Photographer as a Writer, Writing the Story as Photographs


  • $90.00  -  Member
  • $100.00  -  Non-Member


Two Saturdays, beginning March 28
from 10am-1pm


We live in a video age bombarded by tweets. This workshop will inspire you to merge those elements of photos and words into a narrative. You will learn how to transfer personal experiences and observations to assembling a coherent story that has touched you in some way to write a travel blog, memo, letter, or an article for a magazine, newspaper or online publication. We will also talk about editing photographs about which ones enhance the story.

Embellish your photos with words through in-class writing and discussion: how to develop the story with an evocative beginning, middle and end that keeps the reader curious.

This class meets in the Owl Hall on the main level of the Education Wing.

The writer primer, On Writing Well, William Zinsser (any edition) will be used in class – strongly suggested (required) for the beginner and any writing level. Attendees should bring in 5-10 photos from either a given subject or any they like from a travel trip... hard copies preferred but a laptop or IPad is okay. Any writing with photos that students may already have are welcome and can be used as a class discussion. 


MARK CHESTER has been a professional photographer since nineteen & seventy two.

He was Director of Photography and staff photographer at ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), in New York City. His photographs are in the permanent collections of Baltimore, Brooklyn, American University Corcoran Legacy Collection Washington DC, Denver, Portland (Maine), and San Francisco museums, among others.

National museum and gallery exhibitions of his work, solo and group, include OK Harris and SoHo Photo (NYC); Camera Obscura (CO); the San Francisco Airport, and other venues. Chester is a Copley Artist of the Copley Society of Art in Boston.

His photographs also accompany his own travel articles as published by the L.A. Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor among other newspapers and special interest magazines.

His 1987 traveling exhibition and catalogue "Shanghai in Black and White" commemorated San Francisco's Sister City as part of a cultural exchange program displayed at the Fort Lauderdale, FL, Museum of Art; The Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC; and the San Francisco Main Library.


Chester's first book Charles Kuralt's Dateline America was described by Norman Ornstein in the Washington Post: "This is a book of essays with photographs, not a picture book with text, but Mark Chester's photographs deserve a showcase of their own. Beautifully textured in shades of black and white, they remind one of those that Walker Evans did for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression. And they are as varied as Kuralt's essays. They make a good book even better."

His subsequent book  No in America, accompanied by George Toomer's text and with a foreword by Edwin Newman, earned the photographer praise by San Francisco Focus noting that he “...has a wry eye for irony, an existential sense like Sartre's, although No Exit was a loose translation. Chester documents the places where the establishment puts its heavy foot down, the “no” place that is his special turf. The proofs are in his collection, No in America....”


Mark Chester's Twosomes touring exhibit and companion book from Un-Gyve Press represents images culled from his forty years of traveling with a camera, presented in pairings related by subject matter, graphic interest or, as the photographer puts it, “a stretch of the imagination.” — a wide-reaching body-of-work that connects architectural icons with sidewalk signage; Japan with Iowa; 1979 with 2002; celebrity with passerby in a manner that reveals, as novelist Paul Theroux describes, “tremendous humanity and humor....In this juxtaposition of matching moods and paraphernalia, Mark Chester shows us in an ingenious way how the world is related and how we matter to each other.”

NeonCRM by Neon One