Best of OZY— Photos - OZY | A Modern Media Company
CHINA. Peking. Cotton mill nursery.
SourceEve Arnold/Magnum


Because sometimes a picture says it all. 

By OZY Editors

A Celebrity Selfie Is Worth a Thousand Words

Why get an autograph when you can get a professionally shot photograph with a famous person? A photograph shot by yourself, kind of. Michael Lewis is an L.A.-based professional photographer who often shoots celebrity profiles for magazines. However, it’s the photos that he takes for himself that caught OZY’s attention. Lewis has a collection of pictures of the rich and famous with him IN the shot. Call it a photobomb, call it a selfie, call it something else, but the results can be pretty hilarious. And OZY got our hands on his work.

This week, OZY is celebrating our six-month anniversary with six roundups of our best stories. Today we have six great photographs that deserve a second look, curated and compiled by superstar OZY Photo Director Leslie Dela Vega.

Having Two Kids in China Isn’t Cheap

Eve Arnold is a master. Eve Arnold is the mother of photojournalism. Period. It’s not often we use imagery from an icon. We needed a conceptual image for this story and this was the photo that said it all. The richness in color, the composition of beautiful children: their curious and obedient nature, the total innocence and uncertainty in their eyes. Having many children in the photo for this story made more sense than depicting the literal “two” we refer to in our story title—it simply made more of an impact, and that was important to me. My personal feelings about the one child policy were in play, and I’d make the same choice if I had to do it again today.

Fashion in Sudan

When fighting erupted in Juba, South Sudan, last December between government forces and rebels loyal to an ousted vice president, it threatened to unravel everything the new country had built, both physically and culturally. One such cultural touchstone was Juba’s emerging fashion industry, led by designers such as Akuja de Garang. Her annual Festival for Fashion and Arts for Peace has drawn the attention of international press, which hailed her as one of South Sudan’s enterprising repats helping define the new country’s cultural identity. Award-winning war photographer Ben Lowy shared some of his most stunning images—not of violence but of fashion—and of one new country’s attempt to build beauty amid violence.

Homeboy Industries

Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist Melissa Golden spent four days photographing Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-rehabilitation program in the country in 2012. The Los Angeles-based program, founded in 1992 by Father Greg Boyle, provides jobs, job training, adult education classes, tattoo removal, anger-mangement sessions and the gift of a second chance to hundreds of former gang members, ex-convicts and high-risk youth. Golden says she was a little intimidated by the former gang members at first, but as she ”got to know the people behind the tattoos,” she says, she found that ”these people were there in search of redemption. They had no place else to go and were looking to make a new life for themselves.” The people she met were sweet, considerate and friendly, but most of all, she says, there was a theme of thankfulness.

Pretty Lady, Go to Boot Camp

Filipina photographer Tammy David started covering local and national beauty pageants, ranging from the Pearl of the Philippines (locally known as Mutya Ng Pilipinas) in 2010 to Little Miss Bureau of Corrections in 2010. The last pageant she shot was Binibining Kaliksana San Jose Tarlac (Miss Environment of San Jose, Tarlac) in January 2013. Having seen those half-dozen events made David realize that these pageants, despite their controversy and their complications, are part of her culture, just like basketball and boxing. The pageants may mean the Philippines are obsessed with beauty or filled with regional pride, or they may simply be an indication of poverty.

A Scientific Arab Spring

One word describes this image: powerful. Its impact is raw, the reader’s reaction is quick, emotions are stirred. This was photographed by the award-winning Paolo Pellegrin, who captured this moment of pensiveness, possibly sadness. He is in darkness in a dilapidated room, and I can feel his pain. The reader is now visually placed in this story, in his world.


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