Photo Contest Insider Blog


These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

October 4, 2017

Innovation and a fresh new perspective exists in every industry, so it comes as no surprise that many photographers are also looking to think outside of the box and provide their audience with something different.

Today we thought we would celebrate (and even draw attention to) just some of these photographers, particularly those who are using their work to change the way we think of the world around us.

Whether it’s showcasing life’s often-unnoticed quirks, presenting a different viewpoint of the landmarks we think we know so well, or infusing the present with the past, the following photographers are sure to give you something to think about!

These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

Jordan Matter and His ‘Dancers Among Us’ Series

Put simply, Jordan Matter’s ‘Dancers Among Us‘ is a “celebration of joy in the everyday”. For the project, the Manhattan-based portrait photographer was originally inspired by none other than his infant son.

He explains: “The inspiration for this book came to me one afternoon as I watched my son, Hudson, playing with his toy bus…He jumped in place, mouth open and slapping his knees, joyously reacting to a world I couldn’t see, but one powerfully present for him. As I played with my son, I thought about creating photographs that would show the world as if through his eyes. The people in the images would be alive and in the moment, celebrating all aspects and emotions of everyday life.”

Shortly after experiencing this beautiful moment, the photographer attended a dance performance, and instantly knew how he was going to complete this project. The collaboration between the two disciplines was truly a match made in heaven, leading to his project becoming a number-one best seller in book form.

When it comes to the aim of this project, Jordan Matter states:

“I’ve created these images for Hudson and his little sister, Salish…I want them to be free from self-consciousness, to discover the deep happiness that comes from a life filled with passion, and to find the serenity necessary to be truly present…Relish moments large and small, recognize the beauty around you, and be alive!”

These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around ThemThese 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

Peter Funch and His Babel Stories Series

Peter Funch’s series, titled ‘Babel Stories‘, is quite unique. The photographer shoots the exact same position of street scenes over weeks at a time, only to then superimpose images on top of each other, which creates a fictional work based on documentary-style photography.

He does this for one reason in particular: to get the viewer to focus on human relations (or the lack thereof) in big cities.

His website further explains: “[The project] is a junction between documentary photography and manipulated photography. Through repetition and juxtaposition he zooms in on human similarities and collective behavior and ends up creating a strange poetic and detailed picture of our presence as both individuals and community in the public sphere. His uncanny work raises questions of reality contra fiction and challenges our notion of photography as being a depiction of a certain moment in time.”

These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

Karolis Janulis and His Bird’s Eye View of the World

Karolis Janulis is a Lithuanian photographer who prides himself on helping viewers to see what the world looks like from a bird’s perspective. He is praised as one of the very first drone photographers to pursue the medium and has never looked back since.

He recently revealed to Feature Shoot: “In the beginning, it was easy because most of the places and interesting action were still not discovered from the air, by me or by anyone else…as a pioneer, I have gone through many things, opened brand new views from above, noticed the play of shadows, and truly experienced the flight of the bird. All of this still brings an adrenaline rush, and it transforms into an addiction.”

These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

Above: Curtis’ version of Christ the Redeemer in Rio

Oliver Curtis and His Volte-Face Series

When you think of the world’s most famous landmarks, specific imagery comes to mind. English photographer Oliver Curtis has tried to spin that notion on its head…quite literally! The photographer visits these renowned tourist attractions, only to turn in the opposite direction and capture a fresh, new perspective that often goes unnoticed.

SLR Lounge recently commented: “His images gives us an oft overlooked view of the throngs of tourists with selfie sticks, debris, and sometimes completely unremarkable landscapes and backgrounds. It’s definitely a new way of seeing things.”

These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them These 5 Photographers are Changing the Way People Think About the World Around Them

Ashley Ciona’s Images of the Past

Ashley Ciona may still be a photography student, but one of her most recent projects is already taking the world by storm. The English native was to complete a landscape architecture assignment whilst studying at Sheridan College, and instantly knew what path she wanted to travel down.

As a result, the talented photography student decided to source old black and white photos of historical buildings around her local region. Delving into the archives provided plenty of gems that she could then use to manually superimpose over the current-day version of each building. She happily snapped away to create a popular project that celebrated (and juxtaposed) both the past and present through architecture. Genius! That’s certainly one unique way to celebrate a town’s heritage.

There you have it – 5 photographers who are using their work to change the way people think about the world around them! We hope these projects and portfolios have encouraged you to think outside of the box when it comes to your own photography.


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