ABOUT 

I am a locally recognized film based and digital photographer practicing mindful minimalism in style while maintaining a traditional approach to my work. 

 

After a career in the financial markets I had the unique opportunity to assist Jack Leblebijian, a legendary master in the art of darkroom printing.  I came to know Jack after he retired from 45 years of running the famed B&W department at Gamma Photo Labs in Chicago.  I was in the right place in my life when friend and photographer Elie Berkman opened Polaris Photo Lab in Glencoe, IL.  Elie snagged Jack out of retirement and hired me to assist him.  Once word got out,  the prominent Chicago photographers, Art Shay, Marc Hauser, Archie Lieberman and other noteworthy institutions and photographers brought in their work.

 

It was here that I discovered the appeal of black and white photography to be the stunning ability to reduce a scene to its basic elements of light, shape, texture, pattern and mood.  Along with learning the art of printmaking,  Jack shared with me his vast wisdom and knowledge.  Among other things, understanding that the strength of an image rests in its simplicity of composition and emotional message.   From this foundation I developed my voice and have embraced the technology of today.   My intent is to make images that suggest a sense of solitude and tranquility.  My goal is to hopefully bring a deeper awareness to the beauty and diversity of nature, our connection to it,  and the responsibility that is ours to care for it.

It is difficult to imagine my creative path without the influence from my mentorship with Jack.   He was an exceptionally talented person who came into my life and changed it.

I strive to live by the standards he required of himself: excellence.

I have continued my education at The School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, The Santa Fe Workshops and The Maine Media Workshops.  I am a member of the Chicago Photographic Arts Society, The Wilmette Arts Guild and the North Shore Art League.  Along with exhibiting in galleries both locally and throughout the United States, my work has been published and can be found in permanent and private collections.

Polaris Photo Lab  -  1998

© copyright Susan Holtz Photography 
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