Maine Media is fueled by the principal conviction that storytelling deepens human understanding in the world.

Click each storyteller’s photo to jump to their story.

Rebecca Kiger
Photojournalist for TIME Magazine, Washington Post and other publications

Samantha Appleton
Photojournalist, White House Photographer

Luke Lorentzen
Documentary Filmmaker

Mimi Edmunds
CBS News Broadcast Journalist

Luis Zerón
Film Editor for Netflix, HBO

Cig Harvey

Valerie Duncan
Photographer, Painter, Bookmaker

Rebecca Kiger

“It’s hard to believe that just one week at Maine Media could provide such a great foundation of experience and skills. It inspired the direction I wanted to go in my career. The class was that rich.”

Rebecca Kiger had studied photography as an undergraduate and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Latin American studies and started teaching in public schools. However, she eventually missed image-making and decided that she wanted to become a professional photographer and inspire youth. Rebecca knew she needed to strengthen her photography skills to fulfill her dreams. And she needed a greater sense of confidence in the medium.

In 2001, Rebecca turned to Maine Media Workshops and signed up for a class with Sarah Leen, a photographer, photo editor and eventually the first female Director of Photography at the National Geographic Magazine. 

Taking a workshop at Maine Media with Leen helped Rebecca Kiger go from theory to real-world application as a documentary photographer. 

Rebecca Kiger is now an artist-in-residence through the Rural Arts Collaborative and the Ohio Arts Council, teaching photography in high schools in the Rust Belt of Appalachian Ohio. She lives with her family in Wheeling, West Virginia. Rebecca recently published an assignment with TIME Magazine documenting the impact of the pandemic on homeless communities in West Virginia

Rebecca’s work, a photo of Dana Campbell playing “You Are My Sunshine” on the harmonica before being vaccinated in his home in Elkview, W.Va., on June 4, was included in TIME’s Top 100 Photos of 2021 published November 24, 2021.

Your gift allows artists like Rebecca to give voice to powerful stories.

Read more about Rebecca’s work.

Rebecca’s work with the Rural Arts Collaborative was highlighted in the Washington Post on July 23, 2019: These high school photographers crafted a stunning account of their lives in Appalachian Ohio and reviewed by ICP: Review from International Center of Photography

In May 2021, her work with youth who are working with photography during the pandemic was highlighted in NPR, May 31, 2021: These Young Students Learned Photography And Gained Community During The Pandemic

Dana Campbell plays ‘You Are My Sunshine’ on the harmonica before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine on June 4, 2021, Elkview, West Va.

Jessica lights a candle to keep her tent warm.

A man steps out of his tent when medics arrive for a check-up at the homeless encampment in Wheeling, WV.

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Samantha Appleton

Samantha Appleton is a Maine native, an alum of Maine Media’s workshop program, and has been an instructor in the workshops since 2007.

Samantha developed her interests in storytelling early, with a focus on journalism. She attended workshops with Maine Media before attending the University of Washington and studying Comparative History.

The spark ignited on our Rockport campus has traveled with Samantha from Iraq and Afghanistan to South Africa and the White House. She has worked as a photojournalist covering the aftermath of 9/11 and conflict zones in the Middle East, as well as an official photographer for the Obama family in the White House.

Samantha’s work is a direct reflection of our time around the world’s most compelling, difficult, and complicated stories. While few of these stories will ever be resolved, her photographs nudge consciousness along. Her quieter pictures—even of war—are often the strongest against time’s weakening of memory. They illuminate a story in a way that the flash of the day’s news may not sustain. 

Samantha’s experience is one great example among many. Maine Media sets the stage for these opportunities, and many more like it. And we need your help.

See more of Samantha’s work.

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Nelson Mandela about his book during a visit at his home in South Africa, June 21, 2011.

A young Nepali girl practices a balancing act the morning before the circus opens. The girls are under incredible stress: physical abuse is common and rewards are rare.

A soldier attempts to calm an angry mob in Baghdad, Iraq.

Hiding sapphires in Ilakaka, Madagascar.

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Luke Lorentzen

“Maine Media workshops was a major and essential kickstart to my love for documentary filmmaking. In just two weeks, I learned enough technical ability to head off into the real world to begin making films on own. The workshop gave me the confidence, curiosity, and energy to pursue documentary filmmaking professionally.”

Luke Lorentzen’s interest in the documentary form was sparked in his teens when he took a workshop for young artists at Maine Media Workshops. Now he is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker.

Luke Lorentzen’s acclaimed 2019 feature-length documentary, Midnight Family, tells the story of a family-run ambulance business in Mexico City. The film was shortlisted for the 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and was a New York Times ‘Critics’ Pick’. Midnight Family has won over 35 awards from some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals and organizations including a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Editing from the International Documentary Association, and the Golden Frog for Best Documentary from Camerimage. 

Luke’s other work as a director and cinematographer includes one of Netflix’s most watched original series, Last Chance U, which has been nominated for an Emmy and Critics Choice Award. Experimenting with the ways in which non-fiction stories are told, his films take viewers into hidden worlds to meet otherwise overlooked, hard working people. 

Luke taught a workshop at Maine Media in 2020.  

Historically, Luke has not been a filmmaker who works off news cycles. His films have tried to look for timeless human stories of everyday life. Luke believes that filmmaking on a very fundamental level is about empathy and about creating spaces to connect with people outside of your bubble. Luke sees filmmaking as a really focused form of communication that can cross barriers that society has thrown at us.

With each film Luke has made, he leaves his comfort zone and goes into somebody else’s world. He actively works to create a relationship. That process of putting himself into other people’s spaces has really changed the way that he sees himself. “I think of filmmaking as a really active engagement with the world around me,” said Luke. “And that can be a film about my brother or it could be a film about someone living on the polar opposite of planet earth.”

Luke is another great example of how Maine Media sets the stage for opportunities to bridge human connection through storytelling.

See more of Luke’s work.

 Midnight Family is available to rent on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube.

Stills from Midnight Family

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Mimi Edmunds

I think it just shows the rich, broad scope of this school to include writing, photographs, visuals, books – and I feel the richer for it.

Mimi Edmunds, (MFA Committee) B.A. in the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in Anthropology & International Education, Columbia University; PhD candidate, ABD, University of Connecticut, Storrs; has worked in non-fiction storytelling for three decades. As a broadcast journalist with CBS for 15 years, including eleven at 60 Minutes, and at CBS’s documentary unit, she then worked at PBS, the Discovery Network, in Maryland, Washington, and Arizona. Her films have won Emmy nominations and Cable awards.

She currently works on independent productions. She has taught at Maine Media every summer since 1986, including workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico and Havana, Cuba. Several of her films have won awards for cinematography and production. She also wrote and produced for PBS’ newsmagazine ARIZONA ILLUSTRATED from 1999 until 2002.

With an educational background in visual anthropology, she has also taught documentary filmmaking and broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and at Emerson College in Boston. She has an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from The Stonecoast Program in Creative Writing of USM. She is currently writing a memoir.

Selections of Mimi’s earlier work with CBS News

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Cig Harvey

“Maine Media definitely changed my life and changed the trajectory and the course of my career. It taught me so much about my practice, how to live as an artist – it taught me about my work.”

Cig Harvey is an artist whose practice seeks to find the magic in everyday life. Harvey’s work is rich in implied narrative, deeply rooted in the natural world, and devoted to the topics of belonging and familial relationships. Her work has been reviewed and featured in The New York Times, BBC, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Vice, The Sunday Times, The Independent, Marie Claire Italia, and New York Magazine.

She is the author of three sold-out books, You Look At Me Like An Emergency, Gardening at Night, and You an Orchestra You a Bomb. Her work is in the collections of major American museums including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.

In 2017, Cig was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award from CENTER an international organization that honors, supports, and provides opportunities for gifted and committed photographers. In 2018, she was named the Prix Virginia Laureate, an international photography award based in Paris and in 2019, a mid-career retrospective of her work appeared at the Ogunquit Museum of Art. Most recently in 2020 Cig was awarded the Maine in America Award, presented by the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Board of Trustees in honor of an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. Whilst past winners of the award have included Alex Katz (2010) and Robert Indiana (2009), the 2020 Award specifically celebrated women artists, writers, philanthropists and visionaries whose impact celebrates Maine’s role in American Art.

Harvey was honored at the Farnsworth 2020 Summer Gala alongside twelve other Women of Vision: Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, Berenice Abbott, Linda Bean, Katherine Bradford, Edith R. Dixon, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Louise Nevelson, Elizabeth Noyce, Molly Neptune Parker, Maureen Rothschild, Phyllis Mills Wyeth, and Marguerite Thomas Zorach.

See more of Cig’s work.


Emily & the Falcon

Forsythia (Forced Blooming)

The Compost Heap (Dahlias)

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Luis Zerón

“As an editor, I was looking for a place where I could push my career to the next level. At [Maine Media], I’ve found the greatest instructors and people who always push me to be better.”

Luis Zerón has edited series for Netflix and HBO, feature films, documentaries, music videos, and commercials.  Based in Mexico City, he is a member of the AMAE (Spanish association of editors).

Most recently, Luis was Lead Editor for the Netflix series “Oscuro Deseo (Dark Desire)” which premiered in 2020.  He has also worked as Lead Editor and Editor on projects like “Yankee” (2019) produced by Netflix and Argos, “Ingobernable 2” (2018) produced by Netflix and Argos, “El Chapo” (2017, seasons 1 and 2) for Netflix and Story House, and “Sr. Ávila” (2016, seasons 2 and 3), an International Emmy® Award-winner produced by HBO and Lemon Films.

His feature film work includes “Restos” (2012), directed by Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, “Puebla Sinfonía Inaudible” (2010), a feature documentary directed by Juan Manuel Barreda, and “The Marching Quixotes” (2016), a feature documentary directed by Florencia Davidzon.

Luis has edited commercials and corporate films for leading brands like Coors Light, Nintendo, JW Marriot, and Tecate, as well as music videos for artists like the popular Mexican group Moenia.

He has also worked in the editorial department of series and films including “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo” (2009) directed by Isabel Coixet, an official selection at the Cannes International Film Festival, “Sobre Ella” (2013) directed by Mauricio T Valle, “Volando Bajo” (2013) directed by Beto Gómez, “After Darkness” (2018) directed by Batan Silva, and “La Sagrada Familia” (2009) a series produced by Mediapro Barcelona and TV3 Catalunya.

He has a Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts from Maine Media College, a Masters degree in Film Editing from ESCAC Barcelona, and a BA in Communication from the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico. He also teaches editing at Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City.

Still from Oscuro Deseo

Still from Oscuro Deseo

Still from El Chapo

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Valerie Duncan

“I think we all have stories inside us that are waiting to be told.”

Valerie Duncan is a photographer and a painter. For her, creation and compassion are intertwined. She began working for some of the most prestigious chefs in Washington D.C. and passionately designed events for people, preparing delicious food and presenting it in a unique way. As a photographer, she creates portraits that capture the essence of personality and peculiarities.

See more of Valerie’s work.

The Cottage

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