Category Archive: matt lutton
This was a very interesting year for me, definitely the busiest since I moved to Belgrade, Serbia in February 2009, filled with lots of travel and some interesting assignments. Notably I had the chance to visit Africa for the first time, on assignment in South Sudan, and received the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant for my ongoing project “Only Unity”.
I started the year in England, then was in Sarajevo for a story about the 20th anniversary of the start of the war there. My mother came to visit me in Belgrade in April, but our trip was interrupted by Presidential elections in Serbia, which I covered for the Wall Street Journal. That assignment led to one of the strangest days of my career, when I photographed both Serbian President Boris Tadic and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani hours apart in the same TV studio (see the WSJ article about Giuliani in Belgrade).
Soon after I was documenting the destruction of the Belville Roma settlement. My friend Darko Stanimirović and I handed out disposable cameras to residents of the camp so that they could document the eviction themselves. We published a multimedia piece at Newsmotion.org with these community pictures alongside Stanimirović’s audio recordings, a text by Alan Chin and some of my pictures as “The Sound of Barking Dogs: The Eviction of the Roma from Belville”.
In September I was in South Sudan reporting a story about the future of the Jonglei Canal and the issues of water rights for the youngest country on the planet. The project was commissioned by Austrian magazine 2012, an interesting one-year-only magazine published by Red Bull Media House. I have included a few images from the project here, but for now the only other pictures online are the tearsheets from ’2012′ which you can see on the clips section of mattlutton.com.
I also spent a total of four months in the United States, and was able to finally visit the area of the former Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia to document the remnants of Serbian life there. I was invited to be on the jury of the Organ Vida international photography festival in Zagreb, and was a speaker and juror at the “Foton” Makarska Photo Days Festival.
The biggest news of the year for me though was the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund Grant, which I received in June for my project “Only Unity”: Serbia In The Aftermath of Yugoslavia.
The response to the project has been very exciting, and I’m eager to finish the work this year. If you would like to know more, have a look at one of the interviews I did last year following the announcement: “Award-Winning Project Documents a Fractured Serbia” with Pete Brook at Wired’s Raw File blog, “Picture Story: Holding up a Mirror to Serbian Nationalism” in PDN Magazine (subscribers only unfortunately, see what it looked like in print here), and my chat with fellow EPF-finalist and friend Ian Willms on “BOREAL Spotlight: Matt Lutton, “Only Unity””.
Thanks again everyone for continuing to follow Dvafoto and supporting all of the photographers we feature here. I wish you all a fun and successful 2013!
I couldn’t be more ecstatic and proud to congratulate Matt, the other half of dvafoto, on winning the Burn Magazine 2012 Emerging Photographer Fund award for his long-term project Only Unity: Serbia in the Aftermath of Yugoslavia. Announced in a video presentation at Look3 and online at Burn, Matt’s piece was chosen out of over 1,000 entries by an all-star jury: photojournalist Stephen Dupont, National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen, National Geographic Creative Director Bill Marr, photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, LaFabrica Madrid editor Arianna Rinaldo, and Magnum photographer Alex Webb. The video isn’t embeddable, so click here or on the modified screenshot above to watch the whole presentation.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching this essay grow from the beginning and helped with a few edits over the years. The early fits and starts (some of which you might have seen when this blog was nothing more than a cooperative photoblog) gave way to a century-spanning examination of Serbian identity. As the years went by, disconnected images found place in this narrative and Matt found his voice. It’s a powerful piece, and I know he’s got bigger plans for the work. In the meantime, we’ll have a discussion here on this blog about what went into this project and what it tells us. For now, we’ll have this public congratulations and a hearty “Huzzah!” for Matt. If you see him in Belgrade (or in the US this summer) be sure to give him a knowing nod and buy him a drink. And stay tuned for more.
Congratulations also to the other finalists and runners-up in the contest this year. The 10 essays shown in the video at Burn are stellar, and each deserving of their recognition here. The finalists were: Ian Willms, Gustavo Jononovich, Ayman Oghanna, Laia Abril, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Bieke Depoorter, and Anastasia Taylor-Lind. The two runners-up were: Simona Ghizzoni and Giovanni Cocco.
Matt and Scott are about to send out their quarterly newsletters updating clients and friends about the work we have been up to and the plans for the near future. It is the best way to keep up with what we are working on and where our pictures are being published. You can sign up for Scott’s newsletter here, and sign up for Matt’s here, or click on their respective photos below. We both use MailChimp to manage our newsletters and you can unsubscribe at any time, and we promise not to bombard you more than a handful of times per year.
While most of Scott’s recent work is still under embargo or not quite published, here are few highlights from him, based in Boston, Massachusetts:
- Updates on new work, including recent portraiture and political coverage
- Tearsheets from Education Week, MIT News, Montana’s Office of Tourism, and others
- New-to-you images from Tibetan areas of China in my archive
- Travel images from flyover states
- Information about upcoming travel this summer
Some highlights from Matt, who is based in Belgrade, Serbia:
- Lutton will be traveling in the United States from mid-June until the end of August, and tentatively in Africa in September.
- Tearsheets and archive features from recent assignments for The Wall Street Journal, 2012 Magazine and M Le Magazine du Monde.
- Coverage from the Serbian Presidential and Parliamentary elections which took place on May 6, and previewing the second round of Presidential voting on May 20.
- Preview of his new story “The Destruction of Belville” which follows another mass Roma eviction in Belgrade similar to his project Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere from 2009.
Sign up and see the full updates from Matt and Scott when they send their newsletters next week. Thanks again for supporting us and our work, we look forward to sharing more of our pictures and a lot more on dvafoto soon.
Here are a few notable and fun things that happened in 2011:
On August 15 a selection of my work from the Balkans was featured as the PDN Photo of the Day.
During the Ratko Mladic arrest story that I followed for a week in May one of my images from Srebrenica was used nicely on the front page of the International Herald Tribune.
My year finished with a pair of fun assignments for Le Monde Magazine (“The Belgrade of Enki Bilal”) and Financial Times: Connected Europe Magazine (“Regeneration of the Danube”, may require sign-up). You can also see the layout on my website.
I’ve previously published my “best” or more accurately “favorite” photos of the year here on dvafoto in 2009 and 2010. If you’re interested in some of the places where my pictures were published last year, see the clips section of my website, at mattlutton.com.
Happy New Year to everyone, thanks for following our work here at dvafoto!
I’ve been an avid and active member of PhotoShelter since 2005, when I first set out from Seattle and began my career as a freelance photographer. Since those early days the system has been developed and so has my workflow and understanding of how to get the most out of the service. Today, I run both my archive and my portfolio website through a custom PhotoShelter site and do even more work on the backend for clients. I even use the keyword searches to find my own images when fulfilling stock requests and research, as opposed to digging through my own drives. It functions both as an archive for other people to look through my back catalog, but also for myself to keep organized.
PhotoShelter is currently running a promotion, until July 4, where if you decide to keep your PhotoShelter site during the 14-day $1 trial you will get a $10 account credit: a free month of the basic-level account. Click the banner ad at the top of this post or in the sidebar to sign up for PhotoShelter and help support Dvafoto.
I have two recent examples of turns in my business that I could not have pulled off without PhotoShelter: after six days on assignment for the Ratko Mladic story I had an archive of work that I wanted to syndicate, so I uploaded it to PhotoShelter and published a web gallery. I then mentioned on twitter that my pictures were in my archive and available to view (and re-license). Immediately, friends and strangers re-tweeted to their followers the link and I had a stream of viewers, all eager to see an extended edit of the work I had been doing. These are images that until the hours before had only been sitting on my and my editors’ desktops. Now the people who want to buy my work will know exactly where to find them.
Second, I was back in the States in April to attend my best friend’s wedding in Chicago. I agreed to shoot informal pictures of the ceremony and reception (balancing a cocktail and a camera, I was still a guest!), but after it was done we were struggling for a way to distribute these pictures to everyone who was at the wedding and who might want a print. I figured out the easiest solution was to upload all of the images to PhotoShelter, have the family edit the images in a lightbox, and make a gallery semi-public (only those with a direct link could access) for my friends to email to all the guests. I also set up through PhotoShelter a direct-printing service for guests to order prints and have it fulfilled by one of PhotoShelter’s partner print houses. Everything was done through PhotoShelter, within my own archive and tried and true workflow. It is exciting to offer something unusual for me: wedding pictures printed on-demand.
I could write pages on the different resources PhotoShelter has given photographers in recent years, like built-in pricing calculators; statistics on sales, views, signups and SEO; and regular special reports and web seminars on topics such as Email Marketing for Photographers, a Photo Buyer Survey and a SEO Cookbook. PhotoShelter are also active in promoting member photographers on their website and blog, which can bring quite a few viewers and buyers to your archive. For example, an image I photographed in 2005 was selected for a rotating best-of gallery inside PhotoShelter right after I uploaded it to my archive. It is still my most-viewed image.
But more than anything, I just wanted to share a little bit about why PhotoShelter has been integral to my work as a photographer, especially as a photographer without my own studio or large office space in the States. I am able to accomplish a lot more with their services and, knowing our readership, I figure that if you are not currently using PhotoShelter, you should start now. Sign up here for a $1 trial of the service, and dvafoto will get a small share of your membership fee.
This post is part of a trial sponsorship deal with PhotoShelter. We need to keep the lights on here, and we also don’t want to turn into a marketing mouthpiece and we aren’t looking for charity. Both Matt and Scott depend on PhotoShelter and we think it would be helpful to our readers. We wouldn’t go into a sponsorship arrangement with a company we don’t believe in. And, if you sign up for PhotoShelter by clicking through this link, dvafoto will get a small portion of your membership fee. That money will go toward the hosting costs of this site. We think it’s a great deal: you get started with the best way to organize and sell your pictures online, we get to tell people about a company that’s doing good work for photographers, and PhotoShelter gives us a little money to keep doing what we do.
I spent a week covering the breaking news that Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic was finally captured after nearly 16 years on the run, in a village an hour north of Belgrade in the early morning of May 26. On assignment for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune I had the interesting experience of running in the streets with stone-throwing hooligans (there really weren’t that many of them, it was less of a mess than a typical soccer match), hanging out in the small Vojvodina village of Lazarevo where Mladic was captured (see our article about the town here) and then with a few minutes notice renting a car and rushing to Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina with my colleague Matthew Brunwasser for a three-day story of the lessons learned from the forensic investigations in Bosnia as well as reactions to Mladic’s arrest. After getting back to Belgrade, we began another story about the current state of Serbian nationalism and a profile of 13-year old human rights activist Rastko Pocesta.
It was a busy week covering a story that all of us in the Balkans have been waiting to happen for years. I had to create a balance between working a few assignments, in what might be the last big Balkan story for years, and photographing what I need for my own long-term projects. There are some pictures that did not run in the paper that will work well for me, which makes the week worthwhile beyond the few images that did run in the paper.
Because of the story in Bosnia, I actually missed a chance to photograph the largest visual moment of this story, the large opposition protest in Belgrade on Sunday May 29. Andrew Testa made this dramatic image at the rally and my friend Andy Spyra was able to publish some great pictures from the day too. I at the time was driving through rural Bosnia, the old hills and roads where the war itself played out. I wish I could have been in Belgrade, but I’m proud that the story we found in Bosnia was published on the front page of the International Herald Tribune and add an important perspective and balance to the images coming out of Belgrade. Being able to contribute not only photographs but also ideas and editorial perspective to the NYTimes and IHT’s coverage of this story is very rewarding.
I’ll be publishing more images on my tumblr Only Unity, where I often play with images that aren’t showing up a elsewhere. Thanks again to Tala, Cornelius, Matt and the rest of the folks at IHT/NYT, was very good working with you all.
Matt Lutton and M. Scott Brauer are currently in the United States and will be visiting New York City together from Tuesday May 2 through Friday May 6th. Both will be sharing recent work and new projects. We already have some fun work meetings set up and are excited to see old friends and colleagues. We are also planning to meet at The Half King on Wednesday night to see everyone. If you’re in the city, be in touch and/or check here for final details.
It has been a couple of years since the two of us been able to meet up and we haven’t been in New York together since 2005, when we were both interns at Black Star. It’ll be a nice reunion and potentially the start of some interesting collaborations.
We already have most of our meals (Uighur! Momofuku! Matt is aching for variety after months in Belgrade) planned out and a few shows we want to see (like Revolucion(es) and Shen Wei at Daniel Cooney). And of course a pilgrammage to Dashwood Books. Any recommendations for shows happening these days that we can’t miss?
At the end of the week, Lutton is headed back to Belgrade and Brauer to Boston.
All this month M. Scott Brauer and Matt Lutton, as Dvafoto, are taking part in the exhibition “Mapping the Flâneur” presented by Collectives Encounter at the Format Photography Festival in Derby, UK. It is an innovative group exhibition/installation of work submitted daily from photography collectives from around the world, and runs through April 3rd. The project features some old friends like MJR, Belgrade Raw and Wideyed (who helped arrange the project) alongside a number of other interesting collectives that we’re just getting to know. The complete list of participating groups is here.
The Mapping the Flanuer Tumblr site shows a feed of all of the images in the project, which are submitted by individual photographers in the collectives relating to the common ideas of “Consuming”, “Transporting” and “Urbanising”. But the best way to see the project is to visit the exhibition, this is all about seeing real photographs alongside other real pictures. But if like us you can’t make the trip to Derby you’ll have to settle for a video showing the installation.
This is an exciting step for Dvafoto and hopefully the first in a series of collaborative photography projects between Brauer and Lutton, something we’ve been working towards slowly for many years. Thanks again to all the folks at Wideyed, Collective Encounters and the Format Photography Festival for making this project come together.
Issue #8 of 7.7 Magazine has just been published online, and includes my ongoing project “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” about a Serbian Roma community in transition. I’m very excited to see this project be shown again with a new audience, especially alongside other such terrific projects. Gianni Cipriano photographed a funeral home in Harlem, Monika Redzisz and Monika Berezecka made a series of portraits of Mothers and Verena Brandt documents a community of German expats in Thailand. This issue also includes a nice interview with Chien-Chi Chang and multimedia by Brenda Ann Kenneally.
You should also have a look at the past issues, which are all online. They include work by Tiana Markova-Gold, Tim Hussin and Aaron Huey, amongst many other great projects by people who I’ve just encountered. There is also a 7.7 Photo Award that is given annually, with more information on the website (click ‘Photo Contest’) and the requirements are here. Deadline is October 15, 2011.
I’ve written about ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ on dvafoto before, introducing it in 2009 and updating on its progress and publication last June and August. Keep tuned, I have other ideas of where this project is headed.
Lastly, 7.7′s Manifesto, which I think is pretty nice:
We don’t care about the photo. We care even less about a photographic project. We care about the stories. And the way of looking at things.
Many times we’ve thought about those stories that, as documentary photographers, we wanted to give refuge. And we knew that they were not going to be like the work which we’ve seen so many times and with which we’ve grown up: a map of icons in exotic places where only terrible things happen and where people are just unhappy. A world of black or white, distant and different from the world around us.
And this is how we came to understand the need for a photography of proximity and profundity, a photography where the stories that are told contain all the hues found in this world we live in. Stories told with photos that create a link, that provoke thinking; a thinking as complex as reality, without good guys or bad guys, without heroes or villains.
This is why we decided to open this window: as a place to display different ways of looking at things, visions committed to what surrounds us, and in a constant practice of understanding (ourselves and others), of explaining ourselves to ourselves. We want to start looking through the cracks, the holes, the keyholes, with an open and a flexible spirit, strengthened by the free formats of the digital era.
This is an open space for the most diverse forms of building visual discourse and its possibilities, an interactive space, critical, rebellious, open, participatory. Restless and disturbing. This is an invitation to think, to abandon common places and to start doubting.
Welcome to the digital magazine for documentary photography.
I’m even later posting my year-end review than last year. I’ll blame my delay on the fact that the last two months have been very busy and productive. I think I’ve actually made some of my best and most important pictures lately. This week also marks my second anniversary of living in Belgrade and things are making a lot more sense. My work, both assignments and my personal projects, are coming along. Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a solid draft of my project “Only Unity”, which I hope to turn in to a book. It is about the Serbian relationship with history and the legacy of the idea of “Unity” in the Balkans. I’m also encouraging people to follow my tumblr page for the project.
Like Scott these pictures aren’t necessarily the best or the complete picture of the year, but they’re the ones I’ll remember it by.
Živeli to you all, especially my many friends around the Balkans who have helped me along the way, and thanks for following us on dvafoto. We look forward to sharing more through the coming year. Happy belated start to 2011.