“If I had to pick a single word to describe what my pictures are all about, I would say ‘secrets.’ As a child, I always had a secret world and my favorite book was “A Secret Garden.” –Joyce Tenneson

Joyce Tenneson
Joyce Tenneson

Joyce Tenneson started exploring herself with self-portraits when she was in her 20s. The autobiographical journey involved hundreds of “selfies” although the term had yet to be coined at the time. She taught art in a Washington, D.C. school for 15 years before heading to New York City. She wanted to satisfy her “feeling restless and yearning to move forward and grow both personally and professionally.” Her goal was simply stated:

 “I wanted to try to bring a sense of the spiritual into the world of commerce.”

Success commercially

Since her move, Joyce Tenneson has become a legend. Celebrity clients number Jodie Foster, Demi Moor, Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ed Harris and Susan Sarandon to mention merely a few. She worked assignments for numerous magazines  — Time, Esquire, Live, Premiere and the New York Times Magazine.

Success artistically

She has had over 100 exhibitions of her work worldwide. Her work is in museum and private collections. She has written 12 books. Unfortunately, not all of them are still in print. Wise Women was the best selling photography book of 2002.

  • In/Sights (1978)
  • Joyce Tenneson Photographs (1984)
  • Au-Dela (1989)
  • Transformations (1993)
  • Illuminations (1997)
  • Light Warriors (2000)
  • Wise Women (2002)
  • Flower Portraits (2003)
  • Intimacy (2004)
  • Amazing Men (2004)
  • A Life in Photography (2008)
  • Shells: Nature’s Exquisite Creations (2011)

Awards & workshops

Tenneson has been recognized by the International Center of Photography (Infinity Award), Professional Photographers of America (Photographer of the Year 2012) and American Photographer magazine named her one of the 10 most influential women photographers.

She is on the faculty of Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Workshops and Palm Beach Photographic Centre Workshops. She is a Canon Explorer of Light.

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