Susan May Tell’s work has been called haunting, powerful and elegiac. She is a poet with a camera. A highly sought after speaker, portfolio reviewer and juror of fine art photography competitions, Tell is known in the photography community for her celebrated 40-year career in photography—both fine art and journalistic—as well as for her support of emerging artists.
Tell has been an artist-in-residence at MacDowell, Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. MacDowell honored her as the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow for 2015-2016. The Smithsonian Museum collected her work as part of its Samuel Wagstaff Papers. Columbia University acquired her Oral History and Catalog of Works.    
Tell’s most recent solo exhibition in Columbus, Ohio, A Requiem: Tribute to the Spiritual Space at Auschwitz, at the Schumacher Gallery, Capital University, chronicles what remains of Auschwitz with stark 4-by-6-feet black and white prints. Previous solo exhibitions include the Griffin Museum of Photography, Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, Gorilla Art Show at the Avenue B Gallery and the University of California/San Francisco.
Scores of brick-and-mortar galleries coast-to-coast exhibit her work. In the final months of 2021, her work was featured both at SlowExposures 2021 and South x Southeast Gallery, both in Georgia, and PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont. This summer her work will be featured again at South x Southeast Gallery as well as the Stanton Street Shul in Manhattan.
Elizabeth Avedon included Tell’s work in fossils of time + light — a book she curated and designed for the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Nancy McCrary, founder/director of South x Southeast Gallery, featured Tell’s newest work In Nature for the January 2022 issue of SxSE’s PhotoMagazine.
Tell’s first solo exhibitions of her fine art photography began in 1982, in San Francisco and Manhattan. These led to commissions from pre-eminent publications such as the New York Times, Time and LIFE Magazines, in the United States and overseas.
Based in Cairo, working as a photojournalist in the Middle East, Tell photographed the women fighters of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, Iran-Iraq war, and the region’s significant figures including Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arafat, Muammar Qaddafi and Yitzhak Rabin.
When her base shifted to Paris, feature stories were added to the mix: hot air ballooning, 3-star restaurants, 5-star hotels, Normandy’s D-Day beaches and luminaries of the film industry such as Jeanne Moreau, Roman Polanski and Pedro Almodovar.
Tell returned to New York in 1995 and spent the next decade as a staff photographer and photo editor at her hometown, ‘in-your-face,’ newspaper: the New York Post.  Her stories there added the NBA Finals as well as perp walks and more to the mix.
6-Leica M2 Rangefinder Camera, Leitz 35mm f2 Summicron Lens
Photographs of Space, Silence & Solitude
Susan May Tell, Flora, SxSE PhotoMagazine
L’Oeil de la Photographie Magazine: A Requiem: Tribute to the Spiritual Space at Auschwitz
Adorama Pro: Susan May Tell, Poet with a Camera
Artist-in-Residence, MacDowell, 2015, the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow, 2015-2016
Artist-in-Residence, Yaddo, 2017
Artist-in-Residence, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, 2016