The Art of the Personal Project: Chava Oropesa

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Chava Oropesa

Con Mucho Cariño

A soul-warming collection of my Mon’s recipes.

Let me tell you why this project is so important to me. My mom was a great cook, she was a full-time home maker and made all our meals from scratch. She created a handwritten cookbook with all her recipes, and some handed down from her mother and grandmother. There were over 120 recipes and my dad, being an engineer, created a way of organizing and indexing as my mom continued to add new recipes to her book.

The recipes are so delicious and remind me of my life in Mexico while living with my parents. Both of them have passed on, and for a few years I have been thinking of a way to honor them by cooking my mom’s recipes and photographing the process. I am also hoping this project will help keep some of these wonderful recipes alive.

Why “Con Mucho Cariño”? Because that’s the way my mom would sign off her letters when writing to me: “With lots of love”.

I also believe her recipe’s secret ingredient was that too, lots of love.

_____________________________________________________

I’m Chava, an Oakland based Photographer and Creative Director whose love for photography and food, and even the packaging it comes in, has transformed into my life’s passion.

Growing up in Mexico City filled my life with colorful culture which has deeply influenced both my design style and photography.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of The Personal Project: Jennifer MacNeill

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:   Jennifer MacNeill

The farm auction project grew from childhood memories of attending the liquidation sale of my stepfather’s family dairy farm and my current interest in local history and desire to gain entry into old barns and homes that surround me in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We have some of the richest farmland in the United States and so often our farms are being replaced with housing developments, warehouses, and shopping centers.

When I started working on the project in 2021, I had little idea that the private worlds I would gain entry into would be filled with so much mystery and tinged with sadness. Many of these auctions are used to settle the estate for a farmer who has passed. They lived a hidden life many of us never even think about.

There is a secret thrill in exploring these old houses and barns with little restriction. Studying the architecture, disrepair, and personal belongings to learn about the history of the area in properties dating back well over a hundred years. Mingling with auction-goers and engaging in conversation to further investigate the lives of the people who once lived there, to get a sense of who they were.

Through my images I seek to piece together clues showing how the farm owners lived, the process and people that attend these auctions, and visually preserve a vanishing history.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Zach Anderson

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Zach Anderson

The Millennial zeitgeist is ever shifting, though there is one thread that weaves its way through the fabric of the cohort: acceptance and admiration of uniqueness. Amplified even more by Gen Z, it’s hard to ignore the pursuit of a sense of self among this group.

Zach Anderson strives to share his experience and perspective in his photography, including his friends as subjects. His coming of age has shaped his visual aesthetic and can be seen through the attention to color, freshness, and youthful communication through his imagery. And as a Millennial, telling stories of identity through his art is a priority.  

Combining his love of distinctive color to communicate emotion, music as a barometer for feeling and his celebration of the queer community, Zach’s new project highlights Drag Queens in Boise, ID. Sense of self and acceptance at the forefront of this art form, Zach aims to emphasize the talent and effort that goes into each performance.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Kremer / Johnson

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Kremer Johnson

“Palm Springs Bears” – Capturing the Soul of Palm Springs’ Bear Community”

In the vibrant oasis of Palm Springs, a unique culture thrives, embracing an extraordinary sense of community, design, and humor. Within this warm and welcoming enclave, we discovered a profound admiration with a group of individuals known as “bears” – gay men who exude strength, authenticity, and a profound sense of belonging. “Palm Springs Bears” is a photo series born from our deep affection for this remarkable community, a whimsical portrayal of their lives and the spaces they inhabit.
To create this visual narrative, we searched social media, reaching out for potential subjects. The process of casting our subjects through social media platforms allowed us to connect with individuals who were not just willing to participate but eager to share their stories. Their enthusiasm and willingness to be vulnerable in front of the camera opened a door to a world of authenticity, enabling us to portray their lives in an uninhibited light.
Embracing the spirit of innovation and creativity, we rented a house in the heart of Palm Springs, a place that symbolizes a sanctuary for many members of the bear community. Within the living room of this temporary dwelling, we constructed a wall, symbolizing both unity and the protection of a sanctuary. For each subject, we adorned this unique backdrop with distinct wallpapers, carefully chosen to reflect their individual personalities, aesthetics, and stories.

 

 

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Sara Forrest

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Sara Forrest

Mention the state of Kansas and maybe you draw a blank and wonder “where is that state anyways” or perhaps you think of the history of the state.  The Brown vs the Board of Education case, Bleeding Kansas or even just the arduous drive passing through on I-70.  For me, it’s memories of wading through creek beds, watching the stars on the hood of the car with curious cows staring at you in the moonlight, chewing on summer clover and taking long drives to nowhere, half enjoying the ride and half keeping an eye open for adventure.  For me, the adventure always found me in the tallgrass prairies.  The land is quiet, some folks from the cities and coasts may even claim desolate.  There’s always a coyote scattering on the horizon or a meadowlark keeping an eye on you from a nearby post.  Late afternoon clouds open and close in the sky like a giant house curtain on nature’s stage.

This series of photographs are part of a larger series on family friends and communities in the Flint Hills tallgrass prairies of Kansas.  “Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America, but within a generation most of it had been transformed into farms, cities, and towns. Today less than 4% remains intact, mostly in the Kansas Flint Hills.” (via nps.com).  Every spring, prescribed burns snake through the landscape.  Native Americans were the first people to use prescribed fire, as it attracted buffalo to the new grass for easier hunting.  Research has shown that cattle gain more on pastures that have been burned because the old grass and thatch have been removed.  Without these burns, invasive Eastern Red Cedar would choke out the native grass and use up a lot of the water in the soil.  As you walk the prairies you often see buffalo grazing in the distance.

I can not speak to the cowboy way of life, simply because I do not cowboy for a living.  The only way to really get a taste of what that kind of life is like is by getting yourself a good seasoned cow horse, a good mentor and submerging yourself into the lifestyle.  I can throw a rope off my horse and am learning to work cattle, but the demanding, often life or death work in the elements day in and out is not for the faint of heart.  The experience and the opportunity to become friends with and be welcomed into this way of life has not only humbled me, but taught me more about heart, respect, and dedication than anything I have been a part of so far.  These are a few photographs that put a lens behind a typical day of the life of a cattle rancher on the great plains.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Hugh Kretschmer

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:   Hugh Kretschmer

 

Normally, I steer clear of clichés in my work; it’s a bit of a rule of mine. But there was something about this series titled “The Perils of Being Ken” that was different. The concept relentlessly occupied my mind, inundating me with ideas. The decision to proceed was solidified when fate introduced me to Kristopher Ohlsson, a student who walked into my Portrait Class I was teaching at a local college – the living embodiment of the character in this series. It was an unmistakable sign to move forward, hitting me like a beautiful slap in the face.

This seven-image series is the only exception where my rule clashes with the creative surge. The initial concept sparked a torrent of ideas, resulting in more photos than we ultimately included in the final edit. Some worked well, while others fell short. Yet even the ones that didn’t quite hit the mark inspired new ideas that ultimately brought coherence to the project. Consequently, the shoot stretched over two days, with a six-month gap in between.

The series’ essence hinged on creating a “small world” appearance, achieved through perspective control lenses in real locations across Los Angeles. However, after testing an array of perspective control (PC) lenses on my DSLR under similar circumstances, I found the results weren’t as strong as I had hoped. Dealing with too many uncertainties, I opted to achieve the desired effect through post-processing in Photoshop. This gave me complete control over points of focus and allowed me to guide my audience’s attention precisely.

The production’s success rested heavily on the makeup and wardrobe aspects, making it essential to have the proper support. For this, I turned to the expertise of Make-up Stylist Isaac Prado and Costumer Gillean McLeod, two seasoned veterans with whom I had collaborated multiple times before. Their contributions were the linchpin of the project’s triumph, and their ingenuity and skills left me in awe.

Wardrobe, Gillean McLeod: https://www.instagram.com/gilleanmcleod/

Makeup, Isaac Prado: https://www.instagram.com/pradoisaac/

    

To see more of this project, click here

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Hugh Kretschmer’s work has been exhibited in Paris, Berlin, São Paulo, Montreal, Serbia, New York, and Los Angeles and was the subject of a retrospective at the Hoban Museum, Seoul. His photographs are permanently displayed at the 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero and in the Library of Congress archives. His work has been recognized by the International Photography Awards, American Photography, Communication Arts, Graphis, Siena Awards, and Society of Publication Designers. His client list includes Vanity Fair, New York Times, Fortune, National Geographic, Time Magazine, Old Spice, Penn & Teller, Sony, Honda, Purina, and Evian, among others.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Stephen Wilkes

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Stephen Wilkes

TAPESTRIES

I began this project a few years ago, while working on my Day to Night™.   Photographing in Italy, I visited the Vatican Museum and became fascinated by the extraordinary tapestries.  I was inspired by the layering of imagery, the narrative storytelling and color that appears throughout the woven texture of the yarn. I began to wonder if I could create a similar effect, incorporating multiple exposures, in a single image.

So began my exploration of “Tapestries”. I always say that if Day to Night™ is like a symphony where I photograph for 24-36 hours, then the Tapestries are like a piece of jazz music. Being totally in the moment and capturing the images in camera and in short periods of time.  In both bodies of work, I’m dissecting the very concept of time in different ways.

Stephen Wilkes’ work is included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and many more. His editorial work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated among others. Wilkes awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography and TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012, Adobe Breakthrough Photography Award 2012, Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: John Dyer

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:   John Dyer  

            My love for photography comes from seeing what something looks like when it’s photographed.  The camera sees differently than the human eye.  Different lenses see differently from each other.  Shooting color (at least for me) is not the same as shooting black & white.  Placing the frame of a camera and freezing a bit of time and space creates something new, something different from what was photographed. That something has its own rules and esthetic: a transformation that I find intoxicating.  A photograph has no narrative ability so it cannot tell you what was happening at the time the shutter was released.  The photograph must exist on its own, justifying itself by the intrinsic elements that it is composed of.  Whenever all those elements are in complete balance, a photograph becomes something more, something mysterious, something fascinating.  The best photograph is an enigma that asks more questions than it answers.

            Whatever that dynamic is, I can’t get enough of it.

To see more of this project, click here

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Kahran and Regis Bethencourt

NPR Story by Destinee Adams

A husband and wife reimagine fairy tales with Black children in mind

This is Goldilocks like you’ve never seen her.

Bathed in a golden light, she looks out from a photo resembling a fashion magazine spread with a commanding stare, surrounded by massive teddy bears. Instead of yellow curly hair, she wears thick, afro-textured, honey blonde locks.

This is the Goldilocks of CROWNED: Magical Folk and Fairy Tales from the Diaspora by husband and wife photographers Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. The two have reimagined familiar stories with photographs of Black children and, occasionally, new plot points, in an elaborate book of 141 photos.

It’s the sequel to 2021’s GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty.

This is Goldilocks like you’ve never seen her.

The book is broken down into three categories: Classic fairy tales, African and African American Folktales and original stories. The couple intentionally casts Black children of different ages, skin tones and hair textures in traditionally white roles, like Cinderella.

In the retelling of Cinderella, “Asha the Little Cinder Girl,” Asha wears an extravagant blue gown with purple tulle shooting from the bottom as Jamal, her Prince Charming, slides on a white high-top sneaker instead of a glass slipper.

Perhaps the most striking element in the picture is Asha’s hair, a structure of carefully placed black braids and white pearls piled high on top of her head.

“I think it’s important for, specifically, Black and brown kids to be able to see themselves reflected in the stories that they read growing up,” Kahran said.

The Bethencourts began their photography careers in Atlanta in 2009. For a while, they worked in the children’s fashion industry, capturing headshots for adolescent actors and shooting campaigns for kids’ brands. But they noticed a specific and unsettling pattern among Black children in the industry.

“We realized that a lot of the kids that had natural Afro hair would come in to get their headshots and the parents would have their hair straightened because they thought that’s what they needed to do to get their kids into the industry,” Kahran said.

“We thought, ‘Gosh, wow! At an early age we’re teaching our kids that they’re not acceptable, that their looks are not good enough.'”

The two began doing personal projects where Black children were encouraged to wear their natural hair in fashionable settings. Staying connected to the industry helped them build enough clientele to create their own photography company, CreativeSoul.

CROWNED is a visual representation of the CreativeSoul original mission: celebrate and embrace natural Black beauty. But the book also showcases Regis and Kahran’s ability to imagine and translate new worlds.

“Goldi: The Girl with the Golden Locks” was the favorite story for Regis to retell because the original story “didn’t really have a lesson at the end.”

“It pretty much was a story about a privileged girl going in and just eating everything and just leaving and going back home,” he said. “No lesson learned.”

In CROWNED, Goldi is still a privileged girl, but she is welcomed into the bears’ home. The bears don’t have much, but they have each other and a once-haughty Goldi leaves the house with three new friends and an appreciation for nurturing her relationships.

Changing the ending “was so cool for me because I feel like we’re actually changing history,” Regis said.

The book was released May 23, three days before the live action film The Little Mermaid premiered with Halle Bailey, a Black woman with natural locks, as Ariel, a princess and the main character.

Like the live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid, the Bethencourts’ version is setting the standard for Black representation in traditionally white spaces.

The husband and wife duo dress Aliyah, the little mermaid, in silver jewels and colorful pearls from head-to-toe. As she floats under the sea, she plays in her big red flowing hair filled with loose braids, shells, leaves and bright red tulle.

Aliyah holds her head high in every shot like the most confident, royal figures. She stares off into the distance and also directly at the camera, as if to say this story was always her own.

Lisa Lambert edited this digital story.

To see more of this project, click here

To purchase Crowned

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Scott Lowden

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Scott Lowden

1050 Ponce De Leon Place is a famous – some would say notorious – old section 8 apartment building in my neighborhood in Atlanta GA. I’ve lived here since 1992 and have seen many characters come and go and I’ve also met some amazing people. One of the more surprising things I’ve noticed over the years is that many in this community are always smiling. I wanted to get to know the people who lived at 1050 and ask them – why, with all that is against you, financially, physically – are you smiling a genuinely beautiful smile? That was the beginning…

This project focuses, in broader terms, on the happiness and contentment found in Americans that seem to have nothing to smile about. Particularly the older folks, the handicapped, and those dependent on government aid for help. At first glance, the people who live at 1050 Ponce De Leon Ave fit this description. To those more fortunate, while driving or walking by, it may seem that there is only sorrow and desperation living inside the hulking red brick apartment building. But to every yin there is a yang. There is happiness found there, a bubbling up of the human spirit. Many of these amazing older folks are fighting battles with poverty or illness, yet they are truly happy individuals. They always seem to be smiling, and helping each other, a community. I’ve seen them impacting our neighborhood with their personalities, grins, and hugs since I moved to Poncey Highlands. In their happiness we find ours.

Smiles are contagious.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Brian Kuhlmann

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Brian Kuhlmann

I Am TRANSGENDER

I started photographing transgender individuals in 2015, and the goal has always been to normalize their existence and humanize their stories. Since that time, it is no secret that transgender people have bore the brunt of extreme political whiplash in this country, as well as increasing violence and hostility in the streets. These photographs celebrate freedom of expression, and stand as an act of defiance against attempts to vilify and erase gender nonconformity in the public sphere.

I believe that knowing how we or others identify is important, as are the stories of how we’ve arrived at that place. Before any shutter is clicked, I listen to their stories. We meet, we talk, and get to know each other. What strikes me the most about their stories is the level of abuse simply for being who they are–everything from being disowned, being forced to live on the street, sexual abuse, and even broken bones from assault. And sometimes there’s stories of families coming together, of bonds strengthening, and what it means to discover support.

The resulting portraits are simple and direct, classic yet modern. Choosing to eliminate the background and photograph each person on white forces us to look at them, at who they are and, beyond the ideas we may have, ultimately recognize that we are all humans.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry fordecades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Zac Henderson

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:   Zach Henderson

 

Dark Matter III Artist Statement

In 2017 I was in the midst of a creative drought. I had no vision, no subject, and no inspiration. I had recently become interested in natural science and was voraciously consuming information on astrophysics, particle physics, gravitational waves, black holes, and anything else I found interesting that a photographer had no business learning about. In an attempt to bring together this interest in natural science with my work, I set out to create an abstract representation of something that, by definition, is impossible to photograph dark matter, a theoretical form of matter which doesn’t interact with the visible spectrum and can’t be directly detected, yet is responsible for keeping galaxies, like our own Milky Way, glued together with its gravity. I began experimenting with ceramic magnets and iron grains, relying on the invisible force of magnetism to coerce the iron grains into unique forms in a way that I imagined dark matter particles interacting with normal matter as viewed from a bulk, in which both are visible. Inspired by science, yet unencumbered by its rigors, I set out to make something visible and tactile from that awe of the nature of reality while still nodding to its intangibility.

Now in its third iteration, Dark Matter is beginning to transcend its original purpose. The sculpture’s ambiguous scale sometimes illustrates itself as massive celestial space stations, suspended in nebulae, able to reorganize themselves depending on the task, and capable of bending spacetime in ways we can’t comprehend. When viewed at their intended size, I recognize a similarity to images created by electron microscope and imagine the structures as odd, microscopic life forms having evolved from a completely separate evolutionary tree, able to thrive in the micro-gravity of space by using magnetism to maintain their composition.

Whatever thoughts come to mind from viewing these images, for me they represent a celebration of the knowable and unknowable forms of nature and their ultimate ability to pluck at the strings of human curiosity.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Art of the Personal Project: Arin Yoon

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Arin Yoon

A Korean American connects her past and future through photography  (NPR -The Picture Show)

I arrived in this country when I was 5 and my brother was 7. The first place we visited was Disneyland. I thought we had hit the jackpot. America was even better than I had expected. Soon after, we settled in Warrensburg, Mo., and a new reality sank in. I was transported from the cityscape of Seoul to the American Midwest. I have clear memories of walking through the vast prairie and the mazes of cornfields as a child.

My mom, Young Ok Na, had a studio photo taken in preparation to come to the United States — for her passport and visa applications. My dad was going to graduate school and we had come to visit. We didn’t know that we were never going back to Korea. He didn’t want us to leave. When I made a picture of that photo, it was drizzling. A tiny fortuitous raindrop fell right under my eye. I didn’t realize until I was editing that this had happened. I ask my child self, “Why are you crying?”

I notice my kids Mila and Teo interacting with nature, playing together and seeing how they create their own worlds and make their own memories. It is when I give in to seeing the world through their eyes that I find it easiest to parent. And then sometimes, their magic seeps into my world, when I let go of trying to be in control. I project my past onto them but I know parts of them remember it too.

In Korea, there is a concept called han, which roughly translates to a collective feeling of sorrow relating to having been colonized and oppressed. It is a sentiment that connects Koreans to each other as well as to our ancestors. For members of the diaspora, han can also relate to the immigrant experience — to feelings of loss and displacement. But we can release some han in making new memories on land that feels more familiar to my children than it did to me at their age. As we walk through the tallgrass prairie, my daughter asks me, “Are we in a dream? Are we?” I wonder if she is starting to remember.

What does this land represent? I think about the house we are staying in — a casita built for Mexican rail workers a century ago, one of the last ones to survive. There are three units in the bunkhouse. From the drawing in the room, it looks like there could have been up to 10 units at one point. I had packed a Mexican dress that was gifted to my daughter, Mila, without knowing the history of the bunkhouse. I feel like it is an homage to those workers. The kids are obsessed with the wild garlic here, possibly brought here by the Mexican laborers. A part of their history continues to grow and nourish.

The more trains I watch pass behind the casitas, the more details I notice. I realize the ones carrying oil move more slowly than the ones carrying coal. My children recognize the logos on the trains moving consumer goods across the U.S. after just a few clicks on someone’s phone or computer.

I think about the Chinese rail workers who built the transcontinental railway — how they were omitted from the 1869 photo commemorating the completion of the railroad. Everyone is celebrating, opening champagne as the final golden spike is hammered into the track. How easily have our experiences, as immigrants, been erased from American history. Corky Lee recreated that photograph in 2014 with the descendants of those Chinese laborers, 145 years after the original photo was made. We can take back some of our histories in commemorating the forgotten, lost and erased. Remembering.

Through this work, I re-examine my connection to this land, reconsidering overlooked histories, as I tap into my own forgotten memories, conjuring the past, creating new memories, all while exploring my connection to the natural landscape, to my children, and to our past and future selves.

 

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

The Art of the Personal Project: Maansi Srivastava

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Maansi Srivastava

From NPR Picture Show:  Through her grief, an Indian American photographer rediscovers her heritage

Editor’s note: May marked Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. NPR’s Picture Show will be bringing stories from these communities to our audience this month.

I developed this photo essay, Roots Hanging from the Banyan Tree, over the past three years. Photography became my therapy as I grappled with loss, grief and racial reckoning over the course of the pandemic. Searching for my identity as an Indian American woman became intertwined with the struggle to ground myself after losing my grandmother to COVID-19.

After her passing, my understanding of life and death shifted. In conversations with my mother, I learned that we both felt a sudden severance of our roots. In my grief, I grasped for memories of a simpler time. I connected with the Patil family, hoping to find a semblance of my childhood in their homes. Through documenting their daily lives, recollections of cultural rituals from my childhood began to flood back in. I also found that I was not alone in my experiences and fears of losing my connection with my heritage.

These images represent my experiences growing up between two cultures while navigating girlhood and early adulthood. I saw myself in the Patil family’s young children. While looking back through my old family albums, I found that our shared rituals and experiences were nearly identical. I suddenly felt less isolated in my experience as an Indian American and as a third-culture woman.

In their home, I was able to revisit memories as a young adult and recognize the beautiful aspects of the Indian American experience. What began as my thesis work grew into a labor of love that has shown me that my roots and cultural connection have been with me all along. As children of a diaspora, our cultural roots continue to grow and spread, but the soil is ours — we flourish where we are planted.

     

To see more of this project, click here

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Maansi Srivastava (she/they) is an Indian American documentary photographer and photo editor focusing on widespread social issues through a lens of family and community. She previously worked at the Washington Post and NPR. This June, she’ll begin a yearlong photography fellowship at the New York Times. See more of Maansi’s work on her website, maansi.photos, or on Instagram, @maansi.photo.

Zach Thompson copy edited this piece.

Grace Widyatmadja oversaw production of this piece.

 

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

The Art of the Personal Project: Gregor Hofbauer

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Gregor Hofbauer

I’m a member of the LGBTQI+ community and attending pride marches and protests to achieve visibility for the community is a must for me. In my first few years of attending these events I expected mainly younger people being active in that matter. But, since I’m eager to look beyond the obvious, I realized that at least here in my hometown, Vienna, the group of supporters showing up at our biggest event – the „Regenbogenparade“ – is quite diverse in age. With my personal work I always like to ask the question, „Did anybody notice this?“.

So with “The Other Vienna Pride Visitors“ I dedicate my time and focus to all the “grown-ups”, who, after quite some time in their life, still find the energy to go out and respect and enjoy what the pride parade stands for.

To see more of this project, click here  (scroll down to The Other Viennese Pride Visitors)

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

The Art of the Personal Project: Jennifer MacNeill

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:   Jennifer MacNeill

 

No farm is complete without a barn cat.

Expert mouser. Sunbeam seeker. Driveway greeter. Lap warmer. Horse spooker. Fence sitter. Feed room sentinel. Cobwebbed whiskers.

The cat is an often overlooked resident at a stable yet they perform such valuable tasks.

When I visit a farm I always ask how many cats do they have and where do they like to nap. It’s often in a little pool of light somewhere in the hayloft.

Cats seem to know what light will work best for a beautiful photograph. They are little living works of art.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

The Art of the Personal Project: Saroyan Humphrey

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Saroyan Humphrey

On Nightlight

In the dark, light can take on new meaning and offer a fresh look at what may, in daylight, seem ordinary. In night’s shadow, the world looks different. In this ongoing series I look for a special quality that makes the usual seem extraordinary in some way. In this realm, I try to offer a scene that draws the viewer in to evoke an emotional response, however subtle. Like a bright moon rising over the horizon, a light in the dark can bring intrigue, and wonder.

Offering security and comfort, a light at night can keep the unknown from creeping in.

I focus primarily on local settings, including nearby suburbs which remind me of my childhood backdrops, growing up on the East Coast. With influence from a variety of artists, including Jan Staller, Robert Adams, Gregory Crewdson, Todd Hido, and Robert Bechtle, photographing with long exposures at night offers a moment when things slow down and become almost surreal in stillness. In its own way, I like to think of it as a mediation on the essence of photography.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

The Art of the Personal Project: Eric W. Pohl

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist:  Eric W.Pohl

The art of glassblowing has fascinated me since the first time I saw a demonstration at a renaissance festival more than 10 years ago. The journey and transformation from a lump of molten glass in a sweltering workshop into a delicate, colorful fine art piece is truly magical — and a visual treasure trove for a photographer like me.

I love working with artisans and makers and wanted to create some storytelling imagery to use as portfolio/promo material. So, I approached artisan Tim de Jong of Wimberley Glassworks about setting up a shoot. Tim and his team were gracious enough to dedicate a half day to setting up and photographing their process.

After some trial and error, we were able to find a good balance with the lighting. I wanted the workshop dark enough to easily capture the glow of the molten glass, but also wanted to cast a directional, window-light feel on the subjects.

The first thing you notice when you get up close and personal with glassblowing is the heat. Not only are there multiple furnaces raging at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, but there’s heat radiating off the molten glass itself as the artist works it.

In the beginning stages, the glass looks like nothing more than a glowing mass on the end of a stick. Watching glass artisans work, you really get an appreciation for the vision they have to imagine the finished product.

There’s never a dull moment while the glass is taking form. Working quickly, Tim and his team roll, blow and swing the glass like a pendulum to shape it while in its molten state. Along the way, they carefully add colors and texture by dipping and rolling the hot glass into other colored glasses. Finally, they use a variety of tools — some unexpected — such as scissors, hammers, pliers, wooden boards and even rolls of wet newspaper to work the glass to its final shape and size.

It’s truly an awe-inspiring experience to watch glass come to life. Thank you to Tim de Jong and Wimberley Glassworks for the opportunity.

To see more of this project, click here

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.