Conceptual Photography With Mike Dunn

Earlier this summer, on a whim, I flew to Nashville for 8 hours for a portrait session with one of my favorite photographers, Jeremy Cowart. Unbeknownst to me, one of my colleagues, Mike Dunn, had independently planned his own trek to Nashville for the same reason.

Perhaps not-so-conincidentally our paths crossed there, the same way they’ve intertwined for years. At one point Mike was one of my students when I taught in an Education Media Design Master’s Program and Mike has been my teacher many times since.

For the past few years we’ve entered into several meaningful collaborations with students both inside and outside the classroom. The experience always leaves me feeling more like myself.

Mike goes all in in a way that I recognize and respect.

I’ve long considered him a mentor, especially in his ability to marry all parts of himself to his work - work as defined by passion and purpose - not a paycheck.

He’s a role model and a friend.

Our respective experiences in Nashville inspired Mike and I to host a special conceptual photography workshop for our Full Sail students. This story gets kinda meta when you peel back all the layers of mentorship.

Students created mood boards that communicated a feeling or concept they wanted to capture in a single or series of images. Students then experimented with various techniques and setups in the studio to achieve the desired expression. From there students made deliberate choices about how to edit or manipulate their images in post. In addition to creating the visual piece, students drafted artist statements to articulate their approach and intent.

Stay tuned for the results!

📸 @phyllisredman

Emily Wray Mike Dunn