We’re big believers here at Mylio in the concept of photograph as time machine. And so is fine art photographer Chino Otsuka. In the video below, she describes the concepts behind her project Imagine Finding Me, in which she digitally composites her present-day, adult self into childhood photos from the family album. Such is Otsuka’s artistry that if you didn’t know what you were looking at, you’d think these were a series of non-descript snapshots, very much like those sitting sandwiched in their billions in binders and shoeboxes everywhere. But they’re so not. Otsuka clearly understands the complex set of emotions old photos – especially old family photos – can trigger; she describes how such pictures show layers of time, and are vehicles for taking us on memory journeys. “I think that’s exactly what you do when you look at the family album; that’s what you do in your mind. There’s so many different layers, so many mental time travels that go on inside your head. To a certain extent I was able to show that in an image, in a very simplistic form.” –Chino Otsuka The results are at once quiet, unpretentious, poetic verging on mystical, and it-just-slowly-seeps-in powerful.… Continue reading This Artist Will Squeeze Your Heart With These Images
Ray Smith of Grimsby, UK knew he wanted to marry his longtime girlfriend, Claire Bramley. He also knew he wanted the marriage proposal to make an impression. “Originally the plan was to get engaged…in a hot air balloon. But then we found out the news that the little baby was coming along, so that put a spanner in the works.” –Ray Smith So instead of renting a balloon, Smith made a laminated card that read Will You Marry Me X-heart-X, carried it with him everywhere, and under the pretense of documenting the pregnancy, used it to clandestinely photo bomb his own selfies. For five months. He also loaned the card to family and friends and asked them to do the same. The plan wasn’t without its risks: like, who doesn’t want to see the picture after it’s taken? Claire did. So Ray would take a couple, then show her a redacted version. So fun. The long windup started in June, with Ray proposing Christmas Day. Here’s to a redemption of the selfie, and Congratulations to both! See the lovely tribute video that Ray put together (including all 148 photos) at the bottom of the page here, as well as an interview… Continue reading Man Proposes to Woman 148 Times. She Notices Once.
Our Story: My wife Caroline and I run Quiver Tree Photography, based in Washington, North Carolina. We weren’t always in the photography business – we were doing missionary work in Scotland when we got married, then moved back to my native South Africa to start a non-profit. That’s when taking pictures started being more than just documenting our growing family: when you run a non-profit, you’re the CEO, you’re the Secretary, and unless someone else steps up to do it, you’re the photographer, too. By the time we moved back to North Carolina, we were, to be brutally honest, struggling financially. I needed to make something work to put food on the table for my family. Fortunately, a professional photographer invited me to second shoot a wedding, and on the strength of that experience, my wife and I decided to start Quiver Tree. We jumped in with both feet, opening a gallery, and offering lifestyle sessions — basically chasing two- and three-year-olds around in the humidity, trying to capture something. (Being from South Africa, I’ve had plenty of practice shooting wildlife in the heat. This was a lot like that). Things were tight at first. If you’d asked me then… Continue reading How Mylio Helps Keep This Photographer’s Work and Life Balanced
Conceptual artist Rachel Perry started her art career late in life, when she was already a working mother, and so gravitated naturally to working with whatever found and collected objects she had at hand. Perry’s Lost In My Life project is in many ways a culmination of this magpie instinct, illustrating the sheer volume of material our homes accumulate simply through daily living, their subtle accretion over time, and how organizing them reveals their true burden on us. Recently I’ve been pirating my own work to make new projects, turning sculptures created as discrete works into set-ups in the photography studio. Literally absorbed in my work, “Lost in My Life” references the endless organizing, cleaning and shopping that form the business of living. — Rachel Perry It’s been pointed out that much of the detritus Perry collects for these pieces – twist ties, takeout containers, bread tags – are designed to preserve things, yet end up burying and obscuring her instead. What would our own streams of consumption, painstakingly collected and organized, look like? Rachel Perry’s collaborated with Vogue, the New York Times, and oddly, Johnson & Johnson; be sure and scroll to the bottom of this page for a video… Continue reading Organizing EVERYthing in Your Life Would Look Like This
My great-grandfather — Great Daddy to me — was the owner of the general store in Louisville, Alabama, and spent his weekends at the fishing cabin he built with his brother a couple hours east in Grayton Beach, Florida. That area’s called the ‘Redneck Riviera’ now, but in spite of (or maybe because of) the unfavorable nickname, this quiet little beach town made for the perfect family refuge. This is where Great Daddy taught his daughter — my grandmother — how to swim, water ski, and catch blue crabs. This is where my grandmother relaxed with her own children. This is where my parents fell in love; it’s where my husband and I recently got married. That’s me on the beach with Great Daddy, though I surely don’t have an actual memory of the day. Still, I’ve looked at the photo so many times that I’ve recreated it in my mind: That summer, the shoreline was so flat you could walk out for yards without having to swim. I’d just learned to run, and was chasing the beach ball towards the water. Smitten by my excitement, Great Daddy followed me into the water, still wearing his dress shoes and slacks.… Continue reading Back On Great Daddy’s Beach
This post features an ongoing personal project by photographer Tom Kiefer, whose images can take hours, and sometimes weeks to assemble. In his own words: Working as a janitor from July 2003 until August 2014 I was greatly disturbed by the volume of food, clothing and personal belongings thrown away at a single U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility. For many of those years, I was allowed to collect and take the food transported by migrants, that was discarded during the first stages of processing, to our community food bank, an estimated sixty tons by the person who managed it. The personal effects and belongings were another matter: Why would someone throw away a rosary or bible? Why would someone throw away a wallet? Why would a pair of shoes, for all intents and purpose “brand new”, be tossed in the trash? El Sueno Americano (the American Dream) is a photographic essay of the discarded personal effects and belongings of migrants and smugglers apprehended by Border Patrol agents, discarded while being processed at a U.S Customs and Border Patrol facility near the U.S./Mexico border in southern Arizona. My intent is to explore the humanity of the migrants who risk their lives… Continue reading What Stories Are Coded in These Things Confiscated at the Border?
Winners of the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) were recently announced, chosen from a pool of 50,000 entrants from 130 countries, in the categories Storyboard (photo essay), Wine, Sport, Architecture, Wildlife, Nature, People & Portrait, Travel, Open Monochrome, Open Color, and Student. You can see galleries of top entrants in each category here, with a spotlight on the Grand Prize winner and Open Color category below. The competition is produced by the non-profit Art Photo Travel, and is part of the month-long Siena Art Photo Travel Festival. In their own words: Art Photo Travel creates cultural initiatives aimed at spreading, promoting and enhancing art, monuments, traditions, cultures and natural beauty from all around the world. Initiatives and projects address not only at those who love art and culture, but also to those interested in the most unknown and less touristy spots of various worldwide locations. An approach focus to mature awareness towards a culture mainly orientated to support the understanding of places, of populations and of people. Art Photo Travel holds every year an international photography contest, the Siena International Photo Awards, in order to set up a new opportunity to favor the gathering among people, photography lovers, art and culture… Continue reading Here’s What the Best of 50,000 Photos from 130 Countries Look Like
There’s something really…clarifying about objects organized in a single view. It brings a sense of peace that can elude us in our fast, over-thingified lives. We can see an appetite for this peace of mind in the decluttering movement popularized by Marie Kondo, and in the success of Austin Radcliffe’s Tumblr. Paula Zuccotti, an ethnographer, trends forecaster and designer with the creative consultancy the Overworld, has tapped into this impulse through her book Everything We Touch: A 24-hour Inventory of Our Lives. The project captures, in a single frame, every object a person has touched – chronologically — within a day. Zuccotti’s intent, in part, was to play archaeologist for future generations, documenting our relationship to objects (including those she started to notice were becoming extinct, like calendars, alarm clocks, and cash money). She writes: “from a toddler in Tokyo to a cowboy in Arizona, from a cleaner in London to a cloister nun in Madrid, Every Thing We Touch is their story told through the objects they own, consume, need, choose, treasure and can’t let go.” “I was amazed at the honest X-rays from our everyday lives that emerged from the photos. As a result, the participants find the exercise very… Continue reading If You Organized Everything You Touched in a Day, It Would Look Like This
All through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, paramedic and amateur street photographer Chris Porsz roamed Peterborough, England, capturing images of working-class locals who caught his eye. “My favourite style is candid, that is natural and unposed where possible. Mainly people, old characters with weathered faces, walking sticks up against the elements and adversity. I would mainly roam the city centre, where there was lots of activity… this great cosmopolitan mix, rich with characters that make great photos.” –Chris Porsz Without meaning to, Porsz had been documenting a social record, and in 2009 decided to see whether he could track down some of his subjects, and see where the arcs of their lives had taken them. Which sounds like an impossible task: find subjects from hundreds of candid street portraits, persuade them to pose again – in the same location – then tell their stories. It took seven years. The result: his new photo book Reunions, which includes the stories behind the pictures as channeled through writer Jo Riley — stories of growing up, growing apart, and, above all, change. “It has been enormously satisfying to do so many reunions and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they met up… Continue reading Before-and-After Street Portraits 40 Years in the Making
In 2006, Danish photojournalist Peter Funch set up his tripod on a Manhattan street corner and started photographing people going about their day. One scene he captured showed someone reading, someone on the phone, and someone smoking. Not particularly interesting. But wouldn’t it be great, Funch would later tell an interviewer, if everyone in the shot was smoking? And so was born his Babel Tales series: 40 composited panoramic images of curated, synchronous moments (including one where everyone is smoking) that took five years to produce. As with other photographers we’ve featured that play with concepts of time, Funch’s series was incredibly labor intensive. After choosing a promising location, he’d shoot for three to five days, then decide if he’d continue. If he did, he’d shoot another five to ten days, producing between 1,000 to 10,000 images for the final composite. “Composing the images is a lot like painting where you build up the images and keep looking at it again and again. For me, this is where photography is heading, less of a method of passive documentation and more of a means to produce images.” –Peter Funch Funch chose wide aspect ratios for several reasons, all of them relating… Continue reading It Took Nearly 10,000 Photos to Make Just One of These Images