Connor Bennett

Wandering the West, from Humboldt CA.

https://www.connorbennettphotography.me/

What is your favorite image that you have taken and what’s the story behind it?

Picking a favorite image has to be nearly impossible, there are so many photos I consider my favorite each for a different reason. That being said this photo stands out to me, particularly because the day it was taken was one of my first solo multi day trips I went on with the soul purpose of taking photos and marks a shift in how I view photography.

What defines your style as a photographer?

I actually have not given this much thought. I feel like at the moment there is still a lot to be decided as far as my style as a photography goes. As I progress though I would say I notice the color intensity in most of my images is becoming a defining factor of my style.

Where do you feel most at home, by the mountains or by the sea?

It used to be the sea but now it is definitely the mountains I started out shooting by the ocean mostly around surfing but once I discovered rock climbing that has totally changed and I have been pretty much been lost in the mountains ever since.

If you could jet-off to anywhere in the world right now with no limits, where would you go and what would you shoot?

If I could go anywhere it would definitely be Tasmania, I would love to go to Cradle Mountain National park for a few days to get a feel for the place and shoot.

 

Where is your next adventure?

My next adventure is a local one! I am based out of Humboldt County California. The Lost Coast Trail up here hides some of the most beautiful yet far to reach surfing in Northern California, and also if you look hard enough a surprising amount of boulders to climb.

Antonio Saba, 1966
www.antoniosaba.com

Born in Sardinia, Antonio spent his childhood in his hometown Cagliari and his grandparents home in Barumini, a small town in the Sardinian countryside.

After completing his studies at Istituto Europeo di Design in 1987, where he specialized in advertising photography, Antonio began working professionally, mostly for italian clients until 1996. In that year he moved to Los Angeles for a year to complete his experience in dealing with such a challenging market.
From 1997 to 2012 he set up his own studios in Milan and Cagliari shooting primarily for international clients and magazines. 

In 2013 Antonio began working in Dubai where he is now based full-time, shooting more and more for the Middle East and the Far East markets.

Antonio’s projects nowadays span Costa Rica, the USA, Italy, France, Dubai, China and Japan. 
In addition to these he works as a personal photography consultant for one of the most important Royal Families in the United Arab Emirates.
An Antology of Antonio’s most recent work is featured in his Coffee Table book, Chasing Beauty.

Personal Exhibits:

“Oneirism, Dreamscapes in Exhibition”: Bangkok, November 2018.
“Tokyo Landscape”, official event at “Festival del Film di Roma 2010” exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art “ Carlo Bilotti” in Rome.
“Visionarya Industrya” exhibited in Cagliari, at the Ghetto degli Ebrei in 2003, and in Vilnius, Lituania in 2004.
Antonio Saba’s Vision of Lithuanian Food Factories” exhibited in 2006 in Vilnius, Klaipeda, Kaunas, Rokiskio in Lituania.
“La Bellezza della Fisica” exhibited in Cagliari, at the Cittadella dei Musei in 2005.

Represented by Image Source, Antonio Saba’s stock photoshoots is featured in Getty Images, Corbis collection and in all major stock libraries in the world.
You currently reside in In Dubai, where else have you lived and worked and how does it differ?
I grew up in Sardinia, Italy, and lived in Cagliari, Milan, Los Angeles and now Dubai. Italy has a variegated market in terms of photography clientele, mostly local firms with small access to big assignments with international firms. In the USA you can deal with huge assignments that most of the times watch to international diffusion of your work, involving big amounts of money but at the same time you have very valuable competitors. In the last five years I have been based in Dubai, which is undoubtedly the economic capital of the Middle East and North Africa in terms of editorial and advertising photography.  So living in Dubai puts you in the spotlight for all the most interesting assignments of these regions and also is a very comfortable position to look at the far east markets like China, Hong Kong and  Thailand f.i..
What style of work do you have exhibited at the Civic Museums of Calgari in Italy?
Actually this spring I had the honour of having three of my dreamscapes photographs being acquired in Civic Museums of Cagliari’s permanent collection. The dreamscapes are my most recent fine art photographs, I have featured some of them in my last coffee table book “Chasing Beauty” published this early 2018. I also just signed for a personal exhibition in Bangkok during the Art Biennale 2018, “Antonio Saba. Oneirism, Dreamscapes in Exhibition” from November 2018 to January 2019
What defines your style as a photographer?
I always say that I speak two languages in photography, the steady very well prepared staged photography, and the “candid” handheld lifestyle. 
How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?
I try to capture my audiences with beauty, nothing else, I am not interested in provoking or using other means. My conceptual photography, where I feel free the most have always some ironic, surreal mood, and look like a moment frozen in time, but the consistent mantra needs to be Absolute Beauty, that I chase always in my work following the path of the Renaissance masters.
If you could jet-off to anywhere in the world right now with no limits, where would you go and what would you shoot?
I will be flying soon to Bangkok to shoot three new pics for my exhibit, then maybe Manila and next year Cuba. No need to dream, I am actually doing this…!

Philipp Nemenz

Born in Stuttgart 1976, I lived the Swabian lifestyle. After school I worked as an assistant in a big studio in Stuttgart, which eventually led me to live and work in Canada for 2 years. I came back to further my studies in photography in Munich, since then, life for me is working and living with 3 kids and my girlfriend in Munich.
What does a normal day look like for you?

Getting up with the kids, coffee, walk to my studio, another coffee, checking emails and then I begin to work on projects; taking pictures, organising jobs and drinking the next coffee…

What defines your style as a photographer?

I try to shoot in the moment and capture a glimpse of the real person I’m working with. So even if everything is set up, it still has to look natural and authentic.

You get to work with beautiful people and top publications, how do you think the representation of female models has changed within the industry?

I think it has changed in such a way that clients who used to book the typical commercial model will now look for more real or sometimes more distinctive looking women. This is a step in the right direction but if I’m honest there is still a way to go for women to have the representation they deserve! It is sometimes still very stereotyped.

How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?

Even if a shoot is planed very well I try to be spontaneous, which is something that I expect my team. We always strive to create pictures that are outstanding.

If you could jet-off to anywhere in the world right now with no limits, where would you go and what would you shoot?

Probably New York or Los Angeles to take portraits of people.

WHO?

The Copenhagen collective of Sara Brincher Galbiati, Peter Helles Eriksen, and Tobias Selnaes Markussen, 3 years on since their initial debut project ‘Phenomena‘ and now winners of the BJP International Photography award of 2018 present their work at TJ. Boulting.

WHAT?

The Merge – imagery to question our reality; parallel worlds; technology in disguise; broadcasting, robots and the cosmos – a simulation of human existence.

The Idea of Perception

DECISIVE MOMENT?

Understanding the boundaries of self exploration and our connection to ‘reality’ when guided by technology.

A cross-dimensional selfie in the work ‘Parallel Words’ – what will people do to get that perfect representation of themselves? I’d ditch the selfie stick and clone myself, personally.

The stark realisation that people in South Korea simulate their death, in the piece titled ‘Happy Dying’ – you lie in a closed casket in the dark for 10 minutes. People have used it as a form of therapy for terminal illnesses, mental illness and as a means to appreciate life fully.

Exploring ‘The Idea of Perception’ with the Azoth Pyramid a looped biofeedback and brain entertainment model designed to stimulate in a similar way to meditation, except that you’re plugged into a machine and your brain begins to create an LED light pattern.

And back once again to South Korea to understand the 300k followers who watch youtube star Iluliy eat food.

Happy Dying

TREND?

Technology, imagination and escapism.

WHICH IMAGE, WHICH ROOM?

‘Improving Life’ – the classic stock business handshake only new and improved, with robots! Stock2k.

Improving Life

 

QUESTION FOR THE IMAGE MAKERS?

Do you think we are programmed to think the sunset is beautiful?

Programmed Beauty

Viara Mileva

www.viaramileva.com

I was born in Bulgaria, went to middle-school in the UK, became an angsty teen in Saskatchewan, Canada (where I found a mate for life), had three children in Toronto, and lived with them car-free for two years in the Netherlands.

Since 2014, we have been living near the village of Bath, Canada, on a small plot of land, with our sheep, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and donkey.

I became a photographer late, after leaving a career as a parenting scientist.

Some days I miss the community and mentorship I’d found in academia, but most days I love my new life and hope to one day achieve the same sense of community in it.

I photograph families and all sorts of events in their lives – from the birth of a child, to a stroll in the park. I’m inspired by documentary photography to reveal the truth of our everyday lives, but I’m also a sucker for the iconic and surreal. My photography is a blend of both.

A PhD in parenting, studying behavioural genetics & psychology eventually led you to photography, how and why?

The story is quite unromantic. Upon our return to Canada from the Netherlands (where I’d done my postdoc), we had a few choices as a family.

My husband and I decided to pursue our dreams of owning a hobby farm, and giving our kids an opportunity to experience a bit of rural living, knowing full well that job opportunities would be limited for both of us in our new small town, especially in a niche field like parenting science (my field).

At around the same time, I started having inquiries from clients about photography, at the beginning mostly from friends. I’d been posting my personal work – photographs of my own family – for a few years, and I guess people were drawn to my style. It was the first time I really thought, ‘I could maybe do this to pay the bills.’

I am a rather stubborn person, so once I dove into it, I held on and quickly completely transitioned out of academia and into a full-time occupation as a family & wedding photographer.

How do you connect with the people you photograph? 

I fall right in the middle between introvert and extravert. That means with a bit of training and effort, I can jump right out of myself and into a very chatty and vulnerable, silly persona. It is no less me, but it is a far more outgoing version of me. I’ve become good at identifying things about people that they like to talk about, things they are proud of, interesting tidbits. I ask them lots of questions about these things. I laugh a lot. I then take brief steps back and flip on my photographer’s hat.

Do you see science as an art form? Is there beauty in the data that you studied? Have you created works of art with the data itself?

For the most part, I do not see science as art. Perhaps this is why I eventually left.

The initial stage – dreaming up a research project, imagining the possibilities, shaping the kind of questions you’d like to ask of the world through the collection of data – that can be a very creative and inspiring process.

The follow-through is less so. I’ve written about it in several blog posts:  here, here, and most recently here .

To sum it up, I wrote,

What used to be endless hours of rating mothers and fathers on scales of “appropriateness”, “sensitivity”, and “warmth” (and always feeling like a failed parent myself as a consequence) was replaced with something much more visceral and uplifting: a documenting of parents’ struggles and joys, moment-to-moment interactions that no one remembers and that regardless somehow make up our lives.”

Throughout my time as an academic, I had a constant need to return to my creative side. I wrote a lot. Science fiction, magical realism, poetry. I published a couple of sci-fi stories, too.

What do you think of the way Sally Mann captures family relationships? 

I like the stark and emotive ambiance of her images, the impact of her isolated portraits of children. I do find it bleak at times. When I first got into photography, I was drawn to the work of Alain Laboile, who also works mostly in black and white but captures family interactions – particularly between his children – with a magical whimsy.

Years ago, I also fell in love with Matt Black’s stark and gritty black and white work on migrant workers in California. I was drawn to the black and white aesthetic for a long time. Over the recent years, I’ve transitioned away from editing in black and white. I realize that I see the world much more in colour. I crave optimism and joy, and happy surrealism. I think there are so many hardships and stresses in this world, that to present a more uplifting side – even a magical side – is important.

Storm Thorgerson is one of my all-time favourite photographers and graphic designers. His 1980 cover photograph for 10CC’s ‘LOOK HEAR?’ depicting a sheep on a psychiatrist couch on a Hawaiian beach is superb, perhaps even more so now that I own sheep and know how intensely complicated the composition would be.

Elinor Carucci is a photographer who works in beautiful colour to capture intimate, realistic, and gripping portrayals of family relationships. I admire her work and approach, and she’s a wonderful human being as well.

©Storm Thorgerson – 10cc, Look Hear?

How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?

 

When I photograph, I get lost in the moment. On a particularly successful shoot, I might not know how we got from one place to another, but I do know I was there, present in the action the whole time. My photographs have taken on an increasingly snapshot-like aesthetic. I want to create a visceral feeling of what it is like to have been in that moment. I constantly push to explore new angles, new perspectives, and give clients a photo-gallery of their lives unlike any previous gallery of mine.

One ambition? 

To live in a different country every two years, and publish a science fiction short story anthology.

Alexandre Eggermont – Self Portrait

Alex Eggermont
http://www.aeggermont.com/photo/

I’m Alex, originally from a small town in Belgium you probably never heard of (that’s where I’ve spent most of my life!)

The first part of my time there was focused on getting a degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering, but after graduating I actually wasn’t too keen on jumping into the overwhelming professional opportunities of such a career path – even though at the time I thought I would be missing out on something, I’m glad, really glad I didn’t.

I left for Chile, shipped my motorbike over, and started riding it up North. I eventually found out that rock climbing was kinda fun. So, I kept doing that; driving and climbing, for 11 months, until I got to Canada. I worked for a year in BC – rope access in the city and snowmobile photography in Whistler – and took to the road again, on this indestructible red bike that carried me for so long in the first place.

Two more years dirt-bagging around the US, Canada, Patagonia, Europe and Asia. I started guiding climbing in Vietnam and kayaking in Greenland. I was working freelance during the rest of the time. Building websites, translating, trading pictures for cams and portaledges.

Meanwhile, I shoot the things I see.
And I mean, 
I think I like that.

I’m now guiding in Iceland a few months a year, and the rest of time, I spend it trying to balance stock photography and exciting media projects.


What websites/blogs/people do you draw inspiration from?  Who do you follow on Instagram?

To be honest I’ve never followed many photographers and never used Instagram as a source of inspiration. I’ve always been exploring on my own and have very few influences (that I’m aware of). I probably should haha. I think I’m just being lazy about getting into that social media world and like to keep a step back — lots of people get trapped into it I feel.

I obviously know and admire some classic photographer in the outdoor world such as Jimmy Chin or Drew Smith, but there aren’t many names that come to my mind. I admire people who can go further than just the shot, the ones where you realise the position they’re in when they’re shooting for example. In climbing photography you can quickly tell if the photographer put a lot of effort in or not. Usually, it’s quite a bit of work and pictures are very rewarding.

I also like people who are able to attach captivating stories to their pictures, which I can’t really do. Or people able to take their camera out in situation I would never even think about it. Or people having multiple talents and mixing them with photography. I admire everything one does and that I can’t actually do, which is … plenty !

Please can you take a photograph of your kitbag, highlighting your favourite item, why you like it and a time when it has saved you! #everydaycarry

I only carry part of my gear here in Iceland as I’m guiding for the month and therefore not focusing on photography. My gear has always been quite basic though. There is so much good photography out there, I decided I wouldn’t spend thousands on lenses and cameras. Instead, I try to stay simple and use pretty basic gear – in comparison to most professional photographers – and force my creativity with what I have. I use a Nikon D600 and 3 lenses:

Nikon 50 mm 1.8

Tokina 16-28 mm 2.8

Nikon 70-300 mm 4-5.6

See, nothing fancy in there. My favourite one ? The ultra classic 50 mm. It always forces me to take a different point of view, move, frame it differently. I love it (who doesn’t?) It’s the Tokina I use the most though in climbing photography.

How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?

I still have a lot to learn in term of audience and social medias. I just started. So far I’m just sharing varied content, on a daily basis. I try to attach stories when I can, but I’m not too good at it. Definitely learning still all this audience-engaging thing.

One ambition?

So many! I want to get more involved in the Belgian outdoor community, shoot some of the climbers and people I admire for years. I don’t have strong nationalistic feelings but I do feel there is a great humble vibe around these people. I’d love to take my stock photography to a higher level so that I can afford taking part in exciting  but not lucrative expeditions that I really want to invest time in. I’d like to find a good balance between shooting what I’m really excited about and something sustainable. Eventually balancing photography with music as well and taking more time to play. Find a way to mix all these various forms of art.

Do you have a visual diary of your adventures and/or a favourite shot?
 
I haven’t kept an up to date visual diary of my adventures. I used to, when I travelled on my bike from Chile to Canada, but it lost my interest after a year – the memories are still there though and I’ve been trying to share a picture each day on social media.

I’m slightly reluctant to keep objects that remind me of the past but understand it’s purpose of interest. I know it can definitely be useful and good for some, but I’d prefer to look forward and not get lost in the past. How many times I’ve been told “It will be nice to remember later, when you get older” “it will be nice to have”. Honestly, I’d rather not have too much to hold onto and force myself to keep moving on.

I don’t think I could talk about one favourite shot. I for sure have some which tell much more stories than others in my mind, some important moments. I suppose my favourite shots are the ones I consider the most rewarding, knowing the backstage of the shooting. Or the ones I feel are unique. That no one could do because it captures a moment that won’t happen again. That’s probably why I’ve never been into landscape photography. No matter how great is the picture, I feel that so many talented people around the world could do the same, or better.

Here are some examples of what I could consider as my favourite shots: 

Susie and Friends, 2008

WHO?

Self taught photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager, inspired by the drama and allure of Americana paints a playful cinematic world that masks the unease in everyday life.

Face in the crowd, 2013

WHAT?

Silver Lake Drive; a curation of photographs and footage at the Photographers Gallery, London.

I also snuck out to see Alex Prager in discussion at the Regent Street Cinema and to see her screening of Le Grand Sortie, which follows the female protagonist, a ballet dancer and her anxiety from the pressure of public performance.

Face in the crowd, 2013

DECISIVE MOMENT?

Prager’s short film; Face in the Crowd

Walking through a curtain into a small space with a bench and three walls dimly lit by projectors, I was unaware of what to expect. Alex Prager’s short film has managed to simulate social anxiety. The film starts with snippets of interviews with people, talking about their life, love, and fears. Each wall displays an overwhelmingly scaled portrait of a single person.

The film is shown by multiple projectors forcing you to turn and look at another wall. Seemingly, this feels like an introduction to the individuals until I noticed this turning of the head is like being in a state of panic and the film hasn’t even truly started yet.

Once the sequence begins, we see the female protagonist (Elizabeth Banks) curiously staring out of the window at an increasing crowd with plenty of background noise and chatter. She eventually ventures out walking against the crowd with a look of amazement. The crowd soon envelops her, turning that amazement into fear. It’s too much. Suddenly, as if time froze, the crowd is at a standstill and the noise disappears. With a sigh of relief, the shot combined along the three walls, she walks out of shot and the crowd return to normal. What made this short film impactful to me is that it was far too easy to relate and empathise with the protagonist by having that anxiety of the public myself.

As a viewer it struck me that in spite of the embodiment of chaos that you’re also in a sense of ‘Sonder’ *  – the realisation that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

*Koenig’s dictionary of obscure sorrows

Face in the crowd, 2013

TREND?

Women; jaw-dropping, pristine glamour pusses to be precise. I spied the odd red-head too or at least the odd red-head wig. Not to say that the men are left behind but they play a secondary role in most scenes.

Melodrama, comedy and desire also weave their way through her work.

Pacific Ocean, 2012

WHICH IMAGE, WHICH ROOM?

Pacific Ocean, 2012

The immaculately fallen caught in staged terror.

People just drifting, through life, in the moment, continuous – some struggling , some defeated, some indifferent.

QUESTION FOR THE IMAGE MAKER:

Any director, past or present that you could create a fantasy world with, who would you choose and where would you take us?

I visited the The Hayward Gallery here in London to see the takeover and celebration of over 30 years of work by the artist Lee Bul.

Sci-fi, Philosophy and Karaoke Pods

Alluring to the fantasy of a world born of egalitarianism; her work questions societies patricidal governance and the undervalued role of women. You’ll be taken on a journey through an entrancing technological dystopia accompanied by other worldly monsters; cyborgs; and beings.

Upon entering the exhibition you are met with creatures that are made from polyurethane panels, stainless-steel frames and dried flowers that descend onto shards of broken mirror and city lights.

Amaryllis, 1999                                                                     Monster Black, 1998-2011

Architectural diagrams, small scale models in bell jars, and full scale interactive sculptures create the landscape for Bul’s new world. A juxtaposition of success and failure and of beauty and horror embodies each piece. Consequently this envelops you with a sense of both unease and of comfort as you travel throughout the exhibition.

One of the stand-out pieces is a maze Via Negativa II (2014). The outside is imprinted with the text from Julian Jaynes’ book ‘The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind’  – Bicameralism is the philosophy that the function of speaking and listening is compartmented in the brain. As you venture through the maze the use of mirrors is pivotal, extending the sense of space, time and self.

Via Negativa II (2014)

In addition to the intangible city structures and creatures, you can also view videos of her performance art, the original castings of her cyborg models and the truly marvellous fibreglass karaoke pod Live Forever III (2001). The Hayward Gallery have produced an inspiring curation of Bul’s work and it is certainly not one to be missed.

Rebecca Nelson

www.rebeccanelsonphoto.com

Rebecca Nelson is a self taught photographer working in Northern Illinois.  She is the mother of 10 year old boy / girl twins who are often the subject of her work, and she is the wife of a very supportive and loving husband who recognised her passion for photography and bought her her first DSLR camera as a Christmas gift.  She hasn’t looked back since.

A shot of a single object that expresses a powerful memory/event?

This is the slip that was worn by my great grandmother on her wedding day.  It has been worn by every female relative on the occasion of her marriage since.

An artist or creative, past or present that you would like to meet. Who would it be and what would you get up to?

Sally Mann, we would get in a time machine, and I would watch her creative process as she captures her children on film.

Three books that have inspired you?

Immediate Family by Sally Mann, The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling because I love the belief in goodness and  indomitable spirit that they convey, and all of Jane Austen’s works because she was a woman ahead of her time or maybe just brave enough to point to the absurdities of life in her era, couched in really enjoyable stories.

How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?

I’m not sure there always is a narrative. For me, it is more about recognising the beauty that surrounds me.  I see something that makes me catch my breath, maybe the way the light is falling on a subject or even just the subject itself, and I want to record it. But I am also inspired by the sort of feminist revival in stock photography, showing girls and women of all shapes and sizes, doing all things regardless of gender.

One ambition?
I would love to one day have a gallery showing of my work.

Erin Lester 

erinlester.com

  

Hi, I’m Erin. I am a child and family photographer based in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. I adore childhood and the magic it holds. I love seeing the original connection that every family has created. I find it fascinating that you can capture a photo that portrays so much emotion and brings you back to that moment. I’m sentimental and nostalgic to a fault.  My favourite portraits are those that tell a story, from the smallest detail to the goofiest grin. I am a mother to Elle and Demi, and wife to John, a cute guy I fell in love with when I was 15. We live out in the country in our beloved neck of the woods. I’m a Scorpio and a really bad singer. I have a quiet voice but a really loud laugh.  

A shot of a single object that expresses a powerful memory/event?

This image has a lot of power for me. It was taken on Christmas eve in some very beautiful fog. It fills me with the calm and peace that fog brings in, along with the innocence of childhood.

 

An artist or creative, past or present that you would like to meet. Who would it be and what would you get up to?

 I would love to meet up with Sally Mann and Niki Boon. I know I am breaking the rules by picking two, which seems fitting because both of these women push the envelope with their imagery. These ladies blow me away with their uncanny way of capturing childhood in its rawest form. I love the grit and authenticity that their works show.  We would most certainly get out in the wild and have an adventure, maybe even skinny dip?!? I would be all ears and love to hear all their life stories.

Three books that have inspired you?

The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman

Three Weeks with my Brother by Nicholas Sparks

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

How do you engage audiences with your imagery, is there a narrative to how you shoot?

The goal is always to evoke emotion, I want to take the viewer to a place where they feel something.  Especially in my family and childhood portraits, I want to preserve a moment in time. Childhood is one of the most magical times, and as a parent I share in the knowledge that it is ever so fleeting. Capturing memories is invaluable to me.

One ambition?

Topping my list right now is quality family time, I would love to travel and explore the world together.

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