The Photo Blog

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.

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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.

Feb. 15 2015 11:00 AM

A Proud Racing Dad Photographs the All-American Soap Box Derby 

Usually, when Robbie McClaran attends the weeklong All-American Soap Box Derby, he’s too busy serving as a pit crewmember for his two daughters, Tucker and Aubrey, to take more than a simple snapshot at the annual Akron, Ohio event. But, last July, McClaran finally got the time to photograph race day in depth.

Feb. 13 2015 10:23 AM

Photographing the Different Stages of Grief Is a Beautiful and Poetic Way to Get Over a Broken Heart

Six months after she experienced a painful breakup, Laura Stevens, who describes herself as a romantic and emotionally driven person, decided to work through those emotions by using her friends and a few strangers to pose for staged portraits that represented her grief. 

“What was important for me was to try to represent the different phases of emotions one goes through when experiencing loss, as they can each feel so disparate and acute,” she wrote via email. “You long for the next stage to occur, because it means there is a change and the pain an confusion might sometime cease.”

During the period in which she worked on “Another November,” Stevens produced images quickly and obsessively. (The title of the series refers not only to the month in which she and her partner separated, but also the idea of looking into winter with the summer light far in the distance.) The scenes were created in her friends’ apartments, but she also included a few women she approached on the street because she “felt a natural attraction toward them and perceived a sensibility in them which could work for the series.”

Feb. 12 2015 10:46 AM

These Photographs Are the Only Real Record of Canada’s Alcatraz

During its 178-year-long history, most Canadians knew Kingston Penitentiary only by reputation. Often referred to as Canada’s Alcatraz, the Ontario maximum-security prison housed around 400 of the country’s most dangerous criminals, and was known for its historically harsh treatment of inmates. But while stories often came out of the prison over the years, there were few images to help illustrate what life was like there. 

Feb. 11 2015 10:55 AM

Fashion Week Like It’s Never Been Photographed Before

Beginning in 2012, Dina Litovsky photographed fashion week events in London, Paris, and New York on assignment mostly for New York Magazine and once for the New York Times. Her mission: Photograph fashion week like it’s never been photographed before.