JR is cool, he’s young – in his 30’s, French, travels the world making friends and creating amazing works of art that comment on life, people and how we interact with one another.

I would put him on the same shelf as Shepard Fairy and Banksy, but he definitely is his own brand of artist. His message is more hopeful and uplifting, even when pointing out negative aspects of society. And even more importantly, he’s a photographer.

Working in the street artist tradition he began with graffiti – illegally posting portraits on the city walls in and around Paris. JR is a conceptual artist whose photographs are as beautiful as the messages he conveys.

There is a ton of great information about his projects all over the internet. He’s done some super tedtalks. 


he also has a great website


 and you can follow him on Instagram


Grete Stern


Grete Stern was a German born photographer. She studied graphic art in Germany but was so inspired by the work of Edward Weston and Paul Outerbridge that she changed her focus to photography. She collaborated with fellow student Ellen Auerbach and continued her studies at Bauhaus. There she met Argentinian photographer Horacio Coppola. Eventually she married Coppola and immigrated to Argentina, where the couple had children and ran a studio. Around the same time they divorced Stern began exhibiting her work, locally as well as internationally.

My favorite work by Stern came from her series, Sueños (Dreams), they are a series of photomontages she contributed to a women’s magazine called Idilio. 


Jo Ann Callis

Early Color & Cheap Thrills…my kinda photographs!

Jo Ann Callis was born in Ohio in 1940, by the age of 23 she was married with two children. In her early 30s she divorced and completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA.

Callis’ early work focused on constructed sets, directed models and objects in evocative tableaux. In 1976 she began teaching at CalArts a very conceptually oriented art school.

In 1981, her work was included in the Whitney Biennial, and has since been widely exhibited at MoMA, MoCA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Getty.

Here is a link to her website


and a few of my favorites :)

Tom Chambers

Part of the process of completing my master’s thesis included investigation, research and discovery of contemporary photographers whose work was similar in approach and or content to my own.

Through the course of my investigations I discovered the work of Tom Chambers. (LOVE) Chambers was born and raised in Amish country. He’s from Pennsylvania. He went to Art school in Florida, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. Chambers background was in graphic arts and he worked as a graphic designer but always had a strong interest in photography. In 1998 Chambers made the decision to commit to photography.

Chambers seamless use of photomontage supports the concept of visually telling surreal magical tales.

Here is the link to his website, check it out!


Jacques Henri Lartigue

Jacques Henri Lartigue was a French photographer and painter. Lartigue was born to a wealthy family and started taking photographs when he was seven. He photographed friends and family at play.

He also photographed sporting events, the French Grand Prix, the French Open tennis championships and even the early flights of aviation pioneers.

Latrigue worked with many different photography formats, including: stereoscopes, glass plates, autochromes, and film.

For most of his life the source of his income and living came from his paintings. All the while, he continued taking photographs and maintained written journals about them.

It wasn’t until the age of 69 that his boyhood photographs were 'discovered' by Charles Rado. Rado introduced Lartigue to John Szarkowski, the highly influential curator of the Museum of Modern Art. It was Szarkowski who arranged an exhibition of his work at the museum. In 1963, his photographs were published in Life magazine.

Keith Carter

tell me a story…

there are few talents I admire more than that of an excellent story teller. When someone can capture my imagination through words or images, in a way I am theirs – forever.

Keith Carter is an American photographer and an amazing teller of stories. His images evoke dark fairy tales and foggy memories. He’s from East Texas and inspired by the tradition of dark southern stories. His mother was a photographer who photographed children and obviously influenced the path he took. Carter teaches at the same college he attended.

 He inspires me.

Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt was an important English photographer. Actually, English–German, on his mother’s side. Born in Germany prior to WWI, Brandt eventually disavowed his German ancestry and claimed to have been born in England.

It’s said that he took up photography while recovering from tuberculosis at a clinic in Switzerland. Then, while undergoing psychoanalysis he was introduced to and created a portrait of the American poet Ezra Pound. Pound introduced Brandt to Man Ray.

Brandt worked with/for Many Ray in his Paris studio for several months, where he was exposed to the surrealists.

Brandt was essentially a photojournalist, his early work depicted the English classes in and around London. He documented life and landscapes of Northern England and experimented with night photography. He completed an entire series on the Blackout and Blitz for the Ministry of Information during WWII and created portraits of many important artists and writers of the time.

For me, by far the most captivating images of his career, his perspective nudes, where completed in the 1960’s. I’ve read that he acquired a mahogany and brass camera with a wide-angle lens. Doesn’t that just sound nice? I want one :)

The wide-angle lens creates distortion when the subject is close to the camera and Brandt stated that look of the images where inspired be the cinematography of Orson Welles (one of my favorite film makers!!)

Here is a link to his official website


David LaChapelle

I love books, especially picture books.

One of the first photography books I bought, like a hundred years ago, was David LaChapelle’s LaChapelle Land. The book, like the art inside, is big – oversized and over the top. I was drawn in by the bright shinny colors and glossy ridiculousness of the whole thing. It’s still, all these years later, one of my favorite things.

LaChapelle started out as an editorial photographer, doing spreads in Interview magazine. As an artist LaChapelle’s look is distinct and his interests are varied. In addition to photography LaChapelle has made music videos, directed a documentary on street style dance and focused on his fine art practice. He is a prolific artist, whose concerns include sex, identity, religion, power and death.

Here are a few of some old and some new, my favorites of course…

Oh and a link to his website. Check it out...



Vivian Maier

So Vivian Maier has been big news in the last few years. One of those all too common stories about artists who aren’t recognized for their work until they are dead, or one foot in the grave.

I’m not sure why but I’ve resisted her. I wouldn’t watch the recent documentary or look up her images. My hesitancy doesn’t make any sense. She’s being compared to my great uncle Harry Callahan and she loved to take selfies. Seems like she’d be right up my alley?

However, I’m not especially drawn to street photography and I think her story sounds like it would be depressing. I mean all I know is she spent her life being a nanny.

Anyway, I’ve started shooting with my old Yashica and printing up some black and white medium format film. It has been very exciting and it got me thinking about photographer who worked with twin lens cameras. I thought first of Harry, but I’d already blogged about him. My search brought me once again to ms. maier.

Well, I’ve finally looked her up and I am committed to doing some more research and watching that documentary. Below are my favorite images that I found and a link to her website. I’ll update once I’ve learned more…


Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Kasebier was an American photographer who studied painting at the Pratt Institute in New York as well as in France and Germany.

Kasebier began her professional photographic career in 1894, as a magazine illustrator, in 1898 she opened a portrait studio in New York. Some of her portrait subjects included Auguste Rodin and chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit.

Käsebier was a founding member of the Photo-Secession group.

She generally printed on platinum or gum bichromate emulsions and often altered her photographs by retouching a negative or by rephotographing an altered print. She was the leading woman pictorialist.

Kasebier’s images are dreamy and romantic. And her story is interesting. She was married at 22, to a socially well-placed and financially able businessman. They had 3 children. But Kasebier was unsatisfied. She wrote that she was miserable throughout most of her marriage and said, "If my husband has gone to Heaven, I want to go to Hell. He was terrible...Nothing was ever good enough for him.”

At that time divorce was a scandalous thing, so the couple remained married while living separate lives. Her husband supported her financially and she decided to attend art school at the age of 37, an age when most women were pretty much done - she was just getting started!

Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin was a French photographer known for his sexy, mysterious and often dangerous fashion photography.

 Bourdin met Man Ray in Paris, in 1950 and became his protégé. As an artist Bourdin’s first exhibition was of drawings and paintings at Galerie, Rue de la Bourgogne, Paris.

His first photographic exhibition was in 1953.  Bourdin’s first fashion shots were published in the February 1955 issue of Vogue Paris. He continued to work for the magazine until 1987.

 An editor of Vogue magazine introduced Bourdin to shoe designer Charles Jourdan, who became his patron, and Bourdin shot Jourdan's ad campaigns between 1967 and 1981. Bourdin became known for his quirky anthropomorphic compositions and intricate mise en scene.

Guy Bourdin has had an enormous influence on editorial, fashion and simply photography in general.



William Eggleston

there's always some battle for acceptance going on in the art world when it comes to photography.

initially, the worryworts were sure that the photograph would make painting obsolete, but if anything it pushed and inspired painters to experiment with new forms of expression (ie cubism, abstraction, etc) and new compositions, cropping and framing.

in turn photographers wanted to be taken seriously in the art world and had to fight for their place on the gallery/museum wall.

at first it was the pictorialists and their photographs made to look like paintings.

then in the 30's and 40's straight photography made it's play. paul strand lead the avant garde photographers, who wanted their photographs to look like photographs. now they would be art because the eye of the photographer had composed the shot to be art. 

by the 70's the battle was over color. could a color photo be fine art? william eggleston was one of the first photographers to be accepted into that exclusive world and prove that, yes indeed color photos could be more then simple snapshots.

i love eggleston's vision of his home, the people and places that make up his world. and especially his use of color. eggleston is an artist. artists are weirdos. show me a great artist who isn't a weirdo. i dare you.  there is an interesting documentary on him, a website, lots of articles. here are some of my favorites...

Binh Danh

i visited an amazing photo exhibit yesterday. it was a 2fer. the first part of the exhibit was aperture remix, which featured the work of a number of contemporary photographers doing work in the style of the photographer who influenced them, these photos were exhibited alongside the inspirational work!

the second part was - after ansel adams, a collection of work by adams and contemporary photographers working the the 'adams' tradition. 

the standout work for me were daguerreotypes made by Binh Danh.

i've noticed that as digital mediums become more and more advanced and accessible, traditional process are making a return. Photographers like Sally Mann are working with wet plate collodion and Chuck Close as well as Binh Danh are making daguerreotypes.

Danh has been making daguerreotypes of places like angkor wat and desert scenes, but the daguerreotypes i saw were of yosemite. 

oh good god, they were the most beautiful things i've seen in a long ass time. little jewels. these photos don't do them justice. 

daguerreotypes are sheets of silver coated copper, exposed and traditionally developed using warmed mercury. you can't enlarge or make copies, you could scan and make photos of them, but the original on metal is a singular thing. they glisten and shimmer.

now you know what to get me for x-mas.


Brassaï was a Hungarian-born French photographer, sculptor, writer, and filmmaker, known primarily for his dramatic photographs of Paris at night. His images evoke a sense of memory and mystery.


I love them

Arthur Tress

I always feel so proud of myself when I discover a photographer whose work I’ve never seen. Yesterday I made a new discovery.

Arthur Tress is most well-known for a body of work he created in San Francisco in the 1960’s. He began his photographic practice with an interest in social documentary but his style soon evolved to a sort of magical realism.

The work that really caught my eye was a series he created by asking children to describe their worst nightmares. He then directed and reconstructed the dreams. I absolutely love some of these surreal and terrifying images.

What do you think?

Michael Kenna

current mood: Michael Kenna. he makes me want to travel, to get up early and stay up late, to make pictures.

Kenna is an English photographer who's known for work typically taken with a medium format camera - a hasselblad which accounts for the square format. his images are usually shot early in the morning or late in the evening. he captures long exposures, some up to 10 hours long.

his process and vision creates quiet, contemplative images

here is a link to his website

michael kenna

Joel Sternfeld

today, i'm just gonna share a few of my favorite photos by mr. sternfeld. enjoy :)

how i spent my summer vacation...

well it has definitely been a one of a kind summer. i saw so much amazing art work that i'm still processing it all. and now that it's nearly time to go back to work i'm very thoughtful about many things. 

i've been thinking about how different teaching and learning are. how i already miss being in school. having purpose and standards and having to defend my ideas. i probably go a little crazy without that structure.  

what moved me most this summer? marble sculptures. how the fuck did they make those. i can understand the additive method. building out. but the subtractive is nearly impossible for me to comprehend. how does one start with a block of stone and remove just the right amount?

oh there's so much more, but the question is now what? so i've thinking about my new series of self portraits in masks and what it means, besides being fun and a distraction and i think i need to maybe put that one on the shelf for a bit. 

so the new idea rambling around the dusty corners of my brain has to do with the landscape, rorschach tests and photoshop. i'm wondering about how i could provoke a viewer's imagination by creating a kind of rorschach out of the environment, maybe i would add hidden imagery like in those old - was it called hideaway? magazines where you would try and locate a face in the trunk of a tree?  i don't know obviously this is new. if you were here to talk me through it, it would probably go much smoother. here are a couple of very rough drafts...

Philip Lorca diCorcia

when i first discovered the work of philip lorca dicorcia i wasn't sure how much of an influence the photographer had had over the scene he was depicting. it was clear there was intentional lighting and composition, but at the same time there was something spontaneous and discovered about the images. i loved that aspect of the work. those first images that i saw were from his series the hustlers and his use of lighting was what really got my attention.


dicorcia knows how to light a scene. he's like caravaggio with a camera 


these last two images are probably the ones that have had the most impact on me. it's the sense of mystery and unknown narrative that pulls me in and keeps me thinking long after i've stopped looking

Harry Callahan

Harry was my father's uncle, my grandmother's brother. I think this has had an influence on me. It's difficult to track influences, but I still recall my summer vacation visits with my grandparents and looking, intently at Harry's prints which lined her walls. I won't attempt to convey my thoughts about them.

my father gave me a print of this image - I think when I graduated from college. It's on my wall and I look at it every day.

my father gave me a print of this image - I think when I graduated from college. It's on my wall and I look at it every day.

this might be one of my favorite of Harry's images. It's something about the deep black shadows and that light. damn that's nice.

this might be one of my favorite of Harry's images. It's something about the deep black shadows and that light. damn that's nice.

I never saw this as a print but I'd love to. It reminds me of carnivals and traveling circuses. There is something adventurous and slightly dark. I love this picture.

I never saw this as a print but I'd love to. It reminds me of carnivals and traveling circuses. There is something adventurous and slightly dark. I love this picture.

This is an image I looked at again and again - and then again as a child. This to me was what I thought love must be. I was maybe 10. Looking at it now, it still somehow pulls my heart strings. So beautiful.

This is an image I looked at again and again - and then again as a child. This to me was what I thought love must be. I was maybe 10. Looking at it now, it still somehow pulls my heart strings. So beautiful.