Craig Semetko is an American photographer living in Los Angeles. Born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, Semetko became a comedy writer and performer after graduating from Northwestern University and discovered photography as another means of storytelling while performing in a show that took him around the world. His comedic background has given him a highly developed sense of the absurd and ironic, resulting in a strong theme of humor throughout his work.
Semetko’s first book, “UNPOSED,” was published by teNeues and released worldwide in the fall of 2010. Legendary Magnum Photos photographer Elliott Erwitt wrote the foreword. Erwitt writes of Semetko, "In my book, he is the essential photographer. That is, the one who sees what others could not have seen."
Semetko says of his book: "As the title suggests, none of the pictures in "UNPOSED" were staged. They were all taken spontaneously--some with the subjects' knowledge, most without. When I see something that amuses me or moves me, I just "click." I'm trying to provide the elements of an interesting story in a single well-composed frame, but of course I'm not consciously thinking of that when I take the picture. In fact, I try not to think at all. Thinking constipates things."
In 2008 his work was featured with famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Open Shutter Gallery in an exhibition entitled: “Street Photography: From Classic to Contemporary--Henri Cartier-Bresson and Craig Semetko,” and he’s had solo shows at the Leica Galeries in New York City, Frankfurt, Germany, Salzburg, Austria, and at Leica headquarters in Solms, Germany. In 2009, he was the keynote speaker at the Leica Historical Society of America’s annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, and has taught at numerous Leica Akademie workshops.
His current project, "America: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)," has taken him throughout the United States--since unofficially beginning on the 4th of July, 2011 in Independence, California, Semetko has driven over 45,000 miles documenting America. To learn more about his project visit his website.
Semetko’s photographs have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, and can be found in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is proud to have the first full showing of his America project at the Open Shutter Gallery.
Street Photography 2008
America E Pluribus Unum 2013
India Unposed 2014