MMW's Creative Storytelling Contest

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“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.

Exquisite Corpse Unveiled – Maine Media Workshops – June 24

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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.

Alumnus Olaf Willoughby – Visual Conversations

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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: olafwilloughby@gmail.com or emmimageloft@gmail.com

Mentor Exhibit Opens July 27

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.

Robert Eckhardt – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


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

Paul Tornaquindici – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


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

Justin A. Hartford – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


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)
Justin Hartford has been a member for the past 2 years. Here are a few important things he learned from other members and his work.
Alumni Insights
1)    Kathy Beal taught me to respect, ask permission, and thank the land that I am photographing. Keeping this practice helps to bring a sensitivity to my work that otherwise would not be there.
2)    At the first Next Step summit I attended in Utah, many of the attendees suggested I work with self-portraiture. This suggestion has helped guide me down a path that I otherwise might have been scared to go.
3)    Shooting along side many different Next Steppers has shown me different ways to approach photography and to see my subject.
Artist’s Statement
Proserpina is a Greek Goddess whose name means “to emerge”. She is synonymous with springtime when she emerged from her six months of residing in hell. This series is about how we as humans so often stay in our own caves not letting the real us be seen so that we can be accepted by society. It can be comforting to stay hidden away and not be judged. It can also create an inner hell to keep who we really are deeply hidden away for fear of judgment.
See more of Justin’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

Barbara M. Ventura – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group

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)
Barbara has been a member for 4 years. Here’s one important thing she learned and her work.
Alumni Insights
The most important thing I learned from my participation in John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group, other than the privilege we have to be able to partake of John’s artistic career as well as his insight and directive in our creative expression, is that we can become a part of a living organism rather than a Group organization.
Participation in the apparent difficulties that we ourselves go through as well as the success stories and journeys of others can become a personal experience to each one of us. We can see the fact that we belong to a group as a whole (one) rather than individually. We can get involved seeing the Group as a living organism rather than an organization with the assurance that what takes place when we meet, is far beyond those undeniable reasons to attend a workshop.
Artist’s Statement
My work is an anthology of what could be called “eternal moments”; images captured as an expression of my identification with Life in the form of Nature as an integral part of my Essence and Being.  I could also define it as occasions when I am at One with nature and the conscious distinctions between the self and the observed fade away. I believe one must move beyond the dualistic concept of “an artist and his work” in order to create and experience art in its essential timeless expression.
This expression is the resultant flow from an interminable encounter with Life.  Through this interaction, my life as a seeker has given way to the profound inner confirmation that art and artist are One. Therefore it has become an indescribable joy to experience the world as an observer while being inspired to transcribe spiritual truth into visual imagery.
See more of Barbara’s work here.
See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.
Find Barbara’s Next Step Blurb book here.
Find out more about my workshops here.
Read More

Karen Daspit – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group
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)
Karen Daspit has been a member for over 5 years. Here’s one important thing she learned and her work.
Alumni Insights
The most important thing I learned from my participation in John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group is that a group can create a synergy that produces artistic progression and excellence.  Next Step has done that for me, personally.  Somehow, watching other artists work improve and establishing a close connection with them via the internet creates a platform for improvement.  Our group leader, John Paul Caponigro has set the standards high for critique, and quality of work submitted to the group. This has helped fuel the improvement I have experienced. It is almost a magical experience!
Artist’s Statement
The tropical environment I find in Hawaii inspires my images. The fauna here never ceases to amaze and provoke my creative spirit.  I enjoy working with an earthen palate and taking what I see around me and re-composing it to my liking.
I have always been blessed with a creative ability that allows me to “see” a finished image in my mind’s eye.This ability, combined with my experience in the computer industry has served me well in this metamorphic journey.
My work has matured over the last 12 years.  While conquering some of the technicalities of a camera, my work was basic and somewhat geometric and design oriented.  It has progressed through various themes of flowers and leaves, to what is now a much more intricate and creative product.
I enjoy this task so much. I have met amazing people who have encouraged and mentored me. Living in Hawaii is a blessing to my work.
I strive to charm the observer, as I have been charmed.
See more of Karen Daspit’s work here.
See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.
Stay tuned for individual and group Next Step Blurb books.
Find out more about my workshops here.
Read More

Shayne Lynn – Next Step Alumni Group Exhibit


John Paul Caponigro’s Next Step Alumni Group
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)
Shayne Lynn has been a member for over 5 years. Here’s one important thing he learned and his work.
Alumni Insights
I signed up for my first John Paul Caponigro photography workshop looking to become a more technically efficient Photoshop user.  The workshop impressed me by going beyond Photoshop and illuminating how to see differently, to be witness to your own work and also use this new knowledge to be more creative – both before and after taking the picture.
I have been part of the Next Step Group for four years. Having an active dialogue with this community of diverse visual artists facilitated by John Paul has broadened my own interpretation of photography and the express power that lies within it. The group helps one clarify meaning and purpose in their own work, and has given me support to pursue my own projects.
Artist’s Statement
These images visualize internal spaces in nature, mirrored in myself – the depth of which I seek to explore and comprehend. They represent the small, simple, meditations of nature and moments I became comfortably lost in. By becoming still (sometimes disturbingly so), I released the pressure to “be creative”, and was able to witness my breath, to sense an image and compose it. The camera frame holds together the pieces of the world for me, defining the horizon, creating a center from which to focus on. I sought to capture a sense of energy moving in containment – a channel of “becoming in an unplanned way – flow”.
See more of Shayne’s work here.
See the Next Step Exhibit at the Maine Media Workshops July 7 – 30.
Stay tuned for individual and group Next Step Blurb books.
Find out more about my workshops here.
Read More