Armed with a pencil and a camera, follow artist and cultural photographer Adam Marelli as he takes art outside of the studio and into cultures around the world.
After completing a degree in sculpture and photography at NYU, Adam Marelli spent ten years apprenticing with both a master builder working on high-end residential projects and as a student of a Zen monk. He spent seven years studying in a monastery teaching the younger students how to maintain the building in exchange for his education. This afforded him an unparalleled understanding of both the “way in which things are made” and “how beliefs are put into practice.”
As such, Marelli takes a noticeably different approach to photography, putting the experience first and the camera second. Armed with only a pencil and a camera he is taking art outside of the studio and re-examining the roles of the artist and explorer. Unlike other photographers, he is not an observer behind the lens. He is an artist who participates, understands, and works alongside of the cultures he photographs.
For the past six years, Marelli has opened the doors of his studio to train photographers in the lost lessons of classical art. Throughout the year he hosts international photography workshops in Europe and Asia for small groups. One-on-one programs are offered for those who prefer personalized instruction. He wanted to make his teachings available online to a larger audience because he knows that everyone can become a better photographer – you can read his ‘Tips + Techniques’ (updated weekly), take his Udemy courses, and watch one of his video lectures and interviews.
Cultural photography looks at the relationships between a culture’s beliefs, traditions, practices, population, history, location, and the ways in which those influences are visually expressed.
The subject matter of cultural photography is the visual expression of culture and can include: people, architecture, objects, tools, and ceremonies of both daily life and high practices. It looks at each culture and its visual expression individually, without making a comparative study.
The methodology applied to cultural photography is a combination of field work (both observational and experiential), off site research, and shared practice between the photographer and the culture being photographed. In order for cultural photography to function, it requires that the individual photographer has a working knowledge gained through hands on experience, apprenticeship, or professional practice in the arena they are covering.
Observational knowledge gained by “side by side” witnessing is more easily classified as documentary photography, which places emphasis on objectivity, a search for truth, and candid photography of a particular subject. Cultural photography is interested in the personal view points of the culture and the photographers who create images within the culture.
The aim of cultural photography is to understand how the visible and invisible influences that affect a culture express themselves through visual events, people, and shared traditions.
Since its launch in 2010, A/M Workshops grew into a global community of photographers and connoisseurs who have a passionate curiosity for art, creativity, and photography.
Who is a part of this community? There is no one type, because creativity has a form in every culture around the world.
We now span over 70 countries and come from an eclectic range of backgrounds. Active members include CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, members of a royal family, special forces operators, art collectors, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and mother’s reconnecting to their creativity now that the kids have moved out of the house. If you have an interest in creativity, you are welcome here.
We are inclusive of anyone who has a passion for digging deep into the driving forces behind why they enjoy pictures. And all of this is done with privacy and discretion, so that you are free to explore your own uncharted territories and find the fulfillment you deserve.
Our numbers across the globe:
1.5+ Million Pageviews
72,000+ Facebook Likes
2,100+ Instagram Followers
1,000+ Udemy Students from 70 different countries
475,000+ YouTube Video Views
200+ Workshop Participants and One-on-One Students