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Joyce Tenneson (born in Weston, Massachusetts on May 29, 1945) is an American fine art photographer known for her distinctive style of photography, which often involves nude or semi-nude women.

Joyce Tenneson
Born (1945-05-29) May 29, 1945 (age 74)
Known forPhotography
AwardsICP Infinity Awards 1989
WIPI Distinguished Photographer Award 1990



Tenneson earned her master's degree in photography from George Washington University after starting as a model for Polaroid. She left her job as a photography professor at 39, and moved from Washington to New York.[1] Tenneson shoots primarily with the Polaroid 20x24 camera. In an interview with a photography magazine, Tenneson advised artists: "I very strongly believe that if you go back to your roots, if you mine that inner territory, you can bring out something that is indelibly you and authentic - like your thumbprint. It's going to have your style because there is no one like you." As a child, her parents worked on the grounds of a convent, which is where she grew up with her two sisters.[2] She and her sister "were enlisted to be in holiday pageants and processions. It was a mysterious environment - something out of Fellini - filled with symbolism, ritual, beauty, and also a disturbing kind of surreal imagery."

Her work has been displayed in more than 100 exhibitions around the world.[3] Tenneson has had cover images on several magazines including Time, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Premiere, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine.


  • In/Sights (1978)
  • Joyce Tenneson Photographs (1984) ISBN 0879235020
  • Au-Dela (1989) ISBN 2859490868
  • Transformations (1993) ISBN 0821219332
  • Illuminations (1997) ISBN 0821223844
  • Light Warriors (2000) ISBN 0821226983
  • Wise Women (2002) ISBN 0821228188 (Wise Women was the best selling photography book of 2002)
  • Flower Portraits (2003) ISBN 0821228536
  • Intimacy (2004) ISBN 0760761507
  • Amazing Men (2004) ISBN 0821228552
  • A Life in Photography (2008) ISBN 0316004081
  • Shells: Nature's Exquisite Creations (2011) ISBN 0892729767


In 1989, Tenneson received the "Infinity" award from the International Center of Photography,[4] and in 1990 received Women in Photography International's "Photographer of the Year" award.[5]

In 2005, Tenneson received the Lucie Award for "Professional Fine Art Photographer of the Year."[6]

In 2012, Tenneson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Professional Photographers of America.[7]

Major ExhibitionsEdit

  • Joyce Tenneson - Botanical Beauty, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TN (2018)


  1. ^ Williams, Val (1993-05-05). "Beauty in Force and Fragility". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Falzano, Rebecca. "The Eye of the Intimist". Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ ICP Past Award recipients Archived 2007-09-04 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lucie Awards 2005 Honorees Archived 2007-08-22 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ PPA Press Release Archived 2012-05-09 at the Wayback Machine

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit