This Year at Photoville: A Celebration of PhotoShelter Member Photography & Expertise

This Year at Photoville: A Celebration of PhotoShelter Member Photography & Expertise

We’re gearing up for the second weekend of Photoville and couldn’t be more excited to wrap up one of our favorite photo events of the year. Produced by our friends at United Photo Industries, this free event in beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park features a modular village made from repurposed shipping containers. It’s oozing with masterful photography, business tips, workshops and opportunities to meet the who’s who of the industry. It’s also in its eighth year, which inspired us to switch things up a bit for 2019. Instead of hosting our customary one-day educational panel discussions, we decided to fully dive in, exhibiting incredible PhotoShelter member imagery in a 40’ shipping container while also recording episodes of our podcast Vision Slightly Blurred nearby. 

The response from the Photoville community has been amazing so far. So many attendees shared their thoughts and stories with us and talked to us about how the work we showcased resonated with them. Here, we’re sharing that work with a broader audience, so you can experience it too. Each PhotoShelter member we selected for the exhibit was also asked for their best motivational advice for emerging photographers (many of whom attend Photoville) and we’ve included their insights below along with their images.

Special thanks to White House Custom Colour, one of our wonderful integrated print vendors, for the stunning prints! We couldn’t have done it without them. 

Cover image by George Mackenzie Jr.

Daniella Zalcman

Children play outside the office of LBTI women’s rights organization Freedom and Roam Uganda in a residential neighborhood in Kampala. FARUG was one of the earliest organizations in Uganda advocating for the rights of sexual minorities and has been a crucial voice in the fight against Uganda’s anti-gay legislation. Photo by Daniella Zalcman.


PhotoShelter Member since 2009

I urge photographers to identify early what kinds of stories they most want to tell, and make sure they’re setting aside time and resources wherever possible to pursue that work. It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind and in going after the assignments that will pay the bills, and those are important— but make sure you’re always nurturing the ideas you’re most passionate about. Eventually, you can figure out how to make those passion projects support and define your practice.

Stephanie Sinclair & Too Young To Wed

Teresa Jeffs, 16, plays on the family trampoline in 2008. One of 60,000 married U.S. minors, and daughter of jailed Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs, she was married in a religious ceremony to Raymond Jeffs, 38 (later jailed for sexual assault). Stephanie Sinclair founded Too Young to Wed in 2012, after her seminal reporting on child marriage brought global attention to the practice. The charity works to end child marriage globally and support survivors through investigative reporting, advocacy, school breakfasts, scholarships, and emergency aid. Photo by Stephanie Sinclair.


PhotoShelter Member since 2008

Take the time to develop relationships and invest in learning about the communities you photograph. The images you make will be far more nuanced and help unravel the layers of the complex people you meet.

Anuar Patjane

A swarm of jacks inside the protected waters of Cabo Pulmo National Park (México), one of the best-preserved spots of the Sea of Cortez. Photo by Anuar Patjane.


PhotoShelter Member since 2011

Break the mold and the imitation trend. Dare to create something new, even if unsure of the result, do it for your own inner necessity or drive. That is the photographic work that transcends.

Pete Kiehart

A man bathes himself in the frigid waters of the Dnieper River during the Christian holiday of Epiphany on January 19, 2015 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Pete Kiehart.


PhotoShelter member since 2006

Be proactive. Shoot personal projects and pitch story ideas to editors, writers, producers and other collaborators, if for no other reason than that waiting around for your phone to ring with an assignment is a terrible way to live. Get ready for rejection, and remember that getting a pitch turned down is not a valueless enterprise – you’re reminding editors who and where you are every time you interact with them, which will spark more work in the future.

Paulo Nunes Dos Santos

A Ukrainian policeman stands guard during V-Day commemorations at the War Memorial in Donetsk, Ukraine, on May 05, 2014. Photo by Paulo Nunes Dos Santos.


PhotoShelter member since 2007

When you have lost motivation, ask for criticism! There is great value in listening to what editors, curators, other photographers and your friends have to say about your work. Listen to them and respect their ideas about how to approach or present a story. Receiving feedback is important and can be encouraging. It can provide you with a fresh perspective and new ways to improve your craft. Learn to accept criticism and use it to better your work.

Tatiana Cardeal

A straw artisan rests on leaves of the Carnauba tree after harvesting in the Várzea Queimada community in Jaicós, Piauí State, Brazil. Photo by Tatiana Cardeal.


PhotoShelter Member since 2007

It took me a long time to understand that photography was a conjunction of factors that went far beyond the details I believed I could control. I came to understand it’s all about creating connections between your inner world and the outer world. This is where photography makes sense to me. I now feel a great responsibility with the images I make, which in turn leads to respect, pleasure and purpose of work.

Gabriel Romero

A Bedouin boy keeps watch over his family’s sheep and goat flock in the village of Al-Jiftlik in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories on Dec. 10, 2013. Photo by Gabriel Romero/Alexia Foundation.


PhotoShelter Member since 2011

I view photojournalism not as a profession, but a lifestyle. One must put their whole heart into the process. If you do not it will show. You must also be willing to at times put yourself at great personal risk to tell the story. This is what differentiates photojournalism from all other genres of photography. Remember, it’s not about you. Your job is to give voice to those that have none and share their story with the world.

Lori Hawkins

A mother holds her newborn in the nursery at the Kapenguria County Referral Hospital in Kapenguria, Kenya on March 6, 2018. This photo is part of the series Too Far to Walk, a story of the women of West Pokot and their struggle to stay alive and survive childbirth, a right all women should have. Photo by Lori Hawkins.


PhotoShelter Member since 2010

It doesn’t matter if it has been done before. Go out and shoot it with your eye, your mind, your voice and your heart.

Isabella De Maddalena

A boy walks into the Holocaust Memorial (Holocaust-Mahnmal) in Berlin, Germany on August 13, 2007. It was designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman and opened in 2005 in the Mitte area of Berlin. Photo by Isabella De Maddalena.


PhotoShelter Member since 2007

I think what makes the difference today in photography are the ideas they contain and the manner in which you decide to picture them. Choose a subject that you can approach with passion, dedication, curiosity and love. Try to get under the surface of it. Try to represent it in its most hidden sides and perspectives and to simultaneously become the “explorer” of your own story. Be surprised about it, so that you will be able to surprise your audience. All your passion, research and dedication will be reflected in the final work that you show. And the quality and depth of this insight is what will drive people into it.

Georgios Makkas

They are on a special train just for refugees and immigrants from Gevgelija to Slanishte, across the Republic of North Macedonia. The train was packed when Aysha got in. All the seats of the car were taken by young men from Iraq and Afghanistan. Aysha was displeased, but she didn’t protest. Somebody from the train told a man to give up his seat for Aysha, and he did so reluctantly. There was no toilet on the train, and no one had any idea where it was going or how long the journey would be. Photo by Georgios Makkas.


PhotoShelter member since 2008

Be prepared for the unexpected. When I met Aysha in Lesvos Greece where she arrived from Turkey on a small dingy, I would never have expected that a week later I would be with her in the Bavarian Alps. I decided at the last minute to follow her. I had very little money on me, no extra batteries on my camera and I was wearing summer clothes since it was still hot in Greece. I wasn’t prepared at all for that journey but I had to catch the opportunity.

Zay Yar Lin

When I was in a fishing village in Xiapu County, I saw this fisherman’s wife mending fishing nets near her home. It was an interesting scene, with light from a big window coming in and illuminating her and the fishing nets, which seemed to form green waves. Photo by Zay Yar Lin.


PhotoShelter member since 2018

Ordinary can be extraordinary. Take your camera, follow the light, see it in a new perspective, and create your own photograph.

Whitney Curtis

Rashaad Davis, 23, backs away slowly as St. Louis County police officers approach him with guns drawn and eventually arrest him on Monday, August 11, 2014 at the corner of Canfield Drive and West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri. Davis was standing quietly on a sidewalk watching police and protesters when police began firing tear gas and rubber-coated projectiles into the crowd. Protesters and law enforcement clashed for months after Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed black man, was killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo by Whitney Curtis.


PhotoShelter member since 2008

Approach each subject matter with an open mind and empathize with the people you’re photographing. How can we expect our audience to form a connection with the subject matter or persons if we don’t first do the same?

Kristin Lau

Farmer Dilli Ram Regmi stands beside the 4.5kW solar array that harnesses the sun’s energy to pump water for drinking and mushroom farming in his community. Energy is at the forefront of most economic, environmental and developmental issues the world faces today. In Nepal, roughly 80% of the population lacks access to reliable electricity. Solar integration for agricultural purposes has been implemented throughout various parts of rural Nepal to aid in irrigation and agricultural needs year-round. Photo by Kristin Lau.


PhotoShelter member since 2014

Be present, shoot in the moment and become inspired by the rich, diverse cultures of the people that inhabit the world. Every day we are faced with environmental and societal concerns that challenge us to look inward, encourage us to re-evaluate our actions towards one another and inspire us to look closely at the world we reside in. Be true to yourself and follow your curiosity and passion. 

Jen Edney

Merfyn Owen enjoys a peaceful moment at sea while sailing Leg 1 of the Atlantic Cup 2016 onboard Dragon Ocean Racing. “I enjoy the beauty and the solitude. How many times are you actually that alone in your life?” Photo by Jen Edney.


PhotoShelter member since 2008

I live by three simple rules: Always do your best, always do what’s right and always treat people the way you want to be treated. Work hard, play harder and laugh a lot. Be the energy that you want to attract. We are always going to be thrown challenges. A lot of wasted energy can go into wondering why, how, or what if? I’ve learned that when I redirect that energy and look at each situation, positive or negative, and find one thing to be grateful for, it changes my outlook and ultimately the energy I am directing towards others. That gives me peace of mind, keeps me charged and affects the energy I bring to work every day.

Lexey Swall

A farmworker harvests almonds from an orchard in Shafter, California. Almond harvest season kicks up dust that spreads throughout the area, causing days where a brown film sits in the air just above the valley floor. Shafter, a rural farming town in Kern County, California, sits at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, an area known for having the worst air in the nation due to dust, smog and high levels of ozone. Photo by Lexey Swall.


PhotoShelter member since 2012

Try to choose projects and say yes to work that is a bit out of your reach or comfort zone. Every time I have done this, my senses are heightened while shooting and I push myself harder to make compelling work.

Greg Funnell

Two men take part in a Trânta wrestling tournament in Chisinau, Moldova. Trânta is a form of wrestling that holds great tradition in Moldova and young men come from all over the country to take part in an annual event held in the capital. The winner receives a prized ram. Photo by Greg Funnell.


PhotoShelter member since 2010

Constantly strive to be a little better, take small steps to improve and treat every job or photographic venture as a learning experience. Photography is a vocation and should be seen as a long-distance slog, not a race. Stamina and perseverance are the name of the game.


Photoville reopens on Thursday, September 19th at 4PM at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We’d love to see you at container #10! Out of town? Follow along on Instagram this weekend for more behind-the-scenes, advice from Photoville attendees and snapshots of some of our favorite exhibits.

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PhotoShelter Community Marketing Manager

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: This Year at Photoville: 16 Photographers Share Their Best Motivational Advice – PhotoShelter Blog – The Click
  2. Pingback: This Year at Photoville: 16 Photographers Share Their Best Motivational Advice - ASMP
  3. Isobelle at 2:08 am

    Great content, very well done – enjoyed viewing this exhibition online, incredible images. Best comment for a photographer; “go out”.

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