Skip to Content
Featured image for post Allan Barnes

© Photo by Saundra-Jay Dunbar


Allan Barnes ( is an editorial and fine art photographer from Detroit, Michigan. After 25 years as an editorial photographer, he began working in the Wet Plate Collodion Process and specializes in portraiture and fashion. Allan currently teaches digital photography at a high school in the San Jose Area. Previously, he taught photo classes at Petaluma, CA and Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA.


LACP Interviews Allan Barnes

LACP: What kind of photographer are you?

Allan Barnes: I am mostly a portrait photographer, sometimes a fashion photographer and I would describe my style as “magic realism.” I was once a photojournalist.

LACP: How long have you been shooting?

AB: I have been shooting for 34 years.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

AB: I started with college classes at Wayne State University in Detroit, worked at my college paper, then attended the graduate Viscom program at Ohio University.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

AB: By my third year of college.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

AB: More than once.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

AB: Sure, but I have also had a great life and amazing adventures. Photography was the vehicle that took me to those adventures.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

AB: Being a photographer has allowed me to be an anthropologist. ?I’ve met lots of amazing people and had a lot of front row seats to amazing events.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

AB: I teach the Wet Plate Collodion process, a historical large format technology that predates film by about 50 years.

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

AB: I love sharing my excitement with others and seeing others gain the excitement that I have.?

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

AB: Two things … Have some additional skills besides photography, i.e. graphic design, video, or culinary arts. In addition, find a specialty niche, some branch of photography that makes you a little unique.