“Why?” is the question you will be asked and asking in this workshop, to discover the connections that advance your work from one image to the next.

© Arno MinkkinenMarville photographed the street lamps of Paris. Sudek, Charles Bridge in Prague. Gursky? Those endless Bigbox superstores and vertiginous palatial hotel lobbies. Subject matter has always defined a photographer. But what if we asked why? Why did Stieglitz point his camera skyward? Was it to refute the often-held claim that his privileged connections gave him the edge? The sky was free for all. 

Asking why is what this workshop aims to use as a better way of building a body of work. Subject matter is the easy, exterior part. Asking why allows us to discover the connections that advance our work from one image to the next. Why digs deeper and sticks: like an anchor that grabs hold. It’s what makes why so personal. When we learn that Stieglitz’s gesture to capture the heavens was actually prompted by the death of his mother, his Equivalents soar like never before.

A portfolio review is required for admission to this course. You can submit a portfolio via a link to your website, online portfolio, or print submission. For more detailed information on these requirements, click here.


Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish American photographer, educator, curator, and writer with over two hundred one-person and group exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide. Six monographs have been published: Frostbite (Morgan & Morgan, 1978); Waterline (Marval, Aperture, and Otava, 1994), Grand Prix du Livre at the 25th Rencontres d’Arles; Body Land (Motta, Nathan, and the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997–1999); SAGA: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Thirty-Five Years of Photographs (Chronicle Books, 2005), catalog for the show that traveled from the DeCordova Museum to Eastern Europe, Finland, Italy, China and Canada; Homework: The Finnish Photographs, 1973 to 2008 (Like Publishing, Ltd., 2008), and Balanced Equation (Lodima Press, 2010). Minkkinen’s works are in prominent museum and institutional collections worldwide, for example: in France at the Georges Pompidou Center and Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris; in Finland at the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma in Helsinki; in Japan at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and in America, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. He is Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Docent at Aalto University of Art, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki. In 1992, the Finnish government conferred the First Class Order of the Lion medal, and in 2006, awarded the Finnish State Art Prize in Photography. Last fall, Minkkinen received the 2013 Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art at ceremonies in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Course Dates

Aug 11 to Aug 13




Class Size