These days, people crowdsource everything — from funds for medical bills to traffic information as they drive. Although crowdsourcing isn't a new concept, the help of the internet has helped the crowds themselves grow exponentially larger. This is why a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is especially exciting. The exhibit, African American Portraits: Photographs From the 1940s and 1950s, begins with this text on the wall: "‘Can you help us?’ What follows are 150 incredible studio portraits of African Americans whose identities are unknown. Once the internet takes over, it should only a matter of time before information begins to surface; the first step in the important march toward better and more abundant representation of people of color in museums, photography collections and within the art community at large.”
—Laura Geiser, photo editor, BuzzFeed News
In its latest swimwear campaign, Chromat is showing us what real diversity looks like. Its photo series Pool Rules rewrites traditional pool-body expectations and embraces all body sizes, ages, ethnicities, cellulite, body hair, disabilities, and everything else human and normal about us that we don’t often see represented in media. Some of their pool rules read “Scars & Stretch Mark Welcome,” “Respect Preferred Pronouns,” and “Unrestricted LGBTQ+ P.D.A.”
—Neah Gray, photo intern, BuzzFeed News
In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, what was once old is now new — and the new, emerging technologies are quickly succumbing to the next new thing at a faster and faster rate. Such is the case with digital photography and its proliferation in social media. Here, CNN dissects the history of Polaroid and its role in creating the foundation for platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as its recent resurgence among those longing for a more tangible means to preserve their memories.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
There’s something so curious about seeing a strip of white cutting through the slope of a barren hill. The temperature’s too cold for the ground to grow vegetation, but too warm to naturally generate the same sheet of ice that used to cover the entire hill face. Yet during Lesotho’s winter, Afriski comes alive for those craving even just a touch of snow.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
The World Cup, unlike the Olympics, seems to bring out the best of national rivalries and dramas, and there is no better way to experience sweet victory or devastating defeat than as a group. This photo essay by Jonah Markowitz captures the multicultural spirit of the games as experienced in New York City, with many neighborhood bars wholly dedicated to one team or another. The crowd reactions are intense and fun to watch; it’s a shame we have to wait four more years until the next round.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
Having cancer can be one of the most vulnerable, scary, and life-altering experiences. Photographer Mark Richards was brave enough to document his experience with a rare form of cancer in this photo series, Darkness at Noon: My Time in Radiation. These raw and touching photos capture the gritty stages of treating cancer: the radiation, the fatigue, the pain, the machines, and the feeling of not being in control of your own body. An established photographer, Richards decided to turn the camera on himself with self-portraits to help reclaim his art, body, and pain.
Adults are often the ones who record history, at times disregarding the experiences of the children found in the same situation. But what Chris Leslie did for the young ones in post-war Sarajevo is incredibly moving. Through photography, he gave these children a voice in their country’s historical narrative. It’s undeniable proof of how the medium can penetrate language barriers and age gaps to preserve snippets of history that are easily forgotten.
Most of us would probably recognize Michael Jordan or Julia Roberts if we saw them on the street. In Almost Famous, this quirky photo series by photographer Troy Goodall captures the lives of people who have the same names as some of the biggest celebrities in the world. Goodall stages Jackie Chan in a karate fighting pose, Michael Jordan on a basketball court, Julia Roberts in a directors chair, and so on. During this series, his subjects shared stories about the crazy situations their names have landed them in. I’m sure my dermatologist, Michael Jackson (no joke), has a few stories of his own to share.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.