I was acutely aware of how many times strippers had been photographed in a sympathetic way. I wanted to avoid this as I had no interest in who the girls were outside of work or what made them strip. What interested me was the bizarreness of the backstage, the boredom the women often showed and the way it was so like many other jobs.
Sometimes there is that quiet moment just before you fully wake where sounds are hushed and muted, a warm light begins to bleed through the darkness behind your eyelids and your limbs twitch on their own. In that split second of a moment you exist in a different space, a place in between here and there, a place that you just are.
S.R. Robinson is a film photographer based in Joliet, IL, whose meticulous darkroom explorations breathe life into abandoned spaces. Their atmospheric black and white photographs show a deep connection to the unseen history of the places that they portray, while simultaneously allowing this history to blend with the present and possible futures.
Sophie Barbasch is a photographer based in New York City. She earned her MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BA in Art and Art History from Brown University. Selected grants and residencies include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, and a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil.
In 2013, National Geographic released its 125th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. Quite an incredible issue. Themed 'The Power of Photography', the cover is adorned with Steve McCurry’s close up of Sharbat Gula, the “Afghan Girl”. At first excited, I quickly realised that 'The Power of Photography' was dominated by the 'power' of the male photographer - plural.
I once read a meme that said if you want to know what a woman's brain is like, just imagine a web browser with 100 tabs open all the time. I cannot deny that there is some truth to this. For my part, as a woman, as a mother, and as a person who is inescapably driven to create EVERY SINGLE DAY, I can honestly express that I struggle with balance. How can every side of me be satisfied, while also managing to satisfy those around me? How do I squeeze in art, chores, duties, routines, and general family happiness without driving myself crazy?
Recently I followed a discussion on Facebook about a picture someone had uploaded to an open group of film photographers. The picture itself was a staged upskirt shot of a 20 year old model in a setting inspired by American high schools. It was banned from the group not because of its content but its caption, since it implied that the model might be underage. Immediately a heated discussion about censorship and morals ensued that, as a woman, was quite surreal to read.
Kathryn Oliver is a fine art photographer that naturally integrates storytelling into her photography. She captures the childlike wild and underlying desirous nature of humanity in dream like narrative images. Merging real with unreal, nature, poetry and stories, she manages to expose otherworldly moments that speak to the viewer in metaphor and myth. With a professional arts background in painting, theater and dance, her photographic practice is influenced by a rich melding of these disciplines that results in timeless black and white imagery.