Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect
Years ago, I felt like every time I was really impressed with a portrait in a magazine, I’d look at the byline and it would have the same name under it — Erika Larsen. There’s a certain style that transcends her pictures — quiet, still, beautiful, outdoorsy, and almost without exception, they take me to a place I haven’t been before.
In an interview with Jimmy Colton, he describes her portraiture as quiet elegance… clean, simple and powerful. While she describes what she’s looking for in a portrait as this:
I believe I am searching for a moment of silence between myself and whatever it is I am photographing. That moment is when all the words disappear. I am also struck by the beauty in the world.
And the portraits are truly wonderful, but then I started seeing stuff with her name under it that went even deeper. Stuff I could connect to as a storyteller. Work that combined all of those great qualities she was bringing to her portraits, and doing more. Documenting life as it happened, beautifully and quietly. She began immersing herself into a people and a culture and combing photojournalism with portraiture, which only enhanced her vision.
As I learned from the Lens Blog post on her Sami project, she even became a housekeeper in the Scandinavian Arctic while working on a project there for four years on a group of nomadic reindeer herders (where the lovely photo at the top of this post is from).
“I wanted to live with this original hunter-gatherer, nomadic society in the modern world,” she said. “I didn’t want to just go and do a photo project; I really wanted to live with them. I wanted to learn what they do.”
Talk about dedication. And it paid off, that project on the Sami turned into a Fulbright, a 20-page National Geographic spread and then, ultimately, Larsen’s first book, “Sami - Walking with Reindeer.” And from there she’s continued to do big things… and is definitely one to watch.
Check out her website for inspiration — www.erikalarsenphoto.com.
And since she’s not big on the social media sites, in a wonderfully old school way, this is about as social as I could find online… A video of her speaking at National Geographic Live! about her Sami story.
For the birds, Seattle, Washington, June 2014.
An invisible force at the center of our galaxy
Scientists have theorized that our Milky Way galaxy has a super massive black hole at the center of it, but how did this idea come about? How do astronomers measure something that has actually never been seen in our telescopes?
Above is an animation of star movements in our galaxy over the past 16 years. They all orbit around a point that emits no light in our galaxy. We can measure the mass of these stars and calculate that their orbits require an object with the mass of 4 million Suns. So far this points to a super massive black hole in our galaxy.
Yet another set of rules restricting the work of journalists in China takes the concept of “overbroad” to new heights. According to guidelines made publicTuesday by the official state news agency Xinhua, the new rules cover various “information, materials, and news products that…
Pretty ace new cover from Pizza Today magazine:
a trade publication for pizzeria owners all over the world.
Art Director Josh Keown
Food Styling by Mandy Detwiler
The Best Milkmaid, and Other Winners of Belarus’ Strangest Contests by Rafal Milach on Slate’s photo blog.
Sumo referee Mathew Davis photographed for the New York Times.
Jackson Hole, WY (2014)
The New York Times sent me to Wyoming to make 4x5 portraits of participants at the US Sumo National Championships. I love my job. See the story here.
one of my favorite portraits ever. So strange.