Tag Archives: photography

Eva Longoria, Melanie Laurent and More Pose as Same-Sex Couples for ‘Imaginary Couples’ Photography Project

Although France made same-sex marriage legal in 2013, the country is far from being a bastion of LGB equality.

Homophobic attacks are reportedly on the rise in the country, experiencing a 78% increase in 2013 and France’s far-right political party Front National (which opposes and campaigns against same-sex marriage) is also growing in popularity.

One person hoping he can turn this around is French artist Olivier Chiappa.

Chiappa has put together a new photography project called ‘Imaginary Couples’, for which he has enlisted famous (heterosexual) people to portray same sex couples “in a realistic and intimate way”.


Melanie Laurent, Eva Longoria, Lara Fabian and Audrey Dana are all part of the photoshoot, with Ciappa saying that he told his subjects that “You’re with the person you love. Not a man, not a woman”, adding that “at the session, I disappear, for they are one with each other”.


Chiappa says that he was inspired to create Imaginary Couples “because of the hate he had been seeing in his home country a few years ago” and speaking to BFM TV, the artist further explains that “we need to get a message to the attention of those who hammer that there is no homophobia in France, I make these pictures to educate people; those who do not want to see even if they think they have open minds”.

The campaign has already proved that homophobia is alive and well as last week the photos were vandalised as they hung at the gates of the Grand Rond Garden in Toulouse, France and then, soon after the vandalised photos were replaced, the new photos were stolen.


Chiappa responded to the incidents on his Facebook page (translated via Google):

The first time, they wanted to show their displeasure. The second time, they have totally decided to erase the expo for that no passing Toulouse can’t see her. By stealing all the photos, nothing is visible, as if the expo did not exist.Not only the old photos vandalized that I had held to keep exposed to the sight of all are no longer here, but also all the new panels that had been installed the day before by the town hall!

They want to censor this kind of photos that they find offensive? This is not a problem. There’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s the button like, there’s the share button. And we can use them.”

People do seem to be sharing the photos both as a response to this and because of the stars attached to the project (this perhaps explains why Chiappa didn’t enlist real-life same-sex couples for the shoot) so hopefully people do change their stances as a result.
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Pirelli’s 2016 Calendar Signals A Significant Cultural Shift

The Pirelli calendar has long been known for its provocative images of some of the world’s top models.

But for its 2016 edition, it has taken a new direction – swapping sex for power with a series of black and white portraits of high-profile professional women taken by Annie Leibovitz.

PirelliPattieSmith Artist Yoko Ono, musician Patti Smith, author Fran Lebowitz, blogger Tavi Gevinson and model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova are featured in the calendar – which is being hailed as a “bold step” that proves women are being “celebrated for their achievements” and not just their looks.



Nudity is kept to a minimum, with only tennis star Serena Williams and comedian Amy Schumer appearing in underwear.


Leibovitz, one of only a handful of women photographers to work on the calendar in its 51 years, said:

It is a departure. I started to think about the roles women play, women who have achieved something. I thought the women should look strong but natural.”

Jennifer Zimmerman, the global chief strategy officer for the McGarryBowen advertising agency, explained

We are in the midst of a perfect storm of cultural icons and politics and Hollywood. Between the first credible woman presidential candidate, all the powerful female characters on television from ‘Supergirl’ to ‘Madam Secretary’ to ‘Scandal,’ the pressure for parity in pay, it is impossible to ignore the empowerment of women. Besides, who uses a calendar anymore? It has to stand for something else.”

Woman Chronicles Each Stage Of Her Mastectomy In Inspiring Photo Series

Aniela McGuinness, a 32-year-old actress, decided to deal with her breast cancer with a photoshoot – titled “My Breast Choice”.

She learned she had cancer just three days before a planned appointment to schedule a preventative mastectomy; McGuinness had lost her mother to ovarian cancer on July 5th, 2013.

Before removing my breasts I wanted photographic evidence of what they looked like, but I didn’t want mug shots of attempted murders. I wanted a photo that captured how I felt. So I decided to do a photo series that would express the emotion in each stage of the process.

I wanted to change the images that women saw of mastectomies. No more Before and After photos. I wanted them to see the Evolution, the Life, and the HUMOR in this dark situation.”

Explains McGuinness.

… the impact Breast Cancer, a double mastectomy, and chemo can have on a woman’s body & soul and uses humor & honesty to go beyond just surviving. Mainly, I needed something to focus on while I went through this, a place to release my creativity and feel useful. My Breast Choice gave me that.”

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Photographer Chronicles the Struggles of LGBT People Around the World

We are told the world is a safer and more welcoming place for those of us in the LGBTQ community, than it was ten years ago.

But there is still a growing number of national and regional governments have passed laws legalising gay marriage and unions between people of the same sex.

Other countries have tightened legislation that prohibits anti-gay discrimination and hate speech targeted at people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch wrote earlier this year.

There’s been enormous progress globally and locally. It’s important to note that the fight for LGBT rights is not a Western phenomenon; many of the governments at the forefront of the defence of LGBT rights are from the developing world.”

But while LGBT rights may be generally improving around the world, many more people live in countries where homosexual acts or identifying as gay can lead to state-ordered physical punishment.

Human rights groups say that in some of these countries — including Russia, Nigeria and Uganda — governments have targeted LGBT people as a way to redirect peoples’ anger from the governments to a vulnerable minority. All three countries have introduced anti-gay legislation in the past three years and in all three countries human rights groups have reported simultaneous increases in attacks on LGBT people.

Photographer Robin Hammond, who is from New Zealand, first started documenting these issues when he was on assignment in Lagos, Nigeria, and read about five people who had been arrested for being gay. He then decided to expand his work to seven countries, photographing LGBT people of 15 different nationalities.

Hammond says he wants to improve peoples’ lives rather than simply chronicling their suffering and is today launching a non-governmental organization named Witness Change, which aims to kickstart social media campaigns and put on traveling exhibitions to help raise funds for grassroots organizations that are dealing with the highlighted human rights issues, including LGBT rights.

He described the process he has developed for taking his portraits — and for asking his subjects to write down their personal stories:

Photographer Challenges ‘American Beauty’ Standards

San Francisco-based photographer Carey Fruth is looking to redefine what American beauty is with a photo series (of the same name) that has women of all body types posing in romantic beds of flower petals.


Fruth was inspired by a racy scene from the 1999 movie of the same name in which Kevin Spacey fantasized about one of his daughter’s friends.

Fruth told Huffpost.

By stepping into a fantasy dream girl world and by letting go of that fear, they free themselves up to direct that energy they once wasted on telling themselves that they weren’t good enough to elsewhere in their life.”

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More info: careyfruthphotography.com | Tumblr | Instagram | Twitter (h/t: huffpostdemilked)

The Best Ever Before And After Weight Loss Photos You Will Ever See

When Beth approached her friend, photographer Blake Morrow, to do before and after photos prior to her gastric bypass surgery, they ditched the usual cliche photos and came up with a unique concept.

This became The Beth Project, a photo series more than two years in the making, featuring pop culture-inspired portraits that show off Beth’s dramatic weight loss in a fun way.

We shot ‘before Beth’ a few weeks before her surgery. Two years and 150 pounds lost later, we took her into my studio and photographed her ‘after Beth’ She was fearless and was able to take advantage of her theatre background to bring drama to the shoots! Beth’s theatre background brought a depth to all of her photos, conveying some pretty fun and vulnerable emotions.”

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Rethinking Female Beauty – ‘I Heart Girl’ is a Breathtaking Exploration of Women’s Femininity

Take a look at the new portfolio of work by New York photographer Jessica Yatrofsky – I Heart Girl, which is a breathtaking exploration of women’s femininity.

“I’ve always been drawn to depicting the body. I think it’s very important to make images that represent a facet that reflects the current cultural landscape, which is why both [‘I Heart Boy’ and ‘I Heart Girl’] highlight gender identification.”

Jessica Yatrofsky

Talking to i-D, Yatrofsky  said that while some of her subjects are unclothed, all of them project a vulnerability that is important to understanding how they present their gender and sexual identities.

“It’s an impossible task to de-sexualize women. I think sexual identity is important for the self and I care about celebrating and honouring what resonates with how each subject chooses to express herself.”

Jessica Yatrofsky

The I Heart Girl monograph, a follow-up to Yatrofsky’s successful 2011 book I Heart Boy, will be released this summer. The book of portraits shows the huge breadth of people that identify as feminine, urging the viewer to rethink female beauty.

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Joan Lobis Brown Beautiful Photos Challenge Stereotypes About Homeless LGBT Youth

Marriage equality may be the LGBT issue dominating mainstream media headlines, but there’s another pervasive problem affecting these communities that gets significantly less attention: homelessness.

According to a recent study by the Williams Institute, 40% of homeless youth is LGBT identified, and the leading cause of this homelessness is family rejection after coming out.

More: Cyndi Lauper Opens Housing for LGBT Youth in New York

The issue is one that photographer Joan Lobis Brown hopes to address through her beautiful portrait project featuring captivating images of at-risk LGBT youth.

“When I photograph the emotionally ‘isolated,’ it is my goal for viewers to look at my photographs and to find something they can relate to and empathize with — a gesture, a posture, an emotion revealed — or, on perhaps a more profound level, lead the viewer to identify with the outsider that lurks even within the most secure of us.” 

Joan Lobis Brown

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All images © Joan Lobis Brown; www.joanlobisbrown.com

‘Queer Kids’ – The Generation That No Longer Need a Closet

From Oct. 30 until Jan. 4, ‘Queer Kids’ will be on display at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The photo project chronicles the work of M. Sharkey.

Nancy and Marie, Brussels, Belgium, 2013.
Mars, Brooklyn, New York, 2012. Liz, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 2010. Po, Brussels, Belgium, 2013. JR, San Francisco, California, 2007. Patrick, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 2010. Eleet, Brooklyn, New York, 2012. Mars, Brooklyn, New York, 2012.Queer-Youth-08

For M. Sharkey, growing up in the 80s meant being out of the closet was, “just not a possibility”.

However, times have changed for LGBTQ in America. They have won greater freedoms and protections under the law, which means a new generation of kids has increasingly begun to experience something novel: A childhood in which sexuality and gender identity is more freely expressed and discussed.

When Sharkey began photographing queer youths in 2006, he thought he might spend a few years on the project. However, he is still taking photos and has taken 100’s of photos around world.

“I wish someone had given me the opportunity to have a voice as a young person, and I think these kids are really excited to have that opportunity. They want to be seen; they want to be heard; they don’t want to hide.

We live in a very connected world with the Internet. I think kids from all over America can see the same positive role models. Everyone has access to the same information, so it does allow for a more unified culture.” 

M. Sharkey

In the beginning, Sharkey say’s his subjects would frequently identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Increasingly, though, they prefer simply to identify as queer.

“Today, I think there’s much more reluctance to identify as any one specific thing. I think they understand the term ‘queer’ as something that is more inclusive and representative of a continuum.”

M. Sharkey

That’s not the only change Sharkey has noticed in the past eight years.

“People talk about the gay ’90s and for sure that was a thing. But it was more for adults, it wasn’t really about kids. The past decade has really been about the kids. It’s amazing to see how many kids have come out, not just in terms of sexual identity, but in terms of gender identity. It feels like a kind of revolution,” he said.”

M. Sharkey

Project Unbreakable is Striving to Increase Awareness of Domestic Violence – #Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable is a photography project aiming to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Since its conception in October of 2011 by then 19 year old Grace Brown, Project Unbreakable has featured over fourth thousand photographs, both photos taken by Grace and submissions from all over the world. The photographs are of survivors holding posters with quotes from their abusers.

Originally, Project Unbreakable was supposed to stay small – the main intention was to simple create awareness – but soon it was discovered that it provides a way of healing for violences survivors.

“We want to be able to help as many people as possible. In light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), we have opened Project Unbreakable up to include survivors of domestic violence.
Below are a few poignant examples of survivors quoting their attackers”

Grace Brown

Since the conception, Project Unbreakable has featured over fourth thousand photographs, both photos taken by Grace and submissions from all over the world.

Below are a few poignant examples of survivors quoting their attackers.

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‘Difficult Love’ in South Africa – Photographer Zanele Muholi Captures These Stunning Images

Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and advocator of black lesbian visibility in South Africa. She awarded globally her work with the queer media and ongoing photographic portrait series of black lesbians.

“What does an African lesbian look like? Is there a lesbian aesthetic or do we express our gendered, racialised and classed selves [sic] in rich and diverse ways?”

Zanele Muholi

Combining her passion for art and her commitment to addressing social injustice, she tackles the subject of LGBTI rights across the world, focusing primarily on her home country in order to redefine the stereotypes associated with gender and sexuality.

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Gay Kisses in Church Exhibition now in New York

Originally scheduled to show in Rome in 2013, Si, quiero was prevented from being displayed when the Vatican threatened legal action send an injunction and cease and desist letter to the “Opera” gallery in Rome, to shut down the show. Despite the Pope’s openness to tolerance and acceptance of the differences in people’s alternative lifestyles, some things are still too hot for the Church of Rome, which is the reaction Orquin received when depicting gay couples kissing.

However, this has not stopped the work being displayed by other. Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is currently featuring the photos.

This was a very simple decision for us. We heard that the work, these lovely images of people kissing in beautiful settings, was being denied access and we wanted to do something about it. In part, it is why this Museum exists. We offer opportunities to show work that others won’t, particularly work that speaks to the gay and lesbian community. These photographs present same-sex couples displaying the same rights that should be fundamental and basic to all.”

Hunter O’Hanian, Leslie-Lohman Museum Director

The Installation in the Window Gallery at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art recreates Orquin’s photographs featuring same-sex couples kissing in Italian churches and is on view from the Museum’s street level Window Gallery 24 hours-a-day.

It was the goal Orquin (who was originally from Seville, but residing in Rome now for many years), to expose ‘the bigotry of Italians’, and with the help of friends he photographed the couples in Rome’s beautiful Baroque cathedrals at dawn. The images consciously play with the symbolism of marriage – a right still not afforded gay couples in Italy.

“I am Catholic. I believe in God deeply. I think if you look closely at my pictures no one can find blasphemy or sacrilege. A kiss is a gesture of love, of tenderness between human beings. I wanted to show that if God is love (and this I have learned in church), no one can tell us what kind of love is best. I don’t think my love is different than others’ love.”

Gonzalo Orquin

Portraits of Those Identify as Neither Male or Female – Agender

Agender is a term that refers to individuals who identify as neither male or female, preferring the term “they” as opposed to the gender normative pronouns “he” or “she”. Agender people can have any sexual orientation, as sexual orientation is independent of gender identity.

The 4th November, 2013, San Francisco High School student Sasha Fleischman was sleeping on a public bus on the way home from school, when their clothing was set on fire, in an vicious attack. Fleischman suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and had to spend over a month in a hospital.

His attacker was teen Richard Thomas, a 16-year-old High School junior, said he was ‘allegedly’ provoked by the sight of someone who looked like a boy wearing a skirt. Richards has since been charged as an adult with two felony counts and a hate crime enhancement.

This tragic story made headlines in the San Francisco Bay area, and Fleischman suddenly found themselves thrust into the spotlight as a voice for the agender and gender queer community.

As a result of this publicity, San Francisco Magazine commissioned photographer Chloe Aftel to shoot the teen as well as others and tell their story – The Shadow Sex. These photos capture these young people in intimate setting, doing everyday things in their homes or places significant to them,

“I think a lot of people like to see gender as this scale of blue and pink. I never really identified with either side of that, or even in between blue and pink. It’s so much more complicated—my identity varies so much on any given day. Sometimes I tell people I’m gold or something.”

Researchers have discovered that those who live as neither male or female suffer the most from discrimination and violence in the LGBT community, their determination to remain undefinable seeming to provoke those with gender norms. However, for people like Fleischman, it is important to be who they are, even in the face of intolerance and personal risk.

“When I wear a skirt, it makes them think about gender and not jumping to conclusions.”

Sasha Fleischman

Image source – www.chloeaftel.com

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Gay Wedding Photographers Talk About Their Craft

Buzzfeed recently interviewed contributors to a fascinating new book about gay wedding photography, The New Art of Capturing Love. A dozen of them were happy to chat about snapping intimate moments, having their expectations challenged and learning about same-sex love…

Denver Smith loves snapping couples who are out and proud all the way through their wedding ceremony. ‘I love it when they both ask their parents to stand close to them during their vows,’ he says.

Thea Dodd from Authentic Eye Photography claims that photographing same-sex marriages has opened her mind and made her better at photographing any kind of wedding, straight or gay. The most wonderful moment in Andrea Flanagan’s career so far is witnessing the loved ones of a gay couple circling round them, offering their heratfelt compliments and tributes. For her, there was no better way these relatives could ‘support the union’. She has come up with this eloquent metaphor for marriage equality: ‘Love is a universal melody sung by all couples; it’s up to you to hear the music.’

‘There is something so pure, so real, and vulnerable about the love between the couples I’ve photographed,’ says Kristin Chalmers. Bri McDaniel believes that, in her line of work, there’s nothing better than documenting on camera the love of two people. Similarly, Kat Forder asserts that the quiet, intimate moments between LGBT newlyweds make the best pictures.

Maggie Winters of the Washington, DC-based wedding photography firm Pop Ed Co loves seeing her subjects being congratulated and high-fived by passersby: ‘People come from all over the district to get married and I look forward to every gig.’

‘The most important thing I learned when photographing same-sex couples was not to put gender roles on them,’ says straight snapper Cean Orrett, having spent two years working at same-sex weddings.

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Just me and Allah: Photo Series Documenting The Lives Of Queer Muslims

This summer, Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), Videofag Gallery and Parliament Street Library will hold exhibitions by Toronto photographer Samra Habib featuring queer Muslims.

While there has been discussion around multilayered identities in academia, there is a need for accessible visual representation that will serve as historical evidence of the existence of queer Muslims. Mainstream Islam isn’t always welcoming of LGBTQ Muslims yet a lot of the Muslim traditions and rituals bring queer Muslims comfort and provide a sense of belonging.”

Samra Habib

Whether it’s through celebrating Muslim traditions in queer spaces or incorporating aesthetic elements and symbolism in their everyday lives, the work explores the ideas of community and personal expression that are inspired by Islam but are the individuals’ personal re-interpretations. Video interviews reveal some of the subjects’ complicated relationship with Islam and how it’s shaped by historical and political events in the last decade.

Samra’s work is not only aesthetically engaging but also culturally demanding. The location of the show in the CLGA Reading Room will inspire dialogue around identity, politics and history.”

Karen Stanworth, head of curatorial committee at the CLGA

The exhibition will launch at Parliament Street Library on June 18th. On June 24th the CLGA will open a satellite show to coincide with the exhibitions running at Videofag Gallery and Parliament Street Library. On July 2nd, a discussion panel at the CLGA featuring prominent queer Muslims (including Salaam founder El-Farouk Khaki) will complement the exhibition. The panel will be moderated by journalist Elio Iannacci. A closing party at Videofag will follow.

The most rewarding thing about this photography project is getting emails from LGBTQ Muslims from around the world who are finding out about the exhibitions via this Tumblr. It’s really, really restoring my faith in social media. Trying not to get too emotional about this but it’s hard not to.

The idea of doing a photography exhibition featuring queer Muslims came to me a couple of years ago. I wanted to show everyone the creative and brilliant LGBTQ Muslims I identified with the most and would hang out with at art shows, queer dance parties and Jumu’ah prayer. So I picked up my camera and decided to photograph what I was witnessing. In the words of the brilliant Dali (who I shot for this project), “we have always been here, it’s just that the world wasn’t ready for us yet.” I hope you love the photographs as much as I loved taking them.

Samra Habib

About the photographer:

Samra is a Toronto-based writer and photographer who has written and spoken about her relationship with Islam for the New York Times, CBC Radio and Fashion magazine.




Baltimore Voguers Caught on Camera

French photographer Frédéric Nauczyciel has made a splash by photographing some of Baltimore’s most colourful ballroom voguers. Frédéric’s new collection, The Fire Flies, comprises hundreds of pictures of ‘flamboyant, savant, baroque’ voguers posing in the backyards and alleys of urban Baltimore.

The portraits, which are on show at New York’s Julie Meneret Contemporary Art Gallery until May 18th, wryly comment on the origins of the ballroom vogue movement by referencing Vogue magazine. They are, as Frédéric says himself, ‘fireflies: the faint and almost secret, hidden, glowing light that one needs to seek for. [It’s a] poetical metaphor of the flamboyance of their fast and furious performance when they battle.’

“They change the city they live in by their secret existence which is a grey area of understanding that makes the world real,” he adds.

Frédéric originally came to Baltimore on a very different mission: to create a series of photos based on a character from the award-winning TV show The Wire. But his focus changed when he encountered some ballroom voguers dancing the night away in a parking lot. He was hooked, and for the next three years he regularly returned to Baltimore to shoot voguers in all kinds of poses.

Frédéric also fell in love with Baltimore’s distinctive row houses and ghetto neighbourhoods. It is a city that, so he says, has ‘no museum, no subway and no fashion show rooms.’

His favourite moment of this project was when Kory Goose Revlon, Marquis Revlon and thirty other ballroom voguers improvising a dance when Frédéric played a classical composition by Bach rather than the vogue music they were expecting. ‘That was beautiful and inspiring,’ recalls Frédéric and led me to embrace Baroque as a metaphor for my European — and French — perspective on the voguing phenomenon.’

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Photographer Shows How Beauty is Ageless

The idea for this photo series came when Anastasia Pottinger was approached by a 101-year old woman to be photographed in the nude. The only condition – that she couldn’t be identified from the photos. The black and white photos that they created are undeniably beautiful, and seem to encapsulate the hallmarks of old age – wisdom, patience, time, experience, and yes, mortality.

“The response to the images has been remarkable. Viewers are visibly moved by what they are looking at. Whether it’s wondering, ‘is this what I’m going to look like?’ or remembering a loved one – the response seems to be universally emotional on some level.”Anastasia Pottinger, Photography

When we think of human beauty, most of us think of someone young and sexy and in their low to mid 20s, but Pottinger makes a strong case for the idea that beauty is ageless.

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Redefining Gender Norms – Beautiful Photo Series By Lindsay Morris

Photographer Lindsay Morris has spent six years photographing a gender nonconforming camp for children ages 5-12. She is now looking for funding to turn these images into a book.

Camp You Are You* offers a unique opportunity for gender-nonconforming children to express themselves creatively in an environment that is safe and free from judgment. I have been documenting the celebratory atmosphere of this camp for the past six years while attending with a loved one. These images serve to tell the story of the first generation of children allowed to lead an openly LGBT childhood. I would like to share this experience with others in the form of a documentary art book.

Lindsay Morris

The ultimate goal for these images to assist in untangling the perception of LGBT youth.

By backing the production of this book and a traveling exhibition, you can help raise awareness and continue the important dialogue regarding gender-nonconforming children taking place in public and the media today.

Lindsay Morris

Happy Friday | BE WARNED – This advert by Sophie Gamand is a classic

Wet Dogs. Yes, you heard me correctly – I guess if you want to get a reaction, you need to stand out with something new. And that’s what French photographer Sophie Gamand has done with her new take on pet photography.

“With my work, I explore the contemporary dynamics in the relationship between pets and their owners, and how we seem to have manufactured the perfect friend: I call this body of work The Engineered Companion. Since late 2013, my work has become internationally praised through my series Wet Dog. I have many more exciting things coming in 2014! I am also available for private sessions and commercial work. Enjoy”

Sophie Gamand

BE WARNED – This advert is a classic…


Source: strikingpaws.com

Groundbreaking New Project Captures the ‘GayFace’ in All its Glory

GayFace: 1st Class is the latest art project from Ashley Kolodner, a queer photographer who has snapped over 150 LGBTQ people from six different cities in the US. Ashley is now raising funds on Kickstarter to publish a book of the portraits and reach an international audience.

You can help her do that via this link.

GayFace’s intention is to capture the beautiful diversity of gay faces, honouring people who are proud to call themselves lesbian, gay, queer, bisexual or anything else. Ashley’s approach is to photograph each subject twice – firstly with their eyes open to denote confidence and engagement and secondly with their eyes closed to signify the historically marginalised situation of LGBTQ people. Ashley then creates a series of alluring diptychs from these images. All subjects have been encouraged to make a statement about their sexual identity, and these will be included in the final book.

The overall effect is to challenge viewers’ preconceived notions about gayface i.e. what LGBTQ people look like and what they think about themselves. The “1st Class” part of the title asserts that the queer community will no longer tolerate being treated as second class citizens.

‘I hope that these photographs bring awareness, a human connection and invoke emotion,’ says Ashley on her Facebook page. ‘This project celebrates the colour, vibrancy and diversity of a community that for decades as been in the dark.’

She began the project in 2011 and has so far attracted interest from websites such as BuzzFeed and The Advocate, as well as Sirius XM Radio. In order to produce the book she needs to raise $46,720 before May 7th. That budget will not only cover the publication of a high-end, photo-quality book but allow Ashley to travel all around the US and photograph over 2,000 more gayfaces.

KitschMix wishes you the best of luck Ashley – See more on: PintrestFacebook, and her Website.

Turning Our Ideas of Feminine Beauty Upside Down

Western society is full of double standards when it comes to feminine beauty. Ben Hopper (London-based photographer) has taken a small step towards dealing with some of these problems by creating a simple photo series that turns our ideas of feminine body hair and beauty upside down. This photo series is called “Natural Beauty,”

“Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement. Why is that? For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made.”

Ben Hopper

Hopper challenges the idea that hairy women are in any way unattractive or unhygienic.


Armpit shaving came about in 1910 through the first women’s shaving campaign; and since then the industry has taken off and not looked back. Along with their new line of feminine hygiene products cam countless ads convincing women that armpit hair was unhygienic and unattractive.

Source: therealbenhopper.com



Powerful Portraits Challenging the Definition of What It Means to Be LGBT

Stunning photos by Sarah Deragon, a San Francisco-based photographer. The photo capture some of the many ways members of the LGBT community identify themselves. These portraits show the amazing diversity and vibrance of a queer community that for too long has been defined by outsiders.

“We were talking about labels and how folks identity in the Bay Area I was utterly blown away with the number of words that we choose when talking about our gender and sexuality. I started thinking about how my own identity has changed many times since I came out and how it’d be fun to document the beauty and diversity of our community with folks defining themselves.”

Sarah Deragon

The reaction from the LGBT community has so far been overwhelmingly positive, Deragon said, but she added that the project has something to offer the straight community as well.

‘If It Fits, I Sits’ These Cats Prove That No Space Is Too Tight

We may never be 100% sure just why cats love to cram themselves into small spaces, but it probably has something to do with predation and safety. Cats are stalkers that rely on stealth and cover to hunt their prey. Most house cats have nothing to hunt, but their instinct to stay hidden remains. Cats never fail to amaze us with their determination to fit into tight spaces, but the cats in these photos are the best of their best. Although it might look like some of them might not fit – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Cats never fail to amaze us with their determination to fit into tight spaces, but the cats in these photos are the best of their best. Although it might look like some of them might not fit – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

From Bored Panda who prove that cats are liquids

Watch: Love is Love Film 28 LGBT Alaskan Families

In the summer of 2012 Shalem Mathew and Mitch Kitter started the Love is Love project. During the first stage of the project they photographed 28 Vibrant LGBT families from all over Alaska. Thru out the project filmmaker April Frame recorded video, interviewed couples, and compiled a video that is sure to leave you misty eyed.

Couples declare that “Love is Love” in gorgeous LGBT photo project

More than two years ago, a young woman was having head shots taken at Treft.Punkt, in Alaska. During her shoot, she asked the photographer, Shalem Matthew, about wedding engagement shoots.

“Do you photograph all kinds of people?” She asked.

Shalem was a bit confused. “I think we do,” he started. “What do you mean ‘all kinds of people’?”

“Like, do you photograph all kinds of couples?,” she clarified. “Like, an engagement with two women.” She explained that she had approached two other local photographers, and they turned her and her girlfriend down.

Shalem smiled, nodded: “Of course.”

The young woman had come to the perfect studio: Shalem owned Propaganda AK with his partner, Mitch Kitter.

This experience lit a spark for Shalem and Mitch, who found it disheartening that same-sex couples like the young woman were denied by photographers and told that their love is not worth documenting.

“Love is love – all love is equal,” Mitch thought, and quickly, he and Shalem began planning a new project – the “Love is Love” project, a photography exhibit and book featuring 28 same-sex couples from across Alaska.

The project officially launched in October 2012 with an exhibit in Anchorage, and soon, Mitch and Shalem will be embarking on a more expansive tour through the United States, arranging new photo shoots with other loving same-sex couples in the country, many of whom are still denied the freedom to marry.

“Love is Love” is not just a gorgeous photography project. It is not just a creative method of advocating for same-sex couples and their freedoms in Alaska. It is both of those things – but it is more than that: it is a beautiful celebration of love, an affirmation of people who have committed their lives to each other, a reminder that the nationwide discussion over the freedom to marry involves real people, a loud and strong and compelling and simple declaration: love is love.

Here, Freedom to Marry caught up with 10 of the Alaska couples who participated in Mitch and Shalem’s Love is Love project. Read their stories, and watch a video at the end of the post featuring more great families and their stories. Check out Love is Love’s official website, and follow the project on Facebook HERE.

Original Source – http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/alaska-couples-show-the-world-that-love-is-love-in-gorgeous-photo-project

Stunning Photography of Gay Couples All Over The Globe

Photography Braden Summers, traveled to six different countries to take this series of photo, which prove that no matter where you are, love is equal. As a gay man, Braden was tired of the LGBT community being misrepresented in media imagery – or worse absent completely. He decided to take matters into his own hands. He traveled all over the world to create dramatised romantic scenes featuring only gay couples. The results are beautiful, with real meaning and LOVE.

Tiny People’s Adventures

The creative couple behind MINIMIAM met while studying photography at the Arts Decoratifs art school in Paris. Both share an interest in food photography and both are successful food photographers, which is probably why this series looks so delicious.