Posts by: Ellyn Kail

Timeless Photos of the American Midwest

Somewhere near Stoughton, Wisconsin, there’s a white townhouse on top of a hill. It’s alone up there, surrounded by sky. Years ago, it survived a tornado that ravaged much of the landscape. Middleton photographer Michael Knapstein doesn’t know who lives in the house, and that’s alright with him. “I can picture what the owners look like, even though I have never met them,” he tells me.

Whimsical Photos of Over-the-Top Acrylic Toenails

When photographer Amy Lombard was a little girl, she visited South Carolina, where she saw a woman with extraordinarily long fingernails— “the kind that curl.” The memory has followed her into adulthood, lingering in the background throughout the years.

When nail art became a mainstream, Instagram-fueled obsession, NAILS (2015) was born, and now, Lombard has followed it up with NAILS Part 2, a series of images focusing exclusively on extravagant toenails.

Birds, Cats, and Landscapes: Our 25 Most Popular Instagram Photos of 2017

1. Photographer James Needham (@jamesneedham) captured this moment while visiting Cusco, Peru. “The little girl was chasing after her older siblings as they played among the market stalls in the village square,” he remembered. 11,946 likes. Photo © James Needham

In 2017, we posted over 2700 images on the @featureshoot Instagram feed. Collectively, those photographs received more than 6.7 million “likes” from a following of 170,000. As we stepped into 2018, we took a look back at the most popular photographs posted on our feed throughout the year.

These top 25 images span genres, from landscape to travel to portraits, but there are some recurring themes. For instance, flocks of birds appear in four separate images, and there are a total of three cats. Loney people feature prominently, and visual jokes, like the man with a horse’s head (Philip B. Poston, #8), the hidden butterfly (Rizky P. Soedarsono, #9) the dress in the road (Jimmy Marble, #12), and the swimmer with fish-eyes (Kevin Meredith, #15), have also struck a chord. An air of mystery pervades the imagery of 2017, from Arnaud Montagard’s solitary man on a ferry to Jared Lank’s girlfriend, seen through the window on a rainy day.

Thanks to all the photographers who made 2017 a great year. Enjoy.

Heartbreak and Hope in the Lives of Turkey’s Stray Dogs


The squad


For a few years, Ekin Kucuk wasn’t able to photograph dogs, especially the homeless ones. If the Istanbul photographer did meet a stray dog while visiting her mother in Gallipoli, chances were that dog would be gone by the time she returned. Some were beaten or shot. Others were killed accidentally. The pictures became a reminder of their senseless deaths— and of mankind’s capacity for cruelty. It was too painful.

The Man Who Photographs Dogs Like People

San Gimignano, Italy

Kolkata, India


London street photographer Alan Schaller looks for special dogs the way he looks for special people. It’s the “cheeky” ones, the “lonely” ones, the “shy” ones who stop him in his tracks. There are, of course, some differences. “I find dogs are in general more consistently friendly, unpredictable, and amusing than humans,” the artist admitted.

Photos of the Vending Machines That Illuminate Japan at Night

If one of Eiji Ohashi’s friends spots a vending machine is some obscure, out-of-the-way spot in Japan, they tell him about it. The Hokkaido photographer has been chasing the machines for nine years now, venturing out on the coldest winter nights to see them glittering against their sleepy surroundings. Roadside Lights, now on view at the &co119 gallery in Paris, is the result of his adventures.

Love and Agony in the Distressed Polaroids of Gail Thacker

Rafael at Home, 1997

Mark Morrisroe in Bed, 1989

“I am not a photographer,” Gail Thacker insists. “I am a painter who discovered a medium that has a soul with painterly effects.” Her love affair with the camera took off in 1989 when a dear friend, the photographer and performance artist Mark Morrisroe, gifted her with a box of Polaroid 665 Positive/Negative film. It was three years after he had been diagnosed with AIDS, and he was able to see some of Thacker’s early Polaroids before he passed away later that same year. He was thirty years old.

When he’s not physically there, Morrisroe’s shadow lingers in the background of Thacker’s Polaroids. All her friends do. She dedicates her newest book and exhibition, Between the Sun & the Moon, to them.

37 Unexpected Holiday Gifts for Photographers

For photographers, the perfect gift can far outlast the holidays, whether it’s nn extraordinary camera, a thought-provoking yook, or a life-changing experience. In honor of the season, our editors put together this list of 36 inspirational, unforgettable, quirky presents. There’s something here for every photographer: the fine artists, the photojournalists, the portraitists, the foodies, and everyone in between. The majority of them were recently included in our epic giveaway at  The Print Swap exhibition and holiday party at ROOT Studios.

Magnum Photos English Breakfast Tray with Photo by Martin Parr, £42.50 Thanks to the Plinth/Magnum partnership, you can now purchase your very own breakfast tray printed with an image from Martin Parr’s famous 1995 book British Food. Magnum once wrote of the work, “Close-up, ring flashed images of everyday food from all parts of Britain invites the public to take a look at what they eat.” In the case of this tray, that’s taken to a clever and literal extreme.

Submit to The Print Swap for a Chance to Exhibit Work at MOPLA

Gullfoss © Dani Vottero (@danivottero)

The fourth-ever Print Swap exhibition will take place this April as part of the 10th Anniversary edition of the Month of Photography Los Angeles! As always, we’re inviting photographers around the world to submit images via Instagram by using the hashtag #theprintswap. Curator Paul Kopeikin, the director of LA’s renowned Kopeikin Gallery, will select thirty outstanding images from photographers participating in The Print Swap to be part of the show. All images must be submitted between November 29th, 2017, and January 26, 2018, in order to be considered.

The Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) by the Lucie Foundation has been a premier festival for photographers, curators, editors, and collectors since it was first launched in 2009. In past years, it has hosted work from a diverse array of fine artists and photojournalists, including Sebastiao Salgado, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, Nick Brandt, Lynsey Addario, Larry Sultan, Alex Prager, Martin Schoeller, Graciela Iturbide, Bruce Nauman, and more.

With 25-plus years in the gallery world, Kopeikin is the perfect fit for this exhibition, having exhibited work from everyone from Diane Arbus and Walker Evans to Henry Hornstein and Jill Greenberg. Kopeikin Gallery currently represents influential artists like Cig Harvey, Richard Tuschman, Didier Massard, Hiroshi Watanabe, Gail Albert Halaban, Kevin Cooley, Matthew Swarts, Alejandro Cartagena, Jeffrey Milstein, and Kahn and Selesnick, to name just a few.

There is no theme for the exhibition. In addition to Instagram submissions, we accept submissions sent via email to [email protected] Only new images submitted and selected after November 29th will be eligible for the show, though previous participating photographers are more than welcome to submit again. While The Print Swap is an ongoing project and there is no deadline to submit images, photographers must submit by January 26th, 2017 at 11:59PM EST to be considered for this show.

Every photographer who participates in The Print Swap gives a print and receives a print. Prints are mailed at random all over the globe, so it’s always fun to see who ends up with which print. There is no fee to submit, though selected photographers pay $40 per image to participate. We cover printing and shipping. Learn more at The Print Swap website and on Instagram at @theprintswap.

The Print Swap is Coming to Brooklyn for a Holiday Exhibition and Event

Mimi and Bibsy say goodbye © Charles Read (@chasread), Princeton, NJ

Promise of Spring © Ellen Jantzen (@ellenjantzen), Santa Fe, NM

The Print Swap, our international photo-sharing initiative, is coming to ROOT Studios in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on December 7th in a show curated by Gabriela Landazuri, Photo Editor at The Huffington Post. Throughout the month of November, photographers around the world submitted images via Instagram using the hashtag #theprintswap, and forty were selected to be part of the holiday exhibition and party. These images, made in the US, UK, Canada, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and Australia, will be mailed to Print Swap participants all over the globe. As part of the festivities, there will also be giveaways of some of our favorite books, photo gear, and other items from this year.

There is no theme for the show, though the images do seem bound together, if only by a shared sense of mystery. People find themselves submerged in water in the work of Samuel Hicks and Wolf James; it’s unclear whether they’re falling or rising. We meet the eye of a frog (Alex M. Smith) and the eye of a horse (Murielle Etc), a single swan (Felix Koschel), an isolated orange flower in a sea of black (Rowan Spray). Dani Gros photographs a fox with an injured paw, without divulging what happened before or after. Windows, open and closed, trigger the sensation of being far away and close at hand all at once, and they appear repeatedly, in images by Andrew Heiser, Beth Chucker, Brad Curran, Charles Read, Felipe Neves, Ronald William Waite. And there’s so much blue, a color the great artist Yves Klien once describes as the most abstract and unknowable. Together, these pictures establish their own mythology.

Submissions to The Print Swap are rolling. Simply tag your images #theprintswap on Instagram, and they will be considered. Selected photographers give a print and receive a print. Prints all mailed out at random, so it’s always a surprise who ends up with whose print. It’s free to submit, though participating photographers pay $40 to participate. We cover printing and shipping. Learn more at our website, and follow along on Instagram for updates and new exhibition opportunities.

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