"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Sunday, November 22, 2015

where children sleep

I love sending this book to the kids in my life. It makes a great gift.

Here's the scoop on the photographer, as well as his description of this particular body of work. Check out all his work here.

James Mollison was born in Kenya in 1973 and grew up in England. After studying Art and Design at Oxford Brookes University, and later film and photography at Newport School of Art and Design, he moved to Italy to work at Benetton’s creative lab, Fabrica. Since August 2011 Mollison has been working as a creative editor on Colors Magazine with Patrick Waterhouse. In 2009 he won the Royal Photographic Society’s Vic Odden Award, for notable achievement in the art of photography by a British photographer aged 35 or under. His work has been widely published throughout the world including by Colors, The New York Times Magazine, the Guardian magazine, The Paris Review, GQ, New York Magazine and Le Monde. His latest book Playground was published in April 2015 by Aperture Foundation- a series of composites of moments that happened during a single break time, a kind of time-lapse photography. His fourth book Where Children Sleep was published in November 2010- stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedroom. His third book, The Disciples was published in 2008 – panoramic format portraits of music fans photographed before and after concerts. In 2007 he published The Memory of Pablo Escobar– the extraordinary story of ‘the richest and most violent gangster in history’ told by hundreds of photographs gathered by Mollison. It was the follow-up to his work on the great apes – widely seen as an exhibition including at the Natural History Museum, London, and in the book James and Other Apes (Chris Boot, 2004).

Where Children Sleep – stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. When Fabrica asked me to come up with an idea for engaging with children’s rights, I found myself thinking about my bedroom: how significant it was during my childhood, and how it reflected what I had and who I was. It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances. From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. This is a selection from the 56 diptychs in the book. - James Mollison


Ivory Coast

West Bank


Thursday, November 19, 2015

andrea modica


Andrea Modica

Andrea Modica has created indelible images that distinguish her as one of the best photographers of her generation. Her exhibition Extended Moments at the  Akron Art Museum through February 21 and the publication of her new book, As We Wait, edited by fellow photographer Larry Fink, should begin to earn her the wider appreciation she deserves.
Lyle Rexer: With your major projects you tend to spend a long time: Barbara, which grew out of Treadwell, lasted 16 years; Fountain lasted eight or nine. Why so long?
Andrea Modica: I work intuitively; I rarely know why I need to photograph something or somebody when I begin a project – often it’s a matter of proximity or availability. For example, I read about the Oneonta Yankees returning to our town in the local paper shortly before a nap, and by the time I woke up, I KNEW that I had to photograph the players. The motivation was partly due to proximity, also attraction, partly repulsion, largely confusion – it all turned into an obsession.
LR: When do you know a series is finished, and is there a certain trauma involved in its ending?
AMTreadwell ended when Barbara died. Trauma ensued on all levels, and I don’t think I’ll ever completely heal from that personal loss. Fountain ended when I divorced and moved back to the East Coast. Yes to trauma, again on all levels. Some “series” are not series at all: my friends, family, Francesco [Modica’s partner] – and some pictures are very good and beloved orphans (some found a home in As We Wait). However, the pictures of Steve [her former boyfriend] ended with that relationship; the skulls ended when I ran out of skulls; the baseball project ended when I became less confused about that culture, and the bridge was crossed. In all cases, as always, photography is with me through my personal joys and crises, and it’s the process of making pictures (not the product) that helps me see more clearly and live a fuller life.
LR: When other photographers are getting rid of their darkrooms, you recently rebuilt yours. You continue to work with a large-format camera in black-and-white film and make platinum prints. Why? Or is it just a question of wanting to slow things down so that they can be contemplated? Certainly not the way things work on Instagram.
AM: For me there is nothing romantic about using a process that harks back to the beginning of photography. It gives me joy, and I like the way the prints feel in my hand. I teach digital
photography, but the big camera is what I started out with and what I reach for when I get out of bed in the morning. It slows things down and definitely can change the meaning of an image. When shooting people, for example, they do different things in front of a big camera. Of course I shoot differently with a big camera than with a small camera, but one is not necessarily better than the other.
LR: There is such a strong sense of mortality in your work. Even the title of your new book, As We Wait, suggests it. Does this sense of things ending, of the slow process of entering darkness, somehow grow out of working in black and white? Has the “dark room” become a metaphor for your career?
AM: I love the question but I really don’t know. The title of the book was suggested by Larry Fink and I gave him control over such things. I think it’s perfect. He was left to interpret the work as he wanted, and I must say that it is quite dark.
LR: Over the last several years you’ve been spending a lot of time in Italy, and much of the Akron exhibition is devoted to that. Your family is Sicilian, and your partner is Italian. Tell me how this return to Italy has affected your work.
AM: The world responds to me differently in
Italy, since the culture is more prone to accepting art for art’s sake. In other ways, my experience is so personal, I don’t want to go on about that. Many of the pictures of Francesco, my partner, are simply about falling in love, and I recognize that they are romantic and beautiful, sexy, ugly, frightening, awful, fantastic in all senses. Italy is a complicated place for me. In some ways it’s more like home than the US; in other ways I’m an outcast. But my work is often fed by my confusion and discomfort.

This interview with Andrea Modica, published in Photograph Magazine was a wonderful morning inspiration for me. I have  been savoring her new book, As We Wait, and I highly recommend it for those of you who love Andrea's work or simply want to be swept away to a sensual place. It is gorgeous and dark and frightening and fabulous.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

eight years

The years fly by. There are many ways to mark them as they zoom past, of course. For me, all I need to do is pay attention to the how much my clients have grown.

Here is Rory eight years ago and a few days ago! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ctt team 9: meet lynne

Lynne is a documentary filmmaker, based in Kansas City. Her work often focuses on the issues facing children and families living in poverty, and the organizations which assist them.

In 2007, Lynne joined the CTT board of directors, and traveled to Uganda as a member of Team 1. She created not only her first documentary film ever, but went on to create numerous films for CTT, which we show at our friend/fundraisers.

Lynne is eagerly awaiting her 5th trip to see the kids. Many of the children accompany and assist her when she works, and she will give workshops on filmmaking to them. Yet she is most looking forward to spending time just hanging out with the kids who have captured her heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ctt team 9: meet jackie

2015 marks my 22nd year teaching photography to undergraduates in Tennessee.  When I first started studying and practicing photography, it was for the joy of self-expression and the making of art.  These past twenty years have proven that my truer passion is for teaching and mentoring students in this ever-changing medium. 

As an Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University, I teach B/W Film Photography, Digital Photography, History of Photography, Alternative Photography Processes and the occasional study abroad program.  In May 2014, I shared my first visit to SMK with two senior photography students, Elizabeth and Rebecca, who collaborated with a local dance instructor in teaching a playful hybrid of ballet and traditional African dance.   I have two left feet, so I enjoyed photography walks with other students.  I’ll be bringing a cargo load of hugs and love from Elizabeth and Rebecca, who dream of returning to SMK one day.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and especially look forward to reconnecting with everyone and sharing stories and dreams this wonderful time of year.   Of course, we’ll be making pictures, and the best ones will be the memories we make to carry in our hearts. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

ctt team 9: meet rebecca

Rebecca lives in New York City where she works in the biotechnology industry as an investor relations and corporate consultant. She spends her spare time cycling, spending time with family and friends, and as often as possible, seeing the world! She has a deep passion for international health care and has spent time in Peru, and most recently Ghana, giving preventative health care education and providing assistance in clinics and orphanages for HIV positive children.

Rebecca is looking forward to spending time with all of the children at SMK, playing games, seeing Uganda with them, and hopes to teach them some simple ways to stay healthy and happy!

Rebecca will be at SMK for the full ten days, but her time with the team will overlap by only a few. She's looking forward to working side by side with each of them. It's exciting that both she and Scott will be making their first visits to the orphanage. I have a sneaky suspicion it won't be their last!

Friday, November 06, 2015

ctt team 9: meet scott

Scott joins the team from Buffalo, NY where he works and plays as a photographer and print production professional. Despite his adventurous spirit, this will be his first time traveling outside of North America! Scott is the second person in his family to visit SMK. His sister, Ann Thomas, was a proud member of Team 1. Now he’s eager to create and share his own experience at SMK as a member of Team 9. 

In his free time Scott enjoys camping, hiking, practicing yoga, cycling and exploring Buffalo with his camera and dog. While normally undeterred by Buffalo's cold weather, the warm temperatures and even warmer hearts at SMK are a major attraction. He hopes to go on photography adventures with the children, maintain the grounds, and share plenty of hugs.