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Alex Boerner February 26, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Wedding reception. Orlando, Florida 2004

Alex Boerner (b. 1976, USA) is currently a staff photographer with the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers located on the southeast coast of Florida. He previously worked at The N’West Iowa REVIEW after graduating with a degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN. He shoots daily and long-term assignments for the newspaper, personal projects and freelance assignments. His work has also been published in The FADER, The New York Times, The St. Petersburg Times, and the London Times.  Alex recently returned from an assignment covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

About the Photograph:

“Gabriel Hubbard is the first child of Rob and Diane Hubbard, a young couple I photographed in 2002 as part of a long-term story. Diane was four months pregnant with their second child when she developed invasive Ductal Carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. She followed through with the pregnancy despite recommendations from several doctors to terminate, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Charisma. Sadly, Diane was a victim of her treatment. After going into remission for breast cancer she succumbed to bone cancer resulting from radiation therapy at the age of 29. After a period of a little over two years following Diane’s passing, Rob got re-married to his high-school sweetheart. This is a photo of Gabriel at the reception for his father’s second marriage.”

Editors Note: The photo above is from Alex’s story “Gift of God’s Grace” featured on his website.

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Vanessa Winship February 24, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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School girls, East Anatolia, Turkey

Vanessa Winship (b.1960, Uk) is a graduate of Film, Video and Photographic arts from the Polytechnic of Central London . In 2009 she received second prize from the NPG for a portrait from her recent Georgia series, in 2008 she won the Godfrey Argent prize for the best Black and White image, from the same competition for one of her images from the Sweet Nothings series.The same work has been exhibited at Les Rencontres Arles Photographie, Host Gallery, London, and the Kunsthal, museum of contemporary art in Rotterdam. Vanessa is represented by Agence VU in France and currently lives in London.

About the Photograph:

“This particular image was made at a school on the outskirts of a town called Hakkari which lies very close to the Iraq border. On the evening we arrived at our hotel we were visited by the police who had come to tell us that the only real road leading out of the town had been blown up. At first we thought there had been some kind of an attack, but in fact it was being blown up in order to start new work enlarging the road. They cheerfully told us that it probably wouldn’t be open again for a few days and that the only other road out was over a mountain pass which wasn’t so easy to navigate! I’m working with a 4×5 camera was lucky with the light on this occasion. In many of the other schools I’d really struggled with there not being enough light inside, or there being impossibly bright sunlight outside. I usually asked the teachers if there were any sisters who might like to be photographed together, and so of course these two almost identical small girls presented themselves to me.”

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Lana Šlezić February 22, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Afghanistan, 2005

Lana Šlezić (b.1973 Canada) has been a professional photographer since 2000. In 2005 Lana was invited to participate in the World Press Photo Joop Swaart Masterclass in Amsterdam, one of 12 young photographers selected world-wide. Later that year she published her first book “Forsaken” which in 2008 was chosen as one of the Top Ten Photo Books of the Year by American Photo Magazine. She has exhibited in Canada, Netherlands, France, United States, and many other countries. Publications include National Geographic, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Paris Match.

About the Photograph:

“This body of work from my book “Forsaken” represents a very emotional journey that has allowed me to learn about Afghan woman’s lives in an intimate setting. At the worst of times the stories are horrific and at best they are consistent. It is my hope that the final collection of photographs will communicate, influence and inspire others to learn more about the plight of Afghan women. Most Afghan women and girls understand all too well the concept of fear and subservience. As human beings it is our responsibility to not only see and hear, but to listen and act.”

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Jan Stürmann February 19, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Youth Correctional Facility. Chino, California

Jan Stürmann (b. 1967, South Africa) is a photographer and multimedia producer based in Berkeley, California. He studied photography at Pretoria Technicon. His publishing credits include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek and Marie Claire. Other institutional clients include: AARP, American Friends Service Committee and Numi Tea. Most of his current work is with NGO’s, corporate and editorial clients wanting to harness the story-telling potential of multimedia.

Editor’s note: Check out Jan’s powerful piece “Solitary Confinement” in the multimedia/foundation section of his site.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken at the Herman Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, California east of Los Angeles during a weekly Native American Sweat Lodge ceremony. This is the one place in the prison where wards, often from rival gangs, can drop their guard and experience a brief period of vulnerability and emotional honesty. The ceremony is open to everyone, irrespective of race. No blood has ever been spilled on the lodge grounds. The wards insisted I join their ceremony, which takes place in a dark lodge. Participants sit in a circle around a pile of glowing rocks. As the lodge leader threw water onto the rocks, filling the lodge with steam, prayers for strength and guidance filled the darkness.”

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Massimo Sciacca February 17, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Royal Ascot Race. Berkshire, England 2008

Massimo Sciacca (b.1965, Italy) joined the Lucky Star photo agency in 1991 and covered various stories including the first days of the war in the former Yugoslavia and the free elections in Albania in 1992. In March 1997 he photographed the peoples’ rebellion in Albania. One of the photographs in this series was awarded a prize from the World Press Photo Contest. From 1998 to 2004 he has been on the staff of the Contrasto Agency, Italy. In 2002, he photographed completed a long term project on the largest prison of Manila  called “The Paper Tiger”. He is currently a member of Prospekt Photographers Agency and is based in Milan, Italy.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken during the Royal Ascot in Berkshire England, the world’s most famous horse race. The ladies were standing in front of the horse path waiting for Her Majesty the Queen of England on her horse-drawn carriage. I wanted to show the atmosphere of the event- the British fever for horse racing, betting, drinking and singing national songs. Next to the high society and the Royal family there were the three hundred thousand middle class who invade Ascot each year. They are looking to feel and be part of the event as if  finally realizing a dream. Royal Ascot has a strict dress code and it has become an excuse to transform the horse race into a fashion show. Men dress formally including a top hat while the ladies must not show bare midriffs or shoulders and cover their heads. The woman’s hats are actually the real players of the Royal Ascot event.”

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Alex Welsh February 15, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Hunters Point, San Francisco 2008

Alex Welsh (b. 1986, USA) is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University, where he majored in Photojournalism and minored in both History and Middle Eastern Studies.  His interest in documentary photography is in its ability to examine longstanding and systemic problems in society and establish a dialogue with audiences to confront those issues.  Over the last year, Welsh worked in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood photographing the issues such as poverty, criminalization, gang violence, and displacement surrounding the gentrification of the city’s last predominantly African American community. His clients include the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Oakland Tribune, The FADER, and FLYP Media.  Welsh is currently based in Brooklyn.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in the Alice Griffith ‘Double Rock’ housing projects in Hunters Point.  I was driving into the projects with a rapper from the neighborhood when I saw the playground burning, so I started shooting this boy on his bike watching it burn.  A bunch of the kids from the neighborhood around me were upset, and as the fire department came and put it out, a group of girls approached me to ask if there was going to be a new playground put in.  It was a bit heartbreaking, and so I told them that I was sure they would replace it.  They got really excited and started asking me what kind of things where going to be in the new playground, but I told them I had no idea.”

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Johan Bävman February 12, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Sweden.
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Summer Camp, Sweden 2005

Johan Bävman (b. 1982, Sweden) grew up  in the southern part of Sweden and is now based in Malmö where he works for the daily newspaper Sydsvenskan. He also works on long term projects when time allows. Johan recently won The Unicef Picture of the Year Award for his story about Albinos in Ghana, Africa.  He received a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the Nordic school of photojournalism in Stockholm. Johan has received awards from World press Photo, Swedish photo of the Year, POYI and the Lumix Festival for young Photojournalism coming up in Hanover this June. He is a new member of the Moment photography agency.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was part of an assignment at the Nordic school of Photography. It was about summer camps for city children. I was there for two days and wanted to remember my own childhood and also understand how it feels when you are away from your family for a couple of weeks. The summer camps are intended to relieve pressure from hard working parents in the summer time. A time for them to have a vacation away from their children. The children who attend camp are often from the concrete suburbs and are not used to being out in nature. For a  couple of weeks each summer they find new friends and get to learn about themselves. Some children look back at this time as the best summer of their lives.”

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Carlos Javier Ortiz February 10, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Day Without an Immigrant March. Chicago 2006

Carlos Javier Ortiz (b.1977, Puerto Rico) attended Columbia College where he studied photojournalism. Carlos was a staff photographer for “Chicago In The Year 2000″, a year long project documenting the city and its inhabitants. He worked for several years as a photojournalist for newspapers in Philadelphia and New Jersey and is currently working on a cross-cultural youth violence project, which documents adolescents in Chicago and Guatemala. Carlos was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography in 2008 and recently received the 2009 domestic photography award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights for the Too Young To Die project. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Washington Post, Time Magazine, NPR, The Guardian, Stern Magazine and other publications.

About the Photograph:

“The photo is of a man at an immigration rights rally in Chicago. I was drawn to him because he was dressed as the Statue of Liberty and therefore was dressed as a woman. I was also interested in him because he represented an American icon in a sea of people who were fighting for their rights as Americans. There was something about the image of a man dressed as the Statue of Liberty juxtaposed with people engaged in such an important fight that really captured me. An estimated 400,000 protesters took to the streets of Chicago almost four years ago to show their support for the eleven million illegal immigrants living in the United States.”

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Greta Pratt February 8, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Abraham Lincoln’s Traveling Log Cabin. Kentucky

Greta Pratt (b.1975, United States) is the author of two monographs, Using History, and In Search of the Corn Queen. Pratt’s works are represented in major public and private collections, including The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Photography and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Pratt was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, served as photography bureau chief of Reuters International in New York City, and her photographs have been featured in The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. She is a recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship. Pratt is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Old Dominion University.

About the Photograph:

This is a photo of Lincoln presenter Gerald Bestrom. Mr. Bestrom drives this camper around the Midwest performing for school groups and senior citizen gatherings as the 16th president. He likes to entertain so he plays a comb and a saw, dances a jig and recites from Lincoln’s speeches.  The men that I photographed for this series belong to The Association of Lincoln Presenters. They are passionate about Lincoln and spend time studying, reading and performing for school groups, community celebrations, and senior citizen centers. Each one started this unusual occupation for a different reason, but all became completely immersed in the ideals of Abraham Lincoln.”

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Dave LaBelle by Francis Gardler February 7, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, Video.
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As part of his Masters project at Ohio University, Francis Gardler created a series or ten video clips about photographer and teacher Dave LaBelle. Plenty of valuable lessons to be learned here. I especially like this one where Dave talks about the empathy and compassion needed to photograph other human beings. The title of one of the clips: “Connecting The Eye With The Heart” sums it up perfectly.

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Samuel Zuder February 5, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Mamaia, Romania 2006

Samuel Zuder (b. 1965, Germany) studied photojournalism at the technical college for visual communication in Dortmund, Germany. His documentary thesis about India was published in Geo and other international magazines. In 1996 Samuel was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass while working on a project about Christian and Muslim neighbors in the Bosnian city of Mostar. His work has appeared in numerous international magazines and publications and has been exhibited widely in Europe. He currently lives in Hamburg

About the Photograph:

“I took the photo during a reportage on Romania for Stern Magazine shortly before the country joined the European Union. The scene was shot at the Black Sea in Mamaia. The picture expresses the positive and optimistic spirit of Romania before entering a new era. The Ferrari boat- not real, just a toy-  is a symbol for upcoming prosperity. A kind of symbol for the actual situation at that time, the starting point to an unknown future.  Now, some years later the progress of the country has experienced a deterioration, a  political disharmony. Corruption has prevented the positive development – the Ferrari boat is shipping through stormy water. Romania still hasn’t reached the level it was dreaming of at the start of the trip.”

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Knut Egilwang February 3, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Norway.
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Givær, Norway 2004

Knut Egilwang (b.1974, Norway) is a documentary photographer based in Bergen, Norway, where he works for magazines and newspapers´ weekend supplements and personal projects. He graduated with a BA in photojournalism from Oslo University College in 1997. In 2002 he was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Master class, and the same year he received the prize Picture of the year in Norway. He has later won several awards for his work, also for his book Traktorland published in 2008. Knut is represented by Moment Agency.

About the Photograph:

“For more than a decade I have been photographing every day life on the small Norwegian island Givær. This island has only 13 inhabitants, and is not much larger than a couple of football stadiums. There are five cows and some more sheep, and almost every straw is harvested or grazed from the rocky, uneven fields. Givær is located 30 kilometers west of Bodø. Located north of the polar circle with dark winters and the midnight sun in summer. This photograph is from the day after a wedding. The bride is the one with the band aid. I don’t know exactly what happened to her knees. In documentary photography one should know as much as possible about what is going on, what you are photographing, the story behind the event. But what I like the most about photography are all the questions that can be raised from a photograph, all the stories that you can make up in your head.”

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Francesco Lastrucci February 1, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Dìa de los Agelitos. Oaxaca, Mexico 2009

Francesco Lastrucci (b. 1977, Italy) is a freelance photographer who focuses on editorial stories. After initially studying architecture he moved to Stockholm. He is currently based between Italy, New York and Hong Kong working on projects in Europe, Latin America and East Asia. His work has appeared in major North American, European and Asian magazines. Among them The New York Times, CNN and Condè Nast publications.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photo in Oaxaca, Mexico during the day of the dead celebrations. November first honors the souls of the departed childrens and infants and it’s called day of the little angels. While religious gatherings and offers take place by the graves in the cemeteries around town, a more pagan celebration is held around town with many parades ending up in the Zocalo, the core of the old town. People dress up and while all this can remind of some of the most typical Halloween parades, the theme of the death is much stronger here shows a strong relationship with the traditions and ancestries of this land. I was looking for an image that could symbolize the theme of the “dia de los angelitos”. I was wandering through the dense crowd that was filling the square when I noticed the angel, surrounded by grotesque skull figures.”

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