The Photo Blog

Feb. 27 2015 10:21 AM

Can These Comedians Win You Over With a Single Joke?

For beginner and veteran comics alike, an open mic is a valuable medium for trying out material before an audience. Michelle Alexis Newman’s ongoing series, “The Open Mic,” serves a similar function: She pairs her portraits of comics with one of their hand-written jokes as an opportunity to show their stuff to viewers.

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Feb. 26 2015 12:40 PM

What Happened to Crime Photography?

In 2013, two things happened at the Chicago Tribune that eventually led to the exhibit, “Crime Then and Now: Through the Lens of the Chicago Tribune,” which is on display at the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University in Chicago until April 11.

Feb. 25 2015 11:38 AM

What These Older Women Imagine It’s Like to Be a Glamorous Movie Star 

When Simone Lueck was living and working in L.A., she was curious to know how many people aspired to the outrageous lifestyles often mythologized in Hollywood. So she put an ad on Craigslist that began: “Seeking fabulous, striking, interesting older women to pose as a glamorous movie start for a photo series.” Potential participants were asked to submit a photo and describe how they would pose as a glamorous movie star. No pay was offered, but Lueck promised an image from the shoot. 

It didn’t surprise Lueck that hundreds of women applied. What did surprise her was their interpretation of the language in the ad.

“Something that was really odd but also telling about the process is that some women who replied were in their 30s and 40s,” Lueck said. “That was too young for the project, but in Hollywood, a 30-year-old woman is over the hill.”

Feb. 24 2015 11:24 AM

From Ending Violence to Commemorating the Past, the Reasons Women March

Ever since Holly Falconer came out and started going to pride parades in her early 20s, she’s been interested in how and why people come together publicly for a common cause.

Last June, Falconer attended the Neston Female Society’s Ladies Club Day’s 200th anniversary. The society was founded during the Napoleonic Wars to provide support for married women who needed it. In the years since, members of the society have participated in an annual walk in which they wear traditional dresses and carry flowers. The anniversary drew thousands of observers and hundreds of participants to Neston, England. 

Feb. 23 2015 11:31 AM

These Photos Are So Great, You’ll Think They’re From Another Decade

When a friend asked Robbie Augspurger to take his acting headshot in 2009, Augspurger decided to have a little fun. Inspired by high school portraits from the ’80s—hair that barely fits in the frame, half the face floating in the top left side of the image, and the inexplicable wicker chair or ladder—he set out to recreate them.

Augspurger had already bought a 30-year-old school light kit to illuminate dark reception halls for weddings he photographed, so when his friend arrived “on set” in a tweed suit, Augspurger ran with it. From there, he began using other friends to create an ongoing series titled “Glamour & Headshots.” The images went viral, catching the eye of Getty Images, which began licensing them.

“I didn't set out to do a photo series, and that’s probably why people liked it, as it wasn’t a calculated attempt to be known,” Augspurger wrote via email. “I was just doing something to make me and my friends laugh, which surprisingly, other people responded to warmly.”

Although the online success briefly caused some anxiety over what his follow up project would be, Augspurger said it was a fleeting moment and he has learned not to change his approach to his work.

Feb. 22 2015 10:10 AM

Photographing Paris’ Sightseers When They Least Expect It

Adrian Skenderovic often wanders the streets of central Paris where he lives in search of great moments to capture. But one day two years ago, Skenderovic encountered a special scene in a place he didn’t normally look: The water. 

Feb. 20 2015 11:45 AM

Imagining a World Filled With Clones 

In these whimsical photos from the trippy sci-fi series “Monodramatic,” Daisuke Takakura imagines a world that is filled with clones. 

He begins each image by selecting a model who seems good-natured, which often means they are able to make many (many!) interesting expressions. Once he finds an appropriate location, Takakura creates a narrative on the spot and spends a couple of hours photographing the model in various poses. From there he spends a few days in post-production working on the fictional worlds.

Takakura has worked as an actor, a designer, and a photographer and was looking for a way to combine his theater experience into his photography.The images, in many ways a reaction to a Japanese culture that is obsessed with youth, speak to the idea that we all have many different personalities. 

Feb. 19 2015 11:00 AM

No One Does Karaoke Like the Finnish 

When the journalist Antti Helinin asked Juuso Westerlund to come with him to document Finnish karaoke culture, Westerlund didn’t think twice about it. Of course he wanted to join. 

Feb. 18 2015 10:51 AM

A Photographer’s Version of the Great American Novel

The work Victoria Sambunaris created during her 14 years of road trips around the United States look like they could be pulled from “America the Beautiful.” She didn’t set out to create a book, but the project, which had her traveling by car everywhere from the salt flats of Utah through the calderas of Hawaii, eventually became part of Taxonomy of a Landscape published in 2014 by Radius Books.

“The work has evolved over the years and each trip since the beginning has been a lesson revealing a story in geographical, economic, political, and culture terms. I hope the work brings up questions about our landscape, our place within it, and the collective roles and responsibilities in how and why we shape it the way we do,” she wrote via email.

During the long road trips, she was constantly scanning the landscape for those majestic in their natural beauty but also noteworthy for their setting as background for man-made structures.

“I am curious about what I am seeing and find myself not only drawn to the magnificence of open land, dramatic vistas, and vast sky but rather to the recurring sprawl of massive development and junctures where nature meets culture unexpectedly and surprisingly sublimely,” she wrote.

Feb. 17 2015 11:00 AM

All These People Live Within 35 Miles of the Arctic Circle

London-based photographer Cristian Barnett was looking at a map of the world when an idea for a project—a pretty crazy one at that—came to him in a flash. He would, he decided, photograph life along the Arctic Circle, a circle of latitude at 66 degrees and 33 minutes north of the equator that crosses the borders of eight countries.