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Posts by: Miss Rosen

Meet Emerging Photography Juror Jessie Wender, Photo Editor at The New York Times

Jessie Wender (@jmwender) is a photo editor, writer and producer. She has worked in the photo departments of The New York Times, Apple, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Esquire, and Time Inc. and her photographs have been published in The New Yorker and MIT Technology Review. She has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Contact Sheet, and Rose Issa Projects. Wender’s commissions have been recognized by American Photography and the Society of Publication Designers. She loves working with artists and with creative people, and supporting emerging photographers.

Here, Wender shares career highlights along with her thoughts on influential developments in photography and what she wants to see more of in the future.

Celebrating the Timeless Art of Beauty Salon Photography

Long before the Internet made nearly everything instantly accessible, beauty salons used photography to advertise and promote the styles of the day. Part headshot, part beauty photo, these photographs fell squarely into the realm of commercial photography.

Utilizing studio lighting and a basic backdrop, women became mannequins in the truest sense of the word. Here they modeled hairdos, their faces made up with “natural cosmetics” and their shoulders bare — nothing to distract the viewer from the focus: hair, hair, hair!

The photographs often hung in windows until they discolored from exposure to the sun, or were framed and hung indoors where they could be protected. Customers often tore them from magazines and brought them in to suggest the look they wanted to go for, then brought them home and carefully them to mirrors so that they could painstakingly achieve this look on their own.

Meet Emerging Photography Awards Juror Toby Kaufmann, Creative Director at Facebook

Toby Kaufmann © Erin Yamagata 

Toby Kaufmann is an Award-Winning Creative Director, currently at Facebook, and one of the judges for Feature Shoot’s Emerging Photography Awards. Most recently she had launched a small creative studio in Brooklyn where she worked with brands such as Apple, Netflix, and NBC. She is also the Creative Director of Pur·suit, a digital archive and deck of playing cards re-imagining Catherine Opie’s seminal work from the 90s, in collaboration with artist Naima Green.

Kaufmann was formerly the Executive Director of Photography of Refinery29 where she lead the work around defining the brand’s photographic aesthetic. She has also previously held the title of Director of Photography at Maxim, Men’s Fitness, and Fitness magazines. Additionally, Kaufmann has served as Vice President of The Society of Publication Designers for two years, co-chaired SPD Gala 53, and is on their advisory board. Kaufmann also consults for Parsons The New School for Design. Her work has been recognized by AIAP, PDN, ASME, and SPD.

Kuafmann has a BFA in Photography from Parsons and lives just north of San Francisco with her son Jack and husband Nick Ferrari, with whom she collaborates frequently.

Life Inside the Hotel Chelsea, New York’s Last Bohemian Haven, in Photos

Susanne Bartsch

Few landmarks to bohemian life continue to stand tall and proud in New York; most have disappeared from the landscape during the twin plights of benign neglect and gentrification that have reshaped the city over the past 50 years. But the Hotel Chelsea remains one of the last grand dames still on the scene today.

Built between 1843 and 1885, the Chelsea, as it’s colloquially known, was one of the first cooperative apartment buildings in New York City, and briefly among one of its tallest buildings. Under former owner Stanley Bard’s leadership, the hotel became a magnet for writers, artists, actors, directors, musicians, fashion designers, and other assorted luminaries, immortalized in books, film, television, and song.

The Chelsea the place where Sid Vicious killed Nancy Spungen, the place where Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey, the inspiration for Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls, and countless other moments in art and pop culture history. Now, it is the subject of the book, Hotel Chelsea: Living in the Last Bohemian Haven (The Monacelli Press) by photographer Colin Miller and writer Ray Mock, as an ode to the Gilded Age residency in the new millennium.

Welcome to the Utopian-Dytopian Universe of Karen Khachaturov

In Walden; or, Life in the Woods, Henry David Thoreau recognized: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” It was a simple, serene statement on the muted tragedy of life — the longer we are here, the more wore down we become. Not just by our own experiences, but those we observe about the world in which we live and the nature of the system.

We learn to temper expectation, adjust our desires, forsake our dreams, yet we never quite escape the burning rage these needless sacrifices demand. We start to mutate, distend, distort, delude, deny, demand, deform. “It is not measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society,” Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote — and yet many do their very best to pretend it is so.

But as we see everywhere all around us, from the devastation of the earth to the horrors that befall the innocent, the human ability to adapt is a tool of survival, though that does not make it a good, or even moral thing in and of itself. Instead, we simply comport and compose ourselves, hoping that what gets lost will disappear, rarely realizing that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, until it is too late.

Arlene Gottfried’s Mesmerizing Photographs of New York in the 1980s

Boy with Knife, late 1970s

Heroin Series, Man With Beer And Cigarette, late 1970s

Hailing from Coney Island, Arlene Gottfried (1950-2017) grew up on the streets of Crown Heights during the 1960s just as white flight was reshaping the face of New York. She moved to Greenwich Village in 1972 as a young photography student enrolled at Fashion Institute of Technology and soon thereafter her family moved to the East Village when it was more familiarly known as Alphabet City — one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Manhattan.

But the ragged, jagged edges of the city didn’t frighten Gottfried. Rather, like a moth to the flame she found herself drawn to the people living on the margins, whose lives often fell between the cracks, and made it her business to create some of the most sensitive, compelling portraits of an era that has all but vanished.

“New York City street photography is genre of photography itself. How many photographs of New York have been made?” gallerist Daniel Cooney asks. “What makes Arlene’s work special is Arlene herself. We see New York as Arlene sees it. It is not the subject matter, because the subject matter is not new. It is Arlene. She was an original.”

The Photographer Who Used the Camera as a Passport to Freedom

After knocking repeatedly on Pablo Picasso’s door hoping to meet the master, a young college student by the name of Fred Baldwin was turned away. Then inspiration struck. Baldwin decided to pen a letter replete with illustrations hoping that the Spanish artist would chuckle in recognition and grant him access to his private villa in Cannes.

“Dear Monsieur Picasso,” Baldwin penned in script on July 28, 1955. “I am a student at Columbia University and this summer I am a freelance journalist. I know that you’re very busy but I am here in my car and each day that you won’t see me, my beard grows longer and loner. I will soon look like Moses. If you would let me take some color photographs then I could go to Florence where I have some money and cut off my beard.”

The extra effort finally did the trick, and the 74-year-old legend opened his doors to the ambitious young Baldwin. Perhaps he had recognized himself in another upstart who was both tenacious and unafraid to look the fool in order to pursue his dream.

Sing It From the Mountain Tops: The Women Reclaiming Cholita Identity in Bolivia

Zongo glacier with the Cholitas 

Huayana Potosi Mountain 6088m/19,974ft

Originally from New Zealand, Todd Antony first got involved with photography when he was 15 and his father brought a Canon EOS 650 home from work. He was immediately hooked and studied photography at college and university for a year, before spending three years traveling around the world, working on cruise ships as a photographer.

Fifteen years ago he moved to London work as a commercial photographer and pursue personal projects such as Cholita Climbers, a series documenting Aymara indigenous women of Bolivia, who summited the 22,841ft peak of Mt Aconcagua — the highest mountain outside of Asia — in January 2019. They made this historic climb eschewing traditional climbing clothing in favor of their traditional, vibrant, billowing dresses, using their traditional shawls to carry equipment rather than backpacks.

“The word ‘cholita’ has previously been used as a pejorative term for the indigenous Aymara women of Bolivia. But these woman are reclaiming it as a badge of honor,” Antony says.

This June, Antony spent ten days in La Paz, documenting the climbing Cholitas and share with us his experiences making this vivid body of work.

Rediscovering “The Hampton Album,” a Renowned Record of African-American History After the Civil War

Credited as the first female photojournalist in the United States, Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) received a commission in 1899 to photograph the Hampton Institute, a private historically Black university located in Hampton, Virginia.

Founded in 1868, just four years after the Civil War, the Hampton Institute was dedicated to the education of African-American men and women — and from 1878 to 1923, also maintained a program for Native Americans. The campus was located on the grounds of “Little Scotland,” a former plantation. Among its many illustrious alumni was no less than Booker T. Washington who taught at Hampton after he graduated before going on to found Tuskegee University.

Over the course of several weeks in December 1899 and January 1900, Johnston created a series of work that came to be known as the Hampton Album, a series of 159 luxurious platinum plates offering a window into daily life for Hampton students. Displayed in a cabinet with folding leaves, the work was first exhibited in the American Negro Exhibit at the Exposition Universelle in Paris as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to rebrand its international image following the decimation of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Miguel Rio Branco’s Portrait of Love and Pain Inside the Damned City

Miguel Rio Branco. Preto e rosa com bandeira, 1988-1992-2012

Miguel Rio Branco. Preto e rosa com bandeira, 1988-1992-2012

Cities are unnatural; they are purely man-made constructions of artifice masquerading as civilization that reinforce hegemonic conditioning of behavior and thought. Being adaptable, by nature, we are easily led to believe that the triumph of nature is our birthright despite all evidence that it is our death sentence.

The concentration of people inside a landscape of concrete, steel beams, and glass combined with the decimation of native flora and fauna leads to a curious result. Wo/man is never so lonely as being lost in the crowd, consumed by the shadow of fear — fear of missing out. Everywhere it seems, the illusion of success holds a promise that escapes their grasp: of beauty and joy, of status and wealth.

Here, city dwellers are locked inside a false binary, desperate to believe the illusions they are fed by pop culture and social media. They strive for the impossible, climbing to the top of the short ladder only to learn there’s nothing there; or they find themselves pushed to the bottom of it, excluded from the opportunity to learn that this is nothing more than an illusion.

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