This essay is a great combination of the nerdy, spooky, and endearingly weird. BuzzFeed News’ Gabriel H. Sanchez explores the meaning of the afterlife by looking at the work of William Hope, a photographer and spiritualist at the turn of the 20th century. While the photos are almost certainly staged (or are they?!), the series takes a poignant look at family and the urge to connect with those already lost.
—Kate Bubacz, deputy photo director, BuzzFeed News
In this fascinating profile on the German photographer Martin Schoeller, his unique and deeply intimate style of shooting is observed and analyzed for its uncanny ability to tap into the psyche of his subjects. The people who sit for Schoeller are highly recognizable — actors, musicians, politicians, athletes, and the famous alike — but when photographed at such close proximity by Schoeller, they appear new and vulnerable, often with a grave seriousness in their eyes that pierces the picture plane and dissolves any ego that their celebrity warrants.
—Gabriel H. Sanchez, photo essay editor, BuzzFeed News
This Vice photo essay is an interestingly visual social experiment. Four students entering college from vastly different backgrounds, each with their own personal story to tell, were asked to capture and share photos from the start of their collegiate lives. As expected, each set of images offers a unique perspective on the shared experience. Social media has sharpened the way younger generations expect their lives to be viewed, and it’s clear that with this assignment, each subject had a clear idea of the story they wanted their images to tell.
—Laura Geiser, senior photo editor, BuzzFeed News
After every shooting, which we unfortunately experienced again last weekend in Pittsburgh, there are thoughts and prayers as we wait for the number of those lost and wounded. This week’s Time cover story offers a comprehensive look at the aftermath for those who were injured in school shootings after the public consciousness moves on. Their harrowing stories, paired with Michael Avedon’s honest portraits exposing both their physical and emotional scars, are truly haunting, especially knowing that this group of survivors grows larger every year.
The main unifying factor in this new series by Glenna Gordon is hate and distrust. The project is an amazing look into one of the lesser-discussed aspects of the far right — the role of women. As the ideology is often equated with misogyny along with other hateful viewpoints, it’s interesting seeing the involvement and conviction of such a wide range of women around the country. Visually, the portraits are formally composed, allowing the wide gamut of backgrounds to appear even more stark and ominous.
With this edition of Reuters’ massive investigation into how the warming ocean waters are affecting our lives, they zero in on Japan’s flying squid industry. It’s a big feature on what seems to be a very specific commodity for a country that relies so much on its marine ecosystem, but the attention that Reuters has dedicated to the flying fish only drives the point home that climate change has real human effects on humans in the present day.
—Anna Mendoza, photo editor, BuzzFeed Australia
When your career comes with an expectation of perfection, it’s those rarely documented moments when one breaks from that image that feels fresh to the viewer. It’s not that we thrive in seeing their failure, but it’s their process that makes these artists relatable and their work more enjoyable. Flore Diamant captured these perfectly imperfect moments of the Royal Ballet performers, and frankly, this is the show I now wanna see.
Here are the most moving and breathtaking pictures from the past week.