2021 Instructor Biographies

This section contains biographies of FOTOfusion presenters that will be present this year.

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Laurence Gartel

Laurence Gartel is known as the FATHER of Digital Art for over 40-years. Gartel has been commissioned to produce work for Coca Cola, Philip Morris, NBA, Walt Disney, Gibson Guitars, Bang & Olufsen, ABSOLUT Vodka, "Think different" for Apple Computer and more. Gartel was the Official Artist for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Newport Jazz Festival, Monaco International Film Festival, and Feature of the 113th New York International Auto Show, and Oslo Motor Show in Norway. The Visionary of the 3D Print Conference and Keynote Speaker of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in San Diego. Gartel's show "Digital Titan" at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre was a "then and now" show of works from 1975 to 2018.

Angelika Hala

Angelika Hala is a New York photo editor and producer for STERN, Germany’s leading weekly general-interest magazine known for its outstanding photography and original reportage coverage of news, human interest, politics, social issues, sports and entertainment on multi-page spreads. The magazine celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018. Angelika also works on the magazine’s line extensions CRIME, VIEW and JWD, special editions and book projects. 15+ years, produced photo features with award-winning photographers, helped develop new talent, enjoying the process of creating photographic narratives from single images to multi-page magazine spreads. Angelika is co-producer of Open Show New York.

Gary Hershorn

Gary Hershorn is an award-winning Canadian photographer and picture editor. Currently the Photo Editor for Fox News Channel’s FOXnews.com. Hershorn’s 40-year career began in 1979 at United Press International in Toronto. He started at Reuters in 1985 as Chief Photographer, Canada. During Gary's 29-year Reuters career, he worked as a photographer in Toronto, Senior Photographer in Washington, Picture Editor-Americas and Global Sports Pictures Editor. Hershorn has photographed 17 Olympic Games, 24 Masters Golf tournaments, 24 Academy Awards, Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cups, World Cups, and major news events. Hershorn has a long-term personal project documenting the ever-changing skyline of New York City.

Alissa Hessler

Alissa Hessler is a photographer, multimedia artist and instructor, with over a decade of creative industry experience. She has led diverse creative teams in the photography, advertising, and film worlds, serving as an executive producer, art director, photographer, and photo editor. In 2015, she launched urbanexodus.com, a documentary-style photography project featuring people who decided to leave the city to build a life in the country. In 2017, her first book Ditch the City, Go Country. In November of 2020, she launched the Urban Exodus Podcast. She is in the early stages of developing a documentary series highlighting inspiring people she has met through the project. She teaches photography at Maine Media Workshops and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. Her teaching style is both exacting and encouraging, coaching students on how to hone their signature style, polish their portfolios, market themselves, and find an audience for their work. When not teaching or freelancing, Hessler runs a commercial photography business with her partner, fine-art photographer Jacob Bond Hessler.

Jacob Hessler

JACOB HESSLER is a fine art photographer specializing in contemporary, introspective, meditative and nostalgic, landscapes. Hessler’s signature style has developed a following of collectors and interior designers. A graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Hessler assisted photographer Jill Greenberg on many high-profile projects then pursued a master's in graphic design at Parsons the New School in N.Y. Jacob and his wife Alissa operate the boutique-branding firm Hessler Creative and co-teach The Modern Landscape photography workshops.


Michael Itkoff

Michael Itkoff is a Cofounder of Daylight Books where, for over fifteen years, he has overseen Daylight's evolution from a magazine to producing digital content to developing an award-winning book program.  

In addition Michael has written for the NYTimes Lens blog, Art Asia Pacific, Nueva Luz, Conscientious blog and the Forward. Michael’s photographic and video work is in public and private collections in the United States and his work has appeared on the covers of Orion, Katalog, Next City and Philadelphia Weekly. Michael was the recipient of the Howard Chapnick Grant for the Advancement of Photojournalism (2006), a Creative Artists Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Arts Council (2007), and a Puffin Foundation Grant (2008). Michael’s monograph Street Portraits was published by Charta Editions in 2009. 

Daile Kaplan

Daile Kaplan works with private clients as a curator, adviser, and appraiser and loves teaching workshops about all aspects of photography, including collecting. She is the photographs specialist on "Antiques Roadshow," and has contributed essays to Click!, Photography Changes Everything (Aperture), and Appraising Art: The Definitive Guide (Appraisers Association of America). She began her career as a photographer, subsequently transitioned to curatorial projects, and published several books. Daile directed the Photographs & Photobooks department at a NY auction house for 30 years.

Lewis Kemper

Lewis Kemper is widely recognized as a photographer, writer, and instructor, lecturing throughout the United States. He currently is a Contributing Editor to Outdoor Photographer. Books include, “Ancient Ancestors of the Southwest”, published by Graphic Arts Center Publishing; “Capturing the Light” which won the People’s Choice Awards in Fine Art in the 2009 Photography Book Now competition; and his “Photographing Yosemite Digital Field Guide” which was voted in the top 20 field guides. Lewis’ training videos have been used by thousands of photographers, helping them with their photographic and post-processing skills. Lewis is currently a “Tamron Ambassador.”

You can visit his website at www.lewiskemper.com

Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy is an internationally known visual journalist with extensive print and digital experience. Kennedy has held positions as Managing Editor for Multimedia for the Washington Post, Director of Photography for the National Geographic Society, Deputy Graphics Director for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Managing Editor/Digital News for PBS News Hour. During his career, Kennedy has created, directed, and edited visual journalism stories that have earned Pulitzer Prizes, as well as Emmy, Peabody and Edward R. Murrow awards. Currently, he is the Executive Director for the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).

John Kreidler

John Kreidler is East Coast Product Specialist for Leica Camera and has more than 20 years’ experience in providing imaging and production insight to professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Not only does John know about cameras, he is also very interested in visual storytelling. He has been chosen as one of seventy photographers worldwide to be published in a book “Inspiration Leica Akademie”. His contribution is in the early morning and evening light photography section. John enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and frequently conducts workshops, dealer events and product training to professional photographers, sales staff and enthusiasts.
His mantra is “I want to make more than beautiful images. I want to craft images that tell a story and connect the viewer to the subject. No words needed.”

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