Work with a master documentary photographer and explore the subtle art of forging a strong connection with your subject.

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.

Students may work with traditional film or digitally. Workshops' staff process film each night, providing contact sheets and prints.

Transportation is highly recommended for this workshop.


Stella Johnson

The work of acclaimed, Boston-based photographer Stella Johnson spans editorial, corporate, documentary and artistic genres. Grounded in her photography training at The San Francisco Art Institute and her advanced degree in journalism at Boston University's College of Communication, Stella has worked extensively in the United States, Africa, and Europe. Stella was a Fulbright Core Scholar to Mexico in 2003-2004 and a Fulbright Senior Specialist to Mexico in 2006, for photography and teaching, respectively.

The University of Maine Press is the publisher of Stella Johnson’s monograph, AL SOL: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon and Nicaragua, 2008. She currently teaches at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Boston University and the Maine Media Workshops in Maine and Greece and teaches workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico and Cuba.

Select Single and Group Exhibitions include: The Girls’ Club Collection, Ft Lauderdale, FL, The Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon, The Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona State College, Daytona, FL, and The University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME        

© Francie Bishop Good 

Major projects include a view book for the Riverdale Country Day School in New York, the annual report of Lycos, and numerous brochures for investment banking firms and hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s. Her work has appeared in US News & World Report, Time and Fortune magazines and has been commissioned by Continental Airlines, Fidelity Investments and The Ford Foundation.                                                                                                                  



Course Dates

Aug 21 to Aug 27



Class Size