Elaine Mayes (born October 1, 1936) is an American photographer and a retired professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Beginning in 1968, she taught at the University of Minnesota, and in 1971 joined Jerome Liebling as part of the founding faculty at Hampshire College, where she taught for ten years. Her students included documentary filmmakers Ken Burns, Michel Negroponte, Roger Sherman, Buddy Squires, Kirk Simon, and Karen Goodman. In 1976, Mayes, and former students Burns and Sherman, founded a production company called Florentine Films in Walpole, New Hampshire. The company’s name was borrowed from Mayes’ hometown of Florence, Massachusetts. She left the company after 1 year.