Resume & Biography


My lifelong attraction to the visual arts intensified in 1993 when I photographed my first nude model. Prior to this, I received a degree teaching high school English from Hood College in 1988, graduating with Departmental Honors. The following fall, I began teaching at Noyes Detention Center in Rockville, MD, where I stayed for three years. I taught young felons math and English and organized talent shows.

I have always been a performer, as a classically trained singer and actress. I have performed in community theatre since 1985 and in 1997, I sang a repertoire of classical songs with an accompanist in local retirement homes. I created a children’s theatre when my two children, now grown, were in elementary school. I produced and directed eight productions over a period of two years.

My love of performance and knowledge of theatre has helped my photography. Paradoxically, although I understand stage direction, I prefer that my models find their own visual voice and, to that end, I encourage them to express themselves with abandon. My goal is not a still portrait requiring a half hour of posing but to catch a moment of spontaneous energy in which the model has perhaps forgotten she’s before a camera. We work as a collaborative team, as people do in theatre.

In 1995, prior to my participation in the Maine Photographic Workshops, I hired a model to gain experience and to create a portfolio. The workshop was pivotal to my work, as I refined what I had learned and developed my vision with the help of valuable criticism and the stimulus of working with other photographers.

Later in 1995, I did a residency at Yaddo, the artists’ colony, in upstate NY. Although I was accepted on the strength of a novel I had written about a young felon based on my experiences at Noyes, I was given a studio in the woods and I used it for photography. Although I did do a great deal of writing the month I was at Yaddo, I found photography far more compelling. I photographed myself in many guises and poses, experimenting many days and hours, using different lighting and props. It was another pivotal experience. When I left Yaddo, I went in search of models with whom I could express my many ideas.

In 1996, I was accepted into a group show at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington, DC. Also in that year, I sold a selection of prints.

I now work with a small number of models who understand my visual goals and are willing to participate with me in realizing them.

Barbara Scheide

Sept. 7, 2001

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