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Posted 11/09/2021
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are pleased to welcome Peter Cohen and Bill Shapiro to discuss “vernacular” photography and the historical and cultural significance of snapshots and other images that fall outside the realms of fine-art and commercial photography. Peter J. Cohen is recognized as one of the country’s foremost collectors of vernacular photography and portions of his collections are now included in institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, MFA Boston, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Morgan Library, and SFMoMA. Bill Shapiro is the former Editor-in-Chief of LIFE Magazine and the founding Editor-in-Chief of LIFE.com. He is the author of several books, including Gus & Me, a children’s book he co-wrote with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, and What We Keep, from 2018. Shapiro is also a curator and has written about photography for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Esquire, and others, including an article for Texas Monthly, which contains images referred to in this episode. With our guests we discuss the joy of collecting old photos, of discovering themes, creating romantic stories, and of the beauty of the photograph as object. We also consider the surge of interest in vernacular photography from museums and other institutions, the marketplace distinctions among these and fine-art photos, and most important, what these images can tell us about our country and cultures. Join us for this enjoyable and insightful conversation. Guests: Peter Cohen and Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro Photograph Courtesy of the Collection of Bill Shapiro “A Trip to the Moon,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Bottoms Up,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Girls at the Farm,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Me at the Beach,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Roof Couple,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “Sheep from the Car,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection “A Dangerous Woman Amongst Men,” Photograph Courtesy of the Peter J. Cohen Collection Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/28/2021
We were expecting this episode to be a great one, and it did not disappoint. The B&H Photography Podcast team welcomes photographer Lester Sloan and his daughter, author Aisha Sabatini Sloan, to discuss their new book, Captioning the Archives: A Conversation in Photographs and Text. The book is a conversation about photography and photojournalism, but more a conversation between father and daughter, one that had been taking place for years, for a lifetime, and finally put to print. Selecting images from his long career as a Newsweek staff photographer, as well as his personal projects dating back to 1960s Detroit, Sloan and Sabatini Sloan provide extensive “captions” to these images, offering not only details about past events but personal reflections from both of their perspectives. The book is also an intensive contextualization of the images with the benefits of hindsight and of insight. Backstories from a life in photojournalism, of photos of Nelson Mandela, Steven Spielberg, political turmoil, day-to-day assignments, and the right questions posed to fill in the deeper meaning around a photo taken. “I took pictures of everything that happened.” ―Lester Sloan Unfortunately, in the weeks before we recorded this episode, Sloan’s archive of original slides and negatives was damaged in a flood. The damage to some of his most important originals is extensive, and a Kickstarter campaign has been established in an attempt to repair, restore, and digitize the collection. Please consider donating. Lester Sloan began his photography career as a cameraman for the CBS affiliate in Detroit, then worked as a staff photographer at Newsweek magazine for twenty-five years, documenting the 1967 uprising in Detroit, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the OJ Simpson trial. Sloan was a contributing essayist with NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” a recipient of the prestigious Neiman Fellowship, and was the on-set photographer for Spike Lee’s 1996 film, Get on the Bus. Aisha Sabatini Sloan is a writer whose work has appeared in anthologies such as Dear America, Truth to Power, and The Paris Review. Her 2017 book, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was chosen as the winner of the “1913 Open Prose Contest.” She is the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Award and this year she received the National Magazine Award for her essays in the Paris Review. Guests: Lester Sloan and Aisha Sabatini Sloan Photograph © Lester Sloan Cover of Newsweek magazine, featuring the cast of All in the Family, 1971 © Lester Sloan Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989 © Lester Sloan Ossie Davis, on the set of the film, Get on the Bus, 1995 © Lester Sloan Steven Spielberg © Lester Sloan Los Angeles uprising and riots, 1992 © Lester Sloan Urban Glyph, 2012 © Lester Sloan Father and Sons Barber Shop © Lester Sloan Nelson Mandela visits Detroit, 1990 © Lester Sloan Cover of Captioning the Archives: A Conversation in Photographs and Text, 2021 © Lester Sloan Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/14/2021
To create a “collective portrait” of any set of people is difficult, but to do so with twenty-five world-renown women artists is a monumental challenge―one that our guests have undertaken and, based on their wonderful book, Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women, have accomplished. Equally as impressive is that the book’s author, Hugo Huerta Marin, weaved a personal narrative into this series of interviews and photographs he made of artists he admired, such as Yoko Ono, Cate Blanchett, Inez Van Lamsweerde, and Orlan. On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Marin about this seven-year project and we also welcome the book’s editor, Anna Godfrey, of Prestel Publishing. The two discuss the selection of subjects, interview techniques, and innovative book design. We also discuss the Polaroid portraits Marin made for the book and the role photography plays in the work of several of the artists profiled. Join us for this insightful conversation on the influence of groundbreaking women artists and on the persistence and collaboration needed to build this collective portrait. If you are in New York on October 28, 2021, Marina Abramović and Hugo Huerta Marin will host an intimate conversation about creativity, identity, success, and legacy at the global launch of Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women, at Fotografiska New York. Tickets are available here. Guests: Hugo Huerta Marin and Anna Godfrey Photograph: FKA twigs © Hugo Huerta Marin Agnès Varda © Hugo Huerta Marin Catherine Deneuve © Hugo Huerta Marin Charlotte Gainsbourg © Hugo Huerta Marin Carrie Mae Weems © Hugo Huerta Marin Debbie Harry © Hugo Huerta Marin FKA twigs © Hugo Huerta Marin Inez Van Lamsweerde © Hugo Huerta Marin Jenny Holzer © Hugo Huerta Marin Yoko Ono © Hugo Huerta Marin Marina Abramović © Hugo Huerta Marin Cover of “Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Creative Women” by Hugo Huerta Marin © Prestel Verlag, Munich · London · New York, 2021 Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 10/07/2021
This week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast provides a lesson we all can use: how to be better businesspeople while we are being better photographers. Much of this advice comes from our intriguing guest, photographer and educator Todd Bigelow. A longtime pro, Bigelow has freelanced for the likes of Sports Illustrated and The Los Angeles Times, among many other editorial and commercial clients, and he is a contributing photographer to the prestigious agency Contact Press Images. He is also the founder of the Business of Photography Workshop, an adjunct professor of photography and photojournalism, and the author of The Freelance Photographer's Guide to Success: Business Essentials, which is the basis for our conversation today. With Bigelow, we discuss growing a client base, the ratio of time and labor between the business and the craft of photography, and how to let your archive work for you. We also talk about negotiating rates, contracts, and handling copyright infringements. Bigelow uses many examples from his own career to highlight his points, and Allan adds some examples of his own. Join us for this enjoyable, motivating, and helpful conversation about photography business essentials. Guest: Todd Bigelow Photograph © Todd Bigelow Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hanger © Todd Bigelow/ Contact Press Images Jordin Tootoo grew up in a small village along the Hudson Bay only a hundred miles from the Arctic Circle. The first Inuit to play in the National Hockey League, Tootoo spends his off-season at home, where he fishes and hunts for Caribou, seal, and Beluga whale. Living off the land is necessary for residents of the small village. © Todd Bigelow/ Contact Press Images Immigrants rights advocates protest anti-immigrant policies, which include ICE raids and proposed bans on Muslim immigrants entering the country. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Undocumented migrants climb the border fence along U.S.-Mexico border. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images A group of bike riders make their way down Hollywood Boulevard. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images New citizen of the United States of America © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Young Muay Thai students at the Way of No Way martial arts academy. © Todd Bigelow/Contact Press Images Book Cover, The Freelance Photographer’s Guide to Success: Business Essentials. Courtesy Routledge Press Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 09/16/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the founder and Executive Director of the Social Documentary Network, Glenn Ruga, and photographer Sofia Aldinio, who is the recipient of the 2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography, presented by the Social Documentary Network. As should be clear, our conversation today revolves around the Social Documentary Network, or “SDN,” and we learn about this community of documentary photographers and its website on which more than three thousand documentary series have been uploaded and are available for viewing. Ruga tells of the evolution of the site since its 2008 inception, and how adding classes, awards, portfolio reviews, and, most important, the online and print magazine ZEKE has led to the growth of this platform, which is open to all photographers. Our chat also draws from Ruga’s photography work and thoughts on documentary, in general. In the second half of the show we speak with Aldinio, a past guest, about “Awake in the Desert Land,” her photo series that received the ZEKE prize. Aldinio tells of the circumstances that brought her to Baja California, Mexico, during 2020 and this intimate series on village communities affected by climate change. We also speak with Aldinio about her working methods, about shelving her normal Canon system for a more stealth FUJIFILM, about making relationships with subjects, and the feedback and support she received from her SDN workshop leaders. We wrap by previewing the Social Documentary Network events and exhibits at Photoville 2021 and Aldinio’s presentation on her award-winning series. Guests: Sofia Aldinio and Glenn Ruga Photograph © Sofia Aldinio The cover and two interior spreads from the upcoming Fall, 2021 issue of ZEKE Magazine. Courtesy The Social Documentary Network “The newest cemetery in San Jose de Gracia, Baja California, Mexico, January 17, 2021. The small community has at least four different cemeteries generationally identified. The town lost most of its population after Hurricane Lester in 1992, the biggest storm the community has faced in its history. Since 2006, the community has lost 60 members and has a population of 12 today. “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Awake in the Desert Land” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” “Belonging” Previous Pause Next Sofia Aldinio Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 09/02/2021
There is a vibrance, a joy, and a love for photography that one feels when speaking with Meryl Meisler. It’s also very cool that by day she was a high school art teacher in Brooklyn and, by night, dancing and photographing at legendary clubs like Studio 54. Anyway, that’s just how I see it. Of course, there’s a lot more to Meisler’s photography than just 1970s disco and 1980s Bushwick, and we talk about a wide range of subjects on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Meisler’s latest book, New York PARADISE LOST Bushwick Era Disco, is a wonderful look back at two very different versions of New York. It juxtaposes images she took in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick and those in the clubs and discos of Manhattan. We speak about how photography starts conversations, and how we can feel more confident with a particular camera, whether medium format, FUJIFILM X series, or a Canon point-and-shoot. We also discuss editing and maintaining a large body of work over a period of decades, studying with Lisette Model, balancing a photography practice with a full-time job, and an upcoming exhibit of Meisler’s work to be held at the same public school at which she taught. Join us for this uplifting conversation and check out Meisler’s extended exhibition at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, through September 15, 2021. Guest: Meryl Meisler Photograph © Meryl Meisler Shirtless Man Wearing Hood and Jeans, Gates Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, June 1982 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Potassa de la Fayette Poised on Grand Piano, the Copacabana, NY, NY, February 1977 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Student Interviews 83rd Precinct Police Officers, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, June 1982 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Five Fashionable Rejects (With JudiJupiter) Studio 54, NY, NY, October 1978 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Nose Ring, Earring, Mustache and Hickey IS 291, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, April 1991 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Turban and Brooch, La Farfalle, NY, NY, June 1978 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Anklets and High Heels Hurrah, NY, NY, March 1978 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Sneakers, IS 291, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 1984 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Magnolia Tree Gates Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, May 1983 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Teacher Carrying Math Books IS 291, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 1984 © Meryl Meisler, courtesy of ClampArt Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 08/26/2021
Even if you are not currently on your beach vacation, let’s take a little trip to Hawaii’s shores for today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast. Joining us is photographer Zak Noyle, who was born and raised in Hawaii and began publishing his surf photography while still in high school. Noyle has photographed the sport’s top surfers and events, has been published in Sports Illustrated and National Geographic, and has traveled the world for brands such as Billabong, Stussy, and Chanel. He also contracts commercial and editorial work (note our chat about photographing Michael Phelps) and has recently opened the Eleven17 Creative Agency. With Noyle we discuss how he started photographing simply to share his love for the ocean and surfing, but we learn that his father is a successful commercial photographer and we chat about the influence and support of family and friends. We also learn that Noyle was a state champion swimmer and how staying in top physical and mental shape is key to working in waves up to sixty feet high. We also discuss the techniques and gear he uses to work below and at the water’s surface, including the signature camera housing that he developed with Aquatech. In this pleasant and wide-ranging conversation, we get to understand how keeping a healthy balance between work and play can spark creativity and how preparation and experience lead to opportunity. Join us in “paradise.” Guest: Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Photograph © Zak Noyle Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 08/12/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome back an old friend of the show, photographer Mark Mann. Mann is known for a catalog of portrait work that includes celebrities, musicians, and politicians of the highest regard. In our previous episode with Mann, we discussed photographing Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston, and President Obama, but like many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying quarantine not only put a halt to our normal photo routines, but forced us to rethink how and why we make photographs. For Mann, this “rethinking” has brought forth a grand project that he created over the course of 2020 and takes dance―in all its many forms―as its subject. In this intimate and humorous conversation, we speak with Mann about reassessing his early career decisions, trying new techniques, and how he came to produce a series of portraits that included some of the most important contemporary dancers and legends of the art form. We discuss the cameras, lighting, and techniques that he utilized and how his normal approach to portraiture and even editing was set aside to create this series. We also speak with Mann about his other recent endeavor, the educational YouTube channel “Complicated Things,” which is designed to give photography enthusiasts insight into portrait technique and the “inner workings of the photo industry,” which Mann knows very well. Guest: Mark Mann Photograph © Cory Rice Mark Mann, 2019 Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C. Steiner
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Posted 07/29/2021
Photographer Sally Davies embodies a beautiful creative spirit, and I think that spirit also resides in the homes of the 72 New Yorkers she photographed, who are included in her wonderful portrait book, appropriately titled, New Yorkers. If this spirit does not exist and Davies is not in tune with it, how could she have captured such wonderful stories of people and their places and done it so efficiently, in some cases in just minutes? We answer that question and many others as we welcome Davies to the B&H Photography Podcast to discuss the making of her new book. We are also joined by writer and photographer Jill Waterman, who recently produced an insightful interview with Davies. Our conversation gets to the heart of Davies’ loving project, and touches upon its themes of inclusiveness and of gentrification, but also digs into the process of making portraits in cramped quarters with little time, and of the surprisingly difficult task of getting people not to smile for a photo. We talk about Davies’ decision to eschew light stands for on-camera flash and to go with a Sony mirrorless camera and Zeiss 18mm lens. We also talk about the importance of creative freedom and rejecting preconceived expectations as you make portraits. Davies photographed a wide range of New Yorkers for this series and did not refuse one person who was suggested to her, but when it came to organizing a book, edits needed to be made, and we discuss this process, as well. Davies is well-known for her street photography and we mention her projects on neighborhood storefronts and vintage cars, but this series of interior portraits is as “New York” as it comes. Join us for this pleasant conversation and check out Jill Waterman’s interview with Davies. Guests: Sally Davies and Jill Waterman Photograph © Sally Davies Cover of “New Yorkers” by Sally Davies Marina Press, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Laurie Anderson, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Rachid Alsataf, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Vicky Roman, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Danny Fields, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Frances Pilot, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Margo and Lois, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Liz Adams, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Flloyd NYC, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Sally Davies, from “New Yorkers” Photograph © Sally Davies Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 07/15/2021
On this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are thrilled to help celebrate the first anniversary of Black Women Photographers. Founded in July 2020 by Polly Irungu, the mission of Black Women Photographers is to “disrupt the notion that it is difficult to discover and commission Black creatives.” And toward that goal, BWP is now a global organization of more than 600 members, and as an online directory, has become a home for Black women and non-binary photographers to receive proper recognition and, most importantly, to get hired. We welcome Polly Irungu to discuss the founding of BWP, and to talk about the challenges and joys of running an organization that has blossomed so quickly, and about the successes of the past year and goals for the future. On that note, Irungu thrills us by announcing new grants available to photographers. We are also joined by photographer Dawn Bangi, who received her first professional assignment—with the New York Times, no less—through Black Women Photographers. We ask Bangi how she became familiar with BWP and about the assignment she received. We also discuss her other work, the Nikon and Mamiya gear she uses, and the influence of Gordon Parks. Join us for this inspiring episode and discover some of the great work found at Black Women Photographers. Guests: Polly Irungu and Dawn Bangi Photograph © Polly Irungu © Polly Irungu © Polly Irungu © Polly Irungu Courtesy of Polly Irungu/Black Women Photographers © Dawn Bangi/New York Times From the “Davin and Davis series” © Dawn Bangi From the “Davin and Davis series” © Dawn Bangi From the “Davin and Davis series” © Dawn Bangi Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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