Representative Black Stock Images for the Win

Web designer and front-end developer Kenneth Wiggins brainstormed a new stock photo service. With the help of photographers, he created a site that provides nuanced, non-stereotyped, high-quality images of black people. BlackStockImages (still in beta at this writing) already has over 400 photos in several categories, including food, objects, people, scenery, travel and youth, for example.

Wiggins writes:

“By focusing on respect, authenticity and culture; I’ve built a platform that presents Black culture in a genuine light, leaving the generic visuals and offensive propaganda to the other sites. I believe images used to represent content is as important as what’s written. BlackStock is here to help connect the messaging by providing quality assets for better branding and communication with your audience.”

BlackStockImages, via New Republic.

BlackStockImages, via New Republic.

Found via New Republic.

Because representation in media matters. Because black lives matter.

Snowy Bunny Street Art in Finland

One of Finnish photographer Minna Koponen’s projects involves the unlikely combination of street art, snow and bunnies. During winters 2012 and 2015, Ms. Koponen created these adorable, cartoony outlines of face-plant bunnies out of snow and plastered them on trees, buildings and other public spaces.

Snow bunnies on trees by Minna Koponen

Minna Koponen.

Snow bunnies on a tree by Minna Koponen

Minna Koponen.

Snow bunny on the side of a building by Minna Koponen

Minna Koponen.

Ms. Koponen calls her creations Crash Test Bunnies, and aims to create good cheer and to bring something surprising and refreshing to the urban environment. There are more photos on her site.

Because art need not be stuffy nor elitistic! (And bunnies rule!)

Autism and Photography

To document the often bizarre and incomprehensible world of his son, photographer Timothy Archibald has been photographing his autistic son Elijah from age 5. It started with taking photos of the repetitive behaviors or rituals that Elijah exhibited. Then it turned into something more:

“When Archibald showed him a photo of one of his behaviors, Elijah suggested doing it in another way or another place. Both father and son were very interested in the process through which they could get a good photo. ‘We had this mutual sense of discovery,’ Archibald says.”

Elijah has in time become a more active participant, helping to brainstorm and set up the photoshoots. Mr. Archibald named the project Echolilia. These photograph sessions sound transformative for them, because through them

“…father and son create their own visual language, thanks to which they can communicate with each other even when there are no words they both can understand. In fact, Elijah receives positive attention for his rituals, can share something with his dad, and has even started to take his own photos.”

Autism Photos Timothy Archibald

Timothy Archibald.

Autism Photo2 Timothy Archibald

Timothy Archibald.

More Echolilia photos on Mr. Archibald’s website. Reporting via SNAP and Lomography.

Because communication matters. Because making a connection with other people matters.

Super Flemish Superhero Portraits

Photographer Sacha Goldberger re-imagined superheroes and characters from popular science fiction and fairy tales in the Northern Renaissance style. His Super Flemish portraits marry art history with pop culture in a playful way.

Sacha Goldberger Superman

Sacha Goldberger.

Sacha Goldberger R2D2

Sacha Goldberger.

Sacha Goldberger Alice in Wonderland

Sacha Goldberger.

Visit Mr. Goldberger’s website for more portraits.

Because why not have a little fun with your art!

World’s Best Father Photos

Photographer Dave Engledow has been taking humorous, irreverent, wonderful photos of and with his daughter throughout her (currently four years of) life. Working with his wife Jen, his aim is to depict fatherhood and capture life with a baby / toddler. The Engledows’ project has achieved far-flung fame: apart from newspapers, magazines and websites around the world, their work has appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning Germany, and a book titled Confessions of the World’s Best Father was published in May 2014.

The photo that started it all:

World's Best Father

Dave & Jen Engledow.

They also take irreverent photos like this one:

World's Best Father

Dave & Jen Engledow.

(I did mention irreverent, right?) Both photos from the Engledow Tumblr (here and here).

Mr. Engledow explains how it all started:

“In February 2011, my wife Jen and I created a photograph that would literally alter the course of our lives.  Our daughter Alice Bee was 66 days old at the time, and even though Jen and I had gotten over our initial amazement that 63 days earlier the nurses at the hospital had allowed two such obviously ill-prepared people to walk out with a newborn child, we were both still feeling an almost constant anxiety about our total cluelessness around raising (or is it rearing?  I always get those mixed-up) an infant.  Additionally, we were both exhausted, constantly afraid that we were screwing up (a fear, I’ve since learned never really goes away), and completely and totally in love with each other and with our wonderful, amazing, beautiful daughter who we both agreed was the most perfect thing either of us had ever seen.

“The sleeplessness combined with the cluelessness and constant fears of failure were causing me to do what I always do when confronted with things I don’t understand or don’t like—find a way to make fun of those things.  The constant joking about these feelings of inadequacy ultimately led to my decision to create an image that captured new fatherhood by showing exactly how out of it I felt as a new father.”

“Jen and I are grateful for all of the unexpected attention and subsequent exposure given to our images, but for us the most pleasurable aspect of all of this is the continual support and encouragement we receive from people all over the world.  I genuinely had no idea that so many people would connect with our family’s offbeat sense of humor, and for me, this has been by far the most rewarding aspect of having a much larger audience for our work.”

See more on his Facebook page or Tumblr.

Because why couldn’t art emulate the imagination of children. Because playfulness and curiosity are how the human race has gotten this far.