial boundaries we create between the human world and the animal kingdom through beastly still lives. Meanwhile, Meyer combines photography and cross-stitch embroidery to create a poignant reflection on the history of the Berlin Wall and the invisible marks it left behind.

The January edition of our Feature Shoot Reader Submission Spotlight is now open. Submissions close on January 3st, and the three winners will be announced through all our channels shortly thereafter. Browse the December winners below, and submit your work here for just $15 for up to five images.

Diane Meyer

The Brandenburg Gate © Diane Meyer

“I recently completed a series of 43 hand-sewn photographs taken along the entire roughly 100-mile path of the former Berlin Wall,” the artist Diane Meyer says. In these images, portions of the scene have been overlaid with cross-stitch embroidery, the patterns evocative of digital pixels. “In many images, the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall offering a pixelated view of what lies behind,” Meyer continues.

“In this way, the embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory. By using the embroidery in a way that is reminiscent of pixels, a connection is being made between forgetting and file corruption. The sewing, which is soft and domestic provides a literal contrast to the concrete of the wall and a metaphorical contrast to its symbolism.”

Emily Rose Larsen

Emily Rose Larsen was inspired to create the series Beastly, a reflection on our disconnect with the natural world, after giving birth for the first time. As she delved into the history of birthing, she learned how modern birthing practices had replaced and overlooked generations of knowledge shared by midwives.

These modern practices, governed largely by men rather than women, felt traumatic, intense, and unnatural to the artist, motivating her to reflect on our broken relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom. The series combines artificial flora and fauna, living plants, and photographs of taxidermied animals from the Museum of Natural History to represent humankind’s disjointed understanding of nature and our place within it.

Anthony Karen

Undisclosed location. South Carolina. Baphomet, The Symbol of the satanic goat. Baphomet is portrayed as a half-human, half-goat figure, or goat head. © Anthony Karen

The photojournalist Anthony Karen spent October 31st, 2020 inside a Satanic Chamber at an undisclosed location in South Carolina. It was Halloween and the night of the rare Blue Moon, and he was permitted to document a Black Mass. “In Celtic traditions, Halloween was the day the dead wandered around in the moonlight,” Karen explains. “Occultists believe that a full moon doubles the power of spells and ritual work.” His series The Black Parlor takes us inside the ritual chamber in the home of a Satanic priest and brings us before a Satanic altar, where new priests are ordained. 

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