Lois Conner – Episode 65

In this episode of PhotoWork with Sasha Wolf, Sasha and photographer, Lois Conner talk about the importance of being prepared for and understanding the history of a place before setting out to photograph while at the same time letting go of what you think you know. Lois talks about some of her most important teachers and mentors, from Helen Levitt to Richard Benson, and how they helped shape her process and practice. And, of course, they discuss Lois’s dedication to large format from 8×10 to 7×17!


Lois Conner has been based in New York City since 1971, working for the United Nations through 1984. She was awarded a Bachelor in Fine Arts (photography) from the Pratt Institute and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Art.

Conner has received numerous grants, exhibits widely, and features in many publications. She was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Award for Artists (2020) and the Rosenkranz Foundation Fellowship for Photography (2019). She is currently part of the inaugural exhibition at the renovated Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the traveling exhibition Civilization, The Way We Live Now at the National Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. She has also had many solo shows in Asia and United States. Her work has been featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography. Her recent books include: Lotus, Trees and the Jiangnan Landscape, Hangzhou, 2019; A Long View, Shanghai Center of Photography, 2018; Lotus Leaves, Wairarapa Academy, New Zealand, 2018. Survey books from 2019 include Civilization, The Way We Live Now by William Ewing and Keeper of the Hearth, Picturing Roland Barthes’s Unseen Photograph by Odette England, both are catalogues for traveling exhibitions. Conner has been teaching photography for over thirty-five years, including over a decade at the Yale University School of Art. Other venues include Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Cooper Union, Bard College, Stanford University, the New School and the School of Visual Arts. She taught at The China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, and is currently a visiting artist at Fordham University.

This podcast is sponsored by picturehouse + thesmalldarkroom.