• /the-shot-blog/spotted-space-eden-wood

    Spotted at the Space this past weekend were more notables taking in BEAUTY CULTURE. Philip Seymour Hoffman and 15-year-old wunderkind fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson all stopped by to take in the exhibition as did 6-year-old Eden Wood, who was featured in the accompanying digital feature film.

    Stay tuned for more spottings!

  • /the-shot-blog/everything-beauty-lecture-fadil-berisha

    What a treat it was to have fashion photographer Fadil Berisha present during our IRIS Nights lecture series yesterday evening.

    Fadil has had a global influence throughout his career. He has not only worked with such figures as Tyra Banks, President Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg and numerous Miss America contestants, but he also played an incredible role in campaigning against the Kosovo massacres.

    During his presentation, Fadil explained that his work stems from a genuine love for beauty.

    "Beauty is what I really love... I like to live happy and see pretty things all the time. With photographers it has to do with how they feel on the inside and that's what comes out on the photo," proclaimed Fadil during the lecture. "I love to feel happy."

    Fadil took a moment during his lecture to speak about his experience photographing the horrific war in Kosovo. Since the topic wasn't related to beauty itself he placed his visual slideshow on pause because he felt it was important to take some time to talk about his experiences with the conflict.

    About 10 years ago Albanian photographers contacted Fadil asking him to help promote their cause in the Kosovo war. He told the audience that the pictures they sent him changed his life. He then spent the next couple years raising money and campaigning for awareness. His work and the photos he took made an international impact and helped pressure the United States to get involved.

    Fadil told the audience about his first time working with the stunning Carmen Dell'Orefice, the legend who was his inspiration for a Rolex campaign. He said he fell in love when he realized how she stayed young at heart and continued to exude beauty throughout her whole life.

    Fadil also gave shout-outs to models Beverly Johnson and Nikki Haskell, who were both in attendance. He raved about how they each possessed that same confidence and beauty he found so alluring in Carmen.

    Johnson took the microphone during the Q & A session but she didn't have a question for Fadil. Instead, she took the time to praise the photography by calling him "brilliant" and telling the audience she could not wait to work with him again.

    Thanks for an outstanding lecture, Fadil! For more information about him, check out his official website. You can also watch his IRIS Nights lecture online.

    (All lecture images by Unique)

  • /the-shot-blog/recent-developments-michael-nichols-releases-ipad-app


    Word came around to us that one of our featured photographers from EXTREME EXPOSURE is moving from the jungle to your iPad...seriously.

    Most photography iPad apps so far have focuses on managing pictures, manipulating pictures, organizing photoshoots (timing them, producing them and even invoicing and getting model releases!). There is definitely a different target audience (with a very different skill set) than with iPhone apps (you say Hipstamatic, I say TiltShift Generator).

    And then, of the growing number of photography 'fan' apps, most have been "iVersions" of publications. None of the rare apps that focus on the work of a single photographer have the depth and breadth as Mike's - extensive photogalleries, behind the scenes videos and access to more than 20 years of his work.

    We can't help but take pride in one of our exhibitors - who is known for his long treks in the remote corners of the world's jungles - taking the lead in new technologies.

  • /the-shot-blog/story-time-mark-laita

    It was my first week on the job interning for the Annenberg Foundation and already I was sent to cover one of our IRIS Nights lectures, a favorite among dedicated fans.

    That night Mark Laita spoke about his new photobook, Created Equal, a collection of black and white photo diptychs contrasting the portraits of everyday Americans by putting, for example, a picture of Baptist minister next to members of the Ku Klux Klan or nuns next to prostitutes. The inspiration for the project is incredible: Laita left behind his polished life in the advertising world to find the real America he grew up with, the one he wanted to make sure the world would never forget.

    But what stuck out to me was not necessarily his professional or captivating photos (which are absolutely incredible) but the way he engaged us in the process.  I found myself leaning forward, completely engrossed in every word, waiting on the edge of my seat for the next description of the photo pair.

    His tales of having breakfast with the Hell's Angels, coercing an Amish man into being photographed or becoming best buds with some weed farmers had me and the rest of the audience rolling in laughter. It felt like you were getting to know his subjects personally and the portraits became more than pictures, they were real life people who were living in the same country as myself.   But that was the point.  He wanted to elevate the raw and rugged America to a place of glamor and importance.

    "I was trying to find hidden gems that are normally overlooked," said Laita during his presentation, "It's not about finding these grand/great people, it's about finding the ordinary people and making them look great."

    Later someone from the audience asked him what statement he was trying to make with comparing nuns to prostitutes.  Laita just smiled and said he meant to pass no judgment; he simply wanted to ask the question, "How then can two girls grow up in the same county and have two completely different fates?"

    And from where I was sitting it was mission accomplished for every picture I saw I asked myself the same question. There are two men who look strikingly similar and I asked myself so how is it that one became a CEO and the other a janitor?   

    Learn more about Mark on his official website.

    (All lecture images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/spotted-space-amber-valletta-and-mick-jagger

    Model and actress Amber Valletta, who popped into the Space recently to take in BEAUTY CULTURE, poses in front of a photograph of herself featured in the exhibit.

    Spotted at the Space just this past weekend was a living music legend - Mick Jagger!

  • /the-shot-blog/fathers-day-space-was-big-success

    Thanks to everyone who made Father's Day at the Space a huge success. We had almost 900 visitors come to celebrate the holiday and check out our immensely popular BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit. Staff members took complimentary photographs of guests who visited that day and free refreshments were served as well.

    We hope everyone had a spectacular Father's day!

  • /the-shot-blog/susan-andersons-illusion-womanhood

    Susan Anderson, an internationally known photographer and expert on the High Glitz culture of child pageantry, recently gave us her take on the industry at our Iris Nights Lecture.

    Although she abstained from giving any formal opinion on the controversial subject of beauty contests, she did claim that this is not a new issue we are dealing with. Anderson put on the screen a classical painting of Aphrodite and the golden apple and posed the question, "could this have been the first beauty pageant?"

    Her question was meant to explain that society has always idealized women and we have always been fascinated with the fairy tale ending.  The fake eyelashes, the artificial tans, the thousand dollar hair dos, and the sparkly dresses all play into a preexisting culture that we are all partially responsible for creating.

    Anderson admits that the most popular responses to her work are either to moralize or to laugh.  But she offers a different response: to just present.  She suggests that the little girls collaborate with her, that they have fun with it and it is their way to act, play a role and take a reality and make it their own.

    She offers and interesting perspective because from where she stands it is simply art, it is fascinating and it is visually stunning.

    To see more of Susan Anderson's work click here

  • /the-shot-blog/what-age-beauty-carmen-dellorefice-turns-80

    Carmen Dell'Orefice has been giving us images of perfection since she was 15 years old - that's 65 years of working as a model...65 years.

    Carmen turned 80 this week, breaking every boundary between age and beauty that anyone might be holding.

    This is what 80 looks like:

    Well, to be totally honest this is what 78 looks like - it was shot as part of an ad campaign for Rolex in 2009. This photo by Fadil Berisha is so stunning that we used it as one of our street banners that promote the BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit.

    The image below was shot a month or so ago - so this is what 79 years and 300 some odd days looks like:

    ...and another one a few months before that:

    Just shy of 80 folks. I'm just saying...we can all but pray that 80 will be so kind to us.

    What's even more amazing than how young she looks now, is how mature she looked when she was 15 and posed for her very first Vogue cover. I know one thing - she didn't look 15.

    See images below that follow her teenage debut and demonstrate over and over how Carmen has remained a timeless fashion plate and style icon...not to mention a muse to photographers such as Avedon, Horst, Parkinson...and the list goes on.

    Don't hate her because she's beautiful...and Happy 80th Carmen!

    May you have many more.

  • /the-shot-blog/spotted-space-leonard-nimoy

    Just days after the opening of BEAUTY CULTURE, Leonard Nimoy visited the Space to take in the featured images and also check out his own photos in the exhibit. He'll be back at the Space again later this year, this time to discuss his photography as part of our IRIS Nights lecture series. Thanks for stopping by, Leonard, and we'll see you in September!

  • /the-shot-blog/beauty-culture-opening-gala-event

    Last night, the Annenberg Space for Photography hosted the opening gala for our newest exciting exhibit BEAUTY CULTURE, an event which represented beauty in many different forms. Here are photographers Paul Lange and Tyen starting their initial tour of the exhibit.

    Hundreds of party-goers enjoyed the photography inside and outside of the Space amidst a crowd filled with photographers, celebrities, supermodels and everyone in between.

    Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube took to the stage to thank all of the photographers whose work is included in the exhibit, such as the three of the four featured photographers; Tyen, Melvin Sokolsky and Lauren Greenfield. The fourth featured photographer in our exhibit - Albert Watson - unfortunately couldn't make the party. He was definitely missed!

    One of the highlights of the evening was a special surprise performance from burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese. At the start of her show, Dita emerging from a giant sparkling compact!

    Her act, which wowed the guests, brings back glamour from a bygone era in a big way.

    Supermodels Gisele and Alek Wek, both featured in photographs in BEAUTY CULTURE, looked twice as stunning standing next to one another.

    Annenberg Foundation Chairman, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg excitedly greeted featured photographer Tyen at the event. It was Wallis's initial vision that made the Space available to the public.

    Actress Sophia Bush takes in the iconic Herb Ritts photo that greets guests at the entrance to the exhibit.

    Lawrence Ho, who was one of the 11 featured photographers in our inaugural exhibit L8S ANG3LES, seen here with fellow guest and "Pictures of the Year International" contributor (and recent Pulitzer Prize winner!) Barbara Davidson.

    Photo Space Talent & Content Director, Patricia Lanza, is seen here with Matthew Rolston, who has several of his images in BEAUTY CULTURE.

    Two Hollywood beauties: Halle Berry and Katie Holmes.

    Photographer Susan Anderson poses in front of one of her photographs. Those of you who live in Los Angeles may have seen this image all over the city as it is as part of our street banner campaign.

    Melvin stands in front of one of his images of model Peggy Moffitt.

    Moffitt was at the event and posed alongside Alek Wek: beauties from two different generations!

    Exhibit consultant Manon Slome poses inside of the Space.

    Lauren chats with "The Pink Lady," the subject of several of her photos and one of the people interviewed for the BEAUTY CULTURE digital feature.

    Thanks to everyone for a terrific celebration of this great new exhibit. BEAUTY CULTURE runs now through November 27. Come see it and find out what beauty means to you!

    All images by Chris Weeks.

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