amanda dean dahlgren

San Diego, California
artist website:

home philosophy curriculum vitae (pdf) student work



I am currently seeking a photography teaching position that utilizes my unique qualifications, detailed in my CV (pdf).

With 16 years of teaching experience and a broad range of skills that includes curriculum development, leadership and collaboration, producing and curating, and, of course, image-making, I bring a solid foundation of expertise to any position.

Besides being a committed educator, I am a broadly trained photographic artist with an MFA in fine art photography and experience in both the analog and digital realms. I also have experience running a business doing freelance portrait and wedding photography. My own photographic art practice is not only informed by my bachelor’s degree in design—in terms of thoughtful attention to composition, color theory, and design principles—but by the desire of all fine artists: to make an authentic personal artistic statement that resonates deeply with the receptive viewer. I have found quite a bit of success with my work in that arena, making connections and creating dialogue with curators, other artists, the general public, and the media. As someone whose work aims to open conversations about the way we live as a society and what we choose to value, this discourse is vital to my art practice.

As my magna cum laude graduation status implies, I am an academic at heart, with a love of writing, history, theory, and criticism, especially as they relate to the arts, and specifically photography. I structure my classes in ways that greatly encourage innovation and critical thinking. I was honored to present this approach to an audience of photography educators at the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) national conference in March, 2016. As a Gallery Educator at the Museum of Photographic Arts, I develop activities that engage visitors in critical thinking about photography in order to help them become more visually literate, as they—like many students—often wrestle with understanding contemporary photography.

As you can see by reading my teaching philosophy, I approach teaching as a collaborative effort with my students. A great educator is more of a mentor and facilitator than an authoritarian. And although I am typically the subject matter expert in a class, students will be more intrinsically motivated to learn and will retain more of what they learn if they are invested in their own education.

Be it as a leader or a collaborator, I strive to make a difference within my own spheres of influence. I am starting my second 3-year term as the Chairperson for the West region of SPE, which includes about 250 members from California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Other volunteer leadership positions include a recently completed 3-year term on the board of directors of my church and a 1-year term as Vice President of Communications on the board of directors for the Los Compadres organization, where I still volunteer as the Manager of Communication Technology. Lastly, I am the Lead Producer for Open Show San Diego, a not-for-profit organization which provides a forum for the local community of visual storytellers to share their projects during quarterly live presentations with lively conversations.

I look forward to learning more about any available opportunities. Please feel free to contact me via email at or phone at 858-229-6906 with any questions.




Be advised that all text and images contained herein are
Copyright © 2016 Amanda Dahlgren
and cannot be used or altered without the written consent of the author.

To learn more about Copyright Law, please visit the website of the US Copyright Office.