‘Sophia’ from the artist’s ‘DINING ALONE In the Company of Solitude’ book and series, spanning over three decades, is a metaphor for being alone in public.

Nancy Scherl is a fine art portrait photographer based in New York City. Stylistically, Nancy emulates cinema verité, often posing her subjects, offering subtle direction, and asking them to “act out” what they experience when they’re experiencing a specific circumstance, in a specific setting. The setting is frequently enhanced with formal lighting to create a specific ambience. Her portraits often invoke metaphor and social commentary. *(Nancy also blurs the boundaries between pictorial, social documentary and street genres in much of her work. She distinguishes between her staged portrait series and her visual stories –the former being cinema verite’ applying social commentary; the latter being social documentary.)

Scherl has exhibited globally including at FotoNostrum Mediterranean House of Photography, PX3 Espace Beaurepaire, A Smith Gallery, Praxis Gallery, Photoplace Gallery, South X Southeast, Southeast Center for Photography, The Katonah Museum of Art, The Hammond Museum and the Griffin Museum of Photography. She is a two time finalist of Photolucida Critical Mass Top 200 (2019, 2023) and is the recipient of many other awards such as: Arthur Griffin Legacy Award, International Color Awards, The Tokyo International Foto Awards, Budapest International Foto Awards, PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, International Photography Awards, and was an Overall Winner of the Julia Margaret Cameron –The World Wide Photography Gala Awards.


Dining Alone: In the Company of Solitude highlights the experience of being alone in public. Scherl chose to use restaurant interiors as a backdrop for her lone diner subjects, as a  metaphor to explore the complexities of the subject of solitude. The subtle nuances of her lone diners visually define their experience.  Dining Alone is a long-term project spanning three (plus) decades, culminating in 2020 with photographs taken during the COVID-19 pandemic when restaurants moved their diners to makeshift structures outdoors to avoid contagion. The humanistic photographs shine a light on the existential and complex aspects of dining alone which have been thrown into sharp relief by COVID-19. In her foreword Laura Pressley wrote: “The images unfold in a cinema verité style, so the camera is used to unveil truths in a documentary approach.” Despite the isolation we had all experienced, we were all connected by the realization that the deadly virus did not discriminate, nor do the fragilities of life. We are all bound by our humaness, our mortality, our vulnerabilities. My hope is that our experiences of dining alone during the pandemic will serve as an encouraging reminder that we found a way to come to terms with our aloneness again. This is Scherl’s first monograph, published by Daylight Books, released in June 2022


KMAA (Katonah Museum Artist’s Association); President Emerita, Treasurer, Founder of Coffee Shop-Talk

ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers)/ ASMP-NY






Social Media: