Beslan School Siege, 10 Years Later

On Sept. 1, 2004, 1,200 students were taken hostage during a back-to-school event in Beslan, North Ossetia, a Russian republic. Two days later, about 330 hostages were dead, more than half of them children. Reportage photographer Diana Markosian visited Beslan in advance of the anniversary and her resulting photographs - of survivors, the school and the graves of the dead - were published in Time Lightbox over the weekend, accompanied by an essay by Katya Cengel.

“Beslan is considered one of the conflict’s greatest travesties against the innocent,” writes Cengel. “But a decade later the world has moved on. Residents of this little North Caucasus town have not, partly because important questions remain unanswered: How many terrorists escaped? What caused the explosion that lead to the storming of the school?”

See the feature on Time Lightbox.

(Photos by Diana Markosian)


Time Magazine Picks Instagrams that Defined 2014

From Ukraine to the US-Mexico border, Time Magazine and Instagram looked for images that tell stories of the year’s major events. We’re pleased to see they included images from Reportage photographers Daniel Berehulak and Charles Ommanney, and Getty Images News photographer Brendan Hoffman. See the full gallery on Time Lightbox.

Captions, from top:

Photo by Charles Ommanney (@charlesommanney) | McAllen, Texas. A group of women and two unaccompanied children are detained on a levee. Exhausted and hungry the group appeared relieved to be found. It turned out they had travelled from Guatemala and Honduras together.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman (@hoffmanbrendan) | One of a group of local coal miners searches a field of sunflowers near #Grabovo #ukraine for #mh17 airplane debris and human remains. #україни

Photo by Daniel Berehulak (@danielberehulak) | Boarding the bus, sent to greet us, on the tarmac at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia

Hey folks,

I just want to send a big loving thank you to all my followers, colleagues, clients, friends and family for your continuing support this past year!

It was such an exciting year and I would like to share some of the highlights for me such as being selected as one of PDN’s 30, traveling to South Korea to shoot the worlds largest ship for Bloomberg, shooting Juicy J for the cover of The FADER, my first story for The New Yorker, TIME Lightbox featuring my work from Western China, participating in The American Diversity Project Workshop and more in the links below.

I could not have done all this without the inspiration from you guys. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2014 and wish you all a Happy New Year!


It was an honor to be selected as one of the PDN 30 this year alongside a group of amazing friends and colleagues.

I had another amazing year covering new music/culture for The FADER Magazine and continuing to collaborate with my very talented friends Geordie Wood and Matthew Schnipper

Juicy J  -  Peggy Noland  -  Inc.  -  Future  -  Shlohmo 

On a Saturday morning this past March I awoke to an assignment opportunity from Bloomberg Businessweek to shoot the world’s largest ship. That evening I hopped on a plane to the other side of the world. It was such an incredible experience from an amazing magazine.

I was thrilled to shoot my first assignment for The New Yorker covering DJ Afrojack and Club XS in Las Vegas.

The Wall Street Journal is always exciting to shoot for and working a story about Mariners Church in Irvine, CA was an excellent challenge.

My good friends Ross Mantle and Peter Hoffman produced another incredible installment of the ADP workshop, this time at UnSmoke Systems in Braddock, PA. This was my third year at ADP and I’m always blown away by all the incredible work and ideas.

While I was back home in the Catskill’s this past summer I produced a series about a stream. The work has been featured on some awesome blogs like Feature Shoot and This Is Paper out of Poland.. and for those interested I will be publishing a small limited edition booklet of the work in the next few months!

My work from Western China has continued to get awesome shine here on tumblr and I was very grateful for it to be featured on TIME Lightbox and in Zurich, Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung for a full week.

Thank you Panorama out of Cairo, Egypt, Top Photography Films from Germany and the Denver Post’s PLOG for profiling my work and the great interviews.

Photo: Camilo José Vergara

For more than four decades, Camilo José Vergara has photographed the poorest and most segregated communities in urban America. Both a sociologist and a photographer, Vergara is probably best known for his photos of urban blight in 1970s New York. But  for over twenty five years he has also pointed his lens at Detroit, to document not just the city’s decline but the quiet resilience of its people and its urban landscape. 

See the story here

Last September marked the 10th anniversary of the Beslan school siege, which was the subject of a photoessay by Reportage photographer Diana Markosian. Time Lightbox has highlighted this work in its look at trends in contemporary photojournalism.

“Whether through digital channels, print or on exhibit, the impact, influence and reach of the still image has never been greater,” writes Phil Bicker, a photo editor at Time. “But with so many images fighting for our attention, how do photographers make work that most effectively stands out and connects with an audience?”

In this project, Diana tried to answer that question with a poignant mix of reportage, portrait, still life archival images and drawings by victims of the massacre. The result is a multifaceted examination of the legacy of the attack and the trauma inflicted on both the individual students and the community at large.

Visit Time Lightbox to see more examples of inventive photoessays from 2014.


For TIME Magazine’s latest issue which explores Pot smokers and the science of Pot, I travelled to DENVER, CO to photograph young-adult pot smokers. It was quite an experience, check out more images and some of my thoughts from the whole thing at http://time.com/3813790/marijuana-pot-colorado/

But the most important question for this “family album” will be to what extent we can enlarge our notion of family. If viewed as happening to the “other,” then much of this imagery—whether joyous or painful—will be ignored by those not directly affected. If, on the other hand, we see ourselves as mutually dependent, both happy for each other’s successes and attentive to each other’s welfare, then even the harshest imagery created by communities of their own distress can serve a purpose.

Fred Ritchin, professor at NYU and co-director of the Photography & Human Rights Program at Tisch in an article for TIME LightBox on Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later.

He discusses the growing practice of and potential for communities to portray themselves through photography, be it professionals having access to a larger audience through the web, or amateurs using their mobile phones to capture events.

Instagram, for example, allows professionals and amateurs alike to immediately upload images; during Hurricane Sandy last year, ten photos tagged to the storm were uploaded every second; 800,000 pictures were uploaded in all. In contrast, the monumental, multi-year Farm Security Administration program created during the New Deal that focused on American rural poverty with photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein and Ben Shahn, produced roughly 250,000 images total.

While Instagram as a photographic and journalistic medium has its critics, one of its positive features is the fact that users can see only one photo at a time on their phone, which, Ritchin points out, provides the viewer a type of respite from the visual chaos of the web. At a time when increasing numbers of citizens around the world are documenting everything from war to human rights atrocities to their daily lives, a coherent way to filter this imagery is missing. Not all disasters are the same, he writes:

Whereas Hurricane Sandy was a catastrophe that those in the Northeastern United States suffered through together, sharing each other’s vulnerability, other circumstances may be more problematic. What might have been the result if those trapped inside the World Trade Towers on September 11 had possessed cellphone cameras? Would it have been enlightening for others on the outside if they were able to distribute images of their terrible predicament, or would large amounts of such first-person imagery have provoked an ugly voyeurism amounting to re-victimization? Would these images have further increased the trauma for a horrified, largely powerless public to even more intolerable levels, and with it the calls for vengeance?

Our task is two-fold: 1) “to develop practical applications for this abundance of imagery” and 2) to find ways to make this “family album” that stretches the world over accessible to us, in our media consumption cycles as something other than an overload of imagery lest it cause “an even greater distancing from events” due to our inability to process the abundance. 

All that in mind, view the photo essay “Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later: Self-Portraits of Communities in Distress” here.