Author: Olivier Laurent

Working Process

“Alexander McQueen’s exceptional collection, the most ambitious we have seen this season, was as much a slap in the face to his industry, then, as it was a brave statement about the absurdity of the race to build empires in fashion,” wrote The New York Times about the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, which he presented in Paris. “The clothes he sent out were a parody of couture designs of the last century, spoofing Dior’s New Look and Givenchy’s little black Audrey Hepburn dresses, as well as their reinventions by new designers at those companies in the last decade – himself included. It was a bit of a Marie Antoinette riot, poking fun at all the queens of French fashion.” For McQueen, who is quoted as saying that the entire business was “such a cliché”, the goal with this particular collection was to show how quick the turnover in fashion was. “There is no longevity,” he told The New York Times. That was in March 2009 – a year before he took his own life at his home …

2015-04-17T14:02:00+00:00

Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Luiz Paulo Furia

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. [bjp_ad_slot] Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established professionals. Recently, Magnum photographer Abbas hosted a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil. At the end of the event, he selected Luiz Paulo Furia’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. “On the first day of my workshop, when students present a previous folio, we all marvelled at the photos Luis presented of his daughter: the love and the complicity between them were expressed in elegant compositions,” says Abbas. “He said he never took any photos besides her. I was excited at the prospect of Luis’ shoot for the workshop, but unfortunately he was caught in urgent personal matters and could not attend the workshop except on the last …

2014-05-30T15:34:45+00:00

Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Takamoto Yamauchi

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. [bjp_ad_slot] Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers. Recently, Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol hosted a workshop in Japan. At the end of the event, he selected Takamoto Yamauchi’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. “When I look at Taka’s images from the workshop in Tokyo, I feel at home,” says the Magnum photographer. “Not because his work reminds me of my own, but because he leaves space for me as a viewer to use his images as a mirror. They do not dictate how I should feel or think, instead they ask questions and challenge me to look at myself – to use them as a reflection of my own world. Taka’s approach is irrational, naïve and playful. …

2014-05-30T15:35:22+00:00

VII Photo rises to challenges of changing photographic landscape with dynamic new agency model

Independent photo agencies have been a staple of the industry for more than half a century. From Magnum and Gamma to Institute and Noor, photographers have sought to associate themselves with like-minded people, pooling their resources together to take on the challenges of an ever-shifting editorial market. Now, as that market continues to suffer the effects of the worst economic crisis in more than 70 years, agencies such as VII Photo have been forced to rethink their business model and structure. Founded in September 2001 by Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Christopher Morris, James Nachtwey and John Stanmeyer, VII Photo remains one of the most prominent photojournalism agencies in the industry, but for the past two years has struggled to reposition itself. After its inception, and during the editorial boom that followed the September 11 attacks in 2001, the VII brand thrived, welcoming high-profile members including Christopher Anderson, Lauren Greenfield, Joachim Ladefoged, Eugene Richards, Marcus Bleasdale, Franco Pagetti and Ed Kashi. So when some of the members moved on, and with the …

2014-05-30T15:38:00+00:00

Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Kiên Hoàng Lê

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. [bjp_ad_slot] Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Magnum’s workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers. Recently, Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata hosted a workshop in Japan. At the end of the event, he selected Kiên Hoàng Lê’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. We speak to Kiên Hoàng Lê about his work. BJP: What is your story about? Why did you choose this particular subject and how did you go about shooting it? Kiên Hoàng Lê: I had been travelling in Japan for about five months before I attended the workshop with Antoine. For my last month in Japan, I decided to rent a room in Tokyo and get a proper feeling for the city. I had been there before, …

2014-05-30T15:43:04+00:00

French photojournalist murdered in Central African Republic

French peacekeepers found Camille Lepage’s body in a car driven by Christian militia fighters, the French presidency has explained. “All means necessary will be used to shed light on to the circumstances of this murder and to find her killers,” it added. Lepage, 26, was born in Angers, France. Since July 2013, she had been based in South Sudan to document “the building of a nation that recurrently seemed doomed”, she wrote on her website. Speaking to PetaPixel last year, she explained her decision to move to Juba. “Since I was very little, I’ve always wanted to go and live in a place where no one else wants to go, and cover in-depth conflict related stories. I followed thoroughly the independence process of South Sudan and was shocked by the little coverage it got… plus all the pessimism around it really annoyed me.” She added: “Then, while doing research, I discovered the conflict in the Nuba Mountains. I became even more outraged by the fact that, except from a few media, no one talked about it. It …

2014-05-30T15:40:36+00:00

Peter van Agtmael’s Disco Night Sept 11

Peter van Agtmael never set out to explain war, and even if he had, I’m not sure any of his readers would truly have understood it. Unless you have served on the frontlines of a conflict zone, whether as a soldier or a journalist, I don’t think anyone can really grasp what it means – the toll it takes on a person’s body and psyche. Documentary photographer Eugene Richards has produced the best account so far of the impact the ‘War on Terror’ has had on soldiers and their families in the appropriately titled War is Personal. Van Agtmael’s Disco Night Sept 11 is just as powerful, but unlike Richards’ work, that power is more subtle. It creeps up on you as you turn the pages, as you take in the many images the young Magnum photographer has produced over the past 13 years. Disco Night Sept 11 is not a photobook you can browse for five minutes at a time every so often – it requires proper commitment. My review copy sat on my desk a …

2014-05-30T15:42:08+00:00

Canon Female Photojournalist Award open for entries

First created and supported by the French Association of Female Journalists, the Canon Female Photojournalist Award is back with a new sponsor: Elle magazine. [bjp_ad_slot] The award is handed out each year during Visa pour l’Image, the world’s largest photojournalism festival, and comes with a €8000 grant to produce or complete an ongoing one-year photojournalistic project. The competition is opened to professional women photojournalists of any age and nationality, with the winner selected in June by a jury made up of photography and press professionals. “Applicants will be judged both upon the presentation of their project and their previous work,” say the organisers. “Among the selection criteria are the quality of the photographs, as well as the journalistic thoughts and relevance of the chosen subject.” The winner’s work will also be shown at Visa pour l’Image in 2015. The deadline for entries is 26 May. For more details, visit the Visa pour l’Image website. Stay up to date with stories such as this, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

2014-09-02T10:20:50+00:00

Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Martha Slivak

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. [bjp_ad_slot] Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Magnum’s workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers. Recently, Magnum photographer Moises Saman hosted a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil. At the end of the event, he selected Martha Slivak’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. “I chose Martha’s work because of her effort to work outside of her immediate comfort zone,” he tells BJP. “Martha is new to photography, and her interest in the medium is not technical or journalistic; instead it comes from a place within herself where raw feelings and emotions dictate her direction. I was really impressed by her capacity to approach a sensitive topic in a short amount of time, and by the softness with which she approached her subject.” We …

2014-05-15T10:41:53+00:00

Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Anna Kuperberg

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. [bjp_ad_slot] Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, Magnum’s workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers. Recently, Magnum photographer Constantine Manos hosted a workshop in Austin, Texas. At the end of the event, Manos selected Anna Kuperberg’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. We speak to Anna Kuperberg about her work. BJP: What is your story about? Why did you choose this particular subject and how did you go about shooting it? Anna Kuperberg: This is a very simple story about the exuberance, trials, and weirdness of a regular childhood. The kids were in a neighborhood in Austin that I found just by driving around (I had never been to Austin before). Everyone in Austin is friendly and approachable, so shooting documentary work …

2014-05-15T12:21:06+00:00

BJP Staff