Monthly Archive for September, 2015

Page 3 of 11


12049549_10156073755025022_8448138069347238699_nThe couple on the left had been married 60 years when they randomly met the couple on the right who had been married for about 60 seconds. Wedding photographers thrive here in the outer banks and I was a renegade shooting a wedding to which I had not been invited. So I made friends with the commissioned photog first, then the bride and groom. Everyone happy in the end. For sure a huge part of my work is making sincere relationships with those whom I photograph. Do we stay in contact forever? Unlikely, yet yes sometimes. Yet I bet none of my subjects forget the experience. I sure don’t. It’s always a collaboration. A short relationship yet intense. And we’ve all got the picture to remember. #outerbanks #weddingday #natgeo


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These guys have been working on my street cutting dead branches from the trees all week. I’ve been bringing them water and coffee just like my mum and opa used to do for tradies working back home. Here the guy with the chainsaw is hanging from a higher branch, held only by his three mates on the ground. Ben McGee (@mcgeesees) posting from São Paulo

Changing clothes

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Ben McGee (@mcgeesees) posting from São Paulo. A change of clothes into something less revealing signals the end of work and we go and drink a beer.

Sex workers

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Ben McGee (@mcgeesees) posting from São Paulo. I’ve become friends with a number of the sex workers in the neighbourhood where I’m living. This woman is a transvestite and from the moment we met she has been honest, open and holds my safety as a priority. I know it’s not all a paradise, not all of my interactions with other people have been positive, but I understand that the lives of many of these people is more difficult than I could ever imagine.

Free condoms

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Ben McGee (@mcgeesees) posting from São Paulo. I know these photos aren’t coming along in real time but last night I was focussed on the people I was spending time with – talking, photographing, being aware of the light and the street. Here a council worker is handing out free condoms for the sex workers.

Day 1

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Day 1: Ben McGee (@mcgeesees) posting from São Paulo. I’ve spent the day at university and the night on the street photographing the people working in my neighbourhood. I would like to share more photographs with you from tonight but it’s 3 in the morning here and I need to get some sleep, uni again tomorrow! Maybe I’ll share a few more photos when I wake up. Bom descanso or a good afternoon to those of you in the other hemisphere!


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Hey, my name is Ben McGee (@mcgeesees), I’m an Australian who recently moved to São Paulo. I first came to Brazil as part of my studies in geology and decided there were lots of stories I wanted to record with my camera. After a couple of years setting up I’m back! Over the next two years I will support myself working in scientific research whilst making long form photo essays and photographing on the street. If you want to see those projects emerge you can follow my personal account but for now @diegorlando has asked me to share what I see in my daily life. So in we go, I hope you enjoy…

Jeff Hladun – The Father of Selfies


Michael Snow takes a selfie with Jeff Hladun’s phone.


Jeff Hladun

The Father of Selfies

Recently in downtown Toronto I bumped into Michael Snow, considered to be Canada’s best known Avant-garde artist of the late 20th century.

Introductions were made, and we discussed a work of his I’d seen in the mid-eighties at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was “Venetian Blind” done in 1970 using a Polaroid. I asked Snow if he thought the series could be considered the first example of the selfie, with its use of the camera hand-held at arms-length. He was taken with the question and surprised that he had never thought about the work that way. He had come up with the concept on his own; he hadn’t seen anything similar prior. He concluded it could be considered the first of its kind.

To call Michael Snow the creator or inventor of the selfie portrait may be unfair and inaccurate. After all, somewhere in a shoebox could be a Polaroid taken before 1970 of someone aiming the camera back at themselves with arms outstretched. Nevertheless, forty-five years ago Snow was the first to photograph, edit and publish the idea. That makes him first out of the gate; the originator and conceptualizer of the genre.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documented Michael Snow’s time in Venice, where he was the Canadian entrant for the 1970 Venice Biennale, while simultaneously working on the “Venetian Blind” series. Footage in the latter half of the documentary shows Snow at work on the concept; revealing a glimpse into his thinking behind it. Making what may be the very first selfies, ever.

Toward the end of the conversation I asked Mr. Snow if he’d take a selfie with my camera. He did so gladly; it’s something the way great artists make themselves available to situations. This image can be looked upon as a selfie of the Father of the Selfie, moments after realizing he was the father of the selfie. Still processing the idea that forty-five years ago he had inadvertently pioneered the most popular photographic genre of all time.

(“Venetian Blind” is currently in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.)

Jeff Hladun
Caledon, Ontario



Jeff Hladun, born in 1957, is a passionate, amateur street photographer wisely taught to constantly set challenges for his work. He has found labouring on today’s problem in a state of constant failure allows for the successful completion of yesterday’s quandary, and use this problem-solving technique as a means to climb the ladder of creative self-expression while remaining permanently in a productive state of rolling aesthetic dissatisfaction.
Hladun lives in Caledon, Ontario.


Related Links

Jeff Hladun’s Flickr

Book Publishing Workshop



Students taking my book publishing workshop starting next week will be on this rooftop soonest. My Brooklyn space always makes the near perfect workshop location. Lots of work gets done, plenty of outside guest presenters, and we have a lot of fun doing it#davidalanharveyworkshops

Bridesmaid Catch


Katie makes the bridesmaid catch!! Or did she? Some witnesses say she stole the corsage from another bridesmaid who actually caught it. I was shooting rapid burst on the iPhone and have photo proof of what actually happened. Yet this is the only one in the sequence I will publish. One way or another Katie was the victor. All is fair in love and war? #chehabigoesharvey