PDN Photo District News


Call For Entries: PDNedu Student Photo Contest

The 13th annual PDNedu Student Photo Contest is open for entries. For the first time, we’re offering a special price for early entrants. Enter a single or series for $15 through November 5.

Grand-prize winners (one per seven categories) will receive a Nikon DSLR camera, $150 to B&H and a portfolio review with an editor or judge. Judges this year include Michelle Bogre of Parsons The New School of Design, Emily Keegin of THE FADER, and Everard Williams of Acuity Press. All winners and honorable mentions will be published in the Spring 2016 issue of PDNedu.

Learn more and enter here.


Photo by Carli Choi, grand-prize winner of Travel/Landscape, 2015.


How to do PhotoPlus Expo for Free (yep, free!)


So you want to go to PhotoPlus Expo this year. It’s an enormous four-day conference and expo at the Javits Center in New York City—how do you pick what to do? Here’s how to maximize an Expo Only Pass (free for ages 17-25), which you can register for at www.photoplusexpo.com.

Do: Visit all of the booths on the show floor from Thursday, October 22 to Saturday, October 24. Lots of exhibitors are running special deals, offering coupons and raffling prizes for different photography products and services.

RSVP: Snag a spot at the Nikon/PDNedu Panel at the Show Floor Theater on October 22 at 4:00 pm. Nikon Ambassadors Joe McNally, Tamara Lackey and Cliff Mautner will be sharing things they wish they’d known before starting their photography careers. The talk is moderated by educator and Look3 festival executive director Mary Virginia Swanson. RSVP here!

Network: Before the trade show starts, register for the Next Gen event, taking place on Wednesday, October 21 from 3:00-4:30 pm for photographers ages 17-25. It’s a free event designed to help you plan the beginning of your career, providing information about how to get noticed by editors and how to get your foot in the door. Stay after to get a sneak peek of all the new photo gear hitting the market. Test Drive, taking place from 5:00-8:00 pm, will include a panel discussion about technology, followed by a product preview and networking event.

Learn: Listen to some of the most influential speakers in photography today at the three keynote presentations, October 22-24 from 12:30-1:30 pm. See Lauren Greenfield present work from her new exhibition, Wealth: The Influence of Affluence; see adventure photographer and filmmaker Jimmy Chin discuss his career and his documentary, Meru; and witness esteemed street photographers coming together to discuss how technology has affected the genre and its future in photography.


Studying the State of the American Dream: Lauren Greenfield at PhotoPlus Expo

By Terry Sullivan

For the better part of 25 years, renowned photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield has been studying manifestations of the American Dream by primarily focusing on youth culture, gender, consumerism and the influence of the media. Next year, she will present her documentation in a mammoth 432-page retrospective book, titled Wealth: The Influence of Affluence, published by Phaidon. At the same time, her work will be included in an ambitious museum exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, with a subsequent opening at the International Center of Photography in New York City. This month, Greenfield will present work from Wealth during a special keynote at the 2015 PhotoPlus Expo Conference & Expo.

Mijanou and friends from Beverly Hills High School spending their Senior Beach Day at Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles. Mijanou won the title of "best physique" at Beverly Hills High.

PICTURED: Mijanou and friends from Beverly Hills High School spending their Senior Beach Day at Will Rogers State Beach in Los Angeles. Mijanou won the title of “best physique” at Beverly Hills High. / Photo © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE, from Wealth: The Influence of Affluence.

Greenfield has been exploring similar themes since her first body of work, Fast Forward, which was published in 1997. In that monograph, she examined how Los Angeles youth in the early ‘90s were affected by money, fame and the media. Since that time, Greenfield has gone on to create several other monographs as well as documentary films.

“I’d been looking at consumer culture, and the influence of materialism on values,” Greenfield says. “[Then] I went on other journeys, working on books like Girl Culture and Thin.” But in 2008, when the financial crisis happened, she explains, “I realized that all of my work was connected in a way that I hadn’t understood. And that the crisis in some ways was a morality tale of the work.”

It was a documentary film, not a monograph, that led her to this realization. “I made a movie at that time called The Queen of Versailles, which is about a family who tries to build a 90,000-square-foot house,” she recalls. When completed, it would be one of the largest homes in America, inspired by the French Château of Versailles,  which was expanded to its sprawling size in the 17th century by King Louis XIV. “[But] the financial crisis turned this story of this rags-to-riches billionaire’s dream into a morality tale about excess and overreach,” she explains. The Queen of Versailles represents the mistakes made at all levels that led to the financial crisis, she adds, but also serves as an allegory for the bigger, broader story of how we all aspire to wealth. “It’s about how materialism has become part of our everyday culture and part of our identities.”

Yvonne Xue, 44, board chairman general manager of Shanghai Si Tong Cable Industry and vice board chairman of Shanghai Huiyang Industry Company, photographed in her designer home in Shanghai. Yvonne’s bedroom is decorated with a complete Versace bedroom set., 2005.

PICTURED: Yvonne Xue, board chairman general manager of Shanghai Si Tong Cable Industry and vice board chairman of Shanghai Huiyang Industry Company, photographed in her designer home in Shanghai. / Photo © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE, from Wealth: The Influence of Affluence.

Around the time she completed the film, Greenfield broadened the scope of her focus. “After the financial crisis, I realized that it was also an international story,” Greenfield says. “I started looking at China and Moscow, and how capitalism and materialism were playing out in communist and post-communist societies.” Although the book focuses on the American Dream,  it also includes stories that extend beyond our nation’s borders, to China, India, Ireland and Russia, among other countries, divided into 15 chapters.

“It’s a big, ambitious story. I’m trying to pull together work that I’ve done in a lot of different worlds,” Greenfield explains. She says she scanned 10,000 images from film alone, sifting between those and digital work from 2006 on. There’s a large amount of text to be edited and written, as well, with 230 interviews, captions and an opening essay about her journey.

Russian socialite and former model Ilona Stolie and her daughter Michelle, 4, in their Frank Lloyd Wright inspired mansion, located in Rublyovka, an elite residential area outside of Moscow, Russia. Stolie wears a recreated “I’M A LUXURY” sweater, by fashion stylist and close friend of Stolie, Andrey Artyomov, which became a must have for all Moscow’s “it girls” and social scene. The unique color of the sweater Stolie wears, was created just for her. Fashion is a very influential part of Russian wealth, and Stolie has become an icon of modern Russian style through advising bloggers and fashion editors.

PICTURED: Russian socialite and former model Ilona Stolie and her daughter, Michelle, in their Frank Lloyd Wright inspired mansion in Rublyovka, Moscow. / Photo © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE, from Wealth: The Influence of Affluence.

“[It’s] important to note that the project isn’t just about photography,” she says. “The interviews have always been an important part of the process. And for the museum shows, there are short films and feature films.” The Annenberg Space for Photography is also commissioning a new original film, which will premiere at the exhibition.

One aspect of this project that’s sure to appeal to many photographers and filmmakers is how imaging and audio technology have changed during the span of this project. “It covers a lot of changes in the medium,” Greenfield says. “I started in black and white and then went to chrome film. But in 2006, I went to digital and never went back. Also, I started with audio using a crappy tape recorder, and then went to a better NPR-style recorder. Then, I went from standard-def video to high-def video and went on to shoot in 4K. We’ve just lived through a time of enormous change.”

The timing of Wealth may be significant as well. “This is going to come out in the fall of 2016,” Greenfield says, “as we’re in the midst of most expensive presidential election that we’ve ever seen. So we’re seeing wealth have a huge influence in our political system,” particularly in terms of the important sway the so-called “One Percent” will have on both the election, and more broadly, the culture as a whole.

But the project doesn’t specifically address U.S. elections or the influence of the One Percent on the government. In fact, Greenfield says, it’s not really about having lots of money either. “The book,” she says, “is not about being rich or about wealth. The book is really about how everybody wants to be rich. It’s about our values and about aspiration, which sometimes comes from deprivation, too. It’s not really about having stuff. It’s about wanting stuff.”


Lauren Greenfield

PhotoPlus Expo attendees can catch Greenfield’s Canon-sponsored keynote, “Fast Forward to the American Dream,” on Thursday, October 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.


Emerging Photographer submission deadline approaching!

If you’d like to get your work in print, consider our submission-based sister magazine, Emerging Photographer. Each issue, EP features the work of a new group of photographers (five years or less professional experience is the only requirement), selected by a jury of EP, PDN and Rangefinder editors. The magazine is polybagged with 5,000 copies of PDN, targeting industry creative subscribers. Another 5,000 copies are distributed throughout the year at photo festivals and events that have included MoPLA and Photo LA. 

Submissions are $20 for a series of 3-10 images until October 1st, then $30 up until the October 13 final deadline.

Enter at emerging.pdncontests.com and check out the digital edition on issuu.com. The past two issues have been a “featured pick” on Issuu, garnering over 32,000 combined unique reads.

"Shuttlecocked," from Emerging Photographer Summer 2015. Photo by Justin Tsucalas

“Shuttlecocked,” from Emerging Photographer Summer 2015. Photo by Justin Tsucalas.


Join us at the PDNedu/Nikon Panel at PhotoPlus Expo

Come network with acclaimed photographers and student peers at PhotoPlus Expo next month! Photographers ages 17 to 25 can attend the show for free with a Young Adult/Next Gen Expo Pass. The annual expo will be held at the Javits Center in New York City from October 22–24.

Nikon Ambassadors Dixie Dixon, Lucas Gilman and Steve Simon (left to right) at the 2014 PDNedu/Nikon panel at PhotoPlus Expo.

Nikon Ambassadors Dixie Dixon, Lucas Gilman and Steve Simon (left to right) at the 2014 PDNedu/Nikon panel at PhotoPlus Expo.

Be sure to RSVP for the October 22 PDNedu and Nikon panel,“Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Career in Photography,” at www.pdnedu.com/nikonpanel. Nikon Ambassadors Tamara Lackey, Cliff Mautner and Joe McNally will provide a candid look at how to get your career off the ground without making rookie mistakes, moderated by educator Mary Virginia Swanson. The event will provide drinks and include a Q&A session with the Nikon Ambassadors.

Register for the Young Adult/Next Gen Expo Pass ahead of time at www.photoplusexpo.com.


The Fall 2015 issue of PDNedu has arrived!


It’s here! Cover photo © Lynsey Addario/Getty Images Reportage

We are excited to announce the Fall 2015 issue of PDNedu has begun shipping to schools. For the Documentary & Photojournalism Issue cover story, we spoke to conflict photographer and Nikon Ambassador Lynsey Addario about dedicating a life to photojournalism and what it takes to fully commit to the field. Also included in the issue are One to Watch pick Andrew Renneisen, Syracuse graduate student Alexandra Hootnick, multimedia leaders Brian Storm and Nikon Ambassador Ami Vitale, and a new marketing column by educator and LOOK3 executive director Mary Virginia Swanson. We also honor the late Mary Ellen Mark in the Out of the Past end page, and review her posthumous book with Aperture Foundation in Media Reports.

You can read the full issue at digitalmag.pdnedu.com/pdnedu/pdnedu2015fall


The Snider Prize Celebrates Graduate Students in Photography


Karen, Hotchkiss, Colorado, © 2014 Trent Davis Bailey

As part of an ongoing commitment to support new photographic talent, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College in Chicago has awarded California College of the Arts MFA candidate Trent Davis Bailey with the 2015 Snider Prize. This annual purchase award, sponsored by Lawrence K. and Maxine Snider, is given to emerging artists as they leave graduate school. Bailey, who uses photography to piece together a map of his experience of The North Fork – a Colorado valley whose landscape and inhabitants inspire him to explore a complex terrain of memory and family, will continue this work over the summer during a a six month Artist-in-Residence at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado.

“Paonia is one of a handful of towns in the North Fork Valley, where I’ve been working on this project,” says Bailey. “This residency will enable me to immerse myself in the community and make work over a longer period of time, following the growing season through the harvest. After the residency, I intend to work on a book and an exhibition of the work.”

Israeli artist Tal Barel, an M.F.A candidate in fine arts at Pratt Institute, and Canadian Rachelle Bussières, an MFA candidate at the San Francisco Art Institute, were both awarded honorable mentions. Bailey will receive $2,000, and Barel and Bussières will each receive $500 for the purchase of work to be added to MoCP’s permanent collection.

The Snider Prize accepts submissions from all MFA photography students in the final semester of their graduate studies. Best of all, it’s free to apply. For further details, click here.




Join the Eddie Adams Workshop Challenge


Are you up for a real challenge? Then put your expectations on the line and submit your best work to the Eddie Adams Workshop. Attendees at this tuition-free boot camp spend four days working with the industry’s top photographers, directors, photo editors and industry professionals. Fifty emerging photographers and 50 talented students are picked each year, based on portfolios that show a mix of talent and potential. At the end of the ride, you’ll reemerge with the realization of having mastered a career-altering experience that will remain with you for life. Don’t miss the chance to get on year’s roster. The only way to be considered is to apply. Click here and submit online before May 29.


Immerse yourself in Photography’s Past, Present and Future with AIPAD’s Student Discount

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From April 16 to 19, fine art photography takes center stage in New York, when the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) touches down at the Park Avenue Armory. Now in its 35th year, more than 80 of the world’s leading photography art galleries will present an exciting mix of museum-quality work, ranging from contemporary photo, video and new media-based art to rare prints by 19-century masters. Of particular interest to students is AIPAD’s discounted admission price of $20 with a valid student ID.

In addition to exploring the gallery and dealer booths on the show floor, attendees can also take advantage of a full day of public programming on Saturday, April 18. Held in the Armory’s Board and Officer’s Room, six hour-long presentations include a discussion with artist Mary Mattingly; two selections of short films that highlight contemporary photographic artists (both produced by ART21); the panel Photography and Its Reproductions with artist Kate Steciw, ICP curator Carol Squiers and CUNY professor and director of the Software Studies Initiative Lev Manovich and two showings of the documentary From Darkroom to Daylight by Harvey Wang, which explores how changes from film to digital has affected photographers and their work. The Saturday program is included in the cost of admission, however space is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

AIPAD’s hours run from from 11am to 8:30pm on Thursday, until 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. An illustrated catalogue and AIPAD membership directory is also available for $20. For more information about the exhibitors and select featured artists, click here.


The Curator Seeking Fine Art Photography Projects

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image © Patricia Vulgarism

We’re on the hunt for outstanding fine art photographers for The Curator’s student category. We’ve extended the deadline to April 9, so you still have time to submit your best projects for a grand prize of $3,500 cash! Six photographers will also be selected for a group show that opens in New York this summer, plus a $200 B&H gift card, a $250 Moab paper gift card, a VIP Expo pass to PDN PhotoPlus Expo, publication in PDN‘s July issue and in an extended online image gallery. View the student winner from our 2013 Curator competition here to size up the competition, then submit your latest masterpiece and prepare for your New York debut!