[slidepress gallery=’lafamiliaabrazada’]

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Curated Group of Photographers

La Familia Abrazada

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La Familia Abrazada is a curated group dedicated to family and vernacular photography. The photographs chosen for this show are a cross section of styles and subject matter that aims to be somewhat representational of the group as a whole although with a thousand photographs in the group pool, this is an unlikely proposition. You are therefore invited to look through our group pool as well as the tumblr album. Like any good family album, you will certainly discover more than a few gems.


“La Famila Abrazada” is curated by Rafal Pruszynski.



Jonathan Romano – http://www.flickr.com/photos/70355737@N00/
Lisa Wassmann – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisa_wassmann/
Pierre Hebert – http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrehebert/
Chris Wallish – http://www.flickr.com/photos/59669884@N00/
Armando Alvarez – http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewhiteelephant/
Sean Marc Lee – http://www.flickr.com/photos/le_carabinier/
Hans Palmboom – http://www.flickr.com/photos/27057665@N04/
Ariane Schrack – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariane-s/
Lester Lai – http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecomfortzone/
Budi Sukmana – http://www.flickr.com/photos/budisukmana/
Lung Liu – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lungsliu/
Rebecca Rijsdijk – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bloemetjesbehang/
Martin Nicholls – http://www.flickr.com/photos/freudus/
Wing Poon – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wingdingo/
Dinah DiNova – http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitbone/
Jay Divinagracia – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ride/
Karen Rudd – http://www.flickr.com/photos/quejes/
Tess Roby – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tessroby/
Anabel Navarro – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mundo_subreal/
Tor-Arne Riksheim – http://www.flickr.com/photos/trixheim/
Luka Knezevic-Strika – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamoneki/
Oscar Juarez – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tridi_animeitor/
Berangere Fromont – http://www.flickr.com/photos/berange/
David Perez Facorro – http://www.flickr.com/photos/david_fisher/
Furrukh Khan – http://www.flickr.com/photos/furrukh/
Cyril Costhiles – http://www.flickr.com/photos/sikost/
Søren Larsen – http://www.flickr.com/photos/don_k/
Marek Wykowski – http://www.flickr.com/photos/wykowski/
Alessandro Marchi –  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cafone/



La Familia Abrazada – www.flickr.com/groups/lfa
La Familia Abrazada on tumblr – lafamiliaabrazada.tumblr.com


Editor’s Note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

59 thoughts on “la familia abrazada”

  1. A cross section of conceptual, fake documentary and snapshots. I don’t see anything fresh or interesting, here. Just more of the same derivative mishmash.

  2. I would not expect new things in a family album. Interestingness is something really individual.
    Personally, some of the pictures are catching my eye, others are less interesting to me.
    What I am missing a little bit is a story, which virtually connects the pictures to each other.
    Although the quality is the pictures are good and each picture tells a little story, it remains a batch of pictures.

    Following the links to the work of the Photographers however opens windows to more. And that makes this essay a good entry point to photography in general.

  3. thanks for the work in collecting these rafal

    as thomas says above – more interest in wandering the weblinks if people want to.
    as a collection it reminds me of the ‘contemporary’ search held by libraries.. some good snaps.. some modern cliche..

    it’s interesting to see flickr work presented here in any case – there are a couple which provoke a second glance.


  4. well this is supposed to be more of a cross section of what LFA is than anything else. Hopefully to get people to explore more by going through the links. The photos were chosen to represent as wide a selection of what is in the pool as possible.

    As far as expecting a story, I dont think you can put together a real story from what are unrelated photos in the first place. Any “story” would be only an illusion of a story and would be meaningless. Trying to force a story onto what is not would be futile in the end.

    Jim, what exactly is fake documentary? is it like you and your indian pic? I dint understand where yous ee “fake documentary”, is it perhaps just another of your all too common brain farts?

  5. Rafal,

    I found this both interesting and entertaining – sure a bit of narrative content might have helped my curiosity – or perhaps understanding more of the how’s and why’s of the curating process…

    I’m left with questions about most of these images – what I need now is to sit down with the ‘owners’ of the album as they talk me through each shot ;-) It seems like a good piece of visual ethnography to me; what is there to fake?

  6. really interesting collection of photographs, congratulations to the photographers and to rafal as well, having looked at the flickr pool i cant imagine it was an easy job choosing the relative few to publish here.

    i imagine there will be a lot of critisism of a lack of cohesion or story binding the images together. this was certainly one of my first thoughts, but having gone back for a second look i started to think about it differently. if these images were presented in a gallery (say as part of a themed group show) or print magazine i probably wouldn’t have been looking for a story to tie them together (unless of course it was implied that there was one, which it isn’t). rather i might have drifted between the images pausing at those which caught my eye.

    by looking at them as a “collection” rather than an “essay” i dont really feel as if they are lacking a common thread at all.

    maybe the slide show format is not the best way to show this kind of stuff. it feels like there is a start and an end. i’d like to be able to “drift” between these images (but then i suppose this is very possible by picking the appropriate number).

    maybe they are intentionally sequenced – there more than a couple of apparent pairs at least – and i’m completely missing the point. (???)

    reagardless, it’s great that burn is publishing a flickr group set and linking to the individual photographers. it means 31 images can lead to the exploration of thousands of images.

    anyway it got me thinking. cheers.

  7. Rafal,

    Thank you very much for putting this together – I enjoyed viewing the selection and I was wondering if you might be willing to talk through some of the decisions you made in the process of sequencing (and also selecting) these particular images. Also, how did you find it different to sequencing your own work?

  8. For me there are about seven good pictures here. the rest are family album stuff(nothing wrong in that of course, but thats what they are).
    Apparently curators are the new black, or so they would have us believe.
    I am failing to see the point here really.
    If its ‘check out these people they take nice snaps of their kids’ then thats fine…but so do lots of people.
    What is here that i should care about/be interested in/attempts to break new ground…or even just goes over old ground really really well?



  9. Hi Rafal,

    I disagree with most people here because I love this! Great Photography and I don’t need to see a story, I don’t think that was your intention? its a curated theme that pulls all the photos together. I love the curated collections happening now on flickr and the web in general and i am happy to see it here on burn. Nice job Rafal. I just added some of my family work to the flickr pool, it made me remember how interesting something as simple as family can be. I love #4


  10. i think, though i cant be sure, that abrazada has to do with fertility, the joining of families to strengthen the future, to join disparate families, ties, inorder to strengthen the herd, so to speak….as always (for me), i could have seen more, but therein lie the (for me) force: to explore further the individual photographers in this collection that spoke to me the richest…in a sense, it kind of reminded me of tolstoy’s wittisism that all happy families are the same but unhappy families are unhappy in their own peculiar way…in that sense, the edit speaks to me, that there is both unity here (besides the obvious visual puns and links which join the individual pics and themes) and collision…some of the pics are incredibly strong and haunting, some are, as pointed out, pics that contain elements and stories and styles we’ve all seen before…seen in our own lives and our own photograhic practice as we widdle away at our craft…and isnt that the point here…that the truth, for me at least, is that none of us are so visionary, not a single one of us, as to eclipse the greater body of work done by everyone and in that small and quite simple truth, go each of us….and for me, in this sense, it gives me warmth and comfort, to know that we are connected…not connected in the idea of ‘family of man’ (i actually dont enjoy that kind of sentimentality) but in the sense that we are swallowing and striving through and creating, each of us, the world around us as a way to make sense of our lives and our families and the understanding of all that….

    the point, for me, isnt the ‘essay’ aspect, but some simpler truth….we use cameras, many of us, nearly all of us now it seems, as a way to tell the story of our lives, to hope to point at, no matter how grand or how pedestrian the life around us….for lack of a better word, the sublime which defines are remarkably fast and disappearing life….

    it is not with sentimentality that i enjoyed this selection (though i want more more, deeper cut, more personal, more intimate which comes from more selections from each ‘family’ view), but a simpler recognition….there but with them go i….

    thanks so much rafal for putting this together and pointing a way to the larger photographic act, something often lost amid the squalid shouting of fame and prestige….

    and i dont think it’s so much about curatorial fame, but about love for the craft to begin with that defines and energies Rafal’s effort…and i applaud his love and effort to celebrate others….

    for me, the single most important aspect of being alive…

    Lay your sleeping head, my love,
    Human on my faithless arm;
    Time and fevers burn away
    Individual beauty from
    Thoughtful children, and the grave
    Proves the child ephemeral:
    But in my arms till break of day
    Let the living creature lie,
    Mortal, guilty, but to me
    The entirely beautiful.

    Soul and body have no bounds:
    To lovers as they lie upon
    Her tolerant enchanted slope
    In their ordinary swoon,
    Grave the vision Venus sends
    Of supernatural sympathy,
    Universal love and hope;
    While an abstract insight wakes
    Among the glaciers and the rocks
    The hermit’s carnal ecstasy.

    Certainty, fidelity
    On the stroke of midnight pass
    Like vibrations of a bell,
    And fashionable madmen raise
    Their pedantic boring cry:
    Every farthing of the cost,
    All the dreaded cards foretell,
    Shall be paid, but from this night
    Not a whisper, not a thought,
    Not a kiss nor look be lost.

    Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
    Let the winds of dawn that blow
    Softly round your dreaming head
    Such a day of welcome show
    Eye and knocking heart may bless,
    Find the mortal world enough;
    Noons of dryness find you fed
    By the involuntary powers,
    Nights of insult let you pass
    Watched by every human love.

  11. Pingback: la familia abrazada | burn magazine | The Click

  12. I’m sorry to say this doesn’t win me over at all. I commend you for trying something different but I only like #16, #27, #28, #31. The rest I find boring. I am not motivated to go through the links, though I tried for each of these four photographers but with not much success. I rather hope no one else tries this experiment. Rafal, stick to photography. I like your own pictures but not so much your curating.

    Are the photographers in on this showing on Burn?

  13. Beautiful photographs,
    To Jim, I’d like to say that here I do find a story, a big and very deep one. Following what you say, anyone at any moment could say what you say about virtually anything. Therefore I think it’s a bit pointless your comment and it shows a bit of anger towards something that you do not seem to get. In one word, frustration.
    However, I must say that even if I really like this work, it seems very similar to CIA DE FOTO, a collective of brazilian photographers that made this “pool” their shoe box of photographic experience. I don’t know who’s first, La Familia or CIA, but it is indeed interesting to see that this approach is taking ground within contemporary documentary photography.
    I like very much the photos and I see a narrative, not didactic, throughout the essay (or collection of photographs).
    Thanks for sharing

  14. Thanks Bob for your wonderful way with words.

    “thanks so much rafal for putting this together and pointing a way to the larger photographic act, something often lost amid the squalid shouting of fame and prestige”

    BTW Bob, unlike you, I don’t mind family of man style sentimentality. I’m a pretty sentimental guy. The style of work presented here perhaps tries a little too hard to avoid sentimentality.

    I’m happy to see this on Burn. As is clearly stated on the links, this style of working is un-apolagetically inspired and derivitive of Goldin and others of the ilk. This is not a bad thing.

    Good to attempt to put egos aside and just record your life without trying to be too clever. Making such photographs help us appreciate the significance of the simple moments. Our families are the core of our lives. All else is peripheral. Too easy to have it all stream by without our awareness of the beauty within our own daily existence.

    I’d love to see more of this on Burn. Love the “group show” idea. Love the exploration of Flikr groups.

    Again, to echo Bob, thanks for putting this together Rafal.

  15. kathleen fonseca


    Great work! I think you´re a great curator! Some of the photos didn´t necessarily say ¨Family¨to me, but i let that slide..overall, not a single photo i didn´t like. Each said something a little different about the person pressing the shutter and each said something poignant and thought-provoking about the subject..i found myself speculating about the photographer, how each related to the person being photographed, the relationships we really get the merest taste of..each of these has to be stand alone because the photographer had only one chance to say it well. And how the photos come from all over the world, Flckr being the great big catch-all basin in the sky. This is something new and different for Burn and i really love the idea. Rafal, i can´t say it enough, wonderful..this is a further extensiuon of your own work, now you´re looking at other families through the eyes of other photographers. This is like the next level for you. How intriguing. Instead of going deeper and more intimately into your own life you reached out and went into Flickrmode, as global and democratic a concept as one could imagine. And family too is as global and democratic a concept as one can imagine. This satisfies on so many levels. Wonderful!

    (makes me want to renew my expired account on Flickr..hmmm..)


  16. Bravo, Rafal! Excellent curated exhibit. The theme is carried throughout but as seen through different eyes. The edit and sequencing are strong, and I so commend you for all the behind-the-scenes work it took to bring this together. Of course there are some images that work better for me than others but that’s what I would expect of any group exhibit. Sure would love to see it hung in a gallery!


  17. Thanks Kathleen,

    since I put this together it is obviously according to my own tastes and for that I have no apologies. I disagree with Andrea, I think trying your hand at curating is a great way to explore your own tastes and it makes you much more critical of your own work. Some may not like this, and that’s understandable that we have different tastes. Andrea, was that last question serious or are you at all trying to imply I used any of this work without permission?

  18. I’m a little surprised by some of the negative comments here. Yes, its a mixed bag (as you would expect from a collection), but there are some really great portraits in here!… Really great. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through this! Thanks Rafal!

  19. Rafal,

    No of course I wasn’t implying anything off. I was interested to know if the people whose work is shown would be coming by Burn.

    But also Rafal, I am not saying one shouldn’t try curating. I said “I commend you for trying something different” meaning I commend you for trying this on Burn. I am just not keen on the results you got. The pictures are fine, they are just not as good as we are used to seeing here and nor is the whole piece, in my opinion. I wasn’t moved or particularly interested by them. I am not bothered by the essay question as mentioned by some others. Obviously there is a theme.

  20. This one left me quite frustrated – for the simple fact that I wanted to go off and explore the flicker sites of all the participants but I do not have time.

    Given the narrative, I did not expect any kind of story line and, given my love of photography, I enjoyed all the images. In this sense, I am not a good critic, as I generally enjoy looking at any kind of photo taken by someone who put their heart into it, which was the case with all the images here.

    I looked at this about an hour ago. Now, as for staying power in my brain, I will list the first five images that come to mind: The blurred shot of the girl running into the trees; the vertical of the blond boy with the bruise; the Ping pong paddles; the one through the car window with the snow-capped desert mountains, the baby sleeping with shadow patterns…

  21. RAFAL,

    There are few gems for me in there. I particularly liked photographs nb 3, 22 and 28 but overall, it felt maybe too much like a disparate collection of singles with possibly too few really making the cut for me. I do recognize though hat this is a real difficult exercise to come up with such an edit mixing up so many styles and photographers… Kind of a good to experiment but I personally prefer to engage into a given photographer at a time…


  22. I told myself when I got up this morning that I was going to remain calm and not rant…..

    So in that spirit all I can say is NOPE.

    I agree with Jim, John Gladdy and Imants.

    Panos…. My feelings exactly.

    Oh, and Bob… Exactly how much dope do you smoke? (grinning)

  23. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I personally found this very well curated. I can easily see these up on a wall together and I believe they do tell a story of family and life that is very usual. Families are weird, and screwed up, and fun, and fleeting; this collection does a great job of showing that. This really pulls together the emotions of growing up a in a family; the awkwardness of teenage years, the pure freedom of young childhood, the arguments due to age difference, the way siblings mimic each-other. Some of the photos ‘flirt’ with you, others are more obvious, but they all pull you in equally. It seems like the photographer is actually a subject in the photos as well, which is often so hidden in classic photojournalism (despite it’s presence).

    Granted, a few shots I would take out. Most images speak of family, but a few are more about one particular subject and that subject’s internal, unshared emotions: 13, 18, 20, 28. These photos seem to stand out in that they don’t feel connected to a family as a whole. I was going to throw #25 in that pool too, but I think that black circle is a pet, which is something that could be explored more in this series. Also, #12 doesn’t fit as it’s just too contrived, though an interesting shot nonetheless.

    As far as the edit goes, bravo on #1, a great opener. I feel like it sets place so well, and the last photo helps you leave that place. I’m not sure I could give a blanket statement to the edit in between. The flow is nice, variety keeps you from falling asleep, but there are few photos I would move around simply because they work well together.

    Overall, I feel like I learned something, felt an emotion that I haven’t experienced in a while, and got a bit inspired in my own work.

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

  24. Definitely a mix, probably we will all end up seeing more (a “quality photography” more) in some of the authors than others. For me, some shots rise above others, and you feel a truer photographic temperament that may be missing in others.

    Just for that, it’s a good entry, that coalesces in one essay, from our viewer’s side that is, all the miffs, doubts and epiphanies we deal with looking at “authored” photography for the last couple years.

    Jim won the stage again. Quel coup de pedale!!! First…. one line enough… No problem…. just for the asking….. BURN’s Lance Armistrong, he is! :-))))

  25. I enjoyed it. Some seemed a bit self-consciously vernacular, a trap difficult to avoid these days I guess. But many are quite nice and made me smile. And I think it does work as an essay on family. Does an essay have to be linear, does it even have to be narrative? I don’t think so.

  26. I think this is a great idea. I am one who loves, gets a lot, looking through family albums more than any other form of photographic display; or at least its up there with the best as far as exciting me, in that I can find some home, family snapshots, the most pure and honest form of documentary photography, and therefore, the most profound and interesting.
    I think this is a really good idea and and has much potential to create a truly wonderful archive for us to experience.
    Well done and well spotted BURN people.

  27. salvatore sacco

    DAH, I need help on this one. Many good photos and I’m sure each in it’s context will tell a revealing story/essay but this is a site for emerging photographers to put their work out there to hone their craft at story/idea telling??? To my humble eyes this doesn’t compute. In this day and age of super technology where you can’t possibly get a bad exposure and as Nikon claims, the camera can now see what the human eye can’t why are we viewing a best of show. As Imants writes, “flikr meets burn.” What gives man?

  28. i thought this was refreshing… stimulating… of course some images could have been left out but there were several that i really thought were provoking….. especially the girl with the water gun.. and the girl pulling her dress up in the purple bedroom.. loved the lighting…

  29. la familia…
    would have liked to see some teenage years posted…
    the angst,
    the battles….
    but I remember,
    when it was all sunshine in meadows……

  30. Rafael, I really enjoyed this set of images! I think they all tell their little mysterious story, and the way you have put the photographs together works well. You manage to connect different pictures and photographers, thorugh repeating some elements from one photo to another. Number 17, I love it, so simple but still so beautiful.
    So this Andrea really thinks you should continue curating, – and photographing:)

  31. Frank Michael Hack

    In terms of curation it must have been a monumental task,so congrats on that. I have to say I was scratching my head a little. A few images stood out for me, different than those that stood out for others but maybe that is the point in the end. There is something (even a small gem) that will appeal to someone within this edit. As an essay, as a publication on Burn I am not feeling it, sorry. I too felt that this was photography for the masses, anyone with an eye toward contemporary culture and a good digital camera can be a great photographer. We all get lucky sometimes. Maybe photography has become the opium of the masses, in our nihilistic, narcissistic, post-modern reality anything goes and is worthy of capturing ‘on flim’ and in a relative way it is all good. I guess I don’t get excited by the relative, I am looking for the absolute, truth that is. I thought Burn was trying to break barriers, exile not exhault flatlanders. Sounds pretty harsh even as I re-read this, but that is how I feel.

  32. Pancito, how goes Greece. forget what your supposed to feel being there, how do you feel?

    As far as Flickr goes David B said it best — flickr is great.
    ordinary, derivative, formulaic and bland photography exists in such a huge quantity that the line between great and poor has become much more defined.. better understood by the general public.

    it’s the digital revolution, and the huge number of people trying to sell or give away photography without any understanding of how the business works that is destroying photography as a living..
    flickr is just an online storage resource with a token link of representation through getty..
    i understand where it could stand for the mcdonalds of photography.. poor quality, cheap.. but you know.. we’re all sinners who’ve eaten a hamburger and dipped into flickrs bowls..

    that’s okay – we just have to educate and make sure that more and more people understand the monetary value of photography.. because people are not going to cut back on their photography habit and flickr is going to do nothing but grow.

    really though – flickr has not yet made me feel threatened.. most of it’s content is poor.. that which is ‘good’ is cliche and mimic, and that which is ‘great’ stands out in it’s utter rarity.

    these days more than ever, if just anyone ‘could’ take a photo, the price it commands is low, (if it even gets passed over the marketing desk to the photographer in the first place).

    if it’s a specialist subject there will always be a market.. personal an idiosyncratic will stand out.

    cabbage is cheap and truffles are not.. and flickr has a lot of cabbages.

    i think that there are a couple of photos in rafals presentation which, under another banner, would gain much more widespread popularity here.. maby as a single..

    i think it’s daft to write anything off simply because of the storage devise used to present it..
    and of course burn HAS to feature flickr.. burn is a contemporary magazine for education and discussion..

    like it or not, (and i know some don’t), rafal has at least been brave enough to ‘out’ himself as a user, and contribute something which serves to benefit a number of photographers equally..
    even if, like flickr itself, the end result is somewhat confusing in quantity and vastly disparate in quality.



    As far as Imants goes — a great mind doesn’t necessarily produce great work — nor great critique. The difference between Flickr and a personal site is beyond me most times. Ask other Flickr-users. John Gladdy, Joe Colligan, Bob Black, Martin Parr :), c’mon guys weigh in…

    For me, I got an education there. Not condescending art-school bullshit, but links, discussion and photos. Oh! the photos. The stuff working-class people with real day jobs push out — out of pure love for the medium blows most photography to shit — and La Familia Abrazada is the epitome of that. Pure talent, undiluted by delusions of grandeur… fresh.

  33. Kudos Rafal.

    Nice words Jared, respect.

    Platform means nothing, show me the photographs…



  34. Nice edit, Rafal – certainly a representative slice of LFA, and intriguing as a self-contained ‘essay’.

    Thanks also to DAH for being open to different ideas and sources. I must say I’m surprised at the strength of some reactions here and in the dialogue thread, but I suppose it was always going to happen. As long as it’s all about the photos, not the platform, right?

  35. a civilian-mass audience


    “People who have attained things worth having in this world have worked while others have idled, have perservered while others gave up in despair, and have practiced early in life the valuable habits of self-denial, industry, and singleness of purpose.”

    Grenville Kleiser (American author 1868-1953)


    P.S Keep it UP…I am with you ,next to you, eating fresh arugula…

  36. a civilian-mass audience


    oups,…I missed the aisle …Keep it up.

    P.S My apologies fom my first posting and for the second …too .

  37. if i had to list the sources of where i learned about photography and the sources of where i learned about photographs and again where i learned about photographers; because they are all varied topics when you care so deeply about the art, well it would be a short list, it would be Flickr, specifically HCSP, a community dedicated to the discussion and exploration and aspiration of photography as a whole.

    there’s nobody here, DAH included, that could single-handedly spar with that group as a whole regarding the world of photography and most questions could be answered by purely searching past discussions of HCSP.

    there is not a more approachable place in the photographic world than Flickr’s HCSP that gives you instant access to people that go to bed thinking about photography and wake up the next morning still thinking about photography and include members that have won awards and manage publications, and teach classes on the subject.

    if i had to list the source of photographic friendships that seem never to grow stale over time and constantly lead to meet-ups that span the world, then almost everyone of them has only one degree of separation from becoming friends first, or at least meeting first (Stefan Rohner) in flickr’s HCSP community.

    if i had to pick the place where i argued what i learned, for the most part without any real benefit other than to confirm what i learned over in Flickr’s HCSP was in fact valid and could also stand up to all the kidney punches that a less moderated community would subject (and don’t kid yourself, HCSP would have banned many of the members on Burn ages ago for being more of a distraction than a contributor) then that would be as short list as well, the place i argued what i learned over in Flickr’s HCSP is Burn.

    people still don’t realise that Flickr is a piece of software that supports communication; and photographs are communication and Flickr is a piece of software that supports collaboration and a sense of community and in this instance Burn and Flickr are very similar. Where they start to become different is that many healthy communities would not tolerate members that cause more distraction than benefit, Burn is far more tolerant to unhealthy contributors, possibly at it’s own cost to quality contributors, but i’m certain people would debate that, and that debate would bore me.

    DAH, Congratulations on the Lucie award, i’m sure it will lead to some paid commissions for the talent you’re promoting, they deserve it. The work you’re promoting continues to keep me very entertained and when i’m on-line i always catch-up with everything that’s been published. Also, i got your e-mail on Saturday, look out for a response in that bloated in-box of yours some time this weekend. i still care deeply about that initiative.

  38. ohhhh…
    i forgot the guy that started it all…
    i owe u my friendship with Jared…
    big hug bro…
    ( now let me go on my knees and beg u for your facebook love once again…)

  39. and don’t kid yourself, HCSP would have banned many of the members on Burn ages ago …

    yep…Saddam Hussein would do the same…
    North Korea also…
    thanks for confirming this joe…
    viva burn…
    viva freedom of speech…
    ( who needs that photo police..tell it like it is joe…tell it like it is…
    coz if i said that, nobody would believe me..)

  40. @Panos- HCSP has banned only 50 members in five years, many of those with names like BumpBot, Vico’s Vintage Camera Store, this is not a joke, trollinawe and, my favourite, I’m Betty! If you’re interested, you can see her stream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10328105@N04/

    @Rafal- Nice work! Thanks for bringing la familia to burn. It’s wonderful to see this cross-section of photographs from the group on a different platform. Also, thanks to the family of photographers at LFA who contributed to the edit and to the group’s pool. It’s nice to see the recognition on such a prestigious magazine.

  41. Frank Michael Hack

    Sorry for breaking the one post rule, but I don’t think the issue is Flickr or who took the photographs. The images presented as a whole are just not that great. Good yes, great no. Viva Burn!

    I will check out HCSP though. Thanks for the tip.

  42. I think it’s a nice presentation and well edited, curated thanks to BURN and Rafal at the same time thanks to all photographers of La Familia Abrazada…………………….monirul

  43. Frank Hack – Jim Powers,
    I can say in my family album from years back, nothing looks as sophisticated in content and composition… however I do agree, as a documentary, this flatlines and doesn’t work – But that’s due to the individual eyes that saw and shot these images. However – if we think about Burn as the digital media it is, I feel that for this moment, it’s been converted into David’s loft with images on the walls. Or maybe a dedicated gallery. The goal of burn isn’t to just promote documentary and journalistic material, but all photography that is emerging into greatness. Be it conceptual art, other contemporary art, perhaps alternative processes, digital, journalism, documentary, and commercial. think of all of the types of photography that the photographers of Magnum do… That is what Burn does. The people of Magnum have emerged and been found. The people of Burn are those who are emerging and unknown at this time. Robert Capa, HCB, and the other early photographers of Magnum had an idea, and perhaps over time, that idea has changed a little and or maybe now it needs an update, an attachment to encourage young photographers to come into the light and be seen…
    Now back to this piece, these photographers are all unknown to me as I never use flicker since part of the agreement you have with them is to allow them to use your images free of charge for their advertising. I think these photographers are naive for accepting that. If they produce work that is worthy of notice, then it should be spotlighted and given a chance. it also helps them feel better and lets them know they’re on the right track to becoming somebody.

    I do agree some of these images are posed and a bit goofy – perhaps that speaks for the individual in the image? I know in my family, we have a wide mix of goofballs, boring stiffs, salesmen, and young punks.
    Think about the world as a family – what a mind boggling mix of madness it must be!

  44. When I first saw the slideshow I scratched my head: sure there are some good pictures, and others that I would have left out of the final selection, but I guess that depends on one’s mood and taste. Then i watched it again this morning and it made me want to check those photographers’ websites, flickr accounts, etc. It made me want to find out more, and that, to me, is the sign that it somehow affected me. I cannot say how or how deeply, because again, some of those photographers’ pictures didn’t impress me at all, but to me it says a lot about the quality of some the material and the huge effort of the curator/editor.

  45. I like neither the individual pictures nor the edit. (I’m generalizing of course here to make a point… there are pictures which I like more than others in there, but…)

    I see nothing exceptional visually and feel no personal connection to these families through these pictures…

    We’re all photographers here (with the exception of Civi…) and if any of us was to go through his archive he’d come up with at least something similar to the LFA “essay”, and probably many would come up with something way more interesting…

    This reflects my very particular tastes and is in regard to the work at hand. There is no doubt that there IS amazing work on Flickr, on Photonet, on Artmesh, on Deviantart, etc, etc… it just happens that this is NOT it.

    By the way, if I’m not mistaken, there was a link a while back with what I thought at the time was a pitch of an edit from the LFA pool that contained WAY better pictures.

  46. @Jason_Houge – Thank you for your comment. I agree about your assessment that photography is in need of a transformation. The accessibility of tools and platforms brings the power to any individual towards making contribution in photography, journalism, and a host of other disciplines. This democratization means that the Fine Art world and media moguls no longer get to mandate what is important. This is a blessing and, of course, a curse since many people believe they are an expert at everything just because they have an audience and camera. Many of us who use Flickr and are participating at burn recognize this; I hope the reverse is also true. It’s too bad there there isn’t more cross fertilization though I’m thrilled that Rafal connected with DAH to make this essay happen.

    While burn is certainly a valuable resource, and achievement given the recent Lucie Award (congrats DAH and others!), I’m disappointed at the flippant attitude towards certain groups on Flickr which offer far more robust discussions about photography than are allowed here simply because of how content is delivered. Recent posts by Joerg Colberg display the same kind of attitude where he sensationalizes that Flickr gives him a headache. I won’t offer an apology for that, only a Tylenol — maybe. Communities such as burn, HCSP or LFA are each families living under their own roof. While it may be challenging for us to visit your home, and you to ours, the kinds discussions at each respective site are bringing mutually inspired people together for at least one purpose: improve photography. By pairing up with trusted peers who critique, introduce new ideas, and distribute a wealth of information, such as that found in HCSP, a photographer can improve no matter where or how they network.


    LFA doesn’t have any big plans to upset the the Fine Art world, though I do think it will eventually happen because making and publishing photographs is out of their control. I think I can speak for many members at LFA by saying we simply want to make nice pictures for our families. If a person or group can elevate these so that a new reference point is adopted in galleries, museums and zines, more power to them! It’s something I would like to see.

    As far as Flickr gaining advertising rights to our photos: you’re dead wrong. Posting photos to Flickr does not give consent, explicit or otherwise, (i.e., Flick or Yahoo, or Getty, for that matter) to use a photographer’s image in any way except to post it to the users photostream. At that point, it is up to the user to license their images as they wish. For me: I retain full copyright with all rights reserved. Others use Creative Commons, which I oppose, but it is ultimately their choice. It is only a fraction of these CC images that Yahoo! can use for advertising, but they don’t need Flickr to achieve that. At most, the platform makes these photographs more accessible and, thus, available to a wider audience which means they can be wrongly used. But that can happen via burn or any other website. Aside from La Familia Abrazada, another group I help admin is the Licensing Awareness Working (LAW) Group which helps inform photographers about their rights. So, aside from identifying emerging and established photographers, Flickr can also serve as a tool for education about copyright


  47. It may “flatline” as a documentary because for about the 20th time, it isn’t a documentary. What it is is stated in the intro, and repeated several times in the comments. So I won’t say again what it is, because you can find it yourself, though I’m doubtful some will even take the time to do that. But just so that we are on the same page, it isn’t and never was intended as a documentary. I think Francesco got it, it is an invitation to explore. Now, if you hated every single photo here, hey, that is your taste and whatever, but I’m sure even Jim liked at least ONE pic. He wouldn’t say it because that would take him to write more than a short sentence, which means he might not get his word in first. Now our other non-photographer, the emerging graphic designer Imants hated everything, and that’s a good sign IMO. However, if you stop trying to make some silly point nobody really cares about, Thodoris, I’m sure there is one pic, even one, you liked. Why not follow it down the rabbit hole and see where you emerge? There are plenty of links there, to individual photographers, to the LFA pool, to the LFA tumblr. Who knows where it will lead you, right? Instead of trying to prove some silly point why not go explore? What would be my reaction, as a lover of photography, if I was presented with a plate full of diverse photos and links to photographers? I’m pretty sure I would take some time to simply go and look. But I do understand it is easier to yell and scream.

    And I’m sure that family albums are more interesting than this. But this isn’t a competition with family albums. And the reason why family albums are more interesting is that family albums are more coherent, they actually create real storylines because the photos are related to one another, there is a temporal line running through them, you see a real in depth evolution of a family within its pages. How could this compete? it couldn’t and that’s why an attempt to force some imaginary story onto these photos was never even attempted as it would be an exercise in futility and dishonesty. That’s why it isn’t a documentary, it isn’t a story, it isn’t a essay in that sense if you simply see an essay as a literal journey from start to finish. In that case it flatlines but I think you need to open up your mind to other interpretations of what essays can be because not everything is “Here and here this and this happened.” I mean I took a look at your personal page and I could see your point, you are very much into a literal interpretation of things and that’s fine, but it doesn’t all have to be that way.

  48. Frank Michael Hack

    OK I am on the record for not paying any attention to rules. I see part of the success of any particular “essay” published on Burn as the number of comments posted. The median is around 25-30. This will be the 56th posted comment which I think says a lot and what I value about Burn.

    Rafal I have no objection to your curation or the Flickr photos being published here. I would prefer as the curator you choose one photographer’s album, curate that and submit it to Burn. I think that would be a lot more powerful, would highlight that particular photographer, and avoid much of the the critical commentary. The term democratization of photography has come up a few times. I think it is important to realize that democracies seldom work as intended and if we really want to talk about democracy and every human being on the planet had one vote the planet would be the Global Republic of Communist China. David has said in reference in his workshops and curation “this is not a democracy” If we choose democracy over content then we are choosing mediocrity over genius and inspiration.

    Jason well said, not sure if being referred to with Jim in the same sentence is good or bad.

  49. Frank,

    thats one possibility and we have already done that on LFA, we have already spotlighted 2 photographers and we are going to do a third. I always encourage them to publish to Burn, too, but I don’t think that for Burn me editing one photographer would really work on Burn. I know I would want to have the ultimate control over my own work if it were going up on Burn not part of a group edit and I would not presume to try and edit solely one person and take credit for any part of the work. I think that can work on LFA because there I am an editor but not on Burn where you already have David who is a much better editior than me and this is his platform.

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