Tag Archives: Documentary Photographer

Meg Handler

Some time ago, I happened to see this photograph on Facebook.  I was immediately drawn to the image and wanted to know more about the photographer, Meg Handler.

UFO Convention, Rosewell, New Mexico

What I wasn’t expecting when I e-mailed Meg, was what a generous and multi-talented photographer and editor she was.  And I love that it was from looking at one image I made a new friend. We recently spent the day together in Chicago and she helped me outfit my Rolleiflex with a flash, setting me on a new path to making photographs. I am sharing Meg’s project, Fans, today, created between 1994-2001.

Meg is a photo editor and documentary photographer. The former photo editor of The Village Voice, Meg  has also worked at U.S. News & World Report, Blender, New York Magazine, COLORS and Polaris Images. She has edited a number of books, including the monograph, Phil Stern: A Life’s Work, PAPARAZZI by Peter Howe, and POT CULTURE by Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom. After 20 years of immersion in the photography business, and having worked with some of the great photographers in New York and abroad, Meg now lives in Chicago. She worked as the principle photographer for The Grant Park Music Festival at Millennium Park, and BIGArt at Navy Pier. Currently, assisting in the production of of BagNews Salons, Meg received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.


I have looked at a lot of photographs over the years, working as a photo editor
for the Village Voice and numerous other publications, but decided to create a
series of my own work when I was inspired by a “Jesus Sighting”in
Washington Heights, New York. A few hundred people stood in line, gathered
in the courtyard of an apartment building to see an image of Christ in a
bathroom window. They saw it, I did not.
Even though I didn’t witness the second coming of Christ, I was intrigued by
the intensity of their experience and their desire to be in the company of
something that moved them deeply. If people are so enthralled by a vision,
what happens when they see their icons in real life? 

Papal Mass, Central Park, NYC

I decided to take a closer look at the phenomenon of FANS, every day people that want to rub up against some magic or star power at a Papal Mass in Central Park, football games, political rallies, a UFO convention and Graceland on the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. What I discovered was an almost universal reflection of adoration–the experience of the individual in the crowd, their dedication, commitment and faith becomes clear in their faces. 

Dalai Lama Visits New York

Gillian Anderson appearance, X-Files Convention

Papal Visit, Central Park, NYC

 Papal Visit, Central Park, NYC

 Mark, Barry Manilow fan

Buchanan Rally
Dalai Lama visits New York




KISS Reunion Concert

KISS Reunion Concert

Jesus Sighting
Garth Brooks Concert, Central Park

World Series
Army v. Navy
Army v. Navy

Army v. Navy

Alien Autopsy

UFO Convention, Roswell, New Mexico
UFO Convention, Roswell, New Mexico

UFO Convention, Roswell, New Mexico

UFO Convention, Roswell, New Mexico

Isabelle Pateer, Empty Box

Isabelle Pateer, Empty Box

Isabelle Pateer

Empty Box,
Doel, Belgium, 2010
From the Unsettled (2007 – 2012) series
Website – IsabellePateer.com

Isabelle Pateer (b. 1980, The Netherlands) is a fine art documentary photographer based in Antwerp, Belgium. Her Unsettled series, a long-term project that questions the worldwide phenomenon of industrial expansions and its consequences, was awarded, published and exhibited internationally with a project grant from the Dutch ‘Anna Cornelis Foundation in 2010. A book publication of Unsettled is scheduled for winter 2012 – 2013.

Mustafah Abdulaziz, USA v. Japan, Times Square

Mustafah Abdulaziz, USA v. Japan, Times Square

Mustafah Abdulaziz

USA v. Japan, Times Square,
New York City, 2011
From the Memory Loss series
Website – MustafahAbdulaziz.com

Mustafah Abdulaziz (b. 1986) is an American documentary photographer. Over the last three years he has taken road trips across the United States to work on a series of pictures called Memory Loss. By using road trips as the vehicle to leaf through chance encounters, he attempts to craft a short story solely from the pages he relates to. His work invites the viewer to land on his page and address a commonality in how we live and what we think is important. He has been a member of the international photography collective MJR since 2008. In 2010 he worked as the first contract photographer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2012 he was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. He is currently developing two other projects from where he is based in Berlin, Germany.

Review Santa Fe: Cristina De Middel

Over the next month, I will be sharing some of the photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  

Cristina De Middel’s amazing series, The Afronauts, has been on my radar for awhile.  The first time I saw the series, it took my breath away with its originality and subject matter.  The buzz at Review Santa Fe was not just about the work, but about the amazing book that accompanied it.  Unfortunately, the book is sold out, but it’s a sign that we need to be first in line for her next offering.
Cristina De Middel is a documentary photographer and artist now
based in London that has been working as a photojournalist for different
newspapers in Spain (and with NGO´s such as Doctors Without Borders or
the Spanish Red Cross) for almost 10 years . She combines her strictly
documentary assignments , which has been exhibited and awarded in
several occasions (including a National Photojournalism Award Juan
Cancelo  and a special mention at the New Fnac Photographic Talent ),
with more personal projects . This B-side of Cristina´s work 
deliberately  asks the audience to question the language and the
veracity of photography  as a document and plays with reconstructions 
or archetypes that blur the border between reality and fiction. She received her MA in Fine Arts at the Universitat Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, her MA in Photography at the University of Oklahoma, a postgraduate degree in Photojournalism at the Barcelona Autónoma University, Spain and spent time in IV War Correspondents Training in Madrid Spain.

Images from the Afronauts book

Images from The Afronauts

 The AfronautsIn 1964, still leaving the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon catching up  the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race.

 Only a few  optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts , a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit.

 That is how the heroic initiative turned into an exotic episode of the African history, surrounded by wars, violence, droughts and hunger.

As a photojournalist I have always been attracted by the eccentric lines of story-telling avoiding the same old subjects told in the same old ways.
Now , with my personal projects,  I respect the basis of the truth but allow myself to break the rules of veracity trying to push the audience into analyzing the patterns of the stories we consume as real.

 “Afronauts” is based on the documentation of an impossible dream that only lives in the pictures.

 I start from a real fact that took place 50 years ago and rebuild the documents adapting them to my personal imagery .

Articles | Sunday 17 June 2012

Let’s start with the unexpected news coming from Getty Images: Eugene Richards, the celebrated documentary photographer, has left the Reportage agency. Richards used to be with Magnum Photos but left twice. He was also with VII Photo for a couple of years, and had joined Reportage in 2010.

Reportage by Getty Images: Eugene Richards

BJP: Eugene Richards leaves Reportage by Getty Images

On the subject of Getty Images, they announced a few things these past few weeks.

PetaPixel: Getty Images Changes Watermark from Annoying Logo to Useful Shortlink

PDN Pulse: Getty Images Preps for IPO?

An interesting development in the photographic and multimedia markets, Brian Storm has started charging for some of MediaStorm’s presentation. Rite of Passage by Maggie Steber and A Shadow Remains by Phillip Toledano are the first two pieces to test MediaStorm’s Pay Per Story scheme. Each story can be bought for $1.99.


MediaStorm: Why We Switched to a Pay Per Story Model

PDN Pulse: MediaStorm Now Charging to View its Stories

TIME Lightbox: Game Changer – MediaStorm Launches Pay-Per-Story Video Player

Duckrabbit: Maggie Steber responds to critics of MediaStorm’s new pay to view model

VII Photo has been weathering a controversy lately…

VII Photo: Statement

Ron Haviv: Response

Conscientious: Quality journalism, photography and integrity

David Campbell: Photo agencies and ethics: the individual and the collective

And when we’re on the subject of VII Photo, they have also added four young photographers to their mentor programme.

Now, let’s share some business and practical tips:

Justin Mott: Advice to Veteran Photographers

A Photo Editor: How does a photographer land an agent?

A Photo Editor: Pricing & Negotiation: Spokesperson Advertising Shoot

PhotoShelter: A Photographer’s Guide to a Successful Gallery Opening

PhotoShelter: What Buyers and Photo Editors Want

PhotoShelter: Personality Traits & Skills Photo Buyers Don’t Want in Photographers

Salon: How to stop the bleeding

Chris Hondros. Image © Nicole Tung

PetaPixel: US Department of Justice Defends Photographers’ Right to Record Police

Some thoughts about the industry, reviews and round-ups…

The New York Times: Just When You Got Digital Technology, Film is Back

TIME Lightbox: Three War Photographers: Feel Fear, Keep Going

NY Daily News: Iconic ‘napalm girl’ photo from Vietnam War turns 40

Peter Dench: The Dench Diary (December – February 2012)

Conscientious: Review of Unknown Quantities by Olivia Arthur, Dominic Nahr, Moises Saman, and Peter Van Agtmael

PhotoShelter: The Look3 Festival Round-Up

TIME Lightbox: Curators Look Ahead to Look3

PDN Pulse: Look3 – Alex Webb on his Creative Process, Kodachrome, and Magnum

PDN Pulse: Look 3 Report: Donna Ferrato on Philip Jones Griffiths, Don McCullin, and Complicated Relationships

Reuters Blog: The Secret Handshake

The Guardian: Burtynsky: Oil review

Image © Edward Burtynsky.

The Guardian: The Photographers’ Gallery Reopens

NYT Lens Blog: Caught Between the Protests and the Police

NYT Lens Blog: Half Photos, Striving to be More

NYT Lens Blog: A Gift to New York from Gordon Parks

The New Yorker Photo Booth: Great Mistakes: Olivia Arthur

The Guardian: Featured Photojournalist – Joe Raedle

Conscientious Extended: Photography and Place: Appalachia

One Image at a Time: Image #4, Comfort Women 1996

DVAPhoto: Worth a look: Revolution Revisited by Kim Komenich and University of Miami multimedia grad students

Press Association: Jacobs in administration

Verve Photo: Antonio Bolfo

The Guardian: Lawrence Schiller’s best photograph: Marilyn Monroe

TIME Lightbox: Photographs of the ‘Great British Public’ in London

Foam Blog: Ahmet Polat on Instagram

Reuters Blog: Tribute to Danilo Krstanovic

And to finish…

The Marie Colvin Memorial Fund.

Zed Nelson, Untitled

Zed Nelson, Untitled

Zed Nelson

, 2012
From the Hackney – A Tale of Two Cities series
Website – ZedNelson.com

Born in East Africa, Zed Nelson graduated from Westminster University, London, with a degree in photography and filmmaking. Having gained international recognition and numerous awards as a documentary photographer, Nelson’s recent work adopts an increasingly considered, in-depth approach to reflect on contemporary social issues through long-term personal projects. Nelson’s seminal book Gun Nation – a disturbing reflection on America's deadly love affair with the gun – was published in twelve countries and awarded five major international photography prizes. Love Me, Nelson’s second book, reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty. The project was recently nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Nelson’s latest project Hackney – A Tale of Two Cities explores the London borough that he has lived for most of his life. Nelson’s work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, the ICA and the National Portrait Gallery, and is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Senior Love Triangle: Photographs by Isadora Kosofsky

Three people—Jeanie, 82, Will, 84, and Adina, 90—are bound together in a relationship, a love triangle of sorts, a three-way connection that they rely on to shield them from the pains of loneliness and the fear of aging. Every day the trio meets near their senior-care facilities (each lives at a different location) to spend their remaining days together. Will picks up Jeanie at her care center, greeting her with a long kiss, and the two head hand-in-hand to collect Adina for whatever the day may bring.

Recently, that includes Isadora Kosofsky, who, after the death of the maternal grandmother who raised her, began to search for catharsis through photography. “Grief following my grandmother’s death unconsciously led me to photograph the lives and relationships of the elderly,” Kosofsky says.

The trio’s relationship clearly challenges cultural norms. Will, describing the trio’s bond to Kosofsky, said, “We live above the law. Not outside the law, but above the law. We are not outlaws.” Will, Jeanie and Adina are connected by more than time and space. “There are many different kinds of love,” Adina told Kosofsky. Their relationship, like all relationships, can be frustrating for all three. Jeanie once confided in Kosofsky that “to share Will is a thorn in your side…A relationship between a man and a woman is private. It’s a couple, not a trio.” But despite Jeanie’s misgivings, she must share Will with Adina and Adina must share Will with her.

Kosofsky met Jeanie, Will and Adina three short years after picking up a camera. “I befriended the group because I recognize a part of me in both Jeanie and Adina. Will, too, is familiar to me… a reflection of men I have known,” she says. “When I share in their lives, I am reminded of my adolescence.”

Kosofsky herself is not that far removed from adolescence. She is 18 years old and is now a documentary photographer based in Los Angeles—finding inspiration from photographers like Jane Evelyn Atwood, who spent years documenting one subject. Kosofsky believes long-term projects offer the opportunity of deeper and more poignant storytelling. In her own projects, it is her goal to “devote myself to living amongst my subjects as an occupant, rather than a visitor.”

“The aged are becoming increasingly hidden and disenfranchised. I noticed that even towards the end of my grandmother’s life, she appeared distant from society,” Kosofsky says. The photographer is currently engaged in photographing a three-part series on aging—a subject about which she is passionate. “I feel that age is a perceived barrier and that we too have once, either literally or figuratively, shared their fear of isolation and their wish for acknowledgement,” she explains. “Even when Jeanie and Adina are not present, Will walks with his right hand straight and open at his side, as if he were waiting for someone to hold on.”

Isadora Kosofsky is a Los Angeles-based documentary photographer. More of her work can be seen here.

Adam Wiseman

Adam Wiseman has a cultural heritage and personal history that has caused him to live in many paces. He was born in Mexico City, has lived in Mexico, NYC, Scotland and Brazil. He has a BA from NYU in Ethnographic Film and completed the Documentary Program at the International Center of Photography in NY. After living in NYC for 13 years working as a freelance photographer and as fine printer for the Magnum photo agency, Adam returned to Mexico City a decade ago, where he teaches and works as an independent fine art and documentary photographer.

His photographs have been published in numerous magazines and his work has been exhibited in Switzerland, Spain, NY, Mexico, Japan, at the 2006 Venice Biennial as well as having a photograph from 9-11 in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and in the 9/11 Memorial in NY.

Adam has taken that world-view curiosity and turned it to the city where he resides with his new series, d.f.p.m.  Traveling the city at night by bicycle, he finds pockets of energy, little side shows of labor, lust, and solitude. Adam will be exhibiting this project in “Area Conurbada” at the Museo Archivo de la Fotografia in Mexico City May 31 to August 15, 2012. He is currently working on a book of d.f.p.m..

d.f.p.m. This project documents the nocturnal esthetics of Mexico City; the Distrito Federal (Federal District), locally referred to as the D.F. a city divided.

For as long as I can remember violence and paranoia has dictated where and how we live, what parts of the city we can roam, where we can shop, enjoy a meal, work, play. It is not unusual to meet people who happen to know the same people you know. Most consider these encounters as nothing more than coincidence, however, it is more likely a result of people knowing one another within these comparatively tiny circles created by an economically divided society.

d.f.p.m is a collection of photographs shot while getting lost by bicycle at night. It began as a group of 3 or 4 friends riding their bikes at night to unknown parts of the city trying to get lost, finding somewhere to have a drink or two and moving on to another part of the city and having another drink. It was a way to break the mold, to take back our city and escape the monotony of our designated environment. Documenting these experiences I quickly became attracted to the nocturnal urban landscapes we were riding through, the empty lonely bars, sleepy waitresses awoken by clients who were not locals, trucks delivering vegetables in one of the worlds largest food markets which is never closed and is most active from 2 to 6am. Intricate altars to Saint Death on street corners, lonely men in strip joints, a couple hidden by the cover of night in the corner of an empty over-lit cantina. Most of the time it was more subtle landscapes which caught my eye, landscapes created by artificial light: headlights from a passing car momentarily bringing into view a neglected wall, street light spilling over a groomed tree or a patchwork of light emanating from the façade of an apartment building.
Wherever I go I am considered an outsider, as a Mexican with a Scottish mother and American father I am not considered Mexican nor Scottish nor American. A documentary photographer is always an outsider, as an outsider I become invisible, an entity which is undefined. Nobody has a preconceived notion of what is expected of me so instead of standing out, I am often ignored and left to take my portrait of my city. d.f.p.m is just that; a nocturnal portrait of my city.