Photo-Forum kicks off 2017 with a topic sure to dominate British politics this year: Brexit. We’ll be joined by Peter Dench and Muir Vidler, together with STERN’s picture editor Dagmar Seeland, to discuss the Brexit story they were commissioned to shoot around the June referendum.
Peter Dench. Being commissioned to shoot for magazines has been the heartbeat of my career and STERN magazine has been pumping me with commissions from the very beginning. My first was published on the 19th September 1999, a feature about the final resting place of Diana Princess of Wales. Subsequent commissions have included major reports on ethnicity in London, love in the UK, British public schools and the decline of Italy. The STERN team understand my photography and I understand the commitment and high standards they expect. On assignment, I’ve had to dress as a schoolboy, wear a Spiderman costume, and on one occasion, wear nothing at all. The thrill of being commissioned by STERN, delivering the brief and seeing it in print, remains equal with the first drink of the day.
Muir Vidler. I started working as a cruise ship photographer in 1998, after a year I moved to London where I studied Photojournalism at London College of Printing and got a job as staff photographer doing the club photos for the gay scene magazine QX. Since then I’ve worked for all kinds of magazines shooting a mix of reportage and portraits.
My pictures have been shown at the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Rove Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts in London, Colette in Paris, Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and published in the pages of The New York Times Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine, Vogue, Time, Vanity Fair, VICE, i.D. and STERN, to name a few.
Dagmar Seeland is no stranger to the ironies of history. Born in East Germany, she studied Design and Communications in Berlin before escaping across the border from Hungary to what was then Yugoslavia in the summer of 1989 – in almost exactly the same spot where, 26 years later, the Hungarian government erected a new fence to deter the stream of refugees entering the European Union.
Beginning her career in publishing and advertising in Munich and Hamburg, Seeland later moved to London where she was appointed Photo Editor at the London office of the German weekly magazine STERN. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, while also discovering and nurturing a raft of new talent. She regularly reviews portfolios at photo festivals in the UK and across Europe, and also runs K&R Media – an agency that acts as a correspondents’ office and picture desk for a wide range of German and Swiss media clients.