Ellen Stern began her career in photography as a black and white landscape photographer, becoming well versed in the Ansel Adams School of the Zone System. Upon graduation from Clark University, she was awarded a job as an assistant photographer to a fashion photographer in Milan, Italy. Subsequently, during the next three years she worked for and photographed for the most successful Italian model agency. For the next nine years, Stern worked as a freelance fashion photographer in New York and the mid- Atlantic states shooting for fashion designers, advertising and public relations agencies, boutiques, magazines, and newspapers. In 2002, Stern designed an exclusive line of handmade, couture handbags made from rare and unique silk flowers and leaves. She exhibited and sold her designs in the most prestigious fine craft and fashion shows in the United States and Europe. Stern was invited to participate in various museum shows and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey commissioned Stern to create custom handbag designs for various events that she attended.
Stern taught Photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md.; and created, directed and taught the Paris Photography Program for MICA for four summers. Stern moved to Florida and now is an assistant professor at Lynn University teaching Photography.
- B.A., Clark University
- M.F.A., University of Delaware
Ellen Stern believes that photographic education is a complex learning process that combines technical, creative, historical, critical and human experience. Therefore, she believes that it is essential for every student of photography to be technically savvy with a strong understanding and mastery of camera operation, light, composition, design and Photoshop in order to clarify the message in their photographs for a strong viewer response. As Henry James said, “Works of art are projections of felt life.” It is necessary for my students to understand this concept and to explore the depth beneath the surface in themselves and when looking at photographs.
Stern teaches her students about photography’s innate ability to communicate thoughts, feelings and emotional states, and she helps them to be personally expressive by valuing each student’s rich history of life and human experience from which they will draw. During the critique process of viewing and discussing student work, she promotes an open, safe and respectful atmosphere with much encouragement and only constructive criticism. It is the completion of the photographic process for all students to learn the vocabulary and language of discussing and critiquing images in order to participate in this essential discourse and in the “reading” of photographs. Not only does she assist students in feeling free to express themselves through their imagery; she also facilitates their ability to have an attentive and responsive mind in viewing photographs.
Stern believes that an enthusiastic teacher yields inspired and passionate students. Whenever possible, she shares her love for photography and her many years of international professional experience. She thoroughly enjoys the connection with her students and remains as accessible to them as possible. Stern hopes for her students to obtain much photographic knowledge but also to have an enriching artistic experience with a deeper perspective of art and life.
- Traditional black and white darkroom photography
- Traditional color darkroom photography
- Photographic creative development and expression
- Photography in Paris, France
- Digital photography
- Color management in digital workflow
- History of photography
- Commercial photography
- Fashion photography
- Fluent in various image editing software programs including Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture
- Alternative photographic processes
- Studio lighting