Armonk, New York photographer June Greenspan has spent her professional career trying to capture people and their passions. Fascinated by diverse occupations and interests, Greenspan spends her time photographing the unique individuals she encounters. “Most of my work is from my travels, and the people I see when I travel,” she says. “I am a people photographer.”
When visiting Gettysburg with her husband, she spotted a reenactor dressed as a confederate soldier. In that moment, she wondered why the man was there and knew she had to photograph him. “I became like a director,” Greenspan explains, giving him directions on how to pose. The result of this encounter: a Sunset Print Award in the Master Artist category at the North-East District PPA print competition for her piece, “A Calculating Commander.”
From a young age, Greenspan viewed herself as an artist. As a student, she studied the fine arts at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh where she earned her Bachelor of Science and Arts degree and went on to earn her Masters of Science and Arts from the Pratt Institute in New York. Greenspan shared her love for art as an art educator, and teaching print making at University of California, San Diego.
She first tried her hand at photography in the early 2000s after observing photographers using antique snapshots at weddings. When she tried it herself, she explains how she found out that she was quite good at it, saying, “I picked it up very quickly.” But just as she was beginning her career, film photography began moving over to digital. Greenspan embraced the change, purchased a digital camera, and became a professional photographer.
With the move to digital, Greenspan utilized her school experiences with computer graphics to incorporate Photoshop into her work. It was at that time when, as Greenspan describes it, she became a “photographic artist.”
“I was really good at Photoshop; I could become an artist again and began doing photography as an art.” To this day, Greenspan uses the technology to transform her photographs into paintings. “I really paint on the computer; they kind of look like paintings. It’s very textural and atmospheric, and emotional.”
Greenspan spent at least a week editing and rearranging “The Calculating Commander,” using Photoshop. Like her other paintings in which she sets her subjects in breathtaking landscapes or architecture, the Commander is set on a battlefield, equipped with his canteen and sword.
“I’m really proud that I’ve gotten to this point,” she says. “I love what I do.” This winning work captures both Greenspan’s passion for photographing real people doing the things they most enjoy, as well as her own passion for her work.