Posts tagged: documentary photography

One Photographer’s Commitment to the Vulnerable Wild Horses of the United States

Wild Horse Family, Sandwash Basin, CO

Moonlit Dance


Horses helped ease Tori Gagne‘s homesickness when she was a young girl away at summer camp. As an adult and a photographer, Gagne now sees the equine species as a kind of mirror for the pieces of ourselves we’ve lost. “Horses connect us to a deeper part of ourselves that remembers wildness, freedom, nature and open spaces,” she tells me. “They can feel your emotion and reflect it back to you, showing you your true self.” Today, she documents and advocates for the lives of wild horses in the United States.

Intimate Portraits of Just-Released Inmates Leaving Prison

Huntsville, Texas, is a prison town, home to 11 different units of varying degrees of security. The Department of Criminal Justice has been the largest employer in Huntsville since 2005, making just about everyone in the town of 38,000 indirectly affiliated with the prison industrial complex.

The Wallis unit, the largest prison in Huntsville, serves as the regional release center for the state, with an average of 100 to 150 men being bussed in from other facilities every weekday. If a newly-released inmate does not have someone picking them up, they walk a couple of blocks to the Greyhound bus station, where they can catch a specially designated bus out of town.

A harrowing portrait of the U.S. opioid crisis

“I want people’s hearts to be broken,” says photographer Jordan Baumgarten on his book titled Good Sick. “That’s what it can be like to live here.”

This is Baumgarten’s harrowing, photographic portrait of the US opioid crisis, shown through its effects on the artist’s neighbourhood in Philadelphia over a five-year period. We spoke with the artist about the book and his thoughts on the documentary genre in general.

A Look Inside a Protest Camp on the Fringes of London

Outside of the eco-village Grow Heathrow, you can find a sign reading, “Open to visitors 10am-6pm.” In 2011, the London photographer Jonathan Goldberg became one of those visitors. “During my first visit to this off-grid community, I was greeted warmly, then promptly handed an axe to chop some firewood,” he remembers. “I loved the hands-on manner of this lifestyle, and the closeness to nature which living amongst trees and bush provided.”

Ekaterina Solovieva Takes Us Inside “The Earth’s Circle”

A baptism. Kolodozero, Karelia, Summer 2014.

Fireworks at Christmas. Kolodozero, Karelia, Winter 2015.

Viktor fishing on the lake. Kolodozero, Karelia, Summer 2017.

In northernmost Russia lies the village of Kolodozero, a series of small hamlets including Lakhta, Isakovo, Ust’-Reka, Pogost, Zaozerye, and Dubovo that are concealed within the woods of Pudozh on the border between Arkhangelsk Oblast and Karelia. Around the turn of the millennium, three friends from Moscow made their way to Kolodozero in search of the meaning of life and their purpose on earth. They began raising money to build a new church to replace the one that burned down in 1977.

In 2005, Arkady Shlykov, one of the three friends, was ordained as priest of the new church. At first he was looked upon with suspicion, but over time the locals came to love the shaggy red-haired rebel and punk whose peaceful character embodied the ethos of the church. His presence and leadership restored to the people all that had been lost, creating a new parochial life that renewed the ties between families, neighbors, and the earth.

Like the friends, Russian photographer Ekaterina Solovieva traveled from her native Moscow to Kolodozero to document their world, exploring what keeps the community united as a people. The result is The Earth’s Circle. Kolodozero (Schilt).

The Young & Passionate Surfers of Liberia, in Photos

“As soon as the morning light hits, you’ll see them making their way through the sand until the sun sets in the horizon,” the Aba, Nigeria-born photographer Yagazie Emezi says of the surfers of Robertsport in Western Liberia. “It’s a serious passion for them, living and breathing. It’s unrelenting.” A Young Thing is her testament to the surfers, the littlest of whom are eight to twelve years old.

A Poignant Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Suicide Respite Center

“My background is in engineering and research. I quite enjoy, now, reflecting on how I became mad and that process of where the brain takes you. That I find fascinating. I think it’s quite difficult to become suicidal really. You need trigger points, some people need just need one, I needed quite a few. But once you’re there…

“The first time that I had heard the word Maytree I had been sectioned. I was in Chase Farm, Enfield, in the hospital unit. There were 4 people around the table chit chatting and 2 of those had both been guests at Maytree. It was 2005. It was coming up to the Christmas period and I didn’t think I’d get through it. One of the women said maybe you could go and stay at Maytree.

“Maytree was a wonderful safe place. I remember I was in a bad place. It really was quite bad. I couldn’t cook or do anything for myself. I used to love porridge. On the first morning Michael made me porridge and I thought… that little thing, making the porridge, was good.

“When I got better I thought maybe I should volunteer at Maytree. I think I have a sense of loyalty to Maytree. I find it therapeutic going there. It’s sometimes very challenging but I’ve never really thought it’s too overpowering, but when you walk through that door you never know…” – Michael

Maytree is a house in Finsbury Park, London. It has four bedrooms, and its inhabitants change all the time. As a suicide respite center, it serves as a temporary home to people in crisis. Guests stay for four days and five nights only; during that time, they can speak openly with volunteers and peers. They can talk about anything and everything, or they can talk about nothing. There is no judgement, and the environment is decidedly non-clinical.

There are about 150 volunteers currently working at Maytree. The photographer Daniel Regan is one of them. His book and exhibition project I Want to Live tells the story of this unusual house and the people who walk through its doors. 

The Joys, Disappointments, & Triumphs of an Autistic Boy

Four years ago, the Italian photographer Fabio Moscatelli met a boy named Gioele through a mutual friend, and he embarked on a lifelong friendship. Gioele has autism, and communication isn’t always easy, but as he passes from childhood into adolescence, he continues to develop a shared language with the photographer. In addition to Moscatelli’s photographs, the book and exhibition Gioele includes drawings and photographs by the young man.

In Iowa, One Photographer Finds Traces of the Past

Barry Phipps moved to Iowa City in 2012. In the last six years, he’s tried to cover every hidden corner of the state, devoting countless hours to the road with no clear destination in sight. His book Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs, published by the University of Iowa Press, is the story of the place he now calls home.

Intimate portraits of Americans in their bedrooms (NSFW)


What goes on behind closed doors? It’s a curious thought that might pass our minds when walking through familiar or alien territory, though we seldom get a glimpse inside the  bedrooms of strangers. And yet the bedroom—a space synonymous with intimacy—may well offer the best impression of a person stripped of all the personas that we wear in public.

For the past two and a half years, Maine photographer Barbara Peacock has been travelling across the United States photographing people in their bedrooms. Her ongoing series American Bedroom is a sensitive, anthropological portrait of individuals, couples and families in the private dwellings we seldom see; the possessions with which they’ve surrounded themselves provide insight into their character, while the familiar environment and unthreatening presence of the photographer allows them to drop their guard. Each image is accompanied with a quote from the person portrayed, providing the viewer with a deeper sense of the subject’s character.

To witness the myriad of different cultures and personalities portrayed by Beacock that coexist in this vast territory—and vary regionally and based on factors such as class—the image of a homogenous cultural landscape that one might associated with this capitalist country is shattered.

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