The Photo Blog

Nov. 13 2014 12:04 PM

Scars That Reveal History and Beauty

As a child growing up in Madrid, Sandra Franco loved looking at family photos with her grandmother. “For me, the images were little treasures. I always liked the idea of tracing your past through photography,” she said.

Franco ended up studying photography in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was given access to some quality gear, including a Hasselblad film camera. The opportunity to work with the camera, combined with her continued interest in learning about other people’s histories, motivated her to take an intimate look at physical scars in her aptly titled series “Scars.”


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Nov. 12 2014 12:23 PM

“I’m Trying to Photograph Myself in You, Dance As Crazy As You Can Until You Become Someone Else”

When Alejandro Cartagena was 13 years old, his family moved from the Dominican Republic to Mexico. For Cartagena, the shift in cultures was an intense, even scarring experience. “It was a troubled time for me,” he said. “In a way that moment is still present in a lot of my work. The portraiture I do always has something to do with trying to identify with the new culture I’ve been inserted into.”

When the organizers of the Nrmal music festival in Monterrey, Mexico, invited him to photograph during the festival, Cartagena created his series, “Bliss,” a nostalgic, somewhat therapeutic way for him to revisit the time during his childhood that was filled with pure joy.


Nov. 11 2014 11:00 AM

From Geishas and Waterfalls to the Berlin Wall and 9/11: How One Photographer Captured 60 Years of Historic Images

When Thomas Hoepker started as a photographer, newspapers and magazines had lots of money to send reporters and photographers around the globe—and Hoepker took full advantage.

“I always felt I was a documentary photographer” the German photojournalist and former Magnum Photos president said via email. But while his photos are captivating and beautiful, he’d rather be known as an “image maker” than an artist. It “sounds less grand and closer to the truth. But I am happy if some people see my work, or even collect my prints, because they see something that touches them one way or another or even makes them feel they are looking at a piece of art.”

Nov. 10 2014 10:42 AM

Stars of ’50s and ’60s as Seen by One of the World’s First Paparazzi

Before Us Weekly and People, there was Elio Sorci.

Sorci was among the very first “paparazzo,” a term coined by Federico Fellini for his film, La Dolce Vita, to describe a small band of press photographers who documented film production in Italy in the 1950s, when studios like Cinecittà were exploding due to post-war investment in the industry. 

The book, Paparazzo: The Elio Sorci Collection, published by Roads this month, showcases the work of a photographer who helped define modern paparazzi photography, and, in a way, the notion of celebrity where the private lives of stars are infinitely knowable to the public.

Nov. 9 2014 11:32 AM

How These Snowy, Dilapidated Houses Helped a Photographer Connect to Her Finnish Roots

Technically Martina Lindqvist may be Finnish, but, because she’s lived for the past decade in England and spent most of her life in Sweden, it doesn’t always feel that way to her. When her mother moved back to Finland recently, Lindqvist realized just how little connection to her family roots she had. Since, on the other hand, she has always felt connected to landscapes, she decided to create a series, Neighbours, which features images of dilapidated houses shot in plain, snowy environments that metaphorically speaks to her sense of isolation and disconnect.

Lindqvist’s mother moved to the middle of the country and Lindqvist decided to spend around six months working there. The area is sparsely populated and many of the homes have been deserted as people have left, due to economic reasons, to live in larger cities.

Nov. 7 2014 10:58 AM

To Get These Raw Photos of NYC in the ’70s and ’80s, All She Had to Do Was Ask

This post contains nudity.

The 1969 Woodstock Festival is a pretty great place for a new photographer to find inspirartion. Arlene Gottfried went to the historic event with her friends and a gift from her father: a small 35 mm camera that once belonged to her uncle.

Of course, the festival was a “tough act to follow.” Fortunately for the Brooklyn native, there was plenty to see and photograph in her own backyard. New York City’s residents in the 1970s and ’80s were a diverse group of characters and Gottfried spent a lot of time documenting them in places like Coney Island and Brighton Beach, as well as the storied clubs of Manhattan and the numerous parades and events that took place around town.

Nov. 6 2014 11:00 AM

The Magical Life of One Pair of Icelandic Twins 

Ariko Inaoka began visiting Iceland in 2002, drawn to the country’s people and music. Since her first visit there, Inaoka said, “Iceland has become the place for my creativity and inspiration.” In 2006, a friend of Inaoka’s in the country met Erna and Hrefna, 6-year-old twins, at a swimming pool, and brought them to a casting call for a fashion assignment Inaoka was shooting. Inaoka didn’t end up using the twins for the shoot, but she remained interested in them. In 2009, when the twins were 9, she reconnected with them.

Nov. 5 2014 1:14 PM

“Welcome to Hell”: Behind the Scenes of the Pasadena Police Force in the ’80s

While many college students choose to spend spring break on the beach, William Karl Valentine decided to spend his week off in 1985 riding around in a cop car.

Valentine, at the time a photography major at Arizona State University, had been interested in beginning a documentary series while on break. Since his father had been a reserve officer on the Pasadena Police Department in California for 25 years, he was able to gain access for his son to ride around with and photograph the daily routines of on-duty officers. Valentine already knew many of the cops, so the rapport and trust he had with the officers made taking the photos a much easier process.   

Nov. 4 2014 11:00 AM

This Mom Was Tired of Being Left Out of Family Photographs—So She Staged Her Own

Things were going pretty well for Susan Copich: She was getting work as a commercial actress, studying photography on the side, and living in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters. But then her agent stopped calling, and things seemed less than ideal. Her marriage “no longer felt shiny,” her kids seemed to have grown up overnight, and she felt “irrelevant” and middle aged. More importantly, she realized, she was “missing from every family photo.” Copich decided to correct that, and to investigate her inner, darker thoughts about life as a mother and wife in her series, “Domestic Life,” which will be on display at Umbrella Arts Gallery in New York City starting Nov. 5.   


Nov. 3 2014 10:19 AM

A Notorious New York City Dive Bar Seen From the Bartender’s Point of View

Terminal Bar, located across the street from the Port Authority Bus Station, was once known as the roughest bar in New York City. But Sheldon Nadelman—who, in the ’70s and ’80s, worked at the dive his father-in-law owned—doesn’t think that’s quite true. It was certainly rough—frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and drag queens—but it wasn’t the roughest.