Reflecting on his career at Stamps, Turnley shares a story from his last semester of teaching Documentary Photography. During class, he asked his students to share with each other what they had learned together.
“One of my students recited a list of takeaways that she had written, beginning her recitation with a quote from my teaching: ‘When you embrace the privilege of entering someone’s life to tell their story as a documentary photographer, lead with intention and an open heart.’ I was tremendously moved and gratified by this,” Turnley said.
“So many of my students have felt — and respect — the potential of documentary photography to make a difference in our world.”
The next phase of Turnley’s career sees him living and creating work in Paris.
“I am currently working on a retrospective book of my photographing Paris over the last forty five years, and am as active as ever, as a daily working documentary photographer in a city that I love. I plan on being as busy as I have ever been at continuing to make photographs each day, and to publish, and exhibit my work that I have been making over the last five decades around the world, and to teach international photography workshops,” Turnley said.
Turnley’s advice for the next generation of artists and designers?
“With awareness of the incredible power that art can have to touch people’s hearts and minds — and to be relevant in addressing important social movements and advocacy — I am a champion of encouraging all of us as artists, to strive on a daily basis, to be in touch with world events. Let us all strive to get to know people that may come from circumstances different from our own — and to always follow our hearts with our creative passions.”