Featuring: Jeff Brown, Fabio Bucciarelli, Camilla De Maffei, Bryan Derballa, Bobby Doherty, Mosa’ab Elshamy, Charlie Engman, Laura Flippen, Grant Harder, Kiana Hayeri, Siarhei Hudzilin, Theron Humphrey, Kyle Johnson, Billy Kidd, Zun Lee, Dina Litovsky, Diana Markosian, Phil Moore, Greer Muldowney, Benjamin Rasmussen, Carla Richmond, Jenny Riffle, Bryan Schutmaat, Marcus Smith, Ralph Smith, Brea Souders, Ilona Szwarc, Maria Turchenkova, We Are The Rhoads (chris & Sarah Rhoads) and Josh Wool

Curated by PDN’s Holly Hughes, Editor; David Walker, Executive Editor; Conor Risch, Senior Editor; Amy Wolff, Photo Editor and Meghan Ahearn, Managing Editor.

During the 15 years PDN has created this special issue dedicated to “new and emerging photographers to watch,” we’ve profiled 450 photographers and reviewed the work of thousands more talented individuals. The reasons they became photographers vary. I happen to like Bobby Doherty’s. He chose photography, he says, because he observed as a kid that his photographer grandfather was “the only adult having fun.” This isn’t to suggest that Doherty or anyone else we’ve profiled this year doesn’t take their work seriously. Whether pushing the boundaries of closed societies like Siarhei Hudzilin or Kiana Hayeri, or delivering striking images for commercial and editorial clients like Billy Kidd or We Are The Rhoads, the photographers profiled here have personal visions and senses of purpose that set them apart.

The paths these individuals have taken to become photographers also vary greatly. Some have taken more traditional routes, through graduate school, assisting, or portfolio reviews and workshops that are perennial steppingstones for emerging photographers. Yet the early careers of some of those profiled here reflect how wide open today’s photography business is. Both Phil Moore and Mosa’ab Elshamy published their first pictures as citizen journalists via social media or crowd-sourcing platforms. Josh Wool built a following on Tumblr before he began getting work as a photographer. Zun Lee and Grant Harder were hobbyists with other careers before they decided to concentrate on making images. Their stories reflect the democratization of the industry, with numerous paths to sharing and promoting one’s work. Because photography is, as Doherty notes, fun—and interesting, beautiful, important, fulfilling, powerful—we see more and more people blazing new trails.

To build a career in a field that is popular, and increasingly accessible and competitive, photographers have to answer the questions that Marcus Smith asks himself. “I’ve had a good year,” he tells us, “But how do I have a good 20 years or a good 30 years? How do I stay relevant?” The answers for the photographers profiled this year include relentless hard work, self-belief, a passion for learning and exploration, and perseverance. Those are common qualities we’ve been admiring and celebrating for 15 years.


  • Photo District News (PDN)

    Photo District News (PDN)

    Photo District News (PDN) and PDNOnline, the award-winning publications for the professional photographer, have covered every aspect of the professional photographic industry for over 30 years. PDN delivers the information photographers need to survive in a competitive business–from marketing and business advice to legal issues, cutting-edge photographic techniques, new technologies and more.

    PDN published its first PDN’s 30 issue in 1999. Photographers selected for past PDN’s 30 issues have become some of today’s most acclaimed and prolific photographers.

PDN’s 30 2014: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch

 archive : 2014

Featuring: Various Artists

Presented by: Photo District News (PDN)
  • Photo District News (PDN)


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