Tag Archives: Fort Collins

SW Regional SPE: Carol S. Dass

Sharing photographers that I met at the SW Regional SPE Conference hosted by the Center of Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado….

Carol S. Dass has created a project, Mother, where she looks at the significant female figure in her life with a new perspective–not as the woman who raised her, but as a human being with her own history and dreams. As children (and even as adults) it is difficult to see our parents outside of our familial arena, but then again, it works both ways–as parents, our children will always be our children–people to be watched over and concerned about.

Carol was born in Oakland, California, raised in rural Missouri and she received her BA in Art from Northwest Missouri State University. She has lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years and has been an instructor of photography at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs for the past 12 years. Carol’s work has been shown nationally and is in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and numerous private collections.


Typed out in bold that word seems foreign to me. Partly because I have never been or will ever be a mother. As I move through this life, thinking about aging and one’s place in the world a lot of time has recently been spent with my mother. She has been alone for several years, and I have been seeing her with new eyes while listening to her history. It’s funny how growing up we tend to view our mother’s as just that “Mother”, unable to see beyond that role of the woman who carried me in her womb, raised me the best that she could, and will in many ways continue to view me as a child regardless of my age. 

My mother was forced to work to support us, went back to night school while working and taking care of nearby relatives. She was not at home to greet me with a plate of warm cookies when I came home from school asking after my day. I remember when I was an adult coming into my own finally seeing my mother as a “person”, a unique individual who had many adventures and stories to tell. 

The reasons behind perceived and real dysfunction became easier to understand. These images are a small documentation of “mother”, a reflection of what has occurred and what is ahead. 

Upcoming Activities

Lots of teaching, reviewing, and traveling coming up and I hope to meet you somewhere along the way…here’s what’s up next:

Presenting the Fine Art Portfolio: Taking Your Work to the Next Level at the Center for Fine Art Photography

Date: Sunday, November 4th, 2012 9-12pm
Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO
as part of the SPE Southwest Regional Conference
This workshop will help photographers understand what it takes to produce a professional fine art photography portfolio. Participants will explore the elements that go into creating a strong body of work including: the importance of editing, sequencing, the artist’s statement, and producing a portfolio that can be used for reviews, gallery presentations, and more.
This intimate hands-on workshop will be limited to twelve students. Participants should bring portfolios to the workshop. The class will review work collectively and Aline will offer individual feedback and advice tailored to each person’s project
Enrollment Limit: 12
Workshop fee: $75

The Broad View: Fine Art
Portfolios from Context, to Creation, to Completion at FotoWeekDC
Dates: Sunday, November
11th, 2012 10a-2p
Goethe Insitut

The most important tool that a photographer can bring to their work
is knowledge and insight.  Many photographers spend much of their
education on learning the bells and whistles of cameras and changing
technology, and don’t consider what is equally as important: Creating a
voice, having ideas, producing stellar prints, and knowing where the
work they create fits into the contemporary art market.  Ultimately,
what is most rewarding and most important is The Work.

This three-hour workshop is geared to beginning and emerging
photographers.  During the session, we will explore how to develop ideas
for projects by examining the fine art market and by exploring the
context of award winning or meaningful portfolios.  Portfolios will be
presented to also help explain contemporary genres of photography,
touching on categories that are often offered in competitions or
magazines, and we will look at what kinds of work fits into what kind of
In the workshop, we will also not only discuss how to create a
portfolio but in addition, how to present a body of work to the fine art
market, focusing on your ability to articulate your work and produce
quality photographs.  The details that surround the work you make are
important to establishing yourself as a professional.
Workshop fee: $165 (includes PDN’s 30: Strategies for Young Working Photographers – Moderated by Holly Stuart Hughes, PDN Editor in the afternoon)
To enroll register here.

Creating the Fine Art Portfolio: Taking Your Work to the Next Level 
Dates: Thursday, November 29, 2012
International House Hotel
Creating the Fine Art Portfolio will help photographers understand what it takes to produce a professional fine art photography portfolio. Participants will explore the elements that go into creating a strong body of work including: the importance of editing, sequencing, the artist’s statement, and producing a portfolio that can be used for reviews, gallery presentations, and more.
This intimate hands-on workshop will be limited to twelve students. Participants should bring portfolios to the workshop. The class will review work collectively and Aline will offer individual feedback and advice tailored to each person’s project.
Enrollment limit: 12 students
Workshop fee: $75
To enroll register here.

Refining Your Portfolio Workshop at the Southwest Photo Summit
Dates: Thursday, Dec 6 – Friday, Dec 7, 2012
The most essential qualities a photographer can bring to their work are commitment and self-knowledge. Building a photographic portfolio can be a long journey: from developing a consistent visual voice to articulating a point of view and perspective about the work; and then knowing where best that work fits into the marketplace. Presenting and preparing a portfolio for the public eye is a final important step that is key to success. Your photographic portfolio needs to be as clear and dynamic as possible, as without a powerful, refined portfolio presentation your work will not reach the desired audience.
Aline Smithson shares her knowledge of how to create and/or refine a personal portfolio and offers her insights into the contemporary photographic marketplace as it relates to opportunities for all photographers – fine art, documentary, commercial, and editorial. As photographer and a reviewer herself, she brings the perspective of someone who sits on both sides of the reviewing table.
This two-day workshop starts with an in-depth look at the key elements of a powerful portfolio, with Aline showing examples of successful ones. Aline then works with each participant, in a group setting, to refine their personal portfolio through editing and sequencing as she makes suggestions where the work fits into the broader marketplace. Additional topics covered over the course of the workshop include professional portfolio presentation, the written photographic statement, leave-behinds, creative presentation and exhibition ideas, and how to customize your portfolio for a target audience.
Whether you are preparing for a portfolio review, getting ready to send your images to a new client, showing your prints to a gallery, or simply wanting to get some feedback and expert advice on your personal portfolio—this workshop can make a huge difference in your pursuit of connecting to an audience.
Enrollment limit: 15 students
Workshop fee: $475
To enroll please contact the Santa Fe Photo Workshops at 505-983-1400 or register here.

Natalie Krick

I recently reviewed portfolios of photographic educators at the SPE National Conference in San Francisco. This week I am featuring some of the terrific work I got a chance to see….

Natalie Krick has captured some terrific portraits. On the verge of completing her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in May of 2012, she continues to explore the idea of portraiture with her new series, Natural Deceptions. Natalie was born in Portland Oregon and grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a BFA in Photography from School of Visual Arts in 2008 and have been exhibiting in national and international exhibition, and has recieved numerous awards for her work.

Mom wearing lipstick in bed

I asked Natalie about the experience of photographing her mother and this was her reply:
“The photographs of my mom are often my favorites. She lives in Colorado, so I have been flying back a few times a year to photograph her and spend time with her and the rest of my family. We have also made a few of the photographs in Chicago when she comes to visit me. She participates because she knows it is important to me, but I wouldn’t say that it is any where close to her favorite thing to do. She does not like to wear a lot of make up (and I usually have her wearing heavy make up for the photographs). I am rather slow when I photograph but we spend most of the time laughing until she gets fed up with how long I’m taking. I think what is considered beautiful and flattering needs to be examined. My mom understands my point of view but since she is the one in front of the camera the experience is different for her. The photographs harshly reveal the fact that she is aging and I know that this is difficult for her. We have conversations about the emphasis our society puts on appearance and although we are able to critique and analyze culture, this desire to be desirable and attractive still remains.”

Mom in gold

NATURAL DECEPTIONS: The colorful seductive nature of cosmetics act to mask, conceal and deceive while drawing attention to the surface and the superficial. By emphasizing both the façade of glamour and the physicality of the body I am interested in what can be revealed through these surfaces.

Mom with skittles in her shirt

The women depicted in my photographs perform certain tropes used to visualize female beauty and sexuality. These photographs expose an awkwardness and tension in being looked at and scrutinized while also implying a longing to be seen as desirable and beautiful. By creating images that can be perceived as both garish and seductive, I question the fantasy of idealized beauty and what culture designates as flattering and desirable.

Mom in front of the shower curtain

Mom with her finger on her lip

Mom on a gold couch

Mom as a virgin

Mom as me

Mom in a blue robe

Mom on the red stairs

Mom as a blonde

Mom’s neck

Julia Kozerski, Lovers Embrace

Julia Kozerski, Lovers Embrace

Julia Kozerski

Lovers Embrace,
Milwaukee, 2011
From the Half series
Website – JuliaKozerski.com

Julia Kozerski is a Photographer based out of her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is currently attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) working towards her BFA in Photography with a minor in Art History. Images from her series Half have been exhibited nationally in venues such as The Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO,) the Midwest Center for Photography (Wichita, KS,) and the RayKo Gallery (San Francisco, CA.) Kozerski's work has also received significant exposure online, having been highlighted in Fraction Magazine, on Feature Shoot, as well as on the CNN Photos Blog.

Center for Fine Art Photography: Dreams

Aline Smithson, The Stairs

Whether it’s a dream or a nightmare, our night time visions make for wonderful imagery. “Dreams are a creation of images, ideas, sensations and emotions that occur in our conscious and subconscious mind. They can be the manifestation of our aspirations, goals, andfears both realistic and fantastic.”

I am thrilled to be the juror for The Center of Fine Art Photography’s call for entry on Dreams. I am a big fan of this organization, and of Hamidah Glasgow, it’s very capable director. Hamidah and I have had several conversations about how best to help and support emerging photographers and it’s very evident that the goal of this organization is to do everything in it’s power to help photographers gain exposure, experience, and education. Founded in 2004, The Center for Fine Art Photography is a nonprofit organization supported by donations, grants, and memberships. With offices, classrooms, and two galleries in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Center currently has more than 1,300 members representing 33 countries worldwide.

The due date is August 9th, with the exhibition opening on December 2nd and running through January 7th.

Gabriela Herman

A few months ago, I featured a highly personal project by Gail Seely. Gail had been revisiting a difficult childhood, and in a way, reclaiming her childhood by examining artifacts that her mother had packed away decades before. After that post, Gabriela Herman wrote me that she had also created a body of work that was very similar without knowing about Gail’s work. Gabriela’s project, Holding On, captures objects that had meaning and significance from a happy childhood before they were lost to the transitions that come with the sale of the family home.

Gabriela’s series about bloggers, featured on Lenscratch in February, has gone “viral”– showcased and celebrated on blogs and in exhibitions, including 2011 Center Forward at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO and the Win Initiative, NY.

Holding On:In the fall of 2010, when my beloved childhood home abruptly sold, I was given a weekend to clear out the 25+ years of belongings that had remained largely untouched. It was pure chaos. Things were being thrown out the third floor window to the dumpster in the driveway below. No time for tears.

Amidst this insanity, I felt the need to capture some of these artifacts, an act which played out like revisiting my childhood in fast forward, frame by frame. The stuff that we accumulate, however valuable at the time, in fact ends up being just stuff, eventually all garbage bound. I had preserved the memories of the past through these objects, but once documented, their physical presence became unnecessary. It is through these images that the nostalgia remains, and I continue to hold on.