Photographer Responds to Claims That He Is Exploiting the Homeless


Photographer Aaron Draper describes his Underexposed project as a means by which to “enable people to gain a more humane view of the homeless.”  However, some others have described it as predatory and exploitative, sharply criticizing Draper for choosing to focus his camera on less fortunate members of society.

In a written response to the critics, Aaron challenges their assertions and shares what his vision is for the future of the project.

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Photographer Sheds Light on Homelessness with Incredible Portrait Series


As photographer Aaron Draper believes, photography of homeless individuals is quickly become a cliché.  “Far too often, photographers who are searching for urban wildlife stalk the homeless. Unfortunately, this does nothing to increase our understanding of their lives or situations; it just shows how we are elevated and photographing them from a place of privilege.”

His artistic response was to photograph the homeless with the same attention and dignity that he would any traditional client, trading in the typical black-and-white for color, and bringing a mobile lighting setup with him.  His goal isn’t to share an image that makes us feel bad for a moment and whisper a half-hearted prayer before going on with our privileged lives.  His goal is to share lives.

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Photographer Challenges Beauty Standards With Women of All Shapes and Sizes [NSFW]


I dislike people who define the undefinable.    No, there is no singularly “best” flavor of ice cream; it is impossible to prove that Concierto de Aranjuez is the most inspiring piece of music ever written (although it is!); and beauty simply cannot summed up in a 10-point, bulleted list.

This is the fundamental message of Carey Fruth’s American Beauty portrait series.  “The images are meant to speak about real life sensuality and femininity,” says the San Francisco-based photographer, who drew her artistic inspiration for the project from the movie of the same name.  “America is made up of all types of women. Women who are hungry to see themselves represented in a beautiful way. And why shouldn’t they?”

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Photographer Captures Strength of Wounded Veterans in Powerful and Erotic Series [NSFW]


So frequently within society, whether by conscious decision or not, we tend to look upon wounded veterans with pity, if for no other reason than to satiate our on insecurities.  But many of them simply want to retain their dignity and show the world that they are still powerful, viable humans beings and that not even the voice of death can stop them.

That is exactly what Los Angeles-based photographer Michael Stokes set out to do when he conceived the idea for Always Loyal.  The image series and upcoming photo book is a rather unique way of paying tribute you to those who have literally given of themselves in the defense of others.

(Warning:  Potentially-offensive images after the jump.)

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Photographer Reveals Microscopic Beauty In Photos Of His Friends’ Tears


Science and photography are inseparably linked, but it’s always interesting to see photography used to further explore the realms of science.

Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers was curious to explore the composition of tears.  Tears are like snowflakes, with each bearing chemical similarities to another yet being uniquely different, often based on the type of tear produced.  So, what does an insatiably-inquisitive pro in his twenties do when he wants to examine the photographic quality of tears?  He throws a house party and spends the evening making his friends and loved ones weep.

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10 Years, 74 Prisons: Italian Photographer Documents Inmates’ Lives in the Toughest Conditions


For ten years, Italian photographer Valerio Bispuri traveled throughout South America, documenting life inside seventy-four of the roughest and most deplorable prisons. Filth, disease, and death was all around him. Wanting to convey the emptiness of color and hope felt within the walls, Bispuri shot his emotive collection in black and white.

“One day, some detainees prepared a siring of infected blood to inject me,” he says. Yet, despite threats to his health and life from inmates and conditions during his travels, when I asked if he had any regrets about the project, he readily replied, “No regrets. I would do absolutely everything as I’ve done!”  (WARNING:  Graphic images after the jump.)

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Bella Kotak Creates Beautiful Fairytale Scenes Full of Color and Emotion


Growing up in Kenya, photographer Bella Kotak developed a love of the warm and vibrant hues that surrounded her.  Now living in the UK, her longing for those same rich tones is evident in her work.  Her series entitled “In Bloom” is the beautiful embodiment of her fascination with a fanciful world, drawing the viewer into the mystical images full of life.

I was intrigued by the series and curious about the work that went into it.

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Photographing Lions From 4 Meters Distance


To me, black and white photography is one of the most mesmerizing art forms ever created and has the ability to draw a viewer into a scene like few others.  Swedish photographer Pekka Järventaus capitalizes on its detailed nuances in “Prowling with Lions,” an ongoing photography project focused solely around the lions of Africa.  Unlike some photographers who are content with simply snapping a good image of a captive lion, Pekka searches for truly wild animals roaming freely on the savanna, getting up close and personal with some of the most fearsome beasts on the planet.

Here, along with his stunning photography, Pekka provides insight into his process, the gear he uses, and the driving force behind his work, along with some very simple yet poignant advice for aspiring photographers.

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Jimmy Nelson shares the challenges of photographing 31 vanishing people groups

I’ve always been fascinated by anthropology, but, with a father who was an anthropology professor, it’s little wonder that some of it wore off on me. In a utopian world, I think, at least, that my ideal life’s mission would be jetting off to the four corners of the world to document those people who are sort of hidden from the rest of the planet.

While he claims no title of anthropologist, photographer Jimmy Nelson did just that, setting off with an air of romanticism to capture the beauty of 31 vanishing people groups throughout the world.

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Four Photographers Armed With A Hasselblad Take On The Streets Of Tokyo For A One Roll Of Film Challenge


one-roll-challengeWhat happens when you give a pro photographer a Hassleblad 503cx, a single roll of 120 film, and mission to tell the story of Tokyo in just 12 analog frames? Find out in this 18-minute behind the scenes look at the challenge where Mattias WestfalkBahagYoshiki Suzuki, and Paul del Rosario almost make it look easy. (It’s actually really difficult.)

The project may not sound like much of a challenge, as Westfalk points out in the opening scene, anyone can go out and shoot 12 frames, but to create 12 images worthy of printing is no walk in the park. The ease of digital photography and image storage allows us to fire off as many images as we like until we are happy with what we have, but ask any film photographer about their process, and chances are you’ll hear quite a different approach. Getting 12 usable photos from 12 frames of film takes patience, understanding, and a little talent and skill never hurt anyone, either. [Read more…]