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

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Compelling storytelling 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 photography. She works individually with photographers to help them determine and define their interests and ideas.

Students research local story ideas and learn new technical and visual skills essential to telling that story. There will be hands-on instruction with Stella. You will collaborate with your subjects and return to the same locations each day. You will start photographing a project- perhaps on a farm, a ferry boat, a schooner, at the beach, local ponds or the drive-in, depending on one’s interests. Light, composition, image selection and sequencing are equally important to the story-telling.

Each day is spent photographing an area, segment of culture, or a person. Stella meets on-location and in-class each day to review images. She shares her professional experiences working on stories and what it takes to develop both the strong relationships and the strong imagery necessary to work on long-term projects.

Transportation is highly recommended for this workshop.

Header image © Abby Flanagan

Past student work (Left to Right): Bob Wendt, Jon Perlin, John Norvell, Paul Kyte, Abby Flanagan (x2)

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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 2003-2004, and Fulbright 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. Wild Greek Press published her second monograph, ZOI, in 2018. Johnson’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally.