“Maine Media Workshops + College is pleased to present our Annual Photo and Video contest, sponsored by B&H Photo Video. At MMW+C, we believe in the power of stories to change the way people think about the world. We teach and inspire storytellers of all ages and walks of life, encouraging and fostering the use of everything from historical processes to cutting-edge technology in order to communicate narratives. We are excited to partner with B&H, the source of for all things digital and manual in the image making community, to bring you this contest. Together, we are excited to see the stories you want to tell and what they will say about our world.”

The deadline is September 10.

Find out more here.


An art sale fundraiser for Maine Media Workshops + College.

June 24, 2015 – Brewster Point Barn, Rockport, ME

VIP Reception 5:30-6:30 pm / Main Event 6:30-8:30 pm

“This summer our friends, local artists, and community members will gather in Rockport to celebrate the spirit of creative collaboration that is at the heart of everything we do. Originally enjoyed as a parlor game by French Surrealists in the early 1920s, exquisite corpse is a collaborative artistic process that celebrates the unexpected. In most forms of the game, only a portion of what one artist has created is visible to the others, resulting in unusual, surprising, and unpredictably kinetic creations.

We have invited our own community of world-renowned artists to collaborate with each other and with other local artists representing a diverse range of visual arts. These unique works of art will be sold at the event, where our guests will also enjoy the premiere of an Exquisite Corpse film created by special friends of our film program, as well as the limited edition release of our Exquisite Corpse book, created by more than 120 of our instructors and alumni.

Did we mention there will be an absinthe fountain?”

View selected works here.

Find out more about this event here.


By Olaf Willoughby

“A Visual Conversation sets up a rhythm, a pattern of communicating in which images fit with one another, with a chosen text, a piece of music or artwork of any kind. It helps develop our voice and vision.

Working through a series of Visual Conversations, each becomes a stepping stone which exercises the creative muscles and takes us beyond our regular shooting routines.

Visual Conversations work so well because they are based on the centuries old principle of ‘call and response’. A tradition of improvised exchange evident in everything from Hindu spiritual chants to modern day blues/gospel and jazz. From Japanese Renga linked poetry circles to folded paper stories.

How does this work in practice? I select an image which resonates, share it with you and ask you to shoot an image which rhymes, fits or starts a conversation with the original. Pretty straightforward, although there are systematic approaches to doing this. And still more ways of building that into a dialogue.

Now what if I select a painting by Rothko, or a poem by Edgar Allen Poe or Roberta Flack singing, ‘The first time ever I saw your face’? It’s a little more difficult. It requires more intense study and understanding of the original work of art to interpret it photographically. It stretches our minds to think about art in new ways.

Or how about if we develop the conversation into a narrative through storytelling? There are multiple permutations leading into other exercises…. I’m sure you get the idea. Add into this group discussion and feedback and it becomes an exciting learning experience. Each call and response takes us out of our routine and asks us to think differently about our photography.

But that’s not all. What makes this special is that your creativity can be extended beyond assignments into the process itself. As you’d expect, some Conversations involve working solo but others take ‘the road less travelled’ and involve working together on shared projects.

There is a spectrum of co-operation in the arts. Whilst some prefer to write books alone in coffee shops, others operate in collectives. Some partner up at different stages in the production process (choreographer/dancer, author/editor) and some of the most famous simply collaborate. Think Lennon & McCartney, Picasso & Braque. Look around. Every movie, play, symphony, rock ballad, even architectural space and garden involves artists working together. Yet collaboration is rare in photography. There are examples like Bernd & Hilla Becher or today, the Starn Twins but they are few and far between.

Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the collaborative spirit in photo workshops. At the end of the day, participants gather to share their solo work and you can feel the buzz in the air as people are amazed at the different ways of seeing and shooting, even though they were often at the same location.

Sharing projects captures that buzz and helps us let go of the need to control. We both give and receive in creative decision making and come to see our own work in a different light.

I’ve experienced the benefits of Visual Conversations and collaborative projects first hand. They are fun but clearing the creative blocks arising from routine ways of working can be challenging.Expect to be jolted. But also expect to benefit from taking a different approach to your photography and returning to your personal work refreshed and enhanced.

I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with Eileen McCarney Muldoon, a talented photographic artist in Jamestown, Rhode Island. We’ve captured that creative buzz and put it into a workshop. We’d be delighted if you would check it out. Even better, the course includes complimentary access to Leica equipment.

Plus a guest appearance during the week from a world renowned digital artist. I’ll leave you to guess who that might be!”

For more information contact: or

Mentor Exhibition Invite

Artists learn and hone their craft in many ways, but perhaps no relationship is more instructive and lasting than one built with a mentor. Sharing a lifetime of knowledge with another artist—from favorite techniques and tools of the craft to inspiring self-criticism and deeper motivation—mentors can propel an artist forward, illuminate new creative territory and serve as a guide through periods of self-doubt.

For 40 years, Maine Media has fostered relationships between emerging and established artists through its intense and immersive courses, building bonds between teachers and students that have lasted decades and spanned the globe. Maintaining their relationships long after the lessons have ended, many of our students have gone on to become masters in their own right, and now pass on their knowledge to a new generation of emerging artists.

As part of the yearlong celebration marking our 40th anniversary, we are thrilled to announce the upcoming exhibition,Mentor: 40 Photographers, 40 Years, in partnership with the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The exhibition will feature the work of some of Maine Media’s best-known master teachers alongside the work of their students, who continue the connection with Maine Media through teaching and mentoring.

Curated by Bruce Brown and Brenton Hamilton, Mentor will be on display from July 27 to September 22, 2013 at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art here in Rockport. We hope you will join us at the opening reception on July 27, or at the alumni reception on August 10 to celebrate the spirit of creative collaboration that is at the heart of everything we do here at Maine Media.

Find out more about the Mentor Exhibit here.

Learn about my Annual Exhibit here.

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Robert Eckhardt has been a member for 1 year. Here are his insights.

Alumni Insight

(NSS) It seemed innocent enough at the time. I was attending my first
workshop with John Paul, who repeatedly urged everyone to reconsider
(i.e., break) entrenched habits, thinking, and ways of seeing. At one
point, expanding upon the list “rules” we might choose to violate,
John Paul suggested that we take our cameras off our tripods and
intentionally move them as we pressed the shutter. I found this idea
rather provocative, tried a few shots, and, after reviewing my handful
of failures, quickly abandoned the effort. But when I got home I
couldn’t get the idea out of my head. For some reason, I took this
particular idea as a personal challenge, a puzzle to be solved.
Eventually, after weeks of trial and error, I solved the puzzle, and
the resulting photographs became the series I now call “motion |
pictures”. That series has become the primary focus of my current
photographic work.

About a year later, while discussing some “motion | picture” images, I
confessed that I found photographing trees almost irresistible and
felt that I should make a greater effort to broaden my horizons. John
Paul challenged me to find ways to photograph subjects that I thought
were impossible with this technique. And I have (stay tuned). Then he
said, “But don’t stop photographing trees.” And I haven’t.

See more of Robert’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more

For over 10 years I’ve been mentoring a select group of individuals. Their progress has been thrilling to watch. It’s been a true privilege to be a part of their growth. July 7 their first Group Exhibit will be unveiled at the Maine Media Workshops. (link)

Paul Tornaquindici has been a member for the past 4 years. Here are a few important things he learned from other members and his work.
Alumni Insights

John Paul Caponigro was the first photographer I showed- on a Russian science vessel in Antarctica- my landscape work to for review. It was at his studio in Maine- during a workshop- that I first summoned the courage to show my work to members of the Next Step group. And it has been together with the Next Step family that I have learned what truly matters to me in my photography. The lessons are important ones-
A. Know who you are and what you like to photograph. Stay on the path! Not trying to be like, or imitate others work or ways- but to have a genuine understanding of what you are passionate about and photograph that.

B. It is okay not to photograph! It is okay to cancel the contract with yourself that you have to take photographs. As I only photograph a few times a year there is an obligation to always be photographing and to strive to get a great photograph- to not take pictures somewhere is almost unthinkable. But part of being a photographer, I learned, was knowing when to put the camera away.

Next Step has given me a place of privilege to learn, grow and share the remarkable experiences of photography.

Artists’s Statement

I love going to an unfamiliar place, seeing it for the first time, looking and listening intently and photographing what and how I feel in that place.

In an workshop John Paul Caponigro said, “This is the most important thing I will say all week- don’t miss it. Notice when the energy is in the photographs being shown it gets quiet in the room. When there is little energy in the photographs we have to create it.“

I want to quiet the room. Take your breath away and leave you still- and listening- where the only sound you hear are the notes from a song of praise. Those are the photographs I am waiting, listening and looking for. I trust what has so moved my heart will resonate in yours.

Paul Tornaquindici – Notes of Praise

Notes of Praise is a much anticipated collection of Paul Tornaquindici’s serene, meditative landscape photographs. From the majestic glaciers of Antarctica to the mountain dunes of Namibia he explores the grand vistas with sensitivity. Seen through Tornaquindici’s eye they are transformed into scenes of wonder and worship. The images selected in Notes of Praise are a testimony to his love of creation and his appreciation for its beauty.

Find the book Notes of Praise here.

See more of Paul’s work here.

See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.

Find out more about my workshops here.

Read more

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