Welcome to Photoholic.com
Fine Art Photography by J. R. McNew
I am a Fine Art Photographer, born and raised in the Central Valley of California. In 1978, I graduated from Fresno City College with an A.A. in Liberal Arts. I went on to California State University, Fresno and received my B.F.A. in 1981.

The early years: My first introduction into photography was when I was in the six grade and my parents bought me a Kodak X-15 Instamatic camera, with "Magic Cube" flash. It was for my upcoming school trip to see the Carmel Mission. I still remember how excited I was to open that Black & Gold box. Years later I got to revisit that mission and shot a wedding there. Great memories all around.

In high school I joined the photography club and did some work for the year book. This was my first experience in a dark room, developing my own film and making prints. I was hooked.

After that I went on to college, not entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life. When I confided this to a friend at school one day, she simply asked, "Well, what is it you love to do?” My reply was without hesitation, "Photography!”. Time to visit my counselor. At FCC, my instructor was Ray Arth, who is a graduate of Brookings Institute and a devote believer in the Zone System. So my first semester of serious photography was spent calibrating light meters, cameras, lenses, film, etc... A bit scientific for an art class, but well worth the investment in time. If you want your vision to appear on the final print, you'd better understand how to use your tools and make them work for you.

Moving on to my days at Fresno State, I was fortunate enough to get a professor by the name of Richard Delaney, who has his masters from San Francisco State. Now if my studies at FCC were bit on the scientific side, Fresno State was the complete opposite. We were concentrating on the "ideals of high art". In fact, in my photo-graphics classes, I don't remember ever developing my own film. We had lab assistants for that, don't you know. Anyway, back in the 1970's, there was still some debate as to whether or not photography could be considered fine art or not. It seems silly now, but it required you to have a fighter’s mentality, once the critiquing began.

After college, I decided I wasn't interested in making a living doing photography. I thought it would dampen my enthusiasm for it. Now, having said that, I have done my share of weddings and graduation photos for close friends, family members and colleagues.

I'm not much into "showing" my work either. I've been asked from time to time about it, but the expense and time involved would have a negative impact on me producing new work. You know, that thing I love doing. Now having said that, I have had a few works put into shows. Once at the Fresno Art Museum and a time or two at the Spectrum Gallery. I've also sold a few pieces over the years, but I don't really pursue that either. I guess I just prefer to spend my time making the art.

On a side note, I once worked for the artist Cristo. In 1991, I spent a week down in Southern California helping to install The Umbrellas. I learned a lot about the international art scene, and just how much effort, time, and money goes into such a large project. The logistics alone was mind numbing.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. --

Copyright J.R. McNew - All Rights Reserved