Now in its third edition, the broncolor Gen NEXT photography project has once again named five young creative talents as competition winners. Over the next three years, the winning photographers will each be supported with broncolor equipment valued at US$24,000. In addition, as Gen NEXT ambassadors they will be able to showcase their work through broncolor’s worldwide channels and on gennext.broncolor.com
Adventure prone and ambitious, I was born in London to an English father and Korean mother, and the middle child of five. I had an international and lively upbringing from the very beginning. My parents moved me and my brothers and sisters between Europe and Asia, blessing me with a proper East-West experience while growing up, which has definitely become a defining factor in who I am today.
Coming from a science and fine art background, I picked up my first camera as an 18-year-old having just finished my studies at Sutton Grammar School and decided to go spend a gap year in South Korea to learn Korean and more about Korean culture. My gap year turned into three years and was one of the best times of my life. I refer to this period as my ‘coming of age’ and was the time I realized that being a photographer could be a better life than studying Disaster Management, which I was intending to get into at the time.
Having spent some years assisting and working in Korean studios, I returned to London at the age of 21 to begin my university studies at London College of Fashion, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Photography in 2015.
In photography I am ultimately interested in people, and regardless of whether I am shooting fashion, landscape or food (although I specialize in fashion), I believe all photography relates to aspects of humanity and our behaviour. It is this core theme across all the genres of photography that most interests me and the continued exploration and documentation of the human condition that I wish to pursue.
Discover more about David Sheldrick:
I have been using the medium of photography since 2012 but it is difficult to trace where my journey really began. I grew up in Slovakia in a huge housing complex where the only view was the windows of other people. It seemed like hundreds of identical screens but always with a different story. As a child I used to observe all these people through these rectangular frames and based my whole imagination on the very few details which fit inside. But I thought I knew more than I saw. I imagined the whole apartment, the entire reality, and my fantasy was always expressed in pictures.
I study photography and fine art at the University of Applied Art in Vienna. In my work I am trying to pursue that point where the commercial and the artistic converge, focusing on a conceptual as well as visual aspect of photography.
I work mostly on staged scenes and taking the picture is only the last, sometimes easiest step of the whole process. My main role is to create a whole world and for a moment transform idea into reality. We often create fiction but it is based on truth. At the age of 19 I decided to capture my vision and truth through the eye of a camera and share it with the world. I have never stopped to this day.
I cannot put any classification on my style. To always evolve and develop is the most important goal in work and life.
Discover more about Natalia Evelyn Bencicova:
I have always had a passion for image-making since I was a young child. I would spend most of my day drawing pages from my favorite comic books or characters from my favorite movies. I found photography at a young age but lost touch with it somewhere along the way, making a living working construction and just living life. After a major health scare, I realized life is too short not to pursue my dreams, traveling and photography. I absorbed everything I could about lighting, photography and image-making. To this day, I have never lost the passion or desire to learn more and push myself. My wife and I have also made it a priority in our lives to travel often, so we take three trips a year, either cross country with our dogs in tow or overseas to explore other cultures.
“Cinematic Portraits” is how I describe my work. My images tend to be dark and moody and I often use multiple lights to achieve this look. I always know what I am going to do before I start by sketching out each shot and lighting setup. This helps me communicate my idea exactly to my client/model and choose locations and wardrobe for the shoot. Sometimes it is impossible to achieve the image all in camera, so I will use compositing to tell the story I want. When I travel, I am always photographing elements and amazing landscapes to use in images later. I love how with lighting and compositing, I can make any image I can imagine.
Discover more about Justin Lister:
I was born in Mexico and am a self-taught fashion and fine art photographer based in Los Angeles and New York. I have always been a very creative and visual person as far back as I can remember. I am an inveterate dreamer and firmly believe that all of us can make our dreams come true. The secret to doing that is hard work and a strong belief in yourself no matter what other people say.
Photography is my passion, my life itself, the air I breathe and the light with which I can create windows to other worlds full of beauty and perfection. My photography has no technique, it is chaos, it is instinct, it is a living and worldly reflection of the need to capture the beauty and time in front of my eyes.
I consider myself a lucky person. In this almost 5-year career I have been able to meet wonderful people who have helped me achieve my goals. The credit is not all mine, it is the whole team of people who have supported me with their specific talents. For I have always believed good teamwork is the basis of perfection. So far my work has been published in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and many more.
“As a photographer you have no limits, not even the sky.”
Discover more about Jvdas Berra:
I was born in Lebanon in 1987 and currently live and work in Beirut. I spent my younger years intrigued with the photographs I would find in magazines (specifically fashion magazines), going over the details and the setups for hours on end. Eventually I enrolled in an economics degree for my undergraduate college years. It wasn’t until the age of 21, when I bought myself my first professional camera and began taking photographs, that I even considered pursuing my passion for the arts.
After taking a single photography course for a college elective, I began looking up online tutorials, reading manuals and experimenting with my camera on my own time. As I steadily progressed over the years, I began balancing my career in economics and my love of photography until I decided to take a leap of faith and switch to the latter full-time. Now, six years later and completely self-taught, I’ve climbed to the status of an emerging fine arts photographer with an emphasis on the conceptual/surreal style. I spend my time teaching workshops (both in Lebanon and abroad), excitedly creating my own photos and photo series, carrying out photo shoots for clients and overall keeping up a very busy schedule.
I love challenging myself and pushing my own boundaries. One of my main aims is creating surreal photography without any photo manipulation. In doing so, I push my own boundaries, explore new territories and experiment continuously. I believe a smart concept and a well-studied lighting setup (be it in a studio or outdoors) are crucial to the success of a photo. I also have a keen interest in portraying invisible concepts: emotions, psychology and all that is related to the soul. My work has been sold in various auctions, and my series “The Unseen” received international acclaim in 2013. I consider the choice to follow my passion as one of the greatest decisions of my life.“
Discover more about Lara Zankoul: