Menu

Posts tagged: portrait photography

#ThePrintSwap Is Coming to Sydney in a Stunning New Show

Holy River © Pravin Tamang (@pravin_tamang), New Delhi, India

Winter Sunset © Danielle MacInnes (@daniellemacinnes_photography), Stratham, NH

An afternoon in the street of Jaisalmer © Ashraful Arefin (@ashrafularefin), Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Print Swap, the worldwide project by Feature Shoot, is heading for The Other Art Fair Sydney next month! Curated by Carly Earl, Picture Editor at The Guardian Australia, our tenth international exhibiting features 21 images from photographers all over the world. Selected photographers hail from locales throughout the United States, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Russia, and France.

There is no fixed theme for this exhibition, and the collection is left open to interpretation. Perhaps one theme that does emerge, however, centers around the precarious relationship between nature and humankind. The sea becomes a recurring motif, as does the man-altered landscape, as seen in Stas Bartnikas’s aerial landscape and Emmanual Monzon’s roadside scenery. The fragility of the wild comes to the fore in the works of Tiina Tormanen, who photographs a dead fish, and Aurélien Calonne, who captures Skaftafellsjökull, a melting glacier in Iceland. And still, despite all this frailty, these twenty photographers find beauty in the earth, whether they’re exploring the remotest wilderness or walking the bustling city streets.

Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair Sydney is now in its fifth year. Join thousands of visitors for the fair at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh from March 14-17. You can purchase tickets here.

As a reminder, photographers around the world are welcome to submit to The Print Swap by tagging their best images #theprintswap on Instagram. Submissions are currently open for our Paris exhibition, opening for five days at Studio Galerie B&B this spring. The photographer and gallery co-director Elise Prudhomme will be our guest curator. All Print Swap photographers give a picture and receive one from another inspiring photographer somewhere in the world, regardless of whether or not they are selected for our offline exhibitions. As always, it’s free to submit, but selected photographers pay $40 per image to be part of the swap. Learn more at our website and follow along at @theprintswap for updates.

Vulnerable Portraits of Men in the Nude

16 December, II

21 November, I

23 November, I

For twelve months, the Paris photographer Laura Stevens transformed her bed into a stage set for a series of portraits, and more than fifty unnamed men agreed to pose nude on a single white sheet. In most cases, she had never met her subject prior to the shoot, but after some tea and conversation, a new collaboration was born. “The shoots often seemed like a sort of hypnotic slow dance,” she tells me. “They lasted normally a couple of hours, or two albums of music. The same music each time: Bach: The Goldberg Variations and some Phillip Glass.” The sessions culminated in a project simply titled him.

The choice of the passive “him” as opposed to active “he” reinforces the photographer’s own role within these silent vignettes. The art critic John Berger famously wrote, “men act and women appear,” but in Stevens’s personal inversion, she, the photographer, is the onlooker, while he, the muse, is the one observed. “It felt natural for me to photograph men in postures of softness, quietness or passivity, it being how I normally like to photograph people in general, male or female,” the artist admits. “I suppose I find vulnerability beautiful.” We asked her to tell us more.

A Portrait of Love Among the Ruins of Post-Industrial America

October 23, 2010 birthdays

Tony in the dark bedroom, looking out the window

Dana nursing KyLanne the day before she took her baby home

In the dystopian mythos that fuels the American Dream, poverty is a mark of character upon which outrageous projections are made. Many, clinging to the illusions of living in a meritocracy, where everyone starts on a level playing field, prefer the ignorance of ideology above all, villainizing the victims of a system designed to create a permanent underclass upon which America’s Next Top Billionaire will assuredly feast.

Poverty, as it is presented to us, is a choice — the wrong one, the experts suggest. “If only these people would X, Y, or Z,” the armchair analyst adds without the slightest shame, from the comforts of their breakfast nook while scrolling the latest headlines on their news feed.

“X, Y, or Z” could be any number of conservative talking points that focus the minutiae of personal accountability while turning a blind eye to the crushing weight of living hand to mouth in country that has designed systems to profit off your demise.

Artist Brenda Ann Kenneally knows how the game is played better than most, and uses her knowledge and wisdom expose the truth — rather than perpetuate the lies told and sold. In 2002, she and author Adrian Nicole LeBlanc began collaborating on a magazine assignment in Troy, New York, a once-thriving city whose fortunes have gone dark.

The Life of One Young Lady with Down Syndrome, in Photos

When the photographer Snezhana von Buedingen first visited Sofie’s family at their farm in east Germany, she stayed for three days. She spent her waking hours shadowing Sofie, taking her time to soak in the details of her everyday life. With time, the pair forged a powerful bond; Meeting Sofie is the photographer’s ongoing ode to her friend and muse–a young woman who happens to have down syndrome.

Revealing the Fascinating World Beyond the Gender Binary

Pidgeon

Rain

Beyond the rigid, often inflexible, ideas that we are taught lies a realm of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that awaits us. The complexity of existence can be attributed to the fact that until we adapt our paradigms to reflect reality, we will remain trapped within a false construction masquerading as truth, one that may be used to exploit, oppress, or otherwise marginalize the most vulnerable among us.

To paraphrase Rumi, we can become the change we wish to see in the world — by forgoing the need to rush to opinion as a way to avoid the discomfort of doing the actual work. In giving people the space and freedom to share their truth, we confront our own ignorance and bigotry, while simultaneously learning from those whose lived experience bears witness to realities that may be far beyond our immediate comprehension.

When American photographer Chloe Aftel first heard the term “genderfluid” in 2012, she became curious and began to explore a world she did not know; a space where the gender binary does not operate accordingly to the principles set forth by the heternormative community.

With equal parts respect and curiosity. Aftel set forth to document the lives of gender non-binary people from all walks of life across America. What she came to understand was simple enough: the paradigms that we currently use to describe gender are limiting constructs that fail to recognize its extraordinarily complex expression.

“Most people are not simply one thing,” Aftel observes. “They do not see themselves in a singular, stagnant way but rather enjoy exploring who they are in a deep, sometimes complicated and possibly contradicting ways via gender exploration of paradigms, stereotypes and generalities.”

In honor of those who share their stories and their lives, Aftel has created the phenomenal new book, Outside & In Between: Self Beyond the Gender Binary, released on January 27 in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Celebrating the Powerful Legacy of Black-Owned Publishing

Photo: Isaac Sutton, 1969.
Courtesy Johnson Publishing Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Exhibition view of “The Black Image Corporation” A project by Theaster Gates
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti Courtesy Fondazione Prada.

Photo: Moneta Sleet Jr, 1969
Courtesy Johnson Publishing Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

“Buy Black” is a powerful sentiment, one that underscores the radical racial disparity in business ownership throughout American history. Political capital has long been gained by catering to the economic interests of various groups, except Black communities — which have been historically met with violence.

“I do not expect the white media to create positive Black male images,” Huey Newton sagely observed, witnessing the impact of centuries of image making on the minds of the populace, whether wholly erasing histories, or revising them resale so that nothing in the new version resembled the truth.

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” journalist A.J. Liebling wrote in The New Yorker in 1960, acknowledging a lifetime’s wisdom in a dozen words. Representation and visibility or only half the story being told: it’s not just the who, what, and where that matter but the how and the why that tell you everything you need to know.

Defamed by fake news long before the term became popular, Black America always finds a way to transcend the limitations constantly imposed. In 1942, businessman John J. Johnson founded the Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, premiering its flagship publication, Ebony, three years later. In 1951, Jet, a weekly digest, debuted. Together, Ebony and Jet, creating the defining image of Black America during the tumultuous years of the twentieth-century, creating a space wholly for itself that drew a loyal audience excited to catch the latest in the glossies. In 2016, Johnson sold both magazine, marking the end of an era.

One Man Photographs His Grandfather’s Battle with Cancer

Here, I am trying to hold on

Here, I am trying to figure out who my guest is

Gary became his grandson Karen Khachaturov’s muse the day he learned had bladder cancer. “He was diagnosed in 2017,” the Armenian photographer remembers. “It was pretty shocking for everyone.” Over the span of a month, the two of them worked together to create a series of playful and uncanny images, with Gary in the starring role. Their collaboration would eventually become Pastel Struggle, now on view at Mirzoyan Library in Yerevan.

Transgender Troops Share Their Stories, in Photos

Aaron Wixson, a Marine field artillery radar operator in Oceanside, California, transitioned from female to male in 2016. His biggest challenge was getting everybody to change the pronouns they used for him. “Some of them said, ‘We’ve been calling you “her” for so long.’” © Jeff Sheng for Smithsonian Magazine

In June 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the United States would be lifting a ban on transgender people serving openly in the armed forces. “We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve,” Carter said at the time. “We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications to prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.”

The next summer, President Donald Trump tweeted his intention to maintain the ban. In particular, he raised concerns about the medical costs involved in gender transitions. In March 2018, the executive branch barred transgender people from enlisting. The courts initially blocked the orders, but an appeals court reversed that decision. The Supreme Court ruled on January 22 that Trump’s restrictions could go into effect while the matter is making its way up through the legal system.*

With the fate of the ban still uncertain, we sent our photographer to meet five openly transgender members of the U.S. military. All but one of them told us they had full support from their superiors and other members of their units during their transitions. It’s unclear how typical their experiences were. In a survey included in this issue [of Smithsonian Magazine], only 39 percent of military personnel said they supported transgender people serving openly. But the people featured in this story said they were able to build on existing relationships to earn acceptance. “The younger men, especially, were like, ‘OK, cool, you seemed like one of the guys already,’” says Army National Guard member Adrian Rodriguez, who transitioned from female to male two years ago. “They were kind of expecting it.”

Read the rest of Jennie Rothenberg Gritz’s article on Jeff Sheng’s photographs over at Smithsonian Magazine.

The Secret Bond Shared by Animals and Children, in Photos

Throughout her career, Meera Sulaiman has come face-to-face with a wide array of wild animals, ranging from the giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands to the trumpeter swans of Ontario. She’s seen the circle of life up-close, witnessing the development of young animals in their native landscapes. She didn’t deliberately set out to photograph animals in captivity, but an encounter she once observed at a local zoo remains embedded in her psyche. A female orangutan and a young girl sat face-to-face, separated by glass, mimicking each other’s gestures. While other adults moved on, she lingered there, and she returned to the subject again and again.

Her project Whispers captures the silent connections that form between children and animals. “Children seem to have a magical affinity with animals, and I see parallels in their worlds,” Sulaiman says. “This series is inspired by my love and fascination with exploring this special, yet little understood, relationship.”

This Book of Funny Animal Photos Will Warm Your Heart

‘Caught In The Act’ © Mary McGowan, Overall Winner 2018

‘Rhinopeacock’ © Kallol Mukherjee, Highly Commended 2018

‘So There’ © Barney Koszalka, Highly Commended 2018

For four years now, Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks have delighted us with the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Organized by passionate conservationists and photographers, this annual contest highlights the whimsy and joys of the animal kingdom, all while underscoring the importance of protecting it for generations to come. Under the simple premise of funny animal pictures, they’ve turned hearts and minds towards the continued plight of Earth’s inhabitants and supported the continued efforts of organizations like the Born Free Foundation, which advocates every day for vulnerable species. Now, you can own a collection of outstanding imagery from the competition in the form of the new book Wild and Crazy: Photos from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, compiled by Sullam and Joynson-Hicks.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!

5 Weekly Tips to Advance Your Photo Career

Expert advice from photo industry professionals every Friday + get our guide to mastering Instagram (for FREE)!

You have Successfully Subscribed!