Remember the story of how the original Twilight movie posters were shot by an 18-year-old rising photographic star?
At the time a lot of people scoffed at an 18-year-old being hired for the job. Well now Joey Lawrence (Known as Joey L to avoid confusion with the actor of the same name.) has his own show (at age 21) in Los Angeles. Joey L has been traveling extensively in Africa where he has captured some amazing images while diving right into the culture. According to the press release:
“Twenty-one year-old Canadian photographer Joey L., first place recipient in the International Photography Awards for his “Abyssinia” project and renowned for his photos promoting the “Twilight” movie saga, will debut his fine art collection through photokunst at photo l.a January 13-17. Joey will meet with fans and photo collectors at the photokunst booth (B 206) on Saturday, January 15 from 5 to 7 PM in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street Santa Monica, CA.
Joey L.’s distinctive style, showcased in the “Twilight” posters, secured him acclaim and commercial success allowing him to pursue personal fine art work. “Abyssinia”, shot in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, features portraits of the various tribes that occupy the valley and is the subject for his first book project, “The Cradle of Mankind”. The photographs are a deeply moving visual tribute to the tribal peoples of the Omo Valley, the birthplace of Homo sapiens, the beginning of mankind.
The Joey L. signature, as he describes, is “to achieve an atmospheric look with cinematic lighting, paying homage to the old masters with a modern spin, yet with a vivid tonal range.” Joey spends most of the time during his shoots establishing a personal connection with his subjects, learning their names, their favorite places and adornments. “Work is a collaboration between the subject and myself,” Joey says. The actual shoot is brief, but the relationship is long and enduring.
Joey’s work and life demonstrate a wisdom and sensitivity beyond his years. His premiere documentary film “Faces of a Vanishing World”, chronicles his journey to Ethiopia as he leaves his commercial photography career behind to pursue his other passion–capturing images of cultures on the verge of extinction. The film, which debuted in September, 2010 on Ovation has been distributed in 120 countries.
Joey’s “life-long” inspiration has been the writings of Wade Davis, world-renowned ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. Davis has agreed to write the introduction to “The Cradle of Mankind”.
“These exquisite images evoke in the most powerful and glorious way the place of origin of all humanity. From Africa, 40,000 years ago, our human ancestors began their great journey and within 2500 generations carried the human imagination to every corner of the habitable world. This beautiful book brings us all home.”—Wade Davis, National Geographic Explorer, Ethnobotanist, Anthropologist, Author
A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site of special international significance, the Omo River Valley and the tribes within it are on the verge of irreversible devastation by a proposed hydroelectric dam. “The Cradle of Mankind” is an urgent call to honor our birthplace and the tribes who remain as stewards of our legacy. Portions of Joey’s fine art and DVD sales are donated to Survival International to support the rights of tribal peoples in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia.
“Joey L. is an entirely new breed of photographer who brings photojournalism to the fine art arena. The dignity and beauty that he portrays in peoples of rapidly vanishing cultures are incredibly important in getting their message out to the world.”—Dr. Peter Keller, President, Bowers Museum
“Joey L’s subjects present themselves with an artistry which bridges the gap between them and the viewer. We see their frailty, and their pride and resilience in confronting our myopia, which condemns them as backward, dispensable, and moribund ‘primitives’. Joey L’s art penetrates their exoticism and shows us the sheer beauty of our shared humanity, with all its tragedy and hope.”—Stephen Corry, Director, Survival International .”