Chris Davies Director of Los Angeles Festival of Photography

I always thought Los Angeles deserved a festival that included emerging and mid-career photographers as well as the world class image-makers we usually see exhibited. Los Angeles is a nexus of the photographic art form.

los-angeles

The Los Angeles Festival of Photography is an international photographic festival bringing together photographers, curators, students, amateurs, and professionals in the industry with the aim of encouraging and celebrating the art of photography. The Festival aims to encourage and celebrate the photographic image and those who devote their work to creating and advancing the medium. The international festival gathers leading figures in the industry to celebrate the current photographic landscape. [Los Angeles Festival of Photography] [Photo Independent]

Chris_Davies_Color

Can you please introduce yourself for those who don´t know?

I grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to Los Angeles 28 years ago. LA has such a diverse culture, and has a wonderfully creative spirit. You have the ability and freedom to do whatever I want here. For the last 10 years I have been publishing books and overseeing Fabrik, which is both a print and an online magazine about contemporary art and photography. I also started the Los Angeles Festival of Photography as well as the Photo Independent art fair.

Could you tell me a little bit about Los Angeles Festival of Photography and the team that stands behind it?

The festival brings together international artists, curators, students and collectors to encourage and celebrate photography. This year it was a 6 day event that included workshops, special exhibitions, lectures, VIP receptions, artist talks, and book signings. As a grand finale, we staged Photo Independent as a dénouement to the festival.

We were fortunate to work with some amazing collaborators. International curator-writer Charlotte Cotton presented a Keynote talk called Photography is Magic – Reframing Photographic Practices. Her lecture explored how artists are consciously re-animating and diversifying photography. She also spoke about curatorial approaches and contemporary shifts in image-making. Paul Martineau, Associate Curator at the Getty Museum, gave a champagne breakfast and talked about photography in general. Julia Dean, executive director of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, taught a street photography workshop. Luther Gerlach , who builds his own large format cameras, demonstrated his mammoth colloidal plate techniques.

LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling
LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling

What motivated you to start a festival of photography?

I always thought Los Angeles deserved a festival that included emerging and mid-career photographers as well as the world class image-makers we usually see exhibited. Los Angeles is a nexus of the photographic art form. We are a city obsessed with images. From the gigantic billboards on Sunset Boulevard to the iconography of Hollywood actors and filmmakers, our city is a photographer’s paradise. L.A. also has some of the best photography galleries and workshops in the USA.

I saw the festival as a great way to bring important photographic art from all over the world to Los Angeles. And I wanted to provide opportunities for our own local photographic community to exhibit their work, so we added Photo Independent — an art fair similar to that of Paris Photo, but for artists and not galleries. Photographers who may be under-represented, or who may not have representation, and who are seeking connections with galleries, curators and collectors. Each artist has their own booth and present their work in a professional art fair venue.

LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling
LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling

What is the secret of making a festival of photography successful?

There are so many factors involved with making a brilliant photography festival.

First, you have to get great photography and great artists involved. You have to have a wonderful venue, which can accommodate exhibitions, lecture and workshop meeting rooms. The site has to have a big enough floor to stage an event with booths and aisles that can accommodate thousands of people.

Promotion is a giant part of my formula. Fabrik Magazine had in-depth articles about the exhibiting artists. We ran a major story about Roger Ballen, the festival’s guest of honor.The magazine had pages of advertising from many of the exhibitors. We used all of our resources with Fabrik Media then took it mainstream in national media outlets like the LA Times and the Huffington Post. It also helps to have a hard-working publicist.

LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling
LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling

Can you tell us a bit about the process behind program and exhibition curation

We wanted to provide a thoughtful and diverse program of photographic events that led up to our Photo Independent fair. Our team endured many long productive meetings to curate meaningful experiences for our attendees. Bringing Roger Ballen over from South Africa, and making sure his solo exhibition was extraordinarily well presented was important to me. Ballen also taught a 3-day workshop. At another event, Ballen presented his work in a highly theatrical way — it was very much like a brilliant photographic performance art piece. We also had a VIP reception for him and a book-signing event and that was enormously popular.

Looking towards the future, how do you see fairs or festivals of photography in general, and Los Angeles Festival of Photography specifically, evolving if at all — in terms of function and meaning?

As the proliferation of photography spreads through the mainstream culture – everyone shoots. I want our festival to take note of iPhone and mobile photography and include its practitioners. In the end, its up to photography festivals to raise the bar on the level of work that is exhibited and the critical seminars that we present. After all, critics are the guardians of our aesthetics.

Photography festivals must make contributions to the intellectual signs and meanings of photography, as well as to its visual delights, and also explore any new or alternative technology and processes.

LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling
LA Photo Festival 2017. Photos: Jessica Sterling

What advice would you like to offer other artists that might help them learn to better promote their work?

A career as a photographer is a business endeavor as well as a creative one, and you must invest in your own career like any other business. You have to explore different venues and platforms, publish newsletters or catalogs of your photos, enter juried competitions and get into as many festivals, fairs and portfolio reviews as you can. You have to artfully push your work in whatever spotlight you can, so your work can be seen.

How would you sum up contemporary photography?

Contemporary photography is inseparably linked to new and alternative technologies and ideas. Current trends and artistic fusions are constantly redefining the way we make pictures. I definitely want to see the photographers of tomorrow utilize innovative materials, as well as shoot in ground-breaking ways. But in the end, a good photograph, must always be defined by subtext, back story and meaningful conversations and narratives within the frame.

20170421_6934_print-495x400

Are there any future projects you are excited about and would like to share with us?

Yes, I have quite a few projects already in the works for next year.

The next edition of The Los Angeles Festival of Photography is slated for February 2018. Then in the fall, Photo Independent will also return. That said, Fabrik Media’s first street photography competition was so popular at Photo Independent, that it will be reprised as well. On the Street, an international juried exhibition that I created with the support of Fabrik writer Phil Tarley, will open for new submissions in the fall of 2017. It is my personal joy to highlight under-exposed work from all over the world. I am also excited about the next Lumiere Awards, a 15 category photographic competition that seeks out uncommon visions. Uncommon Vision, I guess is my personal mandate.

In closing, is there anything you would like to say about Los Angeles Festival of Photography or team?

It was tremendously gratifying to see that the festival was so warmly embraced by the Los Angeles photography community. I have an amazing team at the festival, comprising of Stephanie, Caitlin, Alex, Dale, Phil and our two Sarah’s. We created a space where thousands of enthusiasts came together in a celebration of the most potent and incendiary medium of our times — photography. I can hardly wait for next year to make it even better.

More Stories

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Muay Thai kids project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, Isaan, the kingdom’s largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

India has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during an extremely difficult period in my life, as my husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. 
Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

An image only makes sense if it "sees the light" and if it is seen by someone. Otherwise it would be just a visual thought. In my opinion, the best way to bring an image to life is through a book.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.
A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.

Featured Stories

Hyung S. Kim – Haenyeo: Women of the Sea

Hyung S. Kim – Haenyeo: Women of the Sea

The photographer, Hyung S. Kim who was inspired by the historical and geographical uniqueness of “Haenyeo” known as a female diver for living
The last tide by Marco Campi

The last tide by Marco Campi

Last November Venice experienced the second highest tide in recorded history. Looking at the top 10 tides, we see that five have occurred in the past 20 years and the frequency of exceptional tidal flooding above 110 cm have ramped up dramatically through the years.
Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

‘Oshichi’ is a name of the doll and ‘she’ played as a 16-year-old girl who was put to death by burning at the stake for committing arson.
Portraits by Richard Ansett

Portraits by Richard Ansett

My style and relationship to photography has been built from this foundation and I have come to realize that my fascination with other people’s lives is entirely relative to my own lack of understanding and sense of dislocation.
The 10 Commandments by Dina Goldstein

The 10 Commandments by Dina Goldstein

The narrative seeks to examine the socio-political makeup of America through its political icons - the presidential figures that mark the most notable and controversial chapters in American history.
Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Inspired by their environment of wild trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation. The Suri tribe use the clay soil of bright yellows, startling whites and rich earth-reds to paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Stories Retold by Lukas Vasilikos

Stories Retold by Lukas Vasilikos

His influences from Henri Cartier-Bresson to André Kertész and from Garry Winogrand to Josef Koudelka and Roy De Carava, as well as from the great Greek photographers, older and contemporary such as Nikos Economopoulos, enrich the inspirations and form the photographic aesthetics of the new author.
The fashion photography of Sean Archer

The fashion photography of Sean Archer

Fashion Photography ; Sean Archer is an agent from the movie Face Off. I took the nickname when I was not sure if I'm any good in this. My real name is Stanislav Puchkovsky, I am from Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Covid; Portrait series by Alkan Emin

Covid; Portrait series by Alkan Emin

Covid had struck planet earth and I was literally lost in all of my thoughts. I had these visions of the world ending and I felt like I was in a prison in my mind with all of this. 
Self-portraiture; Made in the shade by Chloe Meynier

Self-portraiture; Made in the shade by Chloe Meynier

Made in the shade project was selected and published in our print edition 18. Through a mise-en-scene self-portraiture series, Made in the Shade depicts characters in Mid Century Modern settings, mirroring an era that was aspiring for change.
Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Examining life by over-thinking all the various life paths in front of you will always present a scary picture. In this journey over the last few years of your life, you might have been trying to figure out which path to go on.
Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland and the Environment is a conceptual series touching on a variety of contemporary issues facing Scotland today, such as plastic pollution, marine conservation, intensive agriculture and woodland protection.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

November Light by Kip Harris

November Light by Kip Harris

The light in November is very different in Milan and Florence than it is in Rome. The warm amber glow of the eternal city does not penetrate that far north.
Interview with Ralph Gräf; Published in our print edition #02

Interview with Ralph Gräf; Published in our print edition #02

Ralph Gräf was born in southern Bavaria and spent most of your life in Munich. To me a printed version of a photo should always be the final product, it is so much better than watching photos on a computer screen or even a telephone.
Symbiosis by Antonio Fiorentino

Symbiosis by Antonio Fiorentino

A project dedicated to the relationship between man and nature, but also to the warmth and life hidden inside the stone, far from being cold and always a carrier of energy. A reciprocal exchange in which man occupies the forms and fills the spaces that nature has left for him, and not vice versa.
Venice; Timeless by Rafael Rojas

Venice; Timeless by Rafael Rojas

I still remember the first time I visited the floating city almost two decades ago. At that time, nothing could have prepared me for the surrealistic view of a city rising from the water.
I-57 by Paul Elledge

I-57 by Paul Elledge

I grew up attending church on Sunday morning and attending motorsports Sunday evening. In an attempt to visualize the emotions and experience of those magical Sunday evenings of my youth I started the project I-57.
Aral Sea by Iulia Galushina

Aral Sea by Iulia Galushina

Half of the century ago a sea disappeared from the face of the Earth. Cotton plants drunk the sea up. Old sailors still remember how they used to provide fish for the entire Soviet Union and how weddings have taken place on the ships.
The infinite universe by Patty Maher

The infinite universe by Patty Maher

Throughout her work, Yayoi Kusama uses polka dots as a metaphor for giving up personal identity and becoming one with the universe. "Far beyond the reaches of the universe," she says, "infinity is trying to communicate with us” and it reaches out through her work as an infinite series of polka dots.
Guilty or Innocent? by Seigar

Guilty or Innocent? by Seigar

We encountered these hay bales which had been on fire in a field and she started to speculate who could have set them alight. On the other hand, she also pointed out the theory that the hot weather may have been the cause.
Self Portraits; Tortured Mind by Petri Damstén

Self Portraits; Tortured Mind by Petri Damstén

I started photographing seriously after I got retired and wanted to try something creative. I had tried darkroom with black and white prints ages ago, but mainly my photography was just snapshots before that.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.