photography, creativity, autobiography

In short, this site focuses on photography and creativity, and is meant to appeal particularly to those with an interest in work that can in someway be understood as incorporating autobiography and memoir. The writing here is an expression of my fascination (obsession?) with our common urge to capture and inscribe our experiences, and to find some deeper meaning embedded within our daily lives.

I am particularly interested in the visual world, which has always felt alive with possibility. It has been my source of both mystery and comfort, and has always felt like home; a refuge, a map, and a shelter.

LIGHT: the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

It seems I am not alone in this. The proliferation of smart phones with sophisticated image capture features, combined with rapidly expanding social networks in which people are sharing their images and their stories, suggests that something universal is at work here.

So, I decided to start writing about this image-saturated, lens-based, screen-dominated world we now find ourselves inhabiting. My starting point is to share thoughts and questions, and to gather examples of work and words that may help guide us on both our collective and individual journeys.

SENSITIVE: quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences.

There is a second interest at work here too. In a word, creativity. What is it? Where does it come from? How can it be cultivated, harnessed, directed?

So, these are the themes and narratives you will find at Light Sensitive: the image world, creativity, autobiography.

Who am I? My name is Joseph Squier, and I have some training and experience with all of this. I earned an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and I’ve spent about three decades teaching and talking about these interests; most of that time has been spent at the University of Illinois. I’ve worked with photography, painting, mixed media, CD-ROMs, virtual reality, and web-based media. My most recently completed work takes the form of a network-based database-driven self-assembling electronic book (that’s a mouth full). It fuses elements of photography, painting, poetry, song, cinema, data, and code.

Light Sensitive is organized into the following modules:

There is a growing number of artist/photographers doing important work and using social media to gain an audience. This module will highlight artists whose work is intelligent and significant, seductive and/or provocative.

The challenges of developing and nurturing a creative practice are complex and there is broad interest in these issues. This module will house my own thoughts and writings on this topic. I want to bring into focus a whole range of ideas around this topic, but also intend to offer visual exercises and reflective writing suggestions that can support creative exploration.

Image making, and art making in general, is philosophy in action. It is (or can be, should be) a thoughtful, disciplined, and rigorous method of engaging the world and creating meaning. This module will house writings on issues and ideas addressing these more general topics.

I continue to maintain an active studio practice. This module will be a forum where I can share some of that work, in a format that is new to me, and which is intend to help me discover new ways to understand my own work.

For those interested in my studio work, visit my portfolio site:

I can be reached at


Image credits: I believe in respecting intellectual property and try hard to do this. In the case of artists highlighted in the Features section, they have all granted permission for their work to be reproduced here. All other images come from a variety of copyright-free sources, primarily: Negative Space, New Old Stock, Pic Pac, Pixabay, Stock Snap, Unsplash. Thank you to all the photographers involved for allowing their work to be used royalty-free.


2 Responses to “photography, creativity, autobiography”

  1. Kim Brown

    Sounds great and i look forward to following you and your readers. i love creative people, but i have no training in photography and/or writing and find that everyday life interrupts creativity more often than not. i would like to hear how you and others discipline yourselves around the daily distractions of living.

  2. Beautiful site and photography. I like the format too, it’s always great learning about what process, meaning, etc., each photographer has. I see a similarity in style in the works of Ausadavut Sarum and Edna Dott. There’s a gritty tonality and mystery in these images. Even through the subtle light, there’s a sense of recognition. Glad to be here and look forward to visiting again! Thank you!