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Featured image for post Joanne A Calitri


Joanne A Calitri ( is a freelance editorial and documentary photographer, and video post-production filmmaker. Her work for commercial and non-profit organizations have her photographing music icons, film directors, dignitaries, artists activists, local town heroes, children’s projects, and our natural world. Noted Documentary work was for the Castle Saunderson Scouting Ireland CSI project with work in an Irish History book, and the U.S. Navy League with images of the Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Navy Ship Captains and the U.S. Coast Guard. She also has a news column in The Montecito Journal since 2002, doing both the photography and writing. Joanne’s video work includes nine Independent International Film Awards for Best Experimental Short Video, Best of the Year Paris Play Film Festival at the Cinéma Le Balzac Champs-Elysées, and shown at the 2019 Venice Biennale. From film to digital, her work portrays the human element in the moment, respecting that one photograph has the power to write an entire life story and influence positive change for generations. Her personal favorite camera system is Nikon, a telephoto and fisheye lens with available light or a “kiss of flash”, Kodak black and white films, infrared film and RGB Adobe color digital. Joanne rejoins the LACP in 2021 from her earlier teaching with us 2011 – 2015, where she taught her Creativity Class incorporating the principals of design, psychology and commercial advertising; and was on the team that developed and taught LACP’s first digital post-production classes. As Faculty at Brooks Institute of Photography for eight years, she taught Commercial Advertising, Location Lighting, People Studio Lighting and Photoshop; was the Primary Thesis Advisor for the Master’s Program, and conducted international internships for her students in Cape Town, London, Baja, NYC and Los Angeles. She holds a MPA from Suffolk University, a B.A. Brooks Institute of Photography and B.S. UCONN.


LACP Interviews Joanne A Calitri

LACP asks Joanne A Calitri ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.

Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?

Joanne A Calitri : I am a still and video photographer specializing in documentary, editorial, journalism and commercial work. My video work is commercial and art based.

LACP: How long have you been shooting?

JAC: Professionally, over 20 years.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

JAC: Initially and successfully self-taught on film cameras, various lenses, lens filters, natural and all temperatures of artificial light. I worked in one first digital service bureaus in California in the late 90’s, learning digital post, scanning, and printing after hours, and advanced placed at Brooks Institute of Photography at the same time. In 2014, I taught myself video post-production while creating a video for a client, winning nine international film festival awards in the experimental short category.

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

JAC: Interesting question. Looking back, it was something I did naturally all along, as I always had a camera since I was a teen. I wanted to devote my life to inspiring good in others through various artistic mediums, primarily music and film.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

JAC: No, I realized early a number of things. One, a digital revolution was eminent in 1990 and would detract from the income of the pro’s at all levels. I chose to add it to my toolbox. And two, 10% of all photographers earn 90% of the total income in the field. In my career, I choose to not focus on that, I have provided image work for countless non-profits and struggling artists in all fields. Rewards come from all sources, and if you stay true to your course, pay it forward and give back, all tides come in!

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

JAC: The playing field in the industry is not level. As a female I was hard placed against a male controlled industry, and sacrificed more time and energy to get the same jobs.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

JAC: A legacy of knowing my images and videos helped bring others their dreams, from documentary work in Ireland to photos for a struggling rock band, it all counts.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

JAC: Your Right Brain Is Right, Photoshop, and Digital Retouching.

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

JAC: Teaching is the noblest profession, and I am humbled to do it! The master-apprentice style of teaching at LACP, and at Brooks Institute of Photography where I taught for 8 years, is the best way to learn the profession. It affords the student a creative and supportive relationship with an instructor who has the expertise and believes in them.

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

JAC: Do it! If you feel that calling, at the very least give it a chance! In the event that you decide later it is not for you, all the relationships you built doing it are the foundation for your next career because photography is about relationships with your clients, your creative work and yourself as a person.