Sharon Farmer

Sharon Farmer

Sharon Farmer is a photojournalist and lectures extensively on photography and photojournalism. Currently Farmer is part of a group show entitled " Go-Go Swing: Washington D.C.'s Unstoppable Beat" on exhibit through October 18, 20013 at the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities. She also took part in an earlier 2013 exhibit entitled "We Speak the Souls of Ancestors." In 2011 her solo shows were widely viewed at the Africa House in Lynchburg, Virginia and the National Democratic Women's Club in Washington, DC. Her solo photographic exhibit entitled Pro-Active Women was exhibited in 2009 at the Sewell-Belmont House and Museum on Capitol Hill in Washington. She was the curator for the photography show entitled "Cuba Now" at the District of Columbia's Sumner Museum and curator for Touchstone Gallery's Regional Photography Competition and Exhibition. Farmer has judged the competitive D.C. Shootoff for 6 of the last 8 years. Formerly an assignment editor for the Associated Press, she was part of the A.P. team in 2003 that covered the Super Bowl in San Diego, California. Ms. Farmer was the campaign photographer for Sen. John Kerry's presidential election campaign in 2004. Farmer served as Director of the White House Photography Office from 1999-2001. A White House photographer since 1993, she documented the Clinton-Gore Administration since it's beginning. Ms. Farmer has been a professional photojournalist and exhibition photographer for more than 40 years, shooting news stories, political campaigns, cultural events, conferences, and portraits. Over the years she has photographed for The Washington Post, the Smithsonian Institution, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, the Brookings Institution, the National Urban League and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to name a few. Ms. Farmer's work has been featured in several books, most recently the cover of gay rights activist and author Joseph Beam's reissued In the Life, Dave Marsh's Bruce Springsteen on Tour, Hillary Rodam Clinton's An Invitation to the White House, The Legacy by Sharolyn Rosier Hyson, the critically acclaimed photography book, Songs of My People and the Smithsonian's Black American Culture and Scholarship Contemporary Issues. Her photography has been exhibited at the Washington Project for the Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Gallery of South Africa, Berlin's Phototinka, and the Bethune Museum Archive. She has also worked on a range of special projects: documentary films on the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock and jazz vocalist Betty Carter, among other artists; theatrical multimedia presentations including dance company Step Afrika!; and album covers for Sweet Honey in the Rock, the reggae group Black Sheep, harpist Jeff Majors, jazz vocalist Esther Williams, saxophonist Davey Yarborough and folk guitarist Donal Leace. Ms. Farmer has taught and lectured extensively on photography and photojournalism at the American University, the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon College, The National Geographic Society, Eddie Adams Workshop, the Women in Photojournalism Conference, Western Kentucky University, Indiana University; Louisville, Kentucky's Frazier Museum, University of Miami, and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Phillips Collection, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In 2001 she lectured in five cities for the "Flying Short Course" sponsored by the National Association of Press Photographers. Her photographic work resides in the collections of The Williams J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas; Howard University's Moreland-Spingarn Collection, The District of Columbia Government, The Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, The King Art Complex in Columbus, Ohio ; the Library of Congress, and The South African Museum in Pretoria. Sharon Farmer majored in photography and minored in music at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.

Sharon Farmer's interest in pursuing photography was sparked by a visit to darkroom while in college. This would lead her down a path to becoming a photographer for the White House in 1993, where she eventually became the Director of White House Photography in 1999, and the first African American and first woman to fill that role. Prior to her time at the White House, Sharon began her career as a freelance photographer and went on to work for the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the Smithsonian Institute, to name a few, where she covered news, politics, and cultural events. Sharon's photography has been exhibited in museums across the USA. Her tenacity and perceverance, as well as her warmth and her intelligence, is an inspiration to us all.

Trailblazers: Powerful Women of Photography the Sharon Farmer Interview close

Sharon Farmer's interest in pursuing photography was sparked by a visit to darkroom while in college. This would lead her down a path to becoming a photographer for the White House in 1993, where she eventually became the Director of White House Photography in 1999, and the first African American and first woman to fill that role. Prior to her time at the White House, Sharon began her career as a freelance photographer and went on to work for the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and the Smithsonian Institute, to name a few, where she covered news, politics, and cultural events. Sharon's photography has been exhibited in museums across the USA. Her tenacity and perceverance, as well as her warmth and her intelligence, is an inspiration to us all.