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Your Own Vision and Technique.

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An Influential Role in Society.


As artists, observers, and imagemakers, photographers play an influential role in society that profoundly impacts the way we understand the world around us.

Photography at MECA&D emphasizes the importance of visual literacy, composition, process, and light. In addition to learning the techniques of image-making, you’ll also understand the historical and contemporary context from which they are created. This understanding is part of a transformation you’ll experience at MECA&D as you grow from a casual photographer into an artist. As a Photography major at MECA&D, you’ll learn how a body of work or a series engages your audience beyond a single image. You’ll experiment with technical and conceptual elements of traditional and contemporary processes, including 35mm, medium-format, large-format, and digital capture. Before you graduate, you’ll possess the skills to create a professional fine arts portfolio, develop an artist statement and resume, establish your own web presence, and create a final thesis exhibition.


  • Faculty
  • Alumni
  • Student
  • Maya Tihtiyas Attean ’23

    MECA&D has helped me understand my own work tremendously and provided much-valued insight. MECA&D has already . . .

    Maya Tihtiyas Attean ’23 searches for sanctuary in a cataclysmic world Maya Tihtiyas Attean ’23—a Wabanaki artist raised on the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation (Alnabe Menahan)—may be a nontraditional student, […]Read More

  • Kat Miller '19

    Art provides a platform for conversation and conversation is vital in the beginning to change the world.

    Kat Miller, a senior in MECA&D's Photography Program, has been working on a series entitled On the Cusp of Womanhood. Her work is featured in Girls, Interrupted, a three-day, all-female exhibition in London presenting uncensored works of illustration, photography, paintings, and sculptures created by 19 stereotype-defying artists, from . . .Read More

  • Greta Grant '16

    After taking color photography classes I realized how essential color is to my work.

    Describe a body of work that you are currently working on. In my current body of work, I am investigating disappearances, and what remains in the wake of those who […]Read More

  • Paul Guilmoth ’15

    The week before Trula died, she began spending entire days reclined in her field. Her body would be so still . . .

    The monograph At Night Gardens Grow (published by Stanley/Barker) sets night as a stage for folkloric stories created by the eerie landscape Paul Guilmoth ’15 calls home and the interior worlds […]Read More

  • Savanna Pettengill '14

    This visual memoir, told through various written, spoken and photographic mediums in book and exhibition . . .

    Savanna Pettengill '14 is searching for answers in the space between reality and memories Captivating and beautiful, Returns by Savanna Pettengill '14—currently on view in our Charles C. Thomas Gallery on the […]Read More

  • Morrigan McCarthy ’07

    I let my curiosity lead me.

    How did you learn about Salt? A photographer friend in Portland took me to the final show of the 2006 fall semester, when the photography was still black and white […]Read More

  • Harlan Crichton ’12 & Zak Taillon ’12

    Interview with Harlan Crichton ’12 Can you describe the project? In 2013, I began a 13,000 mile . . .

    "For the Love of Dolphins" is a compilation made during a 13,000-mile road trip through Rural America. Created by Harlan Crichton '12, soundtrack by Zak Taillon '12Read More

  • Brittany Marcoux '10

    My time spent at MECA was crucial to my photographic practice.

    Describe a body of work that you have made. During my time at MECA&D I worked on a photographic series dealing with my hometown in Swansea, Massachusetts. I titled it […]Read More

  • Ray Ewing '12

    My education at MECA laid the groundworks for my approach to my studio practice as an image-maker first.

    Describe a body of work that you have worked on recently. Since I left my resort-town island home of Martha's Vineyard, my work has been about exploring my relationship with that place. Obsessing […]Read More

  • Solo show for Dylan Hausthor ’15, currently teaching in our Photography major, on view at the Penumbra Foundation NYC

    Now through September 10 is your chance to visit the Penumbra . . .

    Now through September 10 is your chance to visit the Penumbra Foundation NYC in order to experience the flowers aren’t growing, the eggs are hatching, it’s almost dawn, a solo show […]Read More

  • Justin Kirchoff

    My perspective is not of the idealistic youth, beauty or one of older wisdom. It is an incongruent blend.

    Through his art, Professor of Photography Justin Kirchoff explores his personal curiosity of the built landscape, personal identity and beauty of the photographic print.  His current work explores the contradictions […]Read More

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  • Formal

    Students bridge lessons learned in Foundation-level classes with techniques and content developed in photography. From 3-D design, they harvest knowledge of how light, surface and form create spatial relations. In 2D Design, students gain an understanding of composition and the process of looking critically and objectively at their work. Students understand how formal decisions and processes inform content and develop skills and techniques that allow students to use the camera as an artistic tool.

  • Technical

    Students learn the preparation procedures for all mixed chemistry with safe and proper handling procedures to EPA standards. Students experience all camera formats, from 35mm, medium format, digital, pinhole, and 4×5 and 8×10 view cameras. Students gain an understanding of basic film development, in silver gelatin, black & white, and color printing. Students learn how to control contrast range within the negative through choices of developer and time manipulation. Students obtain a working knowledge of digital exhibition printing using Photoshop, InDesign, Epson, Image Print, and Nikon scanning software. Students learn various print presentation skills that include black & white and color print retouching, dry mounting, window matting, grometting, and other frameless techniques. Students also learn traditional and non-traditional book binding skills. The culmination of these processes fosters a solid photographic proficiency and literacy exposing students to the many options available to problem solve formal and conceptual concerns, and to express their ideas, emotions, and beliefs.

  • Conceptual

    Students learn the history of photography and how it relates to contemporary art and critical theory. Visual literacy and the ability to articulate criticism is stressed through slide lectures and critiques. Exposure to a broad range of ideas and practice allows students to understand the many possibilities of photographic expression. This, in turn, allows students to develop their own photographic vision and vocabulary. They gain the skills to develop, edit, and sequence a self-directed body of work and place their ideas within a historical and contemporary context.

  • Professional

    Students gain the skills to create a professional portfolio that includes a thesis or personal essay about their work, artist statement, resume, and cover letter. Students learn how to develop a personal web page, and how to generate 35mm slides and a digital presentation of their work. Students gain experience in applying for national juried exhibitions and are expected to perform several lectures and gallery talks on their work during their senior year. Students engage in the production of creating a final thesis exhibition.


  • What are some of the career paths for someone who majors in Photography?

    Students have gone onto Graduate school, or have become an Exhibiting Fine Art Commercial Photographer, Curator, Editorial Picture Editor, or Film Maker.

  • How do you prepare your students to build a career?

    We critique students with blunt honesty. The school has embedded in the curriculum opportunities to apply for shows, take commercial photography courses, and create professional websites. Every class prepares them for what lies ahead.

  • What are some examples of what your alums are doing?

    We have two alums finishing thesis work at Columbia College and Mass Art this year. We have had students attend Yale as well. We have an alum operating a successful portrait and wedding business in the Caribbean Islands. We have had alum show at the Museum of Modern Art. Many students work in commercial studios or other art/media based businesses. Often students start their own professional studios. We have a student teaching art therapy at a Psychiatric hospital in New Jersey.

  • What are the prerequisites to major in Photography?

    Introduction to Photography PH101 and Intermediate Photography PH102.

  • What unique skills do your students get?

    Students taking photography classes at Maine College of Art & Design gain skills to develop, edit, and sequence a self-directed body of work and articulate their ideas within both a historical and contemporary context. Students bridge lessons learned in foundation level classes and apply how they can be used with any camera frame. From 3D-design they harvest the knowledge of how light, surface, and form create spatial relations. The culmination of these processes fosters a solid photographic proficiency and literacy that enables students to have many options available to problem solve formal and conceptual concerns, to express their ideas, emotions, and beliefs.

  • Will I be able to incorporate other media or interests with my work as a Photography major?

    Yes— students in the past have incorporated filmmaking, design, printmaking, sculpture, performance, digital media, and audio.

  • What are your facilities like?

    We have "wet darkrooms" for printing from film which include enlargers for 35mm, medium and large format negatives, as well as equipment for mural printing. In addition to our two group darkrooms (one for beginners and one for advanced users), we also have an individual darkroom. For camera equipment, there is an assortment of Digital SLRs, 35mm, and medium and large format cameras; all are available for checkout to students enrolled in Photography classes. Our digital output lab includes a range of large format Epson printers, 27" iMacs, and both drum and flatbed scanners.

  • What are some examples of internships your students have done in the past?

    Russell French Photography, Macomber Inc., The Bakery Photographic Collective, and Discovery Channel.

  • How many students (juniors and seniors) do you typically have in your major?

    Students in the major typically range from 12-20.


Preparation (1st & 2nd Year)
Introduction to Photography (PH 101) and Intermediate Photography (PH 102)

Junior Year (3rd Year)
Photography Majors Studio (PH 321-PH 322), Introduction to the Discipline: Photography (PH 351), Junior Seminar (SEM 352-3-4), and (2) Approved Studio Electives

Senior Year (4th Year)
Photography Majors Studio (PH 421), Photography Majors Studio (PH 422), Senior Synthesis (SEM 451-SEM 452), and (2) Approved Studio Electives

Workspace & Tools
  • Advanced and beginner darkrooms for black-and-white processing
  • Large and medium-format film cameras
  • Digital SLRs
  • Portable lighting kits
  • Full artificial lighting studio
  • Archival digital printers for 44-, 24-, and 17-inch formats
  • Film scanners
  • Dedicated iMac lab for digital output
  • Weekly equipment checkout opportunities
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