Joyce Tenneson (born in Weston, Massachusetts on May 29, 1945) is an American fine art photographer known for her distinctive style of photography, which often involves nude or semi-nude women.
Tenneson earned her master’s degree in photography from George Washington University after starting as a model for Polaroid. She left her job as a photography professor at 39, and moved from Washington to New York. Tenneson shoots primarily with the Polaroid 20×24 camera. In an interview with a photography magazine, Tenneson advised artists: “I very strongly believe that if you go back to your roots, if you mine that inner territory, you can bring out something that is indelibly you and authentic – like your thumbprint. It’s going to have your style because there is no one like you.” As a child, her parents worked on the grounds of a convent, which is where she grew up with her two sisters. She and her sister “were
enlisted to be in holiday pageants and processions. It was a mysterious environment – something out of Fellini – filled with symbolism, ritual, beauty, and also a disturbing kind of surreal imagery.”