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Mike Tsang October 19, 2009

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Ed Maggs, Maggs Books London 2009

Mike Tsang (b. 1982, England) was born to Chinese-Mauritian parents who had emigrated to the UK during the great Commonwealth influx of the 1970’s. This influence of Asian-European-African cultures has shaped both his photography and life. Mike’s life passion for photography eluded him for 23 years and led him through a career in the bustling world of Finance before he began assisting in London to a variety of different photographers. Amazing experiences traveling through Asia led him to settle in Japan in 2007 to connect more with the East. He began freelancing in Tokyo after receiving his own commissions across Asia. In 2009 he spent time in Africa on humanitarian and development commissions, culminating in a portrait project  with the Dinka people of Sudan. His clients include BBC News Interactive, Tearfund, Cancer Research, WWF and a range of Japanese and Mauritian governmental and cultural agencies.

About the Photograph:

“Rare book dealers make fascinating portrait subjects as they are strong individualists, united only by a love of books and a determination to preserve their quite unique way of life.  The internet age has certainly created challenges for the trade as knowledge of the rarity and value of these books has become more disseminated amongst the public instead being confined to learned professionals.  Also the rise in high street rents, the fall in literary budgets, the competition from charity bookshops – these causes combined have led to the reduction in the number of independent book dealers in London by almost a third in the last decade alone.” (more…)

Grégoire Bernardi September 30, 2009

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From the series “The New Burlesque”, England 2008

Grégoire Bernardi (B. 1983, France) began as a self-taught photographer from the age of seven. He began studies  in art and photography at ETPA in Toulouse until 2003 later returning to Marseille where he worked as a reporter-photographer from 2003 to 2007 with the “Reportages” agency.  In 2012, he relocated to Marseille, France to continue his personal work. His photographs have been published in: VSD (Fr), Les Inrockuptibles (Fr), Groove (Fr), Playboy (French and Italian edition), L’Express (Fr), Let’s Motiv (Fr), Men’s Health (Fr), (Fr), Nautiques (Netherland), Ship & Shore ( Germany), 20 Minutes (Fr), Le Journal du Dimanche (Fr), Le Monde (Fr), and The Times (Uk).

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken at the Shepherds Bush Hall, in West London. I was working with a journalist on a project about the New Burlesque in England and we asked to photograph the duo Pustra & Vileen because they looked like very different than other performers. When I start the shooting, a pianist was playing downstairs, and the ambiance became very quiet and warm. I went on the other side of the bar, it was very small so it was difficult to move. I said nothing to them, the music gave them their cue as they changed their poses very slowly and followed the lens with their eyes. The ambiance was like a old silent movie, something was happening between us, it’s hard to explain, but we didn’t need any words to speak together. During those kinds of situations, I know why I decided to be a photographer.”

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Venetia Dearden July 1, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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At The Firs, Somerset, England

Venetia Dearden (b.1975, England) grew up in Somerset, England and has traveled extensively documenting peoples and their environments. Her has been  published in Vogue, Wallpaper, The Sunday Times Magazine, , W Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Stern Magazine among others. Her project about Somerset continues to develop and has been recently published as her first book, “Somerset Stories, Fivepenny Dreams”, by Kehrer Verlag in Germany. The work has featured at the National Portrait Gallery, was part of a group show at the New York Photo Festival and will be shown in fall 2009 at the M&B Gallery, L.A. Venetia lives in London and is represented by Santucci&Co.

About the Photograph:

“I spent my formative teenage years in Somerset. This long-term connection – and recent disconnection – with Somerset has allowed my passion and curiosity for it to grow while simultaneously motivating a personal and creative photographic  journey. This project is about the people of Somerset, whose story is replicated across the western world. Somerset is a county in Great Britain 200 miles west of London. I have been exploring this area to document the efforts and intentions of individuals and families living a life they believe in – one that reflects their ethics, voices, identity and individuality. What stood out in their relations was the inheritance of values motivating choice as well as providing a source of solace. A younger generation is responding and adapting to their parents’ ideas of progress in the face of the apparent economic and ecological global changes.”

Justin Partyka December 26, 2008

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Farm Sale in Norfolk, England 2008

Editors note: I will be taking the following week off. Verve Photo resumes on January 5th. Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year. Geoffrey Hiller/ Dhaka Bangladesh.

Justin Partyka (b.1972. England) is a self-taught photographer inspired by the Folkways LP Mountain Music of Kentucky made by photographer and musician John Cohen, Partyka trained as a folklorist at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada. He received his MA in 2001. In 2003 he abandoned a PhD in folklife studies and left Newfoundland to return home to Norfolk to concentrate on his work as a photographer. He is also a regular contributor of book and exhibition reviews to the photography magazine Source. Partyka is currently working on three long term book and exhibition projects: The East Anglians, The Carnivalesque of Cádiz, and Saskatchewan. Partyka’s photographs have been exhibited at Tate Britain, the Jerwood Space, Belfast Exposed, and the Norfolk Rural Life Museum, among others. Publications include the Guardian Review, the British Journal of Photography, and Granta.

About the Photograph:

“I have been photographing East Anglia’s agrarian culture for eight years now.  Small scale farmers, reed cutters, and rabbit catchers:  they are the forgotten people of the flatland’s; upholders of the traditional rural ways of working the land that were once widespread throughout this region, but which are now all but gone. Farming appears to be typically misunderstood by the general public in Great Britain, where farmers are often seen as rich land owners who ride around in their expensive four wheel drives complaining about the price of crops.  Perhaps some are, but people forget about the small family farm where life has never been easy.   At one time hundreds of these family farms populated the East Anglian landscape, but now they are the minority.   Those that remain struggle to make a living under the shadow of the agribusiness which surrounds them; constantly having to fight against the effects of a global economy, a forever growing mountain of bureaucratic regulations, and the increasing impact of climate change.   As one old-time East Anglian farmer told me: ‘It’s just one big tractor now and a thousand acres, there is nobody on the land today.’  In 1950, the number of people in agricultural employment in East Anglia was 142,225. By 2000 it had fallen to 56,819. ” (more…)

Lihee Avidan October 10, 2008

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Kelly, From the series “Home”

Lihee Avidan grew up in Israel and moved to London to follow her passion for photography. After completing her Masters in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication, she won the PX3 features Photography award, and was a finalist in Lumix young photojournalist award. Her  work- including the plight of Roma communities in Kosovo, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, Madagascan sapphire miners and child poverty in the UK- has been published by The Sunday Times Magazine, local and international press. Lihee has produced multimedia ‘stills and audio’ for the BBC online and Channel 4 television, which prompted a move into mixed media and film-making, continuing to document the people at the heart of social and political change. She is currently shooting a series of documentaries for Channel 4 TV on migrant health care workers.

About the Photograph:

“Hassan lives with his sister Linda and their mum, Kelly in a dilapidated council flat in South London. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school. She lives from benefits, and social services visit her regularly. The household is a chaotic place, where the lines between childhood and adulthood are blurred. Kelly has problems dealing with the responsibility of parenthood, and providing for her children’s material and emotional needs. For Hassan home is a claustrophobic place that offers little affection or warmth.”

Peter Dench September 19, 2008

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From the Series “Drink UK”

Peter Dench (b. 1972, British) is based in London  A distinctive and often quirky style has guaranteed regular commissions from a range of respected international clients. Solo shows include Finding Faith at the Ourhouse Gallery in Brighton. Others include screenings at Visa Pour L’Image; Ethnic London (2006), Britain’s Rain (2005) and Drinking of England (2003). The latter achieved a World Press Award in the People in the News Stories Category. Peter also participated in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass and had work selected for the PDN Photo Annual 2008.

About the Photograph:

“For me this photograph encapsulates drinking in England. Have a few and you may get lucky with a girl. One too many and it’s a disaster. It was a scene in the car park at the Epsom Derby horse racing. I saw the shot from a distance and as I shoot on a wide lens had to run before the couple stopped kissing. I managed one frame. The bald man turned and slurred ‘That better never be published’ – it was exhibited in over 80 venues world-wide as part of the 2003 World Press Photo Exhibition. Britain has become a nation of binge drinkers. The statistics are alarming- 121% more alcohol is being consumed than 50 years ago. The British are drinking younger, longer, faster and more cheaply than ever before. Binge drinking followed by public order problems are becoming increasingly common in towns and cities.”

John Loomis May 13, 2008

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Aboard the London Eye flight, from the project “Tourists”

John Loomis began his photography career as a stringer for the local newspaper at just 15. A dozen+ years later again back in his native Florida, Loomis specializes in action, documentary, editorial, portrait, and travel work for a diverse group of magazine and advertising clients. Deeply passionate for long-term photojournalism, John is also the Editor in Chief of Blueeyes Magazine. Select editorial clients include: AARP, Architectural Digest, Audubon, ESPN the Magazine, Elle, Essence, FADER, Fast Company, Fortune, Mother Jones, New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Outside, People, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, and The London Sunday Times Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“The image of the London Eye flight at dusk struck me because of the metaphor turned physical reality of a group of tourists floating in a bubble above one of the world’s great cities. I think to a lot of people that’s how they want to travel… in a giant bubble that allows them to see everything but not get too close to experiencing something authentic or spontaneous, and even bring a bit of what is familiar to them along. What is of course a bit ridiculous about the image is that I’m in another bubble myself, photographing the other bubbles, instead of the sinking sun over the smoggy edges of the horizon.”

“The Tourists project explores how when people go on vacation the real work begins. Armed to the teeth with recording devices of every medium, the entire trip is spent in an intense effort to create an archive filled with proof that they were really there. From within their group travel package specials and double-decker tour buses, in Rome, London, Prague, New York City, or Tokyo, they tirelessly search for the right spots for their loved ones, or a willing stranger, me, to snap a picture of themselves crowned as emperor in their newly conquered territory. This is the beginning of an essay trying to understand tourism culture in America and abroad.”

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