The Photo Blog

May 13 2016 10:04 AM

The Wild, Wonderful Final Days of a Beloved Brooklyn Music Venue

The death of Death By Audio in 2014 marked the end of an era for Brooklyn’s DIY music scene.


But Ebru Yildiz’s photographs of the epic 75-day celebration leading up to the long-standing Williamsburg venue’s final night are a celebration of life in a space that nurtured a generation of local talent and served as a home away from home for fans. They’re collected in a self-published book, We’ve Come So Far, which is available to preorder now and will be released in August.

May 12 2016 10:07 AM

Why Did the FSA Damage These Incredible Depression-Era Photos? 

Beginning in the 1930s, the Farm Security Administration was responsible for combating rural poverty in America. By hiring photographers to document its work and promote its mission, it was also responsible for commissioning some of the most iconic images of the Great Depression from photographers including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Gordon Parks.


The driving force behind those assignments was Roy Stryker, an economist and photographer who served as the head of the agency’s documentary photography program. He was a powerful and tough editor. With his approval, a photo could enter the annals of photography history. Without it, an image faced total destruction. That’s because Stryker had the infuriating habit of “killing” photographs he didn’t intend to use by hole-punching straight through the negatives, resulting in a large black void when printed.

May 11 2016 11:07 AM

Are These Photos of People Kissing Awkward or Authentic?

James Friedman grew up with parents who, while loving and supportive, never expressed their emotions through kissing. Friedman’s father was 48 when he died, and when Friedman’s mother developed emphysema after 40 years of smoking, she spent most of the last months of her life on a ventilator. Friedman spent a lot of time with her in the hospital, and when visiting hours were over, they fell into a routine of kissing each other goodbye. A few hours before she died, Friedman snapped a photograph of the two of them as he gave her a kiss.

A couple years later, Friedman had a dream in which he saw two people kissing; one of the kissers was looking directly at him. Inspired by the dream and of the final image he took of his mother, Friedman set out on a seven-year project called “Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing.”

Aware of the ubiquitous subject matter, Friedman wanted to find a way to separate his photographs from typical shots of people embracing. Although he did find some subjects through chance, Friedman felt he would never have enough time to create a truly candid body of work, so he began to set up the shots—sometimes with people he knew, other times with strangers—by asking people to kiss while he photographed them.

May 10 2016 10:28 AM

These Teens Dress in Formal Wear and Try to Get Tickets to Cannes Premieres

For years, Jennifer Loeber’s husband, a film critic, had returned from the Cannes Film Festival with stories about teenagers who would wait outside the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

Loeber was intrigued when she discovered they weren’t there waiting to catch a glimpse of a celebrity but instead were trying to secure tickets to one of the film premieres.

“That was fascinating to me, and not something I assumed teens navigating the contemporary media landscape would be interested in at all,” she wrote via email.

In 2014, Loeber’s husband texted her images of the groups of teens, dressed in evening wear, who were hanging around, hoping to get into the films. The texts made the decision for her: In 2015, she went to the festival and created a series about the young people titled “Pleasures of the Uninvited.” A lot of Loeber’s work is about identity and self-representation, something she feels is present in this series that speaks to that awkward space between adolescence and adulthood.

May 9 2016 10:07 AM

A Young Photography Phenom Captures a Dreamy Vision of Teenage Life

Unlike other art forms, photography isn’t known for producing many wunderkinds. But Olivia Bee is a prominent example of how quickly one can ascend.

At age 11, Bee accidentally ended up in a photography course at her Portland, Oregon, middle school. Although she didn’t initially take to it, she eventually started developing a distinctive style. Posting those photos, often of herself and friends, on Flickr drew the attention of Converse, which led to shooting an ad for the company when she was 15. Commissions with other major brands followed, along with exhibits, editorial assignments, and lots of media attention.

May 8 2016 1:33 PM

A Writer and a Photographer Team Up to Examine Motherhood’s Intricacies

Photographer Winky Lewis remembers a time—her kids were still in diapers then—when motherhood seemed slow-going. But in 2013, as her daughter and two sons approached their teenage years, time was passing faster than she liked.


Her longtime neighbor, the writer Susan Conley, felt the same way. So they embarked on an experiment designed to help them register motherhood at a pace that better allowed for reflection and appreciation. The result is a book of stories and photographs, Stop Here, This Is the Place: A Year in Motherland, which Down East Books published in April.


Each week for two years, Lewis sent Conley a photographic dispatch from the world of the children in her life, which unfolded before her in small moments at home and the surrounding neighborhood. Conley, in return, sent back a short story written in response to the image.

May 6 2016 11:28 AM

“I Got Worried We Would Disappear”: Photos of NYC’s LGBTQ Community

When Luis Carle came to New York from Puerto Rico in 1984 to study photography at Parsons, he quickly found a group of friends with whom he not only socialized but also participated in activism, including the March on Washington in 1987. After graduating, Carle eventually formed relationships with both editorial and commercial clients in both New York and Puerto Rico. But then, as was the case for many people in the LGBTQ community, many of Carle’s friends began to die from complications of AIDS.

May 5 2016 11:13 AM

Next Time You Pass an Overpass, Look Underneath It

If you’ve traveled to cities such as Shanghai, London, or Amsterdam, chances are you’ve noticed expressways and bridges that take over like the long arms of an octopus.Gisela Erlahcer noticed them, too, although the Austrian photographer started to pay closer attention to what was happening beneath these concrete structures rather than what was on top of them.

May 4 2016 10:09 AM

Here’s What the Everyday Lives of Refugees Look Like

Lately, all eyes are on refugees in Europe, but they are just some of the nearly 60 million people fleeing war and persecution around the world—the highest refugee population in history, according to UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency. The crisis is a global one. 

An exhibit on display at Los Angeles’ Annenberg Space for Photography until Aug. 21, “Refugee,” underscores that point, with images from five international photographers whose work spans fine art, portraiture, fashion, and documentary photography. 

May 3 2016 10:11 AM

Brussels Has an EU Theme Park Filled With Models of Its Most Famous Sites

A host of historic sites are just a train ride away in European Union countries, but at Brussels’ Mini-Europe park, they’re even closer. There, 1-to-25 scale models of Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and more than 300 other attractions are separated by just a few feet. Tourists love it.


In 2012, British photographer Lewis Bush was looking for a lighthearted break from a weekslong project he was working on about the recession and the subsequent euro crisis in the EU. He had a few days scheduled in Brussels, and taking a friend’s recommendation, he decided to visit Mini-Europe.


“I wasn’t expecting much but I found myself fascinated by the park. It’s too strong a word to describe it as propaganda, but it presents a very particular and clearly pro-EU vision of the continent. This idealized view of Europe was such a contrast to what I had been seeing in recession-wracked countries like Greece and Spain that it really stuck in my mind,” he said via email.