PDN 30, 2010 – New And Emerging Photographers To Watch

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There Are 44 Comments On This Article.

  1. Donnar Party

    Much better variety, more diverse in terms of styles than previous years.

    • Still Yawning

      @Donnar Party,

      Agree, but still too safe. Not much innovation. A lot of lookalike work.

      Still there are some nice images and congrats to all the winners. I just think PDN still have their heads up their asses.

      By contrast, have a look at the Hasselblad 2009 Masters winners:


      Granted the two contests are different (one is for emerging artists the other for mostly established photographers). But the Hassy contest takes more chances.

    • @rob g,

      With such solid work (and academic background), the big question in my mind is why he feels the need to enter PDN/30. He’s already better than this.

  2. Swiss Photographer

    What I wish PDN had the balls to do is publish a list of forty over forty, fifty over fifty and sixty over sixty and see who had the guts to stick it out in this industry and to thrive.

    Or even better, a list of previous thirty under thirty selectees who are still shooting and those who flamed out or chose different careers.

    PDN has picked a few incredible shooters in the past and some that are never heard from again.

    Staying power?

    • @Swiss Photographer,

      “balls”, “flamed out”, “staying power”….???

      This is an industry in which the market is over saturated. Success is based on narrow hierarchies. I see a person that has the “guts” to manage their ego/identity and change paths as a hero. They will most likely still create meaningful images for themselves regardless of career choice.

      Still, I’d love to see PDN report on the true state of the industry.
      A “Where are they now” issue reviewing all their past “30” would help illuminate.
      btw – When PDN started this annual section, it was called “30 under 30” (years of age).
      The change in title is somewhat telling that this is just another editorial vehicle to keep the pub going.

      I haven’t had a chance to view the images yet. I’m sure there are some nice ones.
      I just wish there was a better market for success.

    • @Swiss Photographer,

      Quite awhile ago they dropped the age requirement for the PDN 30. It’s not about age it’s about a photographer who is emerging.

      Technically your thoughts and wanting to, “see who had the guts to stick it out in this industry and to thrive”. Well thrive means past being established and would be seen all the time in galleries, ads, magazines, commercials, catalogs, etc. correct?

      So what would be the point?

      I never understand people who get so threatened by people getting more attention then themselves. It’s all BS and deals anyways these lists that come out once a year and anyone who’s anyone knows this. So let them have the spotlight for this issue without cutting them down.

      • Swiss Photographer


        Dude – who is cutting anyone down? Not me. I asked a question if PDN had the balls to do a follow-up on the ones they have chosen or if they would be interested in doing pieces on people who have had long careers – you know the type of information that someone might actually use to manage their career for longevity.

        Why and how did you feel that I was threatened by this article or in my comments? Did I say I was the least bit concerned about any of this?

      • Swiss Photographer


        I checked out your site. First piece of solid advice I would give you – is get rid of the Mobile Me web site and icons that refuse to load. Nothing screams unprofessional more than a poorly executed template site with Made with a Mac nestled at the bottom of the page.

        Details first.

        • Other Swiss Photog

          @Swiss Photographer,
          First piece of solid advice I would give you is not to dish out advice when no one asked for it. Especially not when you’re posting anonymously.

          • A Photographer

            @Other Swiss Photog,

            I love it when people prefer to shoot the messenger rather than understand the message.

  3. PDN’s list is such elitist bullshit. They never give love to fashion or celebrity photographers. GOD FORBID! There are 2 fashion/celebrity photographers out of 30? C’mon..really? Do we really need another ‘great’ photographer who shoots out-of-focus pictures of abandoned buildings or fields and skies? Jesus fuckin Christ…PDN always pisses me cuz of this. The snobbery that ‘art’ photographers are more respectable then ‘celebrity’ photographers is out there in the world and it’s fuckin’ shitty. That’s all. I’m done.

    • @Famous Face Shooter,

      Although I see your point, one could ask (and I’m even a fashion photographer), do we really need another blank expressionless 16-year-old model touched up to mannequin skin and acting like “she’s over it” in the shot? Or an image that is cool only because it’s someone famous in it, no matter how boring the actual image is in it’s creativity and composition?

      PDN is an industry rag, always has always will be.

      • Still Yawning


        I think you nailed it. There’s nothing “wrong” with the photographers PDN has chosen, they’re just all safe choices doing expected work.

        It probably reflects what the PDN list is — a committee effort. But if the list were peppered with more controversial choices it would be more thought provoking and interesting.

        Nothing against the artists chosen, but there really aren’t any images that makes me say “wow” or “damn, I wish I had thought of that.”

        The work is good, sometimes interesting, and I’m sure some of these artists will be the hot commodities of tomorrow. But there is not much here that really makes me want to bookmark these artists’ sites and follow their careers, and see what they come up with next month.

          • Still Yawning


            So typical. Anything short of gushing praise is considered sour grapes. I’m not upset at all. Just expressing my opinion.

      • @christopherlovenguth,

        I completely agree, I have nothing against the images selected as “still yawning” says, but the question i ask myself is, if we stick to what PDN chose, then where the heck is fashion photography going to? I’m SO SICK of seeing the same types of BORING photographs in ANY fashion magazine, I so just so sick of expressionless “fashion” images, where is this fashion photography industry going to? do we have to freaking play it safe to get clients? I say NO!

        Fashion is ultimately about selling dream lifestyles, when did we loose that notion to stupid and boring mannequins images? that ANYBODY with a good stylist, mup and designer clothes could do?!

        the question i ask myself is, if PDN chose these photographers as the new emerging talent of New York, are they simply deciding where the photographic tendencies should go? Not at all helpful…. I say NO.

    • @Famous Face Shooter, Norman Jean Roy was listed awhile back… He shoots beauty, celebrity and fashion.

      But that’s the only example I know of. Haha.

      • @Chris Schultz,

        First couple of contests featured a number of fashion/beauty oriented *photographers*. Maybe 20-30% of the total. I’m lousy with names, would have to dig out old issues from the garage. Off the top of my head, Taryn Simon, John Clang, there was an Asian girl originally from LA>NYC>Paris, can’t recall her name. This was back when it was really photography, not digital imagery.

        btw – the first two listed were making huge amounts of money when they were selected. Clang had worked for many years in Asia commercially, with probably well over 100 completed assignments – mostly ads. Simon was shooting 8×10 film on the streets of NYC with full crew, talent, lighting for f64 in aperture reduced ambient daylight. What exactly is “new & emerging”?

        How meaningful is fashion/beauty in the world today?
        Weddings/families are at least as meaningful. Are wedding photographers included in the 30?

        This doesn’t mean the image makers included are not talented, hardworking individuals. I question the vehicle, and the industry.

  4. I find that this industry to a degree is elitist. So What! What is the photgraphers agenda, do they want to be a house hold name like Ansel Adams? If so they better get to work! They better have such a unique voice and quality to their work that no one else can touch it. Otherwise you are like the thousand of professional photogrpahers out there that shoot phenomina portraits, still lifes, and the sort.

    I just turned 50 and I am returning to my first love for a career, I have a lot of work to do to be notable if that is what I want. I still haven’t decided. I do have to say there is a leading towards the younger generations of emergings than and overall whole. Just saying it is harder for someone over 35 to break in. Moving right along ………….Thanks Rob for doing what you do! Great place to learn!

  5. I hate it when I make a typo!

    Corrected this should read –“I do have to say there is a leading towards the younger generations of emergings than towards the overall whole.”

  6. you should do your little category rundown like you did last year, rob. really helps, especially since the PDN site is so in-navigable.

  7. a big yawn for the most part, as usual
    but there are a few gems
    congrats to all!
    whether anyone likes it or not (myself included) doesn’t really matter
    as long as the photographer is happy with what there doing
    who gives a shit really

    happy shooting ; )

    • @Darien Chin,
      Nominate me next year to be part of Emerging 30 !
      I will invite you to all the parties for next 100 years that you can drink free booze at…

    • Anonymouse

      Is this the 3rd (or maybe 4th) year in a row with the same shitty website?!

  8. Haven’t seen the work yet but I’m sure it’s the same as years before it, 10% amazing work and 90% crap. I’m surprised PDN hasn’t gone under.

    • Bob Pollard

      @shanghoon, People are usually nominated…look at that list of people that they thank at the end of the issue for nominating people…and ask them to look at your work.

  9. Bob Pollard

    People are usually nominated…look at that list of people that they thank at the end of the issue for nominating people…and ask them to look at your work.