Tag Archives: Social Networking

Summer Songs of the Russian Riviera

In 2004, when photographer Rob Hornstra wanted to publish his first cohesive body of work in a book, he ran into a common problem—he couldn’t find a publisher who was willing to fund it. Hornstra’s solution was less than common: he decided to raise the initial funds himself by selling copies in advance via word of mouth and social networking. It took a month, but he succeeded. Hornstra decided to jump start the publication of his next two books the same way, with each volume of pre-orders selling out more quickly than the last. Hornstra is now on his sixth book (plus newspapers, postcards, prints and posters), and still relies primarily on his own crowdfunding efforts to fund them and their related projects. Crowdfunding and self-publishing are less rare these days, but that is thanks in part to pioneers like Hornstra whose distinctive eye and determination helped blaze the trail to get important work to receptive audiences without the backing of traditional journalistic and publishing outlets.

Hornstra’s latest book is on the restaurant singers of Russia’s favorite Black Sea resort town of Sochi. Any self-respecting restaurant on the coast has a live house singer to belt out sappy Russian chansons—take a vodka-soaked ballad and drop in a techno beat, all at full volume—from behind an electric keyboard or a laptop. Sochi is the center of the world, as far as this type of live entertainment is concerned, and Hornstra saw it as the perfect metaphor to depict the city and the region, traveling to more than 60 restaurants over 100 miles of coastline in 2011 to make the 37 photos for the book. The pictures mercifully strip away the noise of the music and cancel out the dark rooms and sharp flashing lights with Hornstra’s trademark, even lighting, allowing the viewer to patiently examine every telling detail of the interiors, including the faux Greek, French, Roman, Slavic and American décor.

Sochi Singers is in fact only the latest installment of The Sochi Project, Hornstra’s five-year commitment to exploring the region in the years leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics Games, which Sochi will host exactly two years from this month. Partnering with writer and filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen, who wrote the essay in Sochi Singers, his goal is to paint a more complete picture of the area than the public is likely to see during those few short weeks in 2014. They have already traveled to a Soviet-era sanatorium outside of Sochi and the troubled region of Abkhazia and the Republic of Georgia, located only 13 miles along the coast to the southeast. Next month they plan to travel to the Caucasus mountains to the east, and the infamous breakaway republics of Dagestan, North Ossetia and Chechnya.

As Russia cycles into the news again next month when former president Vladimir Putin will likely be voted back into office, it is Hornstra’s commitment to “slow journalism” that allows audiences to put the headlines in context, as well as to see past the propaganda and pomp and circumstance that will inevitably surround the Winter Games. By examining the stark contrasts contained within the small region of the world, and recording both what changes—and what remains the same—Hornstra’s work reflects something deeper and more historic: Russia’s continuing search for a post-Soviet identity.

Rob Hornstra is a Dutch photographer. Learn more about the Sochi project hereThe Sochi Singers series recently won first place for the Arts and Entertainment—Stories category at the World Press Photo awards.

The Lensculture International Exposure Awards

Today is the deadline for the Lensculture International Exposure Awards.
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards discover, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers and multimedia creators from around the world.

We’re looking for exciting work from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, nature, photojournalism, activism, street photography, sports, fashion, poetic, personal, abstract and human.

A stellar international jury of photography experts will review and judge every entry submitted.

DEADLINE for entries is TODAY!

Three Categories for Awards in 2011:

Multimedia Awards
This year, we introduce an important new category to the Awards competition — Multimedia.

Presentations that combine photography, video, graphics and sound are becoming prominent headline features in the world of social networking, activism, fine art, and online news. Photographers are taking more and more control over how their work is edited, produced and presented. And we want to discover who is creating the most engaging multimedia projects today.

Multimedia from all genres and categories will be considered, including, but not limited to: current events / photojournalism / social issues / activism / fine art / conceptual / cinematic / fiction / storytelling / nature / other.

Maximum length should be 8 minutes. If your full-length multimedia piece is longer than 8 minutes, please submit an edit, or a trailer or teaser of 8 minutes or shorter. You can also submit one still image plus a link to your multimedia. The link should be part of your artist’s statement. Winners will be shown in their full original length. Entry fee: $75.

Portfolio Awards

Submit 10 to 15 photographic images that work well together as a group — thematically, aesthetically, as a story, or simply as a range of your photographic talent. Edit your selections carefully, since this category will be judged on the strength of the group of photographs as a whole, and not as individual photographs. Entry fee: $75.

Single Image Awards
Often, a single powerful photograph captures our attention as important, artistic, meaningful, and memorable. A great photo can stand on its own, demonstrating a remarkable level of visual perception, sensitivity, and creativity. Photographs of all genres and all categories are welcome. Entry fee: $35.

25 Honorable Mention Award

25 Honorable Mention photographs or multimedia (chosen by the judges from all categories) will win prominent placement of a single image on the Award Winner’s Page in Lens Culture, including a link to your own personal or professional website. PLUS publication in our deluxe 2011 International Exposure Awards Winners catalog, and the possibility of participation in public exhibitions and screenings around the world.

The Lensculture International Exposure Awards

Today is the deadline for the Lensculture International Exposure Awards.
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards discover, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers and multimedia creators from around the world.

We’re looking for exciting work from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, nature, photojournalism, activism, street photography, sports, fashion, poetic, personal, abstract and human.

A stellar international jury of photography experts will review and judge every entry submitted.

DEADLINE for entries is TODAY!

Three Categories for Awards in 2011:

Multimedia Awards
This year, we introduce an important new category to the Awards competition — Multimedia.

Presentations that combine photography, video, graphics and sound are becoming prominent headline features in the world of social networking, activism, fine art, and online news. Photographers are taking more and more control over how their work is edited, produced and presented. And we want to discover who is creating the most engaging multimedia projects today.

Multimedia from all genres and categories will be considered, including, but not limited to: current events / photojournalism / social issues / activism / fine art / conceptual / cinematic / fiction / storytelling / nature / other.

Maximum length should be 8 minutes. If your full-length multimedia piece is longer than 8 minutes, please submit an edit, or a trailer or teaser of 8 minutes or shorter. You can also submit one still image plus a link to your multimedia. The link should be part of your artist’s statement. Winners will be shown in their full original length. Entry fee: $75.

Portfolio Awards

Submit 10 to 15 photographic images that work well together as a group — thematically, aesthetically, as a story, or simply as a range of your photographic talent. Edit your selections carefully, since this category will be judged on the strength of the group of photographs as a whole, and not as individual photographs. Entry fee: $75.

Single Image Awards
Often, a single powerful photograph captures our attention as important, artistic, meaningful, and memorable. A great photo can stand on its own, demonstrating a remarkable level of visual perception, sensitivity, and creativity. Photographs of all genres and all categories are welcome. Entry fee: $35.

25 Honorable Mention Award

25 Honorable Mention photographs or multimedia (chosen by the judges from all categories) will win prominent placement of a single image on the Award Winner’s Page in Lens Culture, including a link to your own personal or professional website. PLUS publication in our deluxe 2011 International Exposure Awards Winners catalog, and the possibility of participation in public exhibitions and screenings around the world.

The Lensculture International Exposure Awards

Today is the deadline for the Lensculture International Exposure Awards.
Lens Culture International Exposure Awards discover, reward, and promote talented, new, emerging and established photographers and multimedia creators from around the world.

We’re looking for exciting work from every continent, and from diverse points of view: documentary, fine art, nature, photojournalism, activism, street photography, sports, fashion, poetic, personal, abstract and human.

A stellar international jury of photography experts will review and judge every entry submitted.

DEADLINE for entries is TODAY!

Three Categories for Awards in 2011:

Multimedia Awards
This year, we introduce an important new category to the Awards competition — Multimedia.

Presentations that combine photography, video, graphics and sound are becoming prominent headline features in the world of social networking, activism, fine art, and online news. Photographers are taking more and more control over how their work is edited, produced and presented. And we want to discover who is creating the most engaging multimedia projects today.

Multimedia from all genres and categories will be considered, including, but not limited to: current events / photojournalism / social issues / activism / fine art / conceptual / cinematic / fiction / storytelling / nature / other.

Maximum length should be 8 minutes. If your full-length multimedia piece is longer than 8 minutes, please submit an edit, or a trailer or teaser of 8 minutes or shorter. You can also submit one still image plus a link to your multimedia. The link should be part of your artist’s statement. Winners will be shown in their full original length. Entry fee: $75.

Portfolio Awards

Submit 10 to 15 photographic images that work well together as a group — thematically, aesthetically, as a story, or simply as a range of your photographic talent. Edit your selections carefully, since this category will be judged on the strength of the group of photographs as a whole, and not as individual photographs. Entry fee: $75.

Single Image Awards
Often, a single powerful photograph captures our attention as important, artistic, meaningful, and memorable. A great photo can stand on its own, demonstrating a remarkable level of visual perception, sensitivity, and creativity. Photographs of all genres and all categories are welcome. Entry fee: $35.

25 Honorable Mention Award

25 Honorable Mention photographs or multimedia (chosen by the judges from all categories) will win prominent placement of a single image on the Award Winner’s Page in Lens Culture, including a link to your own personal or professional website. PLUS publication in our deluxe 2011 International Exposure Awards Winners catalog, and the possibility of participation in public exhibitions and screenings around the world.

Tanja Hollander

I had the pleasure of meeting Tanja Hollander last fall when a mutual friend, Siri Kaur, brought her to a brunch I was hosting. We recently became friends on Facebook and in exploring her site, that simple act of friending each other, has more significance than I realized. Missouri born, Tanja currently calls Auburn, Maine home. She graduated from Hampshire College and has exhibited in solo and group shows around the country, and recently won the 2011 Maine Arts Commission, Good Idea Grant.

Her new series, The Facebook Project, looks at how we define friendship and “who we let into our private yet very public lives”. She is working her way through her 688 friends (now 689) to create portraits of them in their homes throughout the world. I have often thought about the friends I have on Facebook and wondered if there was a way to connect in a deeper way, as many are not really “friends” but someone with whom I have a friend in common. But showing up at the front door of a stranger with camera in hand is a whole other experience. Tanja is also blogging about the people she meets, and the sights she sees. The end of the project will culminate in a book, real life exhibition, and all of her friends simultaneously changing their profile picture to the portrait she takes of them.

What started out as a personal documentary on friendship and environmental portraiture has turned into an exploration of American culture, relationships, generosity and compassion, family structure, community building, story telling and meal sharing, the economy and class, our relationship to technology & travel in the 21st century, social networking, memory, and the history of the portrait. Following in the footsteps of the FSA photographers and Robert Frank she has out to see America and to record how our society uses photography, the portrait social media to create and define our existence.

Needless to say this daunting project not only requires time and fortitude, but money. Tanja has some out-of-the-box ideas to raise capital. She is selling work on Etsy, Big Cartel, through her website, but also has a clever challenge. Tell Me A Story, the “pay want you can sale” ended recently, but there is sure to be another one. With this fundraiser, Tanja challenged interested collectors to tell her why they could not pay full price, and shares the stories on her blog.

Images by ©Tanja Hollander fromThe Facebook Project
Emily Sunderman, Michael & Carter Lee, West Cornwall, VT

Derek Jackson, Portland, Maine

Nell, Peter & Deb Whitney, Portland, Maine

Emma Hollander, Boston, Massachusetts

Shara Frederick, Andy, Oscar & Zelde Monteleone, Brooklyn, NY

Meghan Bradey, Camden, Maine

Chicky Stoltz, Felix, Amy & Reuben Kretz, Warren, Vermont

Dinner with Karin & Barry, Auburn, Maine

J. Nordberg & Pamela Albanese with Fluffita the cat, Los Angeles, California

Siri Kaur & Troy Morgan with Claude the dog, Los Angeles, California

Jeanne Paterak, Keith, Sydney & Ellis Fitzgerald, Portland, Maine

Jona Frank with Shep, Santa Monica, California

Colin Dusenbury, Los Angeles, California

Robin and Danny, Nevada

Matt, Beth, Will & Jim Kempner, Scotch Plains, New Jersey