Here's a short but solid list of young talents who are widening perspectives and pushing the limits of what contemporary photography looks like today. While generalized here as "young," each photographer here has emerged with a fully matured style of image making all their own. As with this group, and from what I've personally witnessed in classrooms and portfolio reviews, I'm so very excited to see a new vision for photography that's bold, diverse, and irreverent to the boundaries of what came before.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
Vignettes of a Salesman is a thoroughly captivating series of impeccably produced portraits by photographer Ole Marius Joergensen. The images seem to blend shades of painter Edward Hopper and photographer Gregory Crewdson's work, with a hint of W. Eugene Smith's Country Doctor out to visit patients in remote locations. Of course, playwright Arthur Miller's modern tragedy Death of a Salesman draws immediate comparison, but of his salesman, Joergensen says, "Norwegians don’t show their feelings too much, so it’s difficult to say if he is enjoying it." For viewers, though, it's easy to feel lonely on his behalf given the lack of human interaction, and the vacant spaces he seems destined to occupy.
—Laura Geiser, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News
I am dying for snow. Everyone else seems to have it except New York, which is stuck with rain, which feels wrong in January. This photo essay both helps alleviate the itch. It's a super-fun look at how to cope with mountains of the white stuff for those digging out elsewhere, and it serves as a poignant reminder of what is missing from this winter for me so far.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
It's no secret that the artistic process can be messy, deranged, and at times miscalculated, even for history's most prominent artists. Here's a fascinating tale of an ambitious collaboration in the early 1980s between four iconic image makers — Robert Frank, Robert Heinecken, Dave Heath, and John Wood — who, with the support of Polaroid, devised a plan for a groundbreaking body of work that would explore photography to its full creative potential. Unfortunately, the project never reached fruition, but rather exists today at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin as a glimpse into the creative process of some of photography's most brilliant minds. —G.H.S.
Photographer Rebecca Kiger's touching documentary series of men at Jacob's Ladder, an addiction recovery program, features people who used to have drug addictions farming land and working with animals in order to "rewire the neural connections [through a] connection ... with animals and the earth." We all love a redemption story, and it's clear that the subjects in Kiger's series are putting in the work, underdogs in a fight proven very tough to win. First published in 100 Days in Appalachia, Kiger's intimate images make it hard for viewers not to root for these men and this program to succeed where conventional, clinical, ways have not. —L.G.
I am so, so happy to see this project come to life. It is one thing to read the demographics of Congress. It is a more inspiring view to see so many powerful women from so many different backgrounds represent their country, a depiction that helps change the narrative of who exactly gets to wield power. There is still not enough parity for women and for people of color in the halls of government and executive suites, but my hope is that projects such as this one will make such individuals feel like they too belong there, as they should. —K.B.