Andre Kertesz, with camera chez lui, 1983
© Susan May Tell. All Rights Reserved.

Thrilled!!!! What an honor!!!! That Celso Gonzalez-Fella chose that portrait of André Kertész!!! André was (and still is) my very personal favorite photographer of all time. He was explaining why he loved that camera because of its zoom lens so that he, not the camera, could choose how to frame an image, include only what ‘he” wanted to be within the frame. That photo was taken the first time I photographed him, Leica M2, 35mm f2 Summicron lens, Tri-X. At a certain moment he demanded “Give me your camera” and then proceeded to take a few photos of me with it. Those photos are on my role of film.

André personally chose this photo to be the frontispiece of his book “KERTÉSZ ON KERTÉSZ published by Abbeville Press in 1985 – and in which he wrote the most moving inscription to me. This photo was also used for his obituary in The New York Times, written by its amazing Director of Photography John Durniak, who also quoted me in the article.

André and I used to pore over boxes of his prints, look at them one at a time and talk about them. He made me dinner on my birthday. The handwritten birthday note he wrote is framed with two polaroids he gifted me. We photographed together in Washington Square Park. Basically, he photographed while I photographed him doing so. And, of course there are so many more special memories of our times together. Looking at some of my work he said: “You have the feeling. You have the composition.” High praise indeed from the master.


Susan May Tell is known for her celebrated career in photography—as fine artist, photojournalist and photo editor. Identified as a “poet with w camera” she is a highly sought after speaker, portfolio reviewer (most recently at B&H’s BILD Expo in 2023), juror of fine art photography competitions as well as her support of emerging artists.

Tell has been an Artist in Residence at MacDowell, Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The Smithsonian Museum has included her work in its Samuel Wagstaff Collection, and Columbia University collected her Oral History and Catalog of Works. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale; Griffin Museum of Photography; Capital University; and University of California/San Francisco.

Her work continues to be exhibited in scores of brick-and-mortar galleries coast-to-coast, featured in ARTnews, New York Times, L’Oeil de la Photographie and many other influential publications.

Elizabeth Avedon included her work in “fossils of time + light” — a book she curated and designed for the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. Malcolm Daniel, then Director in Charge, Photography, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, awarded her First Place for an exhibition he curated for the Barrett Art Center.

During Tell’s exciting 25-year career as a photojournalist her clients included pre-eminent American publications such as the LIFE, TIME, Newsweek and the New York Times; her photos also graced their covers. Tell worked a decade overseas, first as the Middle-East photographer for Marcel Saba’s agencies based in Cairo, then as his European photographer based in Paris. After returning to her hometown, Manhattan, she spent a decade as staff photographer and photo editor for the New York Post. Her stories ran the gamut from the Women Fighters of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, Iran-Iraq war, NBA Finals and Egypt’s DEA to heads of state, actors, and celebrities.

Inexorably and irresistibly, Tell was drawn back to photographing personal work.

She is currently creating an archive of her FIFTY years of photographs.
More about Susan and her work can be found at

Photographs of Space, Silence & Solitude

Susan May Tell, Poet with a Camera

Guest Portfolio Reviewer, B&H BILD EXPO


Please contact for password access to new, lyrical, color series

Susan May Tell, Curaror’s Choice, Nancy McCrary,  SxSE PhotoMagazine

Susan May Tell, Curaror’s Choice, Molly Roberts, SxSE PhotoMagazine

WINNER, Single.Nature, GALA AWARDS, 2023

L’Oeil de la Photographie Magazine: A Requiem: Tribute to the Spiritual Space at Auschwitz

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