Each year since 1999, the editors of PDN have selected 30 emerging photographers who represent a variety of styles and genres and have demonstrated a distinctive vision, creativity, and versatility. This year, the editors reviewed the work of more than 300 photographers from around the world. To be considered, the photographers must have been shooting on their own professionally for five years or less. Most were nominated by photo editors, art directors, curators, educators and fellow photographers around the world, and some were invited by editors based on work seen in promotions, portfolio reviews or photo contests.
Katrina Tang: According to Kate Van Der Hage, a stylist who has worked with Tang, what sets her apart is “her joy and satisfaction when she gets the shot she has been dreaming about.” Her images often evoke the nostalgia she feels for the tiny country schools she attended in Estonia. In the campaigns she shot for nursery furniture company Oeuf, she felt an affinity for the tight-knit communities in Bolivia that produce products for the line. Like the community where she grew up, they value family and togetherness. “I just want to bring the world closer to my little world,” she says of her style.
Benjamin McMahon: In a profession brimming with technological gadgetry, Benjamin McMahon opts for a spare, old-fashioned approach to creating honest portraits. “I try to keep things quite simple and always have,” he says. He likes to shoot film with a Linhof Technika 4×5 or a medium-format camera, often working with available light. McMahon’s curiosity has led him to shoot landscapes and travel pieces. Demonstrating that breadth has brought him adventurous assignments like shooting sea cucumber farmers in Madagascar and landscapes in Iceland. “Hopefully,” says McMahon, “it just sort of continues that way and it gets bigger and the work gets better and I get pushed to make more interesting work and do more interesting projects and go to places I haven’t been and meet people I haven’t met and just make better pictures out of it all.”