Adobe has unveiled its fourth annual Rising Stars of Photography, a group of 10 diverse artists from around the world who specialize in work ranging from environmental photojournalism to striking portraiture and conceptual work.
This year’s list includes Lia Clay Miller, the first trans woman to photograph back-to-back covers for Out Magazine; Andrew Morócho, a Queens-based Ecuadorian portrait photographer who amplifies QBIPOC (queer, Black, Indigenous, people of color); and Lara Jackson, a wildlife photographer and biologist who shares conservation success stories.
“Through our annual Adobe Rising Stars program, we aim to highlight a set of diverse up-and-coming creators’ photography portfolios. This year’s selections are more relevant and more important than ever,” said Lex van den Berghe, senior product manager of digital imaging at Adobe, in a statement. “We selected 10 who we feel best embody creativity, passion and individuality. We’re extremely moved by their work and accomplishments, and we’re thrilled to help showcase these Rising Stars to the world and raise awareness of their extraordinary work.”
Nana Oduro Frimpong (Ghana)
“Twenty-four-year-old portrait photographer Nana never thought he’d pursue a career in photography. But when his Architecture studies were forced to a stop, life led his hand to the camera. In the last two years, it has brought him hope and fulfillment. Nana’s passion does not stop at his own exploration and creative development; he pays it forward and teaches other aspiring photographers whenever possible. Ultimately, he hopes that his work can speak to people, just as music does. To other upcoming photographers, Nana shares one piece of advice: Stay true to yourself and explore your imagination, because imagination has no limit.”
Andrew Morócho (Ecuador)
“Hailing from Ecuador, this Latinx portrait photographer shoots images of people he can see himself in, as everything he shoots is a reflection of his own experiences. In 2016, Andrew realized that in his healing through photography comes a greater responsibility of teaching and being a guiding light for an audience greater than the person he sees in the mirror. Keeping representation at the crux, Andrew wants other QBIPOC to be comfortable in their emotions, to be inspired, uplifted and feel loved. Currently, he is most proud of his latest series, SOS (Shades of Son), which addresses ‘machismo’ in the Latinx community. This project is his way of reaffirming young men to be themselves, fully and unapologetically.”
Curt Saunders (U.S.)
“A photo hobbyist in his youth, Curt fell passionately for photography in his college years when he started to see photography as visual communication and felt himself wanting to contribute to the conversation. As a Black portrait photographer, Curt cares for and loves Black people through his lens. He is most fascinated in where our humanity and divinity intersect, and makes a point to place those elements at the forefront of the images he creates. Curt’s vision extends beyond a single frame. He is a conscious and considerate creator, always thinking of what it might mean to photograph someone at that particular point in their life, that place, and that time in the world. Curt is passionate about using photography to cultivate sustainable joy, so that his work has real impact and legacy.”
Charmaine de Heij (Berlin/Amsterdam)
“Charmaine has always focused on contemporary issues that also connect to her on a personal level. Through her work, she aims to reveal the invisible in order to harbor understanding and create open dialogue. With representation at the forefront of her work, she’ll be focused on a project about racism and stereotyping people of color in Western society during the coming months. And to other aspiring creatives in the industry, Charmaine has some sound advice: Tell the stories you want to tell with your photography and don’t be afraid to speak out. If you have a story to tell: Tell it loud.”
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