MTSU Photo Society Hosts Photographer Stacy Kranitz

Story by Stephanie Hall | Contributing Writer

Photos by Makayla Sulcer | MTSU Photo Society

In a packed room on a Tuesday evening, students listened to and viewed the work of photographer Stacy Kranitz. The event was hosted by Middle Tennessee State University’s Photo Society.

Kranitz at MTSU.

Stacy Kranitz is mostly known for her documentary style of photography, with her images not only reflecting what she sees through the camera, but also recognizes that not everything can be captured in an image. She is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow and has won awards such as the Time Magazine Instagram Photographer of the Year, the Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography and a Southern Documentary Fund Research and Development grant. She works as an editorial photographer for Time, National Geographic, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic and Mother Jones. 

Kranitz spoke to both photography majors and non-majors about her work and her career. There was workshop at 3 p.m. where she shared her editorial side of her work for photography majors and photo society majors. There was then a lecture at 6 p.m. where she discussed her artistic work that was for everyone. She hoped to inspire the students to pursue their passions.

I want people to find what they’re interested in, what engages them, what questions are they interested in asking themselves about humanity and see if they can find a way to use photography to answer those questions.

Stacy Kranitz

Her most recent published work, “As It Was Give(N) To Me,” is a documentation of her time and the people she met while traveling in the Appalachian area. The project took her 12 years to complete and is still a work in progress. It is currently being featured at Cortona on the Move Festival in Cortona, Italy. 

“There were so many hard parts. It took a really long time. I’m still paying off my student loan debt, which I took out some student loan debt to make this work. No project is good unless it’s blood, sweat and tears. That’s at least what I believe,” Kranitz said. 

For Photo Society, they are glad to finally be able to have artists come speak to students after not being able to due to COVID. They hope to have more guest artists either every semester or every year. 

With this guest artist series, they hope to bring in a large variety of photographers and artists. 

“So, we try to bring in people that do a lot of editorial type stuff. And then we also try to bring in people like Stacy that do a mix of both. And then we try to bring in people who purely just do art stuff, like some of the people that show in the Baldwin gallery, to do like artist lectures here where they talk about just their artwork. We try to bring in something that will appeal to everybody in all different forms of photography and art,” said Photo Society president, Reagan McKay. 

Photo Society faculty advisor Kristine Potter introducing Kranitz on Sept. 13.

While they are currently considering their next featured artists, they are open to suggestions.

“If there’s someone in that’s interested in hearing from someone specifically, we’d love to have people send us like specific artists that they are interested in, that they would want to hear from,” said Photo Society treasurer, Makayla Sulcer.  

The room was packed with students, so they plan to get a bigger room to allow more people to come. Despite the large turnout, they hope to do more advertising next year. 

“I think the, the biggest thing for us is the diversity of the audience. Like sure, we want the photo majors to know about it. We also want the film majors, the social work majors. And so, I think that’s really our biggest goal is to bring in turnout from the entire campus, not just our small community of students,” Sulcer said.

The lecture was a great success that brought many students out to see an amazing artists work. Photo Society hopes that people will come out for their next guest artist.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email

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