The notion of "innovation" has received a great deal of attention over the past few years, especially in relation to technology and communications. But there are many competing  and sometimes muddled  definitions of innovation. At its most basic, innovation means something new and contrary to the established custom; something borrowed from somewhere and applied elsewhere. Innovation is different than invention, and it's more than improvement.

True innovators are rare. Especially in visual communications. This series of profiles will showcase photographers and photography editors who have consistently innovated novel approaches to seeing our world. They will tell us how they came to eventually select their ingenious approaches, what experiences they relied upon, and how they manage to stay vulnerable to new ideas  which allows them to let go of success in favor of risking something new. 

 Justin Maxon

The 2011 winner of the Cliff Edom “New America Award” is on a personal quest to “expand the boundaries of photojournalistic representation” and unfold the complex wrinkles of private moments.



Brad Mangin

San Francisco Bay Area sports photographer Brad Mangin likes getting to the game early - be it the games he shoots for clients like Sports Illustrated or Major League Baseball, or taking advantage of Internet marketing trends, or helping create online communities. While by his own admission he was late to the camera phone craze among professionals and amatuers using photography sharing Web sites like The Best Camera, Hipstamatic and Instragram -- it didn't take him long to catch up.


Eugene Richards

For more than 40 years, Eugene Richards has held a mirror to society. Even his simplest images are packed with nuance, composed with a literary quality that pulls the viewer deeper. It’s a style that asks the viewer not to just see the pictures, but to read them and feel them. It’s a quality that makes it hard to look away.


Susan Meiselas

 For Susan Meiselas the still frame is her “point of engagement, where it all begins but not where it ends.” Her love for photography is rooted in her deeper love for exploring, understanding, and sharing cultures at the edge of change.