Explore the subtle art of forging a strong connection with your subject.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Image Credit: Tanya Russell, Seeing Maine 2017

Compelling documentary work demands a photographer’s strong connection with his or her subject. In this course, Stella teaches students how to make that connection and develop a personal style of shooting. She works individually with photographers to help them determine and define their interests and ideas.

The workshop begins with an historical look at photographic documentary traditions and major practitioners. Students research local story ideas and learn new technical and visual skills essential to telling that story. Each day is spent photographing an area, segment of culture, or a person, depending on each student’s documentary interests. Stella meets privately and in small groups each day to review and research images. She shares her professional experiences working on stories in remote destinations and what it takes to develop the strong relationships necessary to work on long-term projects.

Transportation is highly recommended for this workshop.

Header image © Tanya Russell

Past student work (clockwise): Bob Wendt, Jon Perlin, John Norvell, Paul Kyte 

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Instructor: Stella Johnson

Stella Johnson is a photographer and educator known for her passionate and honest documentary projects. She received a Core Fulbright Scholar Grant to photograph in Mexico in 2003, and Fulbright Senior Specialist grants to teach in Mexico in 2006 and in Colombia in 2018. The University of Maine Press published her monograph, Al Sol: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon and Nicaragua in 2008. Johnson’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally. A dedicated educator, Johnson holds teaching positions at Boston University and Lesley University College of Art and Design. She also teaches workshops in Greece, Cuba, and Mexico. She was a 2013 finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50, and a nominee for the Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fellowship. Johnson’s work has received numerous honors including a New England Foundation for the Arts Cultural Collaborative Artist-in-Residence Grant and Julia Margaret Cameron Award.