Haunting, ethereal, mystical, – all of these words describe the photographic style of Joyce Tenneson. Her photos command a complex and intense emotional response from the viewer. Tenneson’s images are a mysterious alchemy of sensuality and spirituality lit in an almost otherworldly glow.

Peter Holding William

I created the image of Peter Holding William in 1991. Both Peter and William were friends of mine who I had photographed several times. While photographing them the last day we were working together, I asked William, the older man, if there was any new way he would like me to photograph him. He replied, “I would love to have a photo of Peter holding me.” I turned to Peter, who was standing next to us, and said, “What do you think, Peter?” Without saying anything, he quietly picked William up and I took this frame – it all happened in an instant!

I have always treasured this image of the younger Peter holding his older friend William, especially since it happened so spontaneously and with absolutely no direction! Sometimes I truly believe that our best works of art are really a gift, they cannot be willed into existence. I feel very grateful to have experienced this special moment, and hope you feel the compassion and tenderness of the moment as well.