I am a visual storyteller. My career has been diversified, challenging, and above all, FUN!   Over the years, I have accomplished editorial and advertising photography assignments (with a specialty in food), shot and directed corporate video productions, served as a military photojournalist and public affairs chief (both stateside and overseas), and mentored hundreds of emerging professional photographers.

Currently, I am an associate professor of photo media at Idaho State University in the Inter-Mountain West region of the US. I teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate photo-media classes, including photo communication, advanced photo media, the history of photography, and visual culture image research methods. Research interests include photo history, personal and social identity through photo-media, visual semiotics, and cultural-technological influences of photo-media.

As a multiple ADDY Award winner, my freelance work takes me on location or keeps me in the studio. My client roster includes names you may recognize: Tyson Foods, Land O’ Lakes, Bass Pro Shops, Copper Mountain Resort, and The Swiss Colony, to mention a few. My work has been published in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, McCall’s, Ladies Home Journal, TV Guide, and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, among others. I have worked in broadcast and TV operations for a local PBS station, which included producing several on-air promo pieces. My first monograph, Incongruity: Found American Cultural Objects,was released in 2007 and my second, Journey Through the Vineyard: A Photographic Year at Baltimore Bend, was released in 2010. Currently, work is underway for my third monograph about my recent journey to Istanbul, Turkey.

My award-winning fine art photography has been has been published and exhibited nationally in juried publications, web-galleries, and on-site galleries on both coasts and places in between. I have spoken and presented at international conferences on visual research and photo history at venues spanning the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.


American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
The Daguerreian Society (DagS)
Society for Photographic Education (SPE)
Western Historical Association (WHA)

Terry Ownby photographing the great prairie while at the national Tall Grass Prairie preserve in Kansas.

Terry Ownby photographing the great prairie while at the National Tall Grass Prairie Preserve in Kansas. Photo by Andrew Mather.


  1. Terry
    Very nice website. As you know, I’ve always been a fan of your work and now it’s easier than ever to stay up-to-date on your efforts. But where are those great shots from your years in the military? Not all of them, of course…


  2. Terry:

    Great to see your new site. How are things going at the new position? I wake up every morning thinking, “I can’t believe how cool my life is,” because of being full time at a real college.

    I am basically off for the summer. I have a couple of online classes but this will be the lightest teaching load I have had in almost 9 years.

    We are working very hard to make Red Rocks THE place to learn photography in Denver. After years of neglect, the program has a new director and we are starting to get respect from the local high schools. We grew 76% this year (I think. I have to admit I don’t understand “FTE,” which is how they figure our growth).

    I have started teaching a lot more video and we are expanding that program as well. I just got $12,000 worth of new toys for and it is going to be great to be able to teach students using state of the art equipment.

    Anyway, I will talk to you soon. Send me your current phone number if you get a chance. I would love to catch up.


  3. Hi Terry,

    My name is Brittany Putnam (formerly Smith) and I was a student of yours at The Art Institute of Colorado from 2002-2004. I had you primarily for studio and photojournalism. I never got a chance to thank you for being such a tough and fair teacher. I know that I was a handful to say the least, but you made the biggest impact on me. I think I learned the most from your constructive critiques than I did in any other class. I just wish I would have been able to finish. I got two weeks into my 5th quarter and was informed that the federal laws had changed and I wasn’t able to go to school any longer. I then moved back home to Montana where there isn’t much in the way of editorial work needed. I’ve been working hard at paying off the bulk of my loans and finally dusted off my Nikon digital camera after not touching it for a few years.

    To this day studio photography and photojournalism is my favorite medium. As I am practicing with my camera, I wish I hadn’t been so bull headed because you have a lot of experience and amazing work to learn from. I hope all is well with you and I enjoy looking at your current work.

    Thank you,


  4. I just wanted to comment on the photo you had found of a man by the name of Archelaus Hughes, which had been taken by Matthew Brady. I am a descendant of this family; not directly related to this Archelaus but our family roots trace back to the same original Hughes who came here. I found the picture and what you had written about it while doing genealogy research. This was so exciting for me and a treasure to add to my records! I am so glad for your interest and research in these matters. I wish I could find more of my family who had fought in the Civil War.

  5. Dear Terry Ownby,

    I am a gallery assistant at Agora Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery in New York. Can I send you some information about our
    gallery and promotional services that you might be interested in?

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind regards,

    Mary Eleanor Hurt
    Marketing Assistant / Agora Gallery
    Phone: 212.226.4151
    Fax: 212.966.4380

  6. Hey Terry,
    I have lost track of your Idaho contact info; call me or email me😎 love your web page; you still got it buddy!

    Frank in CO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s