J. Michael Whitaker Photography

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A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF LIGHT: FACES OF CUBA
BEYOND GROUND ZERO: FACES OF NYC ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
ON THE ROAD TO FOREVER: THE ELVIS PHENOMENON
2010 FAIR IN NESHOBA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
PICTURES WITHOUT PEOPLE
RESTRICTED ATTENTION
WHITAKER BIO
LINKS
CROWD-FUNDING SUPPORT
WHITAKER BIO
 
From Social Psychology to Social Documentary
With an educational background in Social Psychology, I completed a 25-year career in social services.
Twenty of those years were spent developing and implementing programs for difficult-to-treat children
and youth. Specific target populations included children with intellectual disabilities,unemployed
inner-city youths, violent juvenile offenders, juvenile sexual offenders,and sexually abused children.
All programs were based on my theoretical paradigm,"The Nature of Being Human:
A Model for Attempting to Understand the Complexities."
My programs were located in Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
 
Related to successes of my programs, the common-sense basis of my model, and abilities to assimilate and visually represent theories, I enjoyed acclaim throughout my career.  My CV lists seventy-five state, national and international conferences at which I made presentations, and thirty-five state, Federal and private agencies that engaged me as consultant, primarily to evaluate and restructure programs.  I gave expert testimony eight times, including twice before the U. S. House of Representatives and once before the California Supreme Court.  I was published thirteen times, including six articles in scientific and professional journals.  I served on four state and five national committees/task forces, acting as chairperson on all but two.  Accomplishments of my programs were acknowledged in five journal articles, chapters in three books, three national television programs, and two awards for outstanding achievement.
 
Having been a serious amateur photographer since college, in 1995 I decided to pursue a career in social documentary photography.  Subsequently, I spent two years studying at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and one summer at the School for Photographic Studies in Prague.
 
Since 1997 my photography has been exhibited in group and individual shows in Arles, France, and in the USA in New York, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Memphis, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, and Canby, OR.  Photographs from a project completed in 1997 for the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta, GA, were presented at an international primatology conference and are part of a permanent exhibit at a natural history museum in Belize.  I also had photographs published in three editions of Photographer's Forum Best of Photography Annual.  I was co-founder of Axiom Photographic Group in Pittsburgh, and served as President of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the School for Photographic Studies in Baltimore and Prague.
 
From my collective life experiences I have developed my own unique way of viewing the world, which I want to share with others.  Specifically, my goal is to proffer possible alternative ways of viewing the world, particularly in context of recognizing and celebrating the wonderment of individuality.
Targeted means toward this goal include gallery and museum exhibits,
and photographic and narrative publications.
 
My photography is represented by Gallery 56 in Memphis, TN, and art2art Circulating Exhibitons in New York .  Respective websites for each are http://www.galleryfiftysix.com and http://art2art.com.

Additionally, by typing my name in the search box, my work may be viewed at http://www.socialdocumentary.net.
 
I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where I resided for approximately half my life.  I also have resided in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Oregon but now reside in Florida.
 
I have traveled to forty-one countries in search of images to capture.  I hope to travel to at least forty-one more before my time is up.
 
I have been married forty-four years, have one daughter, one son, two grandsons and one granddaughter.  One of our grandsons has a diagnosis from the autism spectrum, which significantly has enhanced my view of the world.  In the truest sense, autism touches my heart.
 

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