Photolucida welcomes Interim Program Director Polly Gaillard

Polly Gaillard’s interest in fine art photography began in a Photo 1 course at the University of South Carolina. Simply put, she was never the same. She found peace and purpose in the darkroom in the era of analog and honed her printing skills with the late and legendary printer Frank Espada in his South San Francisco darkroom. As a young woman, she studied with Master Photographers like Judy Dater and Jerry Uelsmann – and even visited Ruth Bernhard at her home, perusing the artist’s iconic photographs over afternoon tea. 

Polly returned to her home state of South Carolina in 2000 after ten years in the Bay Area. She began a lengthy investigation of family through her lens, even won competitions, and attended notable portfolio reviews. In 2010, Polly graduated with an MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She began teaching college photography at Anderson and Furman Universities and for study abroad programs in Prague, Czech Republic, and Cortona, Italy. Her teaching broadened into courses beyond the camera, like the History of Western Art and Ethics of Photography.

With an undergraduate degree in Journalism and an advanced degree in visual arts, it was a natural progression for Polly to consider writing about photography to expand her career. Her published writing includes features and interviews with artists and photographers that have appeared in print and online publications like LenscratchAll About Photo, gallery websites and blogs, to name a few. Her writing is also featured on commercial photography organization websites with articles ranging from “What is a Humanitarian Photographer?” to “How to Publish a Photography Book.” Polly’s interviews highlight commercial and fine art photographers like Elinor Carucci, Gail Albert Haliban, Dennis Darling, Stephen Voss, Hugh Kretschmer, Judy Dater, Todd Antony, Jeff Rich, Maura Sullivan, and Donald Graham, to name a few.

In 2020, Polly turned her writing into a career in communications, with photography still the primary source of her inspiration. She became a communications specialist for American Photographic Artist, a not-for-profit commercial photography organization where she curates the brand’s public face. She writes articles on the business of photography and photographers and dives deep into developing thoughtful content about photography today. Polly was recently named Photolucida’s Interim Program Director. She is thrilled to become part of an organization that is truly a staple of the fine art photography industry. She looks forward to seeing all the fantastic imagery from the international fine art photo community.