find in myself the possibility to be in love with them.” After reading this quote from photographer Ariko Inaoka, her words resonated through my mind all week. While she in fact was speaking about the act of photographing friends on an intimate level, those 12 simple words took on an entirely different meaning for me, one that seemed to sum up the process of finding this group of photographers.
Last year’s May issue,
the first “30 Under 30” produced by PDN, was more of a trip into the unknown than anything else. Yet it turned out to be a very successful venture for us and the featured photographers—one that resulted in the demand for a second issue. This year, rather than having the fear of actually finding 30 photographers, we encountered the exact opposite—a pile of portfolios that threatened to destroy our photo editor’s desk and our Messenger Center’s patience in one simultaneous crush of leather. It seemed that word of our little issue and the accompanying Web portfolio on PDN Online from last year had made its way to quite a few more young ears and aggressive reps than we had expected.
This was not a terrible problem (our photo editor Mackenzie Green’s desk is usually buried under one thing or another), but we had an even bigger challenge than last year when it came to narrowing down our choices to a final 30. The selection was not only more diversified in international terms (there were portfolios from Holland, Denmark, Israel, England, Italy, India and Australia), but also in terms of content. While our 1999 issue was heavy on fashion and editorial shooters, this year photojournalism and fine-art photographers made a significant showing in our initial choices and final selections.
However, it wasn’t the backgrounds of the photographer or their specialties that really caught my attention. It was, in the end, simply the beauty of their photographs—the offbeat symmetry and humor in the images of Alex + Laila, the inviting, curiosity-creating shadows in the work of David Tsay, and the complexity packed within daring simplicity in Orit Raff’s creations. It is because of the brilliance of those images and their power to remain in my mind long after they disappeared from eyesight (much like the words of Ariko), that I find in myself the possibility to be in love with them. Here’s hoping you feel the same.

Anthony LaSala, Section Editor


Once again, our thanks go out to the 30 Under 30 sponsors, Kodak Professional and Nikon, for their vision and enthusiasm.
We also thank the following for their leads and help in finding this year’s featured photographers:

Heidi Posner, Martha Stewart Living
Jim Franco, Travel and Leisure
World Press Photo
Elisabeth Biondi, The New Yorker
Eddie Adams and the entire staff at the Eddie Adams workshop
Benjamin Liu, *Surface
Charlene Piro, Oliver Piro
Mutale Kanyanta, Art Department
Camilla Lowther, CLM
Emma and Kathy Eng, ESP
Doris Brautigan, Tonya Martin and Jamie Vance, Details
Alix Brown, Visionaire
Parsons School of Design
Claire O’Dea, SABA
Lisa and Lynn, Lamoine Creative Management Partners
Nelleke Strijkers, NEL
Laura Hinds, Beauty and Photo
Nicole Hughes, Montage
Nadine Raea Desiderio, YM
Alison Morley, School of Visual Arts

Back to Top