Emerging Photographer Vol. 6, No. 2

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Every Photo Has a Story – Tell Yours Earn a degree or take classes — in San Francisco or online: School of Photography

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Letter From the editor


Madiha Abdo, "ALexAndriA"


Isabella Bejarano, "Achok"


Heather Quercio, "FAçAde"


Adam Birkan, "ALL thAt GLitters"


Zora Murff, "corrections"


Anastasiia Sapon, "BeAuty oF ALAskA"


Yusuke Miyagawa,


Nancy Borowick, "cAncer FAmiLy, onGoinG"


Clare Benson, "the shepherd's dAuGhter"


Teresa Castro, "piLGrimAGe"


Paige Willis, "suBtLy"


portFoLio oF one: Samuel Bradley

Photo © Teresa Castro

"Winter essAy"


Senior Vice PreSident, PHoto+ John McGeary Vice PreSident/PubliSHer, PHoto+ Lauren Wendle Manager, cuStoM Media & eVentS Moneer Masih-Tehrani Managing editor Jacqui Palumbo art director Kelly O'Leary contributorS Julie Grahame, Jeanine Moutenot, Amy Touchette Production director Daniel Ryan circulation Lori Golczewski SubMiSSion SuPPort Brad Arshinoff, Brad Kuhns, Reiko Matsuo eMerging PHotograPHer Jury Jessica Gordon (Senior Editor, Rangefinder), Moneer Masih-Tehrani, Jacqui Palumbo, Matthew Ismael Ruiz (Managing Editor, PDN) aSSociate PubliSHer Mark Brown (646) 668-3702 Senior account executiVeS Mike Gangel (646) 668-3717 Lori Reale (858) 204-8956 account executiVeS Noah Christensen (646) 668-3708 Jon McLoughlin (646) 668-3746

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR This issue of Emerging Photographer is one of our team's favorite issues to date. The work in these pages is a direct reflection of the Emerging Photographer audience—all featured photographers are up-and-comers and rising stars within photography, selected through our brand-new submission process through the Emerging Photographer website. When planning this issue, we weren't sure what to expect. For six years, this magazine was a sponsored publication, and completely changing the direction, the tone, and the process for creating the lineup was new territory. But the work we received was beyond what we imagined, and many hours were spent (by very opinionated editors) debating who to feature in this issue. In the end, 11 talented photographers were selected. Some are still in school, while others have begun to make a lasting impact as professional photographers. We are confident that each of their visions will have longevity within the industry. Four of the photographers—Clare Benson, Nancy Borowick, Yusuke Miyagawa and Paige Willis—will each receive a Lomography Belair X 6-12 camera for their outstanding work. Many thanks to the very awesome Lomography brand for their support of new photography talent. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together! —Jacqui Palumbo


"Ascension," from Clare Benson's series "The Shepherd's Daughter." In her series, Benson explores her family lineage and upbringing through imagery inspired by old family photographs. See more on page 24.

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— Madiha Abdo —


At first glance, Madiha Abdo’s highcontrast photographs appear as though they're





perhaps capturing the power and beauty of an unfamiliar culture. They are, in fact, a stunning series showcasing jewelry created by London-based designer Jade Davies, published in Jute Magazine. The series, titled “Alexandria,” is richly shot in black and white, complementing the intricate, exotic feel of the jewelry. Abdo, who is based in London and graduated from Lambeth College in 2007 and University of West London in 2012, was honored by the Lucie Awards, Professional Photographer of the Year and Prix de la Photographie in 2014. She lists Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon and Robert Frank as the photographers she most admires, and the emphasis on powerful black-and-white imagery in her portfolio reflects her influences. Abdo is looking forward to what the future holds, saying “I am [working] on a number of projects in various fields and hope to [continue to create] everinteresting images.” —Jeanine Moutenot Photo © Madiha Abdo www.madiabdophotography.4ormat.com

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— Isabella Bejarano —


Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry is rarely easy, but photographer Isabella Bejarano is up for the challenge. After college, she picked up photography as a hobby, later taking night classes at UCLA. “This encouraged me to pursue an MFA in photography, so I went to the Academy of Art in San Francisco,” she explains. Bejarano’s black-and-white fashion se ries, “Achok,” of model Achok Majak (who has played muse to the likes of fellow photographers JUCO and Ramona Rosales) was shot for the Academy of Art fashion school publication 180 Magazine. Bejarano played with the shape of the clothes (which are original designs by Academy of Art students) and contrast, emphasizing rich light and dark tones in her imagery. “Lighting is usually the first element I think about when conceptualizing a shoot,” says Bejarano. “I love experimenting with light so I keep pushing myself to try new techniques. I go in with a plan…yet always leaving room for experimenting and letting some things happen naturally.” With her image capture and lighting in excellent shape, the savvy Bejarano is also working on her networking and business development. She relocated to New York City in the summer of 2014, and she has begun to test with modeling agencies in addition to setting up meetings with magazines. She says: “I’m looking forward to collaborating with amazingly creative people.” —Jeanine Moutenot Photo © Isabella Bejarano www.isabellabejarano.com

— Heather Quercio —

Fa ç a d e

All palpable works of art thrive on a certain tension—“punctum,” as Roland Barthes calls it in Camera Lucida, is how the images make you feel versus how they make you think—and in Heather Quercio’s “Façade,” the photographer plays upon these opposing forces. Quercio explains that “Façade” was initially inspired by her passion for modern architecture, and the affection is obvious. The photographs reveal a beauty and an orderliness that is extremely satisfying to the eye. But they also reveal the decisive blockades inherent in modern architecture that are “both unattainable and uninviting,” as Quercio puts it. While the series developed, the phot o graphs made Quercio realize “how physical distance is interconnected with the emotional distance of a community,” and how it ultimately revealed a “selfimposed exile.” The epiphany was likely inspired during Quercio’s process, when she, herself, had to surmount obstacles in order to take the pictures. “Being an outsider, I had no way to get close to residential homes,” she explains. To get better angles, she says, the images were made from the sidewalk, through fences or climbing onto walls. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, Bernd and Hilla Becher’s Dusseldorf School of Photography, and contemporary photographer Alejandro Cartagena, Quercio’s next project will focus on “modern buildings that are the face for an older community.” However, the undertaking is still in the early phase, or as Quercio describes it: “the most exciting and difficult stage.” —Amy Touchette Photo © Heather Quercio www.heatherquercio.com

— Adam Birkan —


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The photographer’s relationship to his or her photo-

has gotten into the very fecund habit of photograph-

graphs is like a conversation—one informing the oth-

ing first and making sense of the images second. In

er to build a dialogue and lead the direction of the

order to do so, “I have to learn to trust myself to nat-

story. While it’s more common for the photographer to

urally make relevant photos,” he says. “If I set out to

initiate the dialogue, sometimes it happens the oth-

make pictures everyday with a clear idea of what I

er way around: in Adam Birkan’s ongoing series “All

wanted, I would fail.”

That Glitters,” Birkan had been living and photographing in Bangkok for three months when he started noticing

Birkan, who mostly used his Fuji x100 to make “All That

a trend in his images: a stream of metaphorical subject

Glitters,” explains: “My style of photography tends to

matter that pointed to the disparity of wealth in East Asia.

be discreet, so I am most comfortable with a discreet camera." Birkan is currently developing his street photo-

Birkan pairs the crisp, often light-palette images with

graphy portfolio and taking assignments in the South-

captions driving home his belief that the economic

east Asia region. —Amy Touchette

inequality in Southeast Asia is "an indirect and direct cause to many of the issues that we see worldwide on a daily basis.” Due to the nature of the series, Birkan

All photos © Adam Birkan, www.adambirkanphoto.com

adam birkan — “all that glitters”

— Zora Murff —

C o r r eC t i o n s

12 13

nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

Zora Murff began his path with an undergraduate

develops between the service providers and youths,

degree in psychology, a foundation which has been

the system, and its intended outcomes.”

central to his focus as a photographer. After graduating, Murff began working in the field by providing

The result is a searing, intelligent combination of youth

services to individuals with disabilities. Although he

portraits and pictures of objects that embody the

found the work fulfilling, “something was missing,” he

entrapment of the system. His greatest challenge while

says. “[I began photographing] as a creative outlet

photographing “Corrections” was making portraits that

and my love for it grew out from there.”

preserved his subjects’ anonymity. Instead of blurring their faces, he decided to use objects and their own

Now completing his Bachelor of Arts in photography,

bodies to obscure their identity. Despite the lack of eye

Murff shot “Corrections” while working with youths

contact—and perhaps because of it—Murff was able to

on probation. He explains: “The initial spark came

create emotional portraits through the extraordinary pow-

from a very difficult conversation with a young man

er of suggestion. Murff plans to earn his MFA next in order

who was upset about his electronic monitoring unit,

to teach, but above all, to “keep making meaningful work.”

as he felt it was an invasion of his privacy.” Making —Amy Touchette

“Corrections” was a way for Murff to explore and portray “the expectations placed upon [youths] when they are put on probation, and the conflict that

All photos © Zora Murff, www.zora-murff.com

zora murf f — “cor rections”

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nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

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— Anastasiia Sapon —

Beaut y of al ask a

Anastasiia Sapon was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and as the daughter of a military officer, her childhood was not rooted in one location, but many. As a result, she learned to call any place she lived home. Such independence and zest for life are perhaps the most important foundation for a travel photographer to have, and those qualities fueled her stunning series, “Beauty of Alaska.” In an effort to expand her portfolio, Sapon committed to a 30-day stay in Alaska. “It was a personal challenge,” she says, “and it was amazing. The second you leave your house, the adventure begins.” She picked five places to visit and figured out the rest of her itinerary while she was there. Low on cash but highly resourceful, Sapon couldn’t afford lodging at one of her stops in Barrow, Alaska, so she asked the City Hall of Barrow if it would provide accommodations in exchange for her photographs. Smartly, the city struck a deal with her. Meeting new people and traveling to new places “opens your mind and soul,” Sapon says, and those sentiments are clear in her series: her portrayal of Alaska’s wide open spaces, playful wildlife, crisp air and cool waters emanate freedom and pure beauty. Inspired by the likes of Sebastião Salgado, Sapon plans to continue capturing the richness of the world. Next up, she’ll tackle the continental United States. She says, “As an international person, I still see so much that is unusual in this country. I want to make a portrait of America as I see it.” —Amy Touchette Photo © Anastasiia Sapon www.anastasiiasapon.com

anastasia sapon — “xxxxx ”

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— Yusuke Miyagawa —

W i n t e r e s s ay

Yusuke Miyagawa is a Brooklyn-based photographer originally from Japan. He developed his series, “Winter Essay,” in response to the long, cold winter that took hold of New York City last year. Shot on 35mm film with a Nikon F3 (handed down to him by his grandfather, Miyagawa calls it “the most reliable camera” he’s ever photographed with), Miyagawa says the grainy, black-and-white images were a “reflection of [his] state of mind” in coping with the introversion that winter often inspires. At the time, Miyagawa felt he had exhausted familiar subjects, so he confronted his creative block by looking more deeply into its source. The emotive collection of images in "Winter Essay" speaks to the self-taught photographer’s specialty: the blending of documentary and portraiture. Miyagawa’s projects range from studies of passersby and their shadows to editorial portraits for magazines like Dazed & Confused, and his latest assignment to document Harlem for New York City-based art and culture magazine CABLE. Lately, he’s been influenced by Walker Evans: The Magazine Work, a collection of the 20th-century artist’s photo essays. When asked how he approaches his own creative process, Miyagawa answers, “It’s conceivable that shoots don’t go as planned at first. I try finding those problems as soon as possible and I just do it again until I’m satisfied.” —Amy Touchette All photos © Yusuke Miyagawa www.yusukemiyagawa.com nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

18 19

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nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

21 21

— Nancy Borowick —


nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

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nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongoing”

23 23

Photography allows the means to access a subject’s

al strain Borowick had to surmount throughout this

most private moments while providing a protective

project, she often had to deal with the confines of

shield behind the lens. It’s that very duality that

the hospital setting, where her camera was not al-

allowed Nancy Borowick to make “Cancer Family, On-

ways welcome. While working for newspapers, she

going,” an incredibly personal series that documents

learned, “You have to shoot until someone tells you

her parents as they battle cancer at the same time.

to stop—and even then, to keep shooting until they make you stop.”

It was a circumstance Borowick could never have prepared herself for, and she says her “camera

Borowick chose to photograph in black and white to

became the tool through which she processed it

keep the focus on the content and to keep continuity

all.” She decided to treat the project like a news-

as she tackled various lighting. Inspired by the likes

paper assignment, which helped her “separate her-

of Maggie Steber, Stephanie Sinclair and Renee Byer,

self emotionally,” although given her life was “unfold-

Borowick describes photography as a lifestyle, not a

ing,” she admits the approach didn’t always work.

job. “It’s how I understand the world around me,” she says. “I can’t imagine taking any other path.”

Even after her father’s death, Borowick continued photographing her family and her mother’s on-go-

—Amy Touchette

ing 18-year battle with cancer as they entered their “second chapter.” Aside from the intense emotion-

All photos © Nancy Borowick, www.nancyborowick.com

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nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

25 25

— Clare Benson —

The Shepherd'S daughTer

Exploring self-identity has a long photographic history; with thoughtfulness and purpose, the fruits of the experience can be extremely profound. In Clare Benson's series, "The Shepherd's Daughter," she photographed herself and her family, exploring the past and present, and reflecting on her lineage leading to her upbringing in northern Michigan. “I've been looking at a lot of old family photographs, many of them from hunting trips in the Alaskan wilderness, and some really old photos of my great grandmother, from a time when the women in the family were hunters and the men were cutting down trees,” she says. Photography’s otherworldly ability to time travel lets her explore “these faraway and unknown histories, looking into the past to understand the present and consider what is to come.” An ongoing series started in 2011, “The Shepherd’s Daughter” places the focus on Benson's relationship with her father, and the cultural and physical landscape in which he raised her. Examining her own family history through photography




work from the start. Due to her mother’s untimely death, she says, “[I grew up] curious about genetic and family connections, memory, human mortality and vulnerability.” As a result, she began referencing memories, dreams and artifacts in her photography “to slowly uncover the mysteries of [her] mother's life.” Benson is currently photographing and filming in Sweden, just north of the Arctic Circle, on a Fulbright Fellowship. Working among scientists and reindeer herders, the project will examine the region’s histories of space research and indigenous Sami mythology. Benson says, “It’s like something from a dream.” —Amy Touchette All photos © Clare Benson www.clarebenson.com

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nancy borowick — “cancer family, ongo ing”

26 27

clare benson — “the shepher d's daughter”

— Teresa Castro —

P i lg r i m a g e Teresa Castro is one half of charming lifestyle and

a lot, but I’ve learned it’s important to play too.” Her

wedding photography brand Carrillo + Decoux, but it

narrative hand comes from her love of film, which Castro

was between shoots when her personal series, “Pilgrim-

studied high school, later earning a BA with a concen-

age,” blossomed. Castro frequently travels between Los

tration in digital imaging from Brooks Institute in 2012.

Angeles and Northern California via Interstate 5 for shoots, and while on the road with friend Alexandra Sem-

Castro and her photography partner, sister Sarah

pel, Castro turned the camera on her. She photographed

Castro, have an upcoming one-year anniversary for

Sempel in curious, in-between moments—dipping her

Carrillo + Decoux, and despite their already-packed

head back in a hotel swimming pool; changing her shirt

2015 wedding season, Castro isn’t taking their early

on the side of the road—in the vein of loose fashion story

success for granted. “My parents and their parents were

or stills from an indie flick. Sempel plays the role of a

artists and that sparked an interest in light early on,”

hopeful Hollywood starlet (“a powerfully open and willful

she says. “None of them had the luxury of pursuing art

individual,” Castro describes) traveling along Interstate 5

professionally, and I consider it a great gift that I get

“in the hopes of making It.”

to do so.” —Jeanine Moutenot

“The journey was optimistic and spirited,” says Castro. “This shoot was the result of intentional play. I work

All photos © Teresa Castro, www.carrillodecoux.com

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— Paige Willis —

S u b t ly

Paige Willis discovered photography at age eight, and

lies on floral-print sheets; a freshly-eaten grapefruit

took her first self-portrait at age fifteen. “I guess I’ve

is placed on a pale wood surface. Her series is shot

always been compelled to capture the details around

on Kodak Ektar film and overexposed “to create

me,” Willis says. “Sometimes you do things out of

lighter and more subdued images,” she says. Wil-

instinct and that’s how photography was for me.”

lis treats her compositions with care, presenting objects and body parts with equal intimacy.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, the 21-year-old is currently studying at Savannah College of Art and

This semester, Willis is enrolled in a large-format pho-

Design. Her series, “Subtly,” she says, focuses on

tography course and is looking forward to applying the

intimate moments that reflect her own transition into

practice in her personal work. Her style, quiet and sen-

womanhood. “I’ve documented the quiet, yet tense

timental, is an honest interpretation of her observations

conflicts I endure while trying to maintain my child-

and experiences. “Photography was the first artistic me-

hood innocence.”

dium that felt natural to me," she says.

Willis’s delicate color palette (“pastel pinks, yellows and blues,”) and carefully chosen subjects complement the themes of her work: lacey coral underwear

—Jeanine Moutenot All photos © Paige Willis, www.paigewillis.com

30 31

PORTFOLIO OF ONE Could you def ine your work with a single image? London-based photographer Samuel Bradley gives it a tr y. “I try to not ever sit still,” says Samuel Bradley, a 24-year-old

“People don’t know the kind of thing they want from me a lot

photographer based in London. And he rarely does—this past

of the time, which means a I get a lot of freedom,” he says.

summer, Bradley set out on his first mountaineering adventure

Bradley’s photos exude a casual, cool vibe, tapping into youth

in Switzerland (armed with ice picks, a Mamiya 7 II and a Sony

culture and street fashion with a polished, editorial look.

NEX-6), and when we caught up with him for this issue, he was cycling through Northern France.

But Bradley won’t be pigeonholed into just one style—he surprised us with his Portfolio of One selection, opting for a

Bradley, raised in the south of England, spent his teenage

photo taken during the filming of a commercial for Clarks UK.

years playing in bands. By 18, he had switched to photograph-

“I’ve always been drawn to pictures where you can’t see the

ing musicians, saving up for lights and a battery pack and de-

subject’s face,” he explains. “In this case, I think it lets the

veloping a high-end look on a shoestring budget. Before long,

viewer put themselves or their own kids in the same scene.

he began shooting for record companies and magazines, and

That’s what I want to do with my work, show something stark

was already earning money as a photographer by the time he

and unexpected, without revealing too much.”

started his BFA. Since graduating in 2012, he has amassed a client list that includes HYPEBEAST, MTV, Paul Smith Jeans and Wonderland magazine.

—Julie Grahame Photo © Samuel Bradley, www.samuel-bradley.com



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