EMERGING P H OTO G R A P H E R
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Benedict Evans "LOVE PORTFOLIO 2015"
Djamila Grossman "I HATE THAT I DON'T HATE YOU"
Tal Barel "FOOL'S GOLD"
Nicolas Enriquez "BLOODLINE"
Felix von der Osten "THE BUFFALO THAT COULD NOT DREAM"
Luisa Dorr "MAYSA"
Jorge López Muñoz "EL CLOT"
Siegfried Modola "RITES OF WOMANHOOD"
Jun Michael Park "SEWOL"
Dimitri Mellos "AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO GREECE"
PORTFOLIO OF ONE: Kristina Varaksina
Photo © Djamila Grossman
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LETTER FROM THE EDITORs Winter is the season for keeping cozy indoors, so grab a hot chocolate, park yourself on the couch and dive into this new issue
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PHOTO+ John McGeary VICE PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER, PHOTO+ Lauren Wendle MANAGER, CUSTOM MEDIA & EVENTS Moneer Masih-Tehrani
of Emerging Photographer.
MANAGING EDITOR Jacqui Palumbo
We’ve selected the work of ten remarkable photographers on the
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Taryn Swadba
rise, who hail from Brazil, France, Germany, Kenya, Spain and the United States. Feel the contrast between love and loneliness in Djamila Grossman’s fashion series (page 6); transport yourself
CONTRIBUTORS Amy Touchette, Brienne Walsh
to Greece in Dimitri Mellos’ striking, ethereal landscape images
COPY EDITOR Elissa Hunter
(page 30); follow a young Brazilian girl’s beauty pageant dreams in Luisa Dorr’s compelling body of work (page 18); and get an intimate look at New York’s chapter of the Latin Kings in Nicolas
PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Daniel Ryan
Enriquez’s series on gang culture (page 10), to name a few. You CIRCULATION Lori Golczewski
can also catch up with Kristina Varaksina, whom we brought back from the last issue for this issue’s Portfolio of One (page 32). Our team and editors from our parent magazines, PDN and Rangefinder, meticulously pored over each entry to put together this issue, which is distributed to creatives and at photo festivals around the U.S. We hope you enjoy learning about these talented photographers, and we’re certain it won’t be the last time you see their names in print.
SUBMISSION SUPPORT Brad Arshinoff, Brad Kuhns, Reiko Matsuo EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER JURY Moneer Masih-Tehrani, Jacqui Palumbo, Taryn Swadba Libby Peterson (Senior Editor, Rangefinder) Rebecca Robertson (Photo Editor, PDN) ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mark Brown (646) 668-3702
The next submissions period will open in January 2016 at emerging.pdncontests.com. Stay tuned for more new talent in the
SALES DIRECTOR Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717
new year! —Taryn Swadba & Jacqui Palumbo
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Lori Reale (858) 204-8956 Jon McLoughlin (646) 668-3746 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Dennis Tyhacz (646) 668-3779
ON THE COVER:
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A PUBLICATION OF
PHOTO © BENEDICT EVANS A portrait of Phoebe Dahl, fashion designer and
CEO AND PRESIDENT David Loechner
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Lori Jenks
CFO AND TREASURER Philip Evans
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, DIGITAL Teresa Reilly
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER Bill Charles
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING SERVICES Joanne Wheatley
granddaughter of Roald Dahl, photographed for Out magazine's Portfolio of Love 2015. See more from the series by Benedict Evans on page 4.
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— Benedict Evans —
LO V E P O R T F O L I O 2 0 1 5
As a self-taught photographer informed by a degree
of pairing tight, carefully lit portraits in color with the
in English literature and a diploma in filmmaking,
grittier black-and-white environmental pictures.”
Benedict Evans began making still images as a way of furthering his study of cinematography, only to find his
Rich and bold, the portraits were shot with a Pentax
true passion lay in photography.
645Z digital medium-format camera. Evans likes the “stately feel” of the larger sensor, and its ability to
Evans’ rich, poignant portraits, commissioned by Out
make everything look “more true to life.” In addition,
magazine for the “Love Portfolio 2015,” were some-
he used a Fuji X-T1, which produces a filmic quality
thing like a dream assignment: the Brooklyn, New York-
that he enjoys.
based photographer had just recently started working freelance, and photography director Greg Garry, whom
Deep in the throes of his burgeoning career, Evans
he had built a relationship with while assisting, took a
keeps calm and productive by focusing on the journey:
chance on Evans by giving him ample creative freedom
“As much as we’re all striving for the next assignment,
to pursue his vision.
the next beautiful picture,” he says, “I think it’s important to enjoy the process of getting wherever it is we’re
The series comprises both single portraits and couples
trying to get to.”
portraits of gay and lesbian celebrities and public figures, including filmmaker Lee Daniels with stylist Jahil
Fisher, and fashion designer Phoebe Dahl with actor Ruby Rose. Evans says: “[I was] excited about the idea
All photos © Benedict Evans www.benedictevans.com
— Djamila Grossman —
I H AT E T H AT I D O N ’ T H AT E Y O U
Berlin-based photographer Djamila Grossman had
divide between the smooth, flawless surface and the
mostly worked as a photojournalist for publications
reality, which can sometimes be quite lonely.” The
such as Stern and The New York Times until her pro-
resulting images in the series are cinematic and offbeat,
fessor at the Ostkreuz photo school invited her to par-
recalling the films of Wong Kar-wai and the television
ticipate in a workshop in which photographers were
series Twin Peaks, which Grossman says served as an
paired up with students at a fashion school in Halle,
Germany. When discussing the shoot that ultimately became her series, “I Hate That I Don’t Hate You,”
The series was a departure for Grossman, and it’s open-
Grossman says, “It turned out to be a lot of fun.”
ing new outlets for her creativity. She says: “I studied journalism, and for a long time that was all I knew. I
She was paired with Tra My Nguyen, a designer whose
never thought about the different types of photography
luxe garments are embroidered with the word “love.”
that were within me. Now, in order to grow, I’m trying to
“She wanted to transmit how in society, love is blown
forget everything I know and follow my instincts.”
up to be this wonderful thing, and that you’re supposed to live happily ever after with it, but in actuality it can
be really difficult and painful,” Grossman explains. All photos © Djamila Grossman They shot the lookbook for the collection in a hotel in Halle. “We liked that in a hotel, there’s a natural
— Tal Barel —
FO O L ’ S G O L D
At first glance, it’s hard to tell what’s going on in Israel-born
it looks; it’s what I think I can make of it,” she says. Each
Tal Barel’s series “Fool’s Gold,” which depicts objects in
of the images was manipulated digitally after it was shot.
science and natural-history museums stripped of their
For example, Barel removed the hooks and other objects
context—for example, dioramas, large crystals and gi-
around a taxidermy wolf to make it appear as if it were
gantic models of a human heart. Creating confusion is
suspended in air.
exactly the point. “The most important thing for me is that the viewer asks questions—that not everything is clear,”
The series taps into Barel’s larger interest in how muse-
she says. “I like to create a sense confusion or discomfort.”
ums—and photography—are used for the construction of what is supposed to be an objective historical reality, but
Taken for her thesis project at Pratt, where she received
is actually a very mediated one. “Fool’s Gold” is a play on
her M.F.A., “Fool's Gold” was shot at museums through-
this theme. She explains: “The whole series talks about
out New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington,
something that’s not what it seems to be.”
D.C., and in countries such as Italy and Germany. “Basically whenever I travel, I try to find one,” she says. Barel
knows instinctively what types of objects or displays will work in her project, and she often researches exhibitions
All photos © Tal Barel
ahead of time looking for new subjects. “It’s not just how
— Nicolas Enriquez —
B LO O D L I N E
12 4 12 13
Given the intimacy of the images in “Bloodline”—a series that
foremost a documentarian, there’s an inevitable closeness
follows gang members in New York’s chapter of the Latin
with his subjects present in his work. In an interview with
Kings—one would assume that Nicolas Enriquez himself was
Feature Shoot, he described the camaraderie as a “boys'
part of the community. But Enriquez, who is Colombia-born,
club” of sorts, which he first aimed to capture. “Then I saw
began the project while studying at International Center of
this ‘boys' club’ being crushed by the situations they had to
Photography (ICP) in New York City in 2014.
face, and that changed my way of shooting. I felt the pressure and followed it, and ultimately it changed my perspective,”
Interested in examining urban conflict, Enriquez started
he explained in the interview. Enriquez’s aim to humanize his
an initial portrait series of housing project residents, using
subjects has become the focus of the project. “I’m against a
those interactions to learn more about local gang mem-
lot of their actions,” he says. “But I also blame their behavior
bers. “The violence and crime here is so low compared to
on society’s lack of interest in general. There’s a lack of edu-
Colombia, so I knew how not to put myself in risky situations,”
cation, a lack of a stable family environment—there’s a chain
Enriquez says. He was eventually invited by the leader of
of events that lead them to the gangs.”
the South Brooklyn chapter of the Latin Kings to take photographs at a party.
Soon, he found himself hanging out with the same gang
All photos © Nicolas Enriquez
members three or four times a week, and while Enriquez is
Nicolas Enriquez — “Bloodline”
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Photo © JUCO, “Salvation Mountain” fashion editorial, shot for the Spring 2015 issue of PAPER (Winner, 2015).
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— Felix von der Osten —
T H E B U F FA LO T H AT C O U L D N OT D R E A M
14 4 15
16 17 16
Felix von der Osten, a Cologne, Germany-based photogra-
The following fall, he traveled to Fort Belknap Indian
pher, was driving through a Native American reservation on
Reservation in Montana, and over the next year, took large-
a road trip when the idea for the series “The Buffalo That
and medium-format film photographs of what he saw there.
Could Not Dream,” began to form. At the time, in 2014, he
The resulting images, which are ethereal and rendered in
was visiting the United States from Denmark, where he was
a pastel palette, present the juxtaposition of a community
studying visual storytelling at the Danish School of Media
struggling to maintain past traditions while living in an inhos-
and Journalism in Aarhus.
pitable present. “The goal was to capture the beauty and richness of the culture without exposing the negative sides.
His first impression of the reservation left him with questions.
We hear in the media about [crime] and violence [on reser-
The terrain was barren and covered in litter, and rather than
vations],” he says. “I wanted to focus on the wonder while, at
groups of friendly settlers living together, the landscape was
the same time, suggesting that there was something under
empty. As a child in Germany, he had read books by Karl May,
who depicted a romantic relationship between cowboys and Native Americans; this was at odds with what he saw on the
reservation. “The reality shook me up a bit,” he explains. All photos © Felix von der Osten www.vonderosten.de
Felix von der Osten — “The Buf falo That Could Not Dream”
— Luisa Dorr —
M AY S A
20 21 20
Luisa Dor r — “Maysa”
Sometimes what makes a photograph compelling is
beauty pageant on assignment in April 2014. Later,
not just what it shows, but what it doesn’t show. In
Maysa’s mother asked Dorr to help put together Maysa’s
Luisa Dorr’s series “Maysa,” viewers meet a young
portfolio. As they were not able to afford payment,
Brazilian girl on the precipice of change. Maysa is liv-
Dorr made the images free of charge and soon after
ing in one of the most dangerous districts of the coun-
began creating a personal project about Maysa. “We
try as she strives to make her dream come true: to
became friends,” Dorr says. “It’s so beautiful how pho-
become Miss Brazil.
tography sometimes gives you so much more than just good photographs.”
Dorr unfolds the story by photographing Maysa at beauty pageants and at home with her family, con-
Dorr is most attracted to photography’s storytelling
juring the better life Maysa is determined to achieve.
ability. “It’s not only about documenting or sharing a
Saturated in light, and with a careful eye for detail and
perspective or taking me somewhere I’ve never been;
gesture, Dorr’s images convey Maysa’s ambition, her
it’s about getting close to what I’m interested in,” she
close relationship with her family and her deep hope
says. “Maysa’s dream inspires me every day.”
for change. —Amy Touchette Sensing her kindness, Dorr first introduced herself to Maysa while photographing the Young Miss Brazil
All photos © Luisa Dorr www.luisadorr.com
Luisa Dor r — “Maysa”
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— Jorge López Muñoz —
E L C LOT
Jorge López Muñoz — “El Clot”
One of photography’s most valuable capabilities is to document—
sequently, he won a full-ride grant to finish the series at LENS School
especially when the subject of that documentation is fading fast. Born
of Visual Arts of Madrid, where he recently completed his M.F.A.
and raised in Valencia, Spain, Jorge López Muñoz felt compelled to create his current body of work when he learned about the residents
Inspired by the likes of Alberto García-Alix, Nadav Kander, Steven
of El Clot and their ongoing turmoil with the Municipality of Valencia.
Klein, Irving Penn and Alec Soth, Muñoz is currently making a book out of “El Clot,” which is set to be published in 2016. While Muñoz
El Clot (“The Hole”) is an apartment complex in El Cabanyal
hopes his forthcoming book will bring more attention to El Clot and
(Valencia’s historic fishermen neighborhood) that has been un-
compassion for the people who live there, he explains: "This work is
der the threat of demolition for the past 15 years. Muñoz says
about a people and their environment, to show how they live with
with the aim of destroying 1,651 homes, the government has
dignity and humanity. I try to represent both [their] strength and vul-
already acquired several apartments in El Clot, displacing families
and adding to their ongoing battle with exclusion, poverty and racism. Muñoz began taking the pictures three years ago while earning his
photography degree at the Art and Design College of Valencia. SubAll photos © Jorge López Muñoz www.jorgelopezmunoz.com
Jorge López Muñoz — “El Clot”
— Siegfried Modola —
RITES OF WOMANHOOD
Siegfried Modola’s passion for photography was inspired by a long-held desire to document contemporary issues. After finishing his degree in journalism, he went on to earn a master’s in photojournalism and documentary photography.
He has since
covered culture and religion in Ethiopia and conflict in Gaza, Central Africa and Kenya, where the London-born photographer was raised and is now based. Modola developed “Rites of Womanhood,” a series commissioned by Reuters, after several years of trying to gain access to the Pokot community in Kenya, who practice circumcision on girls as a rite of passage to womanhood and marriage. “It touches on fundamental issues of gender inequality that still prevail in too many places around the world,” Modola says. “But such cultural practices are hard to eradicate without an alternative solution of change, development and awareness. Without [being circumcised] they couldn’t marry. The family would not receive a dowry of livestock, the only form of sustainability for many.” In the series, Modola holds no bars showing the turmoil of the women and the violent rites they face. Pokot girls somberly await the ceremony and are brought to it by women in their community who have endured the same. While female circumcision is an illegal practice in Kenya, banned in 2011, Modola says that United Nations data shows that more than a quarter of girls and women in the country have undergone genital cutting. With this series, Modola “hopes that such a story can create awareness and ultimately bring about change.”
—Amy Touchette All photos © Siegfried Modola/Reuters www.siegfried-photo.photoshelter.com
irina popova — “if you have a secret”
— Jun Michael Park —
S E W O L A F T E R M AT H
A self-taught photographer, Jun Michael Park was born in
birthday cake. Mr. Kim is one of the 15 parents who
South Korea and educated in Canada. He created this body
embarked on a hunger strike to generate support for an
of work, “Sewol Aftermath,” after MV Sewol, a ferry trans-
independent inquiry into the government’s handling of the
porting 476 people, capsized in April 2014. One of the larg-
disaster. “I thought maybe he would give up after ten days
est man-made disasters in South Korean history, it claimed
or so and then I was going to follow him in his everyday life,”
304 lives, with 250 of them being high-school students
Park explains. “To everyone’s surprise, however, Mr. Kim con-
on a school field trip. “I was appalled that such disaster of
tinued fasting for 46 days and became an icon of the Sewol
incomprehensible magnitude could take place in an os-
tensibly modern country like Korea,” Park says. “So many innocent lives perished due to the layers of corruption and
Park’s images, which both follow Mr. Kim and paint a broader
picture of the aftermath of the tragedy, garned the attention of international press clients. He says he is now working to
He explains that as the time passed, the number of the vic-
build upon these new connections to create a sustainable
tims and the suffering of the victims’ families became quan-
tified and distant. “I felt it was imperative to put a human face onto the tragedy,” Park says, so he decided to follow a
parent as part of the larger project. In July 2014, he met Mr. Kim, whom he photographed holding his late daughter’s por-
All photos © Jun Michael Park
trait and blowing out the candles on her would-have-been
— Dimitri Mellos —
A N I L L U S T R AT E D G U I D E TO G R E E C E
Based in New York City, Dimitri Mellos has a focus on street
of birth. “[They] capture an aspect of Greece that is very far
and documentary photography. His work has been featured
removed from the typical postcard esthetic usually associated
in The New York Times Lens blog and he’s won awards from
with the country,” he explains. “And that is the reason I gravi-
the International Photography Awards (IPA) and Px3 Prix de la
tated toward foggy, mountainous and snowy vistas in some of
Photographie Paris, among others. His series of rural land-
these photos.” Taken near Grevena, one image from the series
scapes, “An Illustrated Guide to Greece,” is a departure, fea-
depicts a clock hung in a tree branch, with foggy mountains
turing quiet moments in his native country. But in them, Mellos
in the distance. “I found these particular scenes poignant and
still plays the role of observer, finding unexpected subjects and
poetic, kind of melancholy and surreal,” Mellos says.
juxtapositions. Mellos says that he shoots by only one rule: a fundamental He began photographing Greece during shorter visits, hav-
respect for reality, for the world as encountered. He explains:
ing already moved to New York City. “As a visitor, I suddenly
“The world around us presents us with more magical visions
realized how fascinating and surreal the Greek landscape can
than whatever can be created [or staged].”
be, especially in terms of human presence seemingly in the middle of nowhere,” he says. The series started as singles, but
as more photos accumulated, Mellos realized that he had a body of work reflective of the “visual discovery” of his country
All photos © Dimitri Mellos www.dimitrimellos.com
PORTFOLIO OF ONE
Could you define your work with a single image? San Francisco-based photographer Kristina Varaksina gives it a tr y. Moody and cerebral, Kristina Varaksina’s conceptual portraiture is
desires. The props represent different aspects of twins’ relation-
deeply engrained in the human experience. In the previous issue of
ships, from hierarchy to the inexorable pull each has on the other.
Emerging Photographer, we featured Varaksina (who splits her time between San Francisco, New York City and Moscow) for her series
Lighting plays a large role in the mood of Varaksina’s portraits, and
“Abandoned,” featuring solitary teenage girls in neutral interiors, lit
she says she’s more influenced by the works of painters than pho-
by lamps and television screens. For this edition of Portfolio of One,
tographers. She draws upon the compositions and tones of Balthus,
the photographer selected a work from her latest series, “You Are
Vilhelm Hammershøi and Johannes Vermeer. But her work doesn’t
My Twin,” which employs visual metaphors to explore the close bond
feel dated, nor is it a direct nod to any particular movement in art
that twin sisters share. “I’ve always been curious how it feels to have
history. Instead, Varaksina brings her influences into a contemporary
a twin,” Varaksina explains.
space, examining behavior and social constructs in a delicate and remarkably beautiful manner.
Varaksina worked with a prop designer, Espen Gjertzen Øydvin, to
craft four white props for the series: two large wearable eggs, a
Photo © Kristina Varaksina, www.kristinavaraksina.com
large fish, two spoked wheels and a pair of antlers. The fish, pictured here, symbolizes “following the stream or going against it,” Varaksina explains. Twins who choose different paths in life, she adds, may find that those around them assume they have the same goals and
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