At LensCulture, it’s our mission (and passion) every week to discover and share a diverse range of exciting, new photography from around the world. We love all kinds of photography, and we’re fascinated by the countless ways people are using visual language to express so many different ways of thinking and communicating.

Over the course of each year, we publish hundreds of new articles, interviews, essays, book reviews and profiles of photographers. It’s always interesting to see which pieces resonate in particularly powerful ways with the readers of LensCulture. In 2018, these 15 articles captured the most attention and engagement in our community — so, if you happened to have missed these when they first came out, we encourage you to take a look now. They are all worth a second look in our opinion.

And of course, we hope you will always find inspiration in what we publish every week. The entire LensCulture archives are online as a rich resource for discovering the best in contemporary photography from cultures around the globe. You can scroll through a visual table of contents of nearly 15 years of discoveries. Enjoy!

Rian With Friends, 2017 © Peyton Fulford

Infinite Tenderness

Drawing on the author’s personal experience of growing up in a religious household in the American South, a series that creates an accepting space for America’s queer youth—while offering a visual diary of experiences across the USA. Photographs and text by Peyton Fulford.

Flowers For Lisa #2, 2015 © Abelardo Morell

Flowers for Lisa

In his latest series, Abelardo Morell takes a traditional still life subject — a vase of flowers — and pushes and pulls it well beyond the typical boundaries of that genre, with endlessly delightful results.

From “Call me Heena” © Shahria Sharmin

Call Me Heena: Hijra, The Third Gender

“I feel like a mermaid. My body tells me that I am a man but my soul tells me that I am a woman…” A penetrating, multi-year report on a unique group of people—who fall outside of Western notions of gender—trying to carve out a place in the world. Photographs and text by Shahria Sharmin.

landscape23022 © Peter Franck


Starting with wet plate collodion photos from the early 1900s, artist Peter Franck creates quirky images that twist and bend reality just enough to make you look twice.

Start Your Day With A Good Breakfast Together, 2007. © Pixy Liao

Experimental Relationship

Pixy Liao started using her boyfriend as a “prop” in her photos, but that evolved into an ongoing 12-year project documenting their unconventional relationship, resulting in some eye-opening images.

Stephan & Dominique. From the series “Deep Park” on 8x10 film © Bruce Polin

Deep Park

Bruce Polin’s series Deep Park features all kinds of people: the only constant being that they have chosen to spend time in this common space. The series captures the remarkable diversity of New York and its boroughs, and Polin has a particular knack for capturing strikingly emotional gazes and tender moments between friends, lovers, and families.

Odalisque © Lois Cohen & Indiana Roma Voss


In today’s hyper-saturated image landscape, the need for strong female figures has never been more important. But what does an empowering role model look like? Photographer Lois Cohen and stylist Indiana Roma Voss reimagine female archetypes from across history as new, empowered icons for the 21st-century woman.

From the series “Monomyth” © Filip Berendt

Fixing Mythology to Paper

Polish artist Filip Berendt incorporates sculpture, painting and graphics into his multimedia projects. While his final pieces are ultimately photographic prints, the images act as portals into his strenuous, layered thought process, full of specific selections and constructions gradually built up using the differing mediums. In particular, his project Monomyth acts as a record of his memories from hallucinatory experiences with ayahuasca.

Betty - age 87. “My husband died. I smoke in the house now.” © Barbara Peacock

American Bedroom

Travelling through the US one bedroom at a time, Barbara Peacock gives us an intimate glimpse of the American experience. Through the strange act of the photographic encounter, the most ordinary moment of hanging out in one’s bedroom is memorialized and elevated into something of great importance.

Who’s Driving Tokyo? © Oleg Tolstoy

Who’s Driving Tokyo?

In Japan, drivers rated “y ūryō untensh”—excellent driver—have their own stands at major stations and special markings on their cabs. Highly-rated drivers offer their passengers solitude and privacy. Here, a series of street portraits that pay homage to these respected professionals. Photographs and text by Oleg Tolstoy.

Spread from “Interior Landscape” © Sara S. Teigen

Mapping an Interior Landscape

By combining photography with intricate drawings from her personal sketchbook, artist Sara S. Teigen creates intimate work that is simultaneously wondrous and familiar. After printing her photographs in the darkroom, she cuts out fragments of each image, reorganizing its tiny bits on the page in front of her. Using a fine-tip pen, Teigen then expands the scenes in each photograph even further across her canvas, melding the real image together with sketches from her imagination.

No More, No Less 02 © Kensuke Koike & Thomas Sauvin

Nothing Added, Nothing Removed

Splicing and rearranging the subjects depicted in vintage flea market finds, photographer Kensuke Koike reformats discarded memories into intriguing and precise abstract works. See also the story of a brilliant photobook experiment that allowed 3 different creative publishers to design and produce 3 very different books that all present the same material in stunning new ways.

“I was so afraid it would explode on its own.” Falmata, age 15, September 22, 2017. © Adam Ferguson, shot for The New York Times.

The Bombs They Carried

Portraits of resilience and strength—these young women were captured by Boko Haram and forced to carry suicide bombs. But instead of succumbing to their captors’ torments and committing a violent act, they resisted. Video interview with Adam Ferguson.

What Photography Has in Common With an Empty Vase 04 © Edgar Martins.

What Photography Has In Common With An Empty Vase

How can a photograph reference something that it doesn’t depict? Does this goal go against the very nature of the medium—or, paradoxically, is photography the best conduit for this pursuit? Edgar Martins uses the social context of incarceration to explore ideas of presence, absence, and loss—as well as photography’s ability to represent a subject that is missing from the frame.

Untitled (Pigeon 5th Avenue), 2017 © Giacomo Brunelli

New York Noir

Moody, cinematic, timeless — these black and white photos of New York evoke another era and a noirish sensibility, but they were all made within the past two years. Photographs by Giacomo Brunelli.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our other end-of-year roundups, including our 15 Favorite Conversations from 2018 and our Favorite Photobooks of 2018.