Author: Brennavan Sritharan

From the BJP archives: Jamie Hawkesworth, One to Watch

The celebrated young fashion photographer opens a solo show in Huis Marseilles on 09 September, but was a BJP One to Watch back in January 2014. “On the one hand, he is quite at home documenting passers-by in the grade II-listed Preston Bus Station, the future of which hangs in the balance, or photographing a British polo contest at Cowdray Park, as he did for Man About Town,” wrote Gemma Padley. “On the other, he has shot campaigns for designers Céline and Marc Jacobs, and has been featured in magazines such as i-D and Paris Vogue. In light of this impressive CV, Hawkesworth’s ability to turn his hand to whatever comes his way seems to know no bounds.”

2017-08-02T15:06:57+00:00

Editor’s Introduction: The Migration Issue (BJP #7851)

This issue of BJP focuses on the European migrant crisis which, over the last couple of years, has seen a surge of people entering the continent. Many are refugees fleeing conflict, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stating that in 2015 49% of those arriving from the Mediterranean came from Syria, 21% came from Afghanistan, and 8% from Iraq. Even so, attitudes in Europe have hardened, and photography has played a sometimes dubious role in fostering that colder climate. Upon Googling ‘refugee children’, Patrick Willocq found hundreds of pictures that looked the same, he tells BJP – “people on beaches, children crying, very little humanity.” His response, created for Save the Children, was to collaborate with young refugees and reflect their mental state instead, and the same sense of humanity runs through the other projects we’ve featured. “It’s no longer about making people aware of the migrants’ movements. They know,” says Alessandro Penso. “It’s now something else, something more personal, something about empathy.” In taking this approach, these photographers open themselves up to …

2016-09-08T13:21:33+00:00

Tales from the contemporary American farm

What happens when the landscape of your childhood starts to disappear? American photographer Alexandra Hootnick grew up in rural upstate New York, but when large swathes of farmland near her old home were sold off to property developers, she realised how little she knew about the people living off the land. These tight-knit communities, self-reliant and resilient, became the subject of The Sixth Day, Hootnick’s ongoing series exploring “the beauty, challenges and interconnectivities” of life on these small, family-run farms. Over two years, she would photograph families who had recently moved to the area, with little to no farming experience, to join the established Amish community. We spoke to her about the challenges of photographing insular communities and why she chose to frame the series through the perspective of children:   How did you come across small-scale farm life in upstate New York in the first place? Upstate New York is my home. I grew up in a rural area and agriculture is part of the visual identity of my childhood. The majority of the surrounding farms are small, family-owned and …

2016-07-29T15:43:02+00:00

#BJPTakeover: Sarker Protick features on our Instagram

We were among the first to recognise the work of Bangladeshi photographer Sarker Protick, including him in our annual Ones to Watch selection in 2014, the same year he was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. The next year was just as eventful – in 2015 he won a World Press Photo award, was listed in PDN’s 30 emerging photographers and was invited to join VII Photo Agency. Currently, he’s lecturing at the famed Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, featured in the latest BJP, which focuses on photography learning. “Storytelling has always been one of the strengths of Pathshala and that’s what the students want to learn,” he tells Ahmed Shawki and Simon Bainbridge in the Education issue. We asked him to take over our Instagram this month – here’s a glimpse inside his process:   Photo @sarkerprotick Grandma’s hair turned gray, the walls started peeling off. Objects, letters, old photographs were all that remained. This is Sarker Protick @sarkerprotick, your host this week at BJP Instagram @bjp1854. Based out of Bangladesh I am a …

2016-07-26T16:49:26+00:00

BJP Breakthrough 2016: Presenting the Single Image runners-up

SAM IVIN What does it mean to be an asylum seeker in the UK? The question first struck Sam Ivin in 2013, after seeing news reports of a high volume of asylum applications and a UK border agency struggling to get a handle on the situation. A Documentary Photography student at University of South Wales, Newport at the time, he decided to visit drop-in centres and actually get up-close with the human beings behind the headlines. The resulting series, Lingering Ghosts, published by Fabrica earlier this year, gives a visceral insight into the inner lives of the dispossessed. The series has recently been exhibited at Athens Photo Festival, will be shown at Rome’s Galleria del Cembalo in September and features in our next issue of BJP, which focuses on photographic responses to migration. Ivin would listen to their stories, take their portrait and then radically intervene in the image – defacing the photograph with a Stanley knife and sandpaper, evoking their sense of loss, confusion and dislocation. His portrait [above], taken in a South London drop-in centre for …

2016-07-21T11:50:07+00:00

By the water: Photographing the mysterious power of the Dead Sea

There’s something Biblical about the Dead Sea. Quite literally – passages and passages of scripture references and prophesies about the salty lake in which no living thing can flourish or grow. The Greeks and Romans noted the mysterious power of the water, which, bordered by Israel, Palestine and Jordan, has played host to history throughout the centuries. Today, stories of myths and legends have quieted to whispers, and its expensive, mineral-rich mud is sold to tourists eager to procure some semblance of the lake’s reviving properties. But in recent years the Dead Sea has come under threat, thanks to declining sea levels and the recent appearance of sinkholes. The Dead Sea’s siren-like call attracted Danish photographer Kasper Palsnov, whose series Salt depicts the reality of a region between states; history and modernity, fertile and barren. His interest in the region came from a study trip to Israel and Palestine in 2013, travelling with interns at the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske. “From the first second we arrived I was fascinated by the place. It was a place of beauty and …

2016-07-13T17:51:07+00:00

Documenting the American family from the other side

When Swedish photographer Alice Schoolcraft visited her relatives in America for the first time she encountered a gun-owning American family, who held beliefs, interests and ideas completely contrary to her own but treated her with love and affection. In her cousins, aunts and uncles she began to see herself reflected back, and the University of Westminster graduate imagined an alternative personal narrative: is this what her life would have been like had she grown up in America, not Malmö? Schoolcraft’s series The Other Side explores this question, pushing the boundaries of familial ties and personal identity while documenting an America we don’t often see on TV. We talked to Schoolcraft about connecting with documenting family, being an outsider and working on Fridays:   What prompted you to explore this ‘unknown path’ of your American family? Growing up in Sweden, we had a portrait of them in my house so I’ve always known about this side of my family, but I had never met them. I finally met my dad’s cousin Myles very briefly a couple years ago, …

2016-07-12T17:08:54+00:00

Growing Pains: Things we’ve learned at the Breakthrough Sessions

As part of BJP Breakthrough, we hosted the Breakthrough Sessions at the Free Range graduate shows – a series of free talks and workshops for emerging photographers where leading figures share their experiences, mistakes and advice. We heard from fantastic speakers coming from different parts of the industry – here’s what we’ve learned: Always be nice “I’ve Del Boy-ed my way through the last four years, but I’m nice to people – that’s why they work with me,” said Max Barnett, with no little modesty. The editor-in-chief of photography magazine PYLOT was born in his bedroom as a photography student at University of Westminster, and has grown from a DIY zine to a beautifully produced, biannual all-analogue magazine with a growing team, working with the likes of Roger Ballen and Jane Hilton. Having pulled in numerous favours to get PYLOT to where it is today, Barnett said that treating collaborators well was crucial to developing long-term relationships and working with the best possible people.   “It is never too late to be what you might have …

2016-07-19T10:18:49+00:00

#BJP 7850: The Education Issue

“I don’t think there’s any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little,” said Imogen Cunningham, the largely self-taught American photographer, who in later life tutored alongside Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange and Minor White at California School of Design. “People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.” It’s one of the central themes of our second annual special issue devoted to photography education, in which we profile two of the world’s most influential (and sharply contrasting) institutions – the Royal College of Art in London and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka – alongside reports on the workshop approach, and the experiences of laureates of the BMW Residency, both of which require a belief in self-learning and reflection. And while the methods may differ, the student-centred approach dominates. Rather than passively soaking up the knowledge of their masters, students are active participants, problem-solving on their own and developing a self-directed practice through which they learn about themselves as photographers. Nor is it …

2016-08-04T10:54:28+00:00

Never surrender: Brian Griffin about his life as a photographer

“I’ve spent a lifetime tidying up the world”, Brian Griffin tells us when we meet him in his home in London in May. Much of his work, often depicting workers and tradesmen, seems meticulously staged, yet honest and full of emotions. Griffin’s work transforms workplaces into stages and his subjects into actors.    As one of Britain’s most influential portrait photographers, he achieved early recognition for his work in the 1970s and 1980s, developing a style which has since been referred to as Capitalist Realism. Griffin tells us that he never felt bothered about photographing the famous and he never felt star struck, even when meeting some of his more glamorous clients. Over the years he photographed anyone from Helen Mirren to Vivienne Westwood, Sebastian Coe to Jonathan Ross. Griffin always wanted to capture real emotions, sometimes turmoil, which one can see in his photographs. To capture this in his models’ expressions he has tried many tricks, like playing the charming amateur photographer or by mischievously goading his subjects. Griffin takes inspiration from fine art, …

2016-11-24T11:24:08+00:00

BJP Staff