Ten photographers you should know by now

From Johannesburg style radicals to finding humour on China’s streets, Fotografia magazine gives us their pick of the photography names to seek out

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Maroesjka Lavigne Not Seeing is a Flower
Not Seeing is a FlowerPhotography Maroesjka Lavigne, via Fotografia magazine

I don’t really need to remind you of this, but, it’s hard out there for an emerging photographer. The whole ‘everyone’s a photographer’ thing can be frustrating for those actually looking to forge a career path out of our insta-world. When anyone can take a picture, slap on a filter and hit ‘publish’, it’s difficult to separate the quantity from the quality, and, most importantly, find something that genuinely sets fire to your eyeballs.

Fotografia magazine have made it their mission to sift through that never-ending black hole of imagery, and champion up-and-coming names through the tagline ‘Photography for the people’. Every month, its website is full of recommendations, new names, established names and vital information on photography festivals, grants and awards. So, just incase you couldn’t keep up, Fotografia’s founder and editor Graziano Ferri recaps the best of last month’s talent – and pinpoints the names to keep watching.

OLIVER KRUGER

“Upon visiting a street culture festival in Johannesburg with a friend, South African photographer Oliver Kruger decided to set up an improvised studio at the margins of the event and take portraits of some of the young participants he met there. The portraits capture the local youth’s strong appreciation for particularly flamboyant fashion, something that Kruger pins down to a deeper identity issue: ‘They stand out by the simple act of dressing themselves’ (full interview here).”

FOUND POLAROIDS

Kyler Zeleny is a Canadian photographer (or ‘visual sociologist’, as he defines himself) with a soft spot for found photos. Over the years, Zeleny has amassed an archive of over 6,000 Polaroids buying them at flea markets, thrift shops, and even eBay. After renouncing the likely impossible mission of reuniting each picture with the original owner, he has published part of the images online and is inviting anyone who might like it to submit a short story inspired by a Polaroid of their choice.”

OLYA IVANOVA

“Did you know that every 2 August the Russians celebrate Village Day? Village Day is a rural festivity aimed at celebrating the small towns found in the vastness of Russia’s countryside with night-long parties, food binges and more bizarre entertainments like mowing competitions and best pie awards. Russian photographer Olya Ivanova joined the celebrations and came back home with an honest portrait of what might just be the real Russia (more here).”

CHARLIE KWAI

“A sulky Chinese boy sticking his face in a railing, two guys side by side wearing the same Superman t-shirt, an Arab woman looking up as she juggles two smartphones at the same time – British photographer Charlie Kwai has a keen eye for street humor, and his pictures are there to prove it. Made in China, Kwai’s photobook which brings together the street photographs he took while traveling in the land of the Red Dragon, is especially awesome.”

GEERT GOIRIS

“Approaching images as prophesies instead of memories is the ‘revolutionary’ idea behind Prophet, the latest photobook by Belgian photographer Geert Goiris. Shot in the woods of Norway and north America, the images in the book suggest the arrival of something that can’t be seen yet, although Goiris’ focus is not on what is being prophesied, but on the figure of the prophet, ‘someone who belongs to the world and is detached from it at the same time’ (read the full interview here).”

LAUREN MARSOLIER

“French photographer Lauren Marsolier started working on Transition – her main body of work to date – about ten years ago. This is a brilliant and very peculiar series of landscape photographs: you might find it hard to believe, but the places you see in the images do not actually exist; instead, they are digitally montaged with elements taken from several different pictures. Marsolier’s work explores ‘the mental process of going through change, as well as how we relate to our environment’. See her interview with Fotografia here.”

MAROESJKA LAVIGNE

“Despite her young age, Belgian photographer Maroesjka Lavigne has already seen her work recognised by several top photography institutions – most notably, in 2012 she was one of the photographers shortlisted by Foam Magazine through their annual, prominent ‘Talent Call’. Her most recent series, Not Seeing is a Flower, is a very personal vision of Japan inspired by the country’s traditional Ukiyo-e paintings.”

JENNIFER GARZA-CUEN

“Is America still the land where every dream can come true? For her long-term project Wandering in Place, US photographer Jennifer Garza-Cuen has been working in several cities to explore what it means to be an American today and what is really left of the American dream through a mix of documentary photography, staged photography and portraiture. So far, Garza-Cuen has made stops in Reno, NV; Detroit, MI; and Eden, VT – more here.”

DENNIS DINNEEN

“Between the 1950s and 70s, in the small Irish town of Macroom, lived a man called Dennis Dinneen, who was part town photographer and part owner of the Dinneen’s Bar. To kill two birds with one stone, Dinneen set up his studio in the back of his pub, where he would take ID and passport pictures for the people of Macroom between serving one beer and another. His huge archive of over 20,000 photographs is now being rediscovered by curator David J. Moore.”

MARIO PUCIC

“When on vacation, besides pictures of our friends or family and any kind of silly photos, most of us like to also photograph the main monuments and landmarks of the places we visit. Not Mario Pucic. A Croatian photographer, Pucic has been working on a long-term series that goes by the rather self-explanatory title No Monuments While Traveling: the images in the series show unremarkable spaces like an empty street or a hotel room, but shot in such a way that each one holds its unique atmosphere and magic.”

Check out Fotografia magazine for more, and sign up to their newsletter here

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