A professional photographer for over thirty-five years, Neal Parent started his career as a photojournalist for a small mid-coast Maine newspaper. Although his primary subject has been the coast of Maine - its waters, landscapes, boats and people; in recent years, his work has expanded to include Florida, Wyoming, and Montana. Most recently Neal has held workshops in Paris, Canada, the Caribbean, and in China. The workshops now include beginner’s digital photography offering instructions in how to use your digital camera’s many settings. Neal encourages students to shoot in manual mode, and how to get the most out of the image. Each student also will benefit from the daily critiques that Neal feels is so important in learning to use their cameras.
Neal still shoots with 35mm film as well. Using natural light, he works without filters and does all his own printing. Hand processing of each photograph in trays ensures complete control of each image. Three books have been published with collections of his work: My Corner of Maine, Neal Parent's Maine, published by Downcast Books, and most recently, Focused on the Coast, published by Wooden Boat Books. His photos have appeared in several magazines, including National Fisherman, Pacific Fisherman, and Downcast. In addition, his images were selected to appear in Nathalie Ward's Stillwater Bank, Adventure, by Joseph E. Garland with Captain Jim Sharp, and From Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy, edited by Philip W. Conkling.
Neal has exhibited his work in several galleries and at juried fine art shows from Maine to Florida and has won countless awards and ribbons from some of the most prestigious art shows on the East Coast. His images hang in private and corporate collections, and were exhibited at a one-man show on Madison Avenue in New York at a major public relations firm. Currently his work is exhibited in the Parent Gallery in Belfast Maine. Ansel Adams once wrote Neal and said that “ Maine was a hard place to capture”, and that…“ Neal had done a fine interpretation of the Maine scene.”
Neal has been sharing his gifts of photography and laughter with others by conducting workshops throughout Maine for many years. He has taught weeklong courses at Wooden Boat School in Brookline, Maine, on the ketch Angelique out of Camden, Maine, as well as at his studio and darkroom in Belfast, Maine. As a Maine resident he has many connections with locals. During his most recent Maine Media workshops students were able to not only capture the coast of Maine, but its people. Students were able to meet and photograph boat builders, farmers hauling logs by horseback out of the woods, musical instrument makers, fisherman, and even an early morning shoot at the local bakery. Capturing the coastline is one thing; capturing a way of life is another.