We’re kicking off fall with a couple of October’s best new members – each with a knack for capturing the diverse beauty and strength of the human spirit whether in a mosque or on a runway. Check out their brand new sites and more on their social accounts.
Featured image by Georgina Mary Garnett
PhotoShelter template: Sonnet
Location: London, UK
Specialty and background: I was always warned never to pursue a hobby that you love as a career. This stuck with me until a couple of years ago when I made a decision to ignore that long ago advice and give myself a chance. I use documentary photography to share the real stories of what charities and NGOs do, taking images of often overlooked moments which depict human nature, provide human connection and thereby encourage empathy and understanding. It’s all too easy for people to have flyby visits to countries and communities, taking pictures along the way, feeling they are capturing the soul of the people and the place. I believe you can tell the difference in the images, when the photographer has taken the time to truly engage with their environment; by sitting, listening and observing. This is what I am truly passionate about.
The story behind the photo (below): This is one of my favorite shots, taken in Togo, West Africa. I took it as others were dashing for cover just before a tropical storm was about to unleash a massive downpour of rain. The wind was picking up and dust was everywhere. Looking back on it, it is a perfect reflection for the woman’s fortitude and strength. It teaches me never to stop looking as sometimes the best images are created when you lest expect them and others have already stopped.
PhotoShelter template: Sonnet
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Specialty and background: I am a news, feature and documentary photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. A firm believer that the more informed you are about the world around you, the more informed your images will be, so with a political and socio-economic awareness helping to direct visuals, I strive to fuse my past experience in the international relations and diplomatic sector as well as my continued learning of identity politics, with my work as a photojournalist. I am currently a stringer for Agence France Presse (AFP) and have been published in Okay Africa, the Guardian, The Times, The Wall Street Journal among others.
I am moved by everything that deeply affects women. Identity, power and belonging are over-arching themes that drive my learning. At the moment I am working on multiple projects including a look at Islam in South Africa, diaspora and migrant communities – the replication of origins, the re-establishment of communities and the ‘organization of beliefs’ that bind people together. Changing city spaces keep me curious.
The immediacy of photography complements the instinctive urge to comment and make annotations on what I experience: the natural fascination with imagery has been channeled now into the practice of documenting with an intent.
The story behind the photos (below):
1. In the Ramadan of 2017, women fill the mosques to pray the taraweeh (late night prayer) in Johannesburg. The Nizamiye Mosque built by the Turkish community is a favorite of mine, also because it is the place where my wedding ceremony was performed. In this image, a most endearing moment, when children were nodding off to sleep while waiting for their mothers to finish praying.
2. This image is of South African artist Ma’am Esther Mahlangu, now 81 years old. It was made during a quiet moment while she sat relaxing on a stone bench outside her home in Mabhoko Village, Siyabuswa on March 06, 2017. GULSHAN KHAN / AFP
PhotoShelter template: Shuffle
Location: New York, NY
Specialty and background: Life’s infinite variety has always held an intense fascination for Effi Cohen. Growing up in Israel, one of eight children in a dynamic, vibrant family, Effi was deeply affected by the intensity and diversity of human activity around him. His appreciation for seeing reality from many different perspectives led him to further broaden his horizons, setting off to experience new cultures in the countries of the Far East and South America while still in his teens.
It was while on this extended voyage that Effi was first inspired to use a camera to capture the kaleidoscope of life before him. Taking photos was a perfect means to express the feelings elicited by each new discovery. It was then that Effi decided to make photography his life’s work. Landing in New York and wanting to immerse himself further in his craft, he studied at New York University and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
After first concentrating on the fields of fine art photography and celebrity portraiture, Effi was ultimately drawn to the exhilarating artistic possibilities of fashion photography, having been deeply influenced by the boundless array of style, culture, and attitude on display on the streets of New York. Enamored by the way the shapes and colors of clothes serve to reveal and augment emotions that we all hide deep inside, Effi uses his camera to liberate human expression—both his own and that of his subjects.
Among his more notable clients are Anne Klein, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Heineken, Target, Levi Strauss & Co. and Black+White, Blue, Flaunt, German GQ, Italian Vogue, Noise, New York Times, Oyster, Seventeen, Surface, Tank, Vibe.
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