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Sarah Wilson June 3, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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James and Melissa from the series Blind Prom, Texas 2008

Sarah Wilson (b. 1977, USA) received her BFA in photography at NYU, and has returned to her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she works regionally as an editorial photographer for magazines such as The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Time, The Atlantic Monthly, Texas Monthly, Mother Jones, and others. Her series, Blind Prom was awarded the 2008 PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Prize, and was exhibited in New Orleans at the Photo Alliance Gallery, in New York City at the Foley Gallery, and in China at the Lishui International Photography Festival. Several images from, Jasper, Texas: The Road To Redemption, documented the aftermath of the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a shocking hate crime have been acquired by the permanent collections at both the University of Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

About the Photograph:

“For the past four years, I have volunteered as the prom night photographer for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Starting with hair and makeup in the dorms, through the last dance at midnight, I aim to capture the entire prom ritual. Not only do the images memorialize this rite of passage for the attendees and their parents, but I also hope that the work will serve a larger audience as a medium for consideration of what life might be like as a blind teenager. This picture of James and Melissa is one of my favorite images from the series thus far. They were having one of those sweet, electric, young love moments while the other students were out on the dance floor.”

Pascal Shirley May 16, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Oakland, California 2005

Pascal Shirley (b. 1980, USA) began his photographic studies at Prescott College and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He received his MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. During this time he studied under Larry Sultan and Jim Goldberg and graduated in 2006. He was awarded a teaching position the following fall at California College of the Arts, but left soon after to pursue a career in photography. Pascal assists with several NYC and LA based photographers while continuing his own work. He recently shot for TIME magazine and has been included in group shows in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Pascal currently resides in Los Angeles.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of a series on youth in and around the Bay Area.  The 13-year-old boy lived with his mother in Oakland.  I photographed him three separate times and it was the third time when I got this picture. I remember him opening up to me about how his father had left when he was young and his dog was his best friend. Their house was very cluttered and I could barely move throughout the rooms. His mother told me there were evil spirits in the house. I asked him if he wanted to go out in the backyard. He moved throughout the yard like it was foreign to him. It seemed like it had been years since he had played out there. He was an only child entering adolescence and I felt his unease.”

Larysa Sendich May 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Series “Between Waves”, 2010

Larysa Sendich (b.1979, Ukraine) spent her childhood in the American Midwest and on the East Coast, between the American culture she was born into, and the Ukrainian one her immigrant family came from.  This division of cultural circumstances fueled a life-long pursuit for the meaning of ‘Home’. Since the beginning of her career Larysa has been engaged in a long-term exploration, across cultures and generations, of the search for this fundamental human need. In 2010 Larysa  graduated from the International Center of Photography Documentary Photography program in New York. Her photographs have been published in F- Stop Magazine, NPR, and  100 Words. She lives in New York.

About the Photograph:

“This image, taken on the sound in Milford, CT, is part of a larger body of work called Between Waves. By concentrating on two distinct generational waves of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants residing on the east coast of the United States the images aim to capture the struggles of preserving cultural heritage while adapting to new social environments. Luba, the woman in this photograph is a product of the third wave, the largest and most permanent, that came escaping political exile as a direct result of World War II.  The work poses questions of what can be lost in transition, evoking a sense of isolation, confusion, friction and dislocation.”

Lori Vrba April 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Series “Piano Farm” North Carolina, 2009

Lori Vrba (b. 1964, USA) is a native Texan now residing in  North Carolina. She studied at the Glassell School of Art in Houston but is primarily a self taught artist. Her photographs are shot using an old Hasselblad and then developed by hand in her traditional home darkroom where she does all of the processing, printing and toning herself. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2009 Lishui Photo Festival in China, Foto 8 Summer Show in London and most recently, a unique installation of  her project “Piano Farm” in New Orleans. Her awards include: Critical Mass Finalist, 2009 and the PhotoNOLA Review Prize, 2010.

About the Photograph:

“My original plan on the day I made this image, was to photograph the pictures on the clothesline as a still life.  I was fascinated by these old family pictures as a child.  My mother kept them in the bottom drawer of a chest in our hallway. I would pull them out, spread them all around me on the floor, and stay there for hours. I consider this to be my introduction to photography. While shooting this “still life”, my daughter came up into the frame to see what I was up to. As is often the case…that unplanned moment ultimately defines the image. I’ve learned to trust in the idea that cool things happen while I’m working. I remind myself of this when I’m uninspired or doubting myself. ‘Just load some film’. It works.”

Matt Nager April 13, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Tea Party Rally, Texas 2009

Matt Nager (b. 1983, USA) graduated in News Editorial Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His travels have taken him throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. In addition to photography he works in video and film. Matt has been recognized by the 61st College Photographer of the Year competition with an Honorable Mention for Documentary, the 2006 Hearst Journalism Awards as a National Finalist and by the Society of Professional Journalists. His clients include: AARP, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Blick (Switzerland), The National  (Abu Dhabi), Bloomberg News, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News and Rocky Mountain News among others.

About the Photograph:

“I have covered the Tea Party Express and other Tea Party events several times in Texas during the past year and a half. This particular image was shot on assignment for The New York Times. The story was a feature looking into the Tea Party Express as they were making their cross country tour speaking out against the passage of the health care bill. During this moment, the organizers of the event were conducting a prayer for armed forces members who have died while serving. It was interesting to see how much patriotism was used to draw an emotional response at the Tea Party rally. The other observation I made when reflecting on this image is the portrayal of President Obama as the joker. I remember back to some of the signs from this event and remember the dramatic imagery and terminology used.”

Joseph O. Holmes April 8, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Columbus Circle, New York City 2005

Joseph  O. Holmes (b. 1954, USA) was raised in a factory town in rural Pennsylvania where his father taught him how to develop and print photos in the home darkroom. Joe has exhibited in dozens of group and solo shows in the United States. Among other awards, he was honored with a Curator’s Commendation at the Houston Center for Photography (2010), first prize in MPLS Photo Center’s 2010 Portraits Exhibition, Honorable Mention in the Silver Eye Gallery’s Fellowship Competition (2008), and Honorable Mention in the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Competition (2007). He was a winner (2010) and finalist (2007) in Critical Mass/Photolucida and twice invited to the Review Santa Fe juried portfolio review (2007 and 2010). Joe is represented by The Jen Bekman Gallery (NYC) and Wall Space (Santa Barbara and Seattle).

About the Photograph:

“I was once invited to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from the enormous windows of Jazz at Lincoln Center, fives stories above Columbus Circle, and I thought I’d take the most amazing photos. But after an hour up there, I couldn’t get a single interesting shot. It just wasn’t happening. I finally gave up, put away my camera, and sat down, only to look up and see what I’d been missing the whole time: across the room against the windows was a row of silhouettes apparently looking out over the late autumn leaves of Central Park. The scene had nothing whatsoever to do with a parade. And so I got out my camera and took what became one of my favorite shots. I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned that day: I have no obligation to document a scene or an event. My job is to look around for an image that will make me happy. Sometimes I come home with a wonderful picture that’s 180 degrees from what I thought I’d be shooting.”

Carey Kirkella April 4, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Julia throwing doll, Middletown, New York 2008

Carey Kirkella (b. 1977, USA) studied photography and media arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY; earning a BFA in 1999. Her work has been recognized by the Santa Fe Center for Photography, the International Photography Awards and Critical Mass. She was included in the Noorderlicht International Photography Festival, and in the recent book ‘Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2009′ by The Magenta Foundation. In October 2009, she received the ‘Kick Award’ through the international competition ’10 Best 10′ by WIN-Initiative and Resource magazine.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from an ongoing documentary portrait project about my niece Julia as she grows up in Middletown, NY. It was Easter and my brother and I were sitting on the floor of our sister’s living room. Julia handed me one end of a jump-rope and then simultaneously flung her doll in the air while turning the other end of the rope. It was one of those split second moments that I would never be able to recreate if I tried. Julia is a healthy seven year old girl full of life and creativity and drama. She’s an only child. I’ve been photographing her regularly every few months since she was about three years old. I hope to capture the spirit of her childhood, and to explore ideas about growing up in a typical, middle class family in a suburban town in America today. She inspires me.”

Scott Strazzante March 28, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the “Common Ground” Project. Lockport, Illinois 2000/2009

Scott Strazzante (b.1964, USA) was born and raised in the shadows of the steel mills on the far southeast corner of Chicago. The son of a tire dealer, Scott first became interested in photography when he started taking his dad’s Canon AE-1 to Chicago White Sox games. After graduating from Ripon College, he began, what has now been, a 24-year career at Chicago-area newspapers.  In 2000, while employed at The Herald News in Joliet, Scott was named National Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the Missouri School of Journalism. In 2007, he won 2nd place in POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year competition. A seven time Illinois Photographer of the Year, Scott spent the last nine years at the Chicago Tribune where he works as a general assignment photographer.

About the Photograph:

“In 1994, I told, in images, a simple tale of two senior citizen cattle farmers who lived and worked on a 118-acre tract of land in Lockport, Illinois, thirty-five miles southwest of Chicago. After publication, I continued to document the daily lives of those farmers, Harlow and Jean Cagwin, on my own time as a personal project and that work eventually evolved into a study of aging, the disappearing family farm and suburban sprawl.  In 2007, the story turned into something totally different, when I started photographing the Grabenhofer family, who live at the end of a Willow Walk subdivision cul de sac, on the very land that the Cagwins once toiled. The study of the two seemingly disparate ways of life is told in diptychs, comparing and contrasting the lives of the Cagwins and the Grabenhofers.” (more…)

Max Whittaker March 14, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Kids Playing in Trailer Park, Olivehurst, California 2004

Max Whittaker (b. 1976, USA) is a freelance photojournalist based in Sacramento, Calif. He studied history at the University of California, Davis, and became interested in photojournalism while on a climbing trip in South America. Max worked at newspapers in Iowa and California before going freelance in 2004. He’s covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presidential campaigns, and social issues in California. He’s a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Getty Images, and is a founding member of the Prime collective.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is part of a project I shot over six months on the dissolution of the Andina Village Trailer Park in Olivehurst, California – near Sacramento. The park had been taken over by the county for unpaid taxes, and sold to a developer. The residents were evicted, but had a hard time finding new housing that’s as cheap as the trailer park. The park was terribly rundown, dangerous, but I marveled at the way the kids seemed to ignore all of it. They played on the decaying trailers and molding furniture, seeming to have much more fun than other kids their age who had fancy toys or video games. At one point, they were goofing around and seven-year-old Quentin Lay innocently balanced some coins on his eyes as a friend crept up behind to scare him. Eventually, the park was bulldozed. The residents moved away, often out of state to find cheaper living expenses. The developer has yet to build on the lot and it’s now a vacant lot choked with weeds.”

Wenjie Yang March 3, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Joann, Brooklyn, NY, 2010

Wenjie Yang (b. 1978, China) is a freelance photographer currently based in New York City. She graduated from the International Center of Photography’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program  in 2010. Wenjie earned a BFA from the Beijing Film Academy and comes to photography with a background in advertising production and production of movie crews. Her work have been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Marie Claire, Elle Décor, Oggi, Burn Magazine, Lens, and Voyage. Past exhibitions include: Low City at 456 Gallery, New York (2010), Of Bodies And Other Things at ICP, New York (2010), Xiaobing Xu National Photography Museum, Tongxiang, China (2010).

About the Photograph:

“Joann is from an immigrant Korean family. At the age of 26, she is already working as a curator and director of a gallery specializing in Asian arts located at in the Chelsea art district in New York. When I saw her for the first time she was taking a cigarette break outside her gallery, waist-touching long straight hair, looking seductive and free. She gladly accepted my invitation for a portrait session after a brief conversation. I went to her apartment in Brooklyn and I was warmly welcomed by her. One of Joann’s first questions was ‘what do you want me to do?’ My answer was simply just be yourself, as if I am not here.” (more…)

Rachel Mummey February 14, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Urban Dreams. Iowa City, USA 2010

Rachel Mummey (b.1983, United States) has spent the last two years working towards a Master’s in Photography from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Her work has been featured in Photo District News and News Photographer magazines and online at New York Times Lens Blog, The Neiman Storyboard, Multimedia Muse and Kobre Guide websites. Most recently she was awarded as the 65th College Photographer of the Year with stories placing gold and silver in the documentary category as well as gold in individual multimedia story. She was awarded the 2010 Kit King Scholarship by the National Press Photographer’s Association. Pictures of the Year International recognized her photography in 2009. Currently she’s interning at The Palm Beach Post.

About the Photograph:

“I made this image while documenting a project about youth in families who have moved to Iowa City, Iowa from Chicago. I returned to my hometown after moving away for graduate school to find myself looking at my community with an outsider’s perspective. I heard many people from my community making blanket generalizations about socio-economically disadvantaged families who were moving from Chicago. I wanted to bear witness to these families lives just to see what their lives were like. Historically, railroads, rivers and other barriers have segregated towns, like Iowa City, all across the United States. This was a program called Urban Dreams that teaches disadvantaged youth how to ride horses. The program was only up and running for a handful of weeks before it fell apart. This particular image is when Arthur first meets the horse he is going to learn to ride. Although it was clear that he and the other kids were out of their element, they protested that they knew how to ride horses already. I was trying to contrast the urban culture with the rural environment.”

William DeShazer January 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Marching Band Members, Illinois 2009

William DeShazer (b. 1981, USA) is a Photojournalist currently working for the Chicago Tribune. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2007 with a degree in Photojournalism. William has held internships with The Idaho Statesman, The Flint Journal, The Herald (Jasper, IN) and The Dallas Morning News. He has freelanced for The Courier-Journal, The Star-Ledger, and Golf Week and was  a staff photographer with the Concord Monitor. William has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, Photographer of the Year, and the National Press Photographers Association. In 2006 he  earned First Place honors for Photojournalism in the National Hearst Journalism Awards Championship. William also won first place for the 2009 Illinois Photographer of the Year.

About the Photograph:

“Marian Catholic High School color guard member Jasmin Weaver, bottom right, puts her make-up on with other members of the color guard before the bands final performance at Bands of America Regional Championships. In situations like this I always find myself circling the individuals or group and just keeping my eyes open for something a little different. The color guard makeup was so elaborate I knew I wanted to make a photo that involved it to fit the story. The Marian Catholic Marching Band has been to the Grand Nationals and won more than any other school in America.  They have won seven times and are the only school to win three years in a row. This is from an essay following them through the State Competition, the Regional’s Competition, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships during their 2009 season.”

Bryan Thomas January 17, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Nelsonville, Ohio 2010

Bryan Thomas (b. 1982, USA) is completing a master’s degree at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. Bryan graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English, in 2005.  Following college, Bryan worked on the editorial at GQ Magazine for over two years; ultimately, returning to school in the fall of 2008.  He has  since taken classes at the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Bryan interned at The Concord Monitor and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2010. He’s been recognized by PDNedu, Sportsshooter.com, and The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. His work has been exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery in London. In January 2011, he’ll begin a six-month internship at the St. Petersburg Times.”

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Nelsonville, Ohio during the winter of 2010.  After driving around with a group of teenagers looking for a fight, Sean Stump was leaning out the window of a friend’s car to see if his opponent was going to show up.  During that winter, I’d begun a project “The Things We Did While You Were Gone” about growing up in the town of Carbondale, Ohio.  Carbondale, like many towns in Southeast Ohio, was a former coal town that, after decades of relative success, had fallen into decline and disrepair since the extractive industry had left town. The odds facing these kids were staggering. At least one-third of Carbondale was living below the poverty line, the median age of a household was only 26 (ten years below the national average) and a combination of drug-addiction, crime, and/or disability had effected almost all of the households where I spent time.” (more…)

Reed Young January 12, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Barrow, Alaska 2010

Reed Young (b. 1982, USA) is a freelance photographer based in New York.  After graduating from Brooks Institute in 2005, he was awarded a year long residency at FABRICA, the Communication Research Center of Benetton Group in Treviso, Italy. At FABRICA he worked for a number of publications while finding his voice in journalistic portraiture. He has worked for publications including New York Magazine, Dwell, Fast Company, Inc., Wired Italy, GQ Italy, Colors Magazine, Ventiquattro, D La Repubblica, and Apollo. In March he was selected as one of 2010′s PDN 30 up and coming photographers to watch.

About the Photograph:

“In April of 2010 I traveled 300 miles north of the arctic circle to the small town of Barrow, Alaska. I wanted to focus on this town for many reasons, but the most interesting to me was that over 40 percent of the residents are non-native people who have immigrated to Barrow with the hopes of making more money than they did back home. To do this I needed to learn both sides of the story and I was lucky to meet the Panigeo’s, a native family who live at the edge of town. This is a photograph of the head of the family, Mabel Panigeo. Only recently have modern amenities like the Internet, television and brand-name clothing become available in this isolated town. Like most of the older natives, she hand made this traditional Eskimo parka from a pattern that has been passed down for more than 1,000 years. Mabel is concerned that her grandchildren’s generation will lose the traditional Inupiat values and customs if she doesn’t continue to reinforce their integrity.”

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