Month: November 2019

Todd Antony photographs Cholitas on top of the world

Earlier this year, photographer Todd Antony headed to El Alto in Bolivia to shoot a personal, two-part project featuring a unique community of indigenous Aymara women who are breaking stereotypes and shifting perceptions. These women identify themselves as cholitas, a term that has historically been used pejoratively to describe them, but which they today wear as a badge of honour.   As recently as 10 years ago Cholitas, easily recognizable by their wide colorful skirts, braided hair and bowler hats, were socially ostracized, systematically marginalized and discriminated against. They were refused entry to some restaurants, on public transport or certain public spaces. While these women have been advocating for their rights since at least the 1960’s, their movement was further invigorated by the 2005 election of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first Amerindian president. Since then the majority indigenous population have seen greater recognition and autonomy. That’s the context in which a particular group of Aymara women who, until a few years ago, worked as cooks and caretakers for mountaineers from around the world, decided to become …

Bolivian Salt Flats and Australian beauty: a set made in heaven

Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, left behind by lakes that evaporated millions of years ago. Today, it’s one of the most breathtaking sights on Earth and, notably, a remarkable shooting location. That’s where Phase One Ambassador Yulia Gorbachenko travelled this summer to shoot for Harper’s Bazaar a project she developed together with creative director JP Micallef and fashion director Sandy Armeni. The editorial, titled “Heaven on Earth”, features model Alexandra Agoston immersed in the iconic panorama of the Salt Flats, her elegant figure blending with the mesmerizing landscape. The compositions are marked by lavish shades of blue and reflective textures. In the images, Yulia plays with deceiving angles and spatial perspectives to make the model look like she’s floating between watery desert and infinitely cerulean sky.   I’ll always remember the moment we entered the salt flats. What I saw seemed out of this world. The clouds, the shape of the sky, the colors – I’ve never experienced anything like it before. It just made me feel genuine happiness. I …

Extraordinary experiences: Photography as a practice of self-growth

Hong Zuo is a Chinese-American landscape photographer living between Boston and Beijing. After a chance encounter with photography on a hiking trip, Hong fell in love with what is now her favorite medium for self-expression, as well as a practice that helps her keep a healthy mind and body.   I don’t consider myself a professional photographer, although I am a passionate one. In fact, I have a career in accounting. Still, photography is not just a hobby for me, it’s a way of life – my way of evolving as a person. And I take it quite seriously as well. So far, I’ve published a best-selling Landscape Photography Album, I’ve exhibited my work in many cities, either in solo exhibitions or as part of international photo exhibitions, and I’ve been lucky to sign with the best photo agencies in China. In 2017, I was also honoured to receive the “Excellent Photographer Award” in the Pingyao International Photography Festival, the largest photo exhibition in China. Back in 2002, I had some serious health issues that …