Sara Terry

Scheduled to teach:

Sara Terry ( is an award-winning documentary photographer and filmmaker best known for her work covering post-conflict stories. She is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography, for her long-term project, Forgiveness and Conflict: Lessons from Africa.  Her first long-term post-conflict body of work, Aftermath: Bosnia?s Long Road to Peace, led her to found The Aftermath Project in 2003 on the premise that War is Only Half the Story. An accomplished speaker on aftermath and visual literacy issues, her many lectures include a 2013 TedX talk and appearances at The Annenberg Space for Photography.

An award-winning former staff correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and magazine freelance writer, Terry made a mid-career transition into documentary photography in the late 1990s. Her first film, Fambul Tok, an award-winning, feature-length documentary about an unprecedented grass-roots forgiveness program in Sierra Leone, grew out of her still photography project, Forgiveness and Conflict, which was also supported by Catalyst for Peace. Terry won a grant from the Sundance Documentary Institute for the film, which premiered at SXSW in March 2011. Her second documentary, FOLK, which follows three singer-songwriters through the sub-culture of American folk music, premiered at the Nashville Film Festival in April 2013.

Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace was published in September 2005 by Channel Photographics and was named as one of the best photo books of the year by Photo District News. Terry’s work has been published in newspapers and magazines in the United States, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Bosnia, and Japan. Her photographs have been exhibited at such venues as the United Nations, the Moving Walls exhibition at the Open Society Institute in New York, the Museum of Photography in Antwerp, and the Leica Gallery in Solms, Germany, and Fotofest, Houston. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Portland (OR) Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, and in many private collections.

Sara Terry Portfolio

Julia Dean Interviews Sara Terry

LACP Founder and Executive Director Julia Dean asks Sara Terry ten questions about her background, career in and beliefs about photography

Julia Dean: What kind of photographer are you?

Sara Terry: I’m a long-term-project documentary photography, with a bit of a lot of other things thrown in, and I’m changing all the time.

JD: How long have you been shooting?

ST: Almost twenty years.

JD: Where did you get your training?

ST: I was trained as a print journalist (degree in journalism, career in newspaper and magazine reporting) before I transitioned to photography. I took a handful of workshops (I loved them, and it?s part of why I love teaching them), but I?m mostly self-taught and grateful to my colleagues who?ve always been willing to answer tech questions. (Because tech-skilled, I?m definitely not).

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

ST: I don’t think I have devoted my life to photography, although it’s the thing I most love to do. It’s probably more accurate to say that I’m a storyteller and I’ve probably always known that’s what I do best.

JD: Did you ever come close to giving up?

ST: Not on photography. It’s like breathing. Why would I give up?

JD: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

ST: Sure any creative person sacrifices the benefits that come from a 9 to 5 job, but that’s not really a sacrifice. It’s a trade off.

JD: What have you gained by being a photographer?

ST: I’ve learned how to speak a visual language that is the most satisfying form of communication I know ? which is saying a lot, because I’m a highly verbal person.

JD: What classes do you teach at LACP?

STFinding your Visual Voice.

JD: What do you love most about teaching?

ST: Really locking in with students in a way that helps them find the pictures that are theirs that no one else would see, or make.

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

ST: Do it because you have to, not because you want to make money.