joyce tenneson

Written by
Kevin LJ, Professional Photographer

Reviewed by
Chris Johnson, TPG Editor

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About Joyce Tenneson

Nationality: United States

Born: May 29, 1945

Joyce Tenneson is a fine arts photographer and teacher of photography. She graduated from George Washington University after working as a model for Polaroid. She makes her images mainly using a Polaroid 20 x 24 camera.

Tenneson prefers soft light for her portraits and images of flowers. Many of her photographs are monochromatic but not always black and white. Her careful use of color and tone is precise and presents each image with an aura of peacefulness. The connection between the photographer and subject is evidently strong.

Joyce Tenneson is considered to be one of the most influential women photographers. Her work, using Ilfochrome and gelatin silver prints, along with large format Polaroid, is uniquely stylized. "I want to allow others to reveal and celebrate aspects of themselves that are usually hidden. My camera is a witness. It holds a light up for my subjects to help them feel their own essence and gives them the courage to collaborate in recording these revelations," says Tenneson.

When making portraits, Tenneson collaborates with her subjects to show the psyche of the person, as well as her own. Her connection with her subjects produces the results as much as the camera and film she uses, if not more.

Tenneson reflects on her book 'Transformations' as being her most spiritual body of work. These images came from a ten-year period when she says she was more vulnerable and connected to her unconscious. She says, "I think I am better at photographing women, perhaps because I am a woman and I have more of a key into the female heart and soul. We do what we do best and what we are most connected with. "


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