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There's something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery - Stefan Kanfer

>> 7 April 2008

I have always been a fan of black and white photography. I love Edward Steichen's picture collection of The Family of Man.

Or Robert Doisneau's work.

So a recent article about Vanessa von Zitzewitz caught my eye. Her glossy website shows all these photographs taken of models for jewellery, perfume and fashion - boring. Yes, they are nice pictures, taken in a professional way but they do not tell a story, they don't convey a message, they don't pull a feeling from me.
However, this woman has also been spending two months a year for four years in the HUMAN DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION's Mercy Center in Bangkok which is home to 200 street children, orphans and children living with HIV. The pictures she took document the difficult life of these children and are collected in a book called Slaughterhouse Angels.

These pictures are so different from her magazine shots. They tell a story. They make you feel something when looking at those children's faces. What amazed me was that these children are smiling or laughing in mostly all pictures despite their rough and difficult lives. It is just he beauty of childhood.


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