I photograph people I know. For me, it is the only way to make honest pictures. I have known some of the people in my photographs for years, others I know through common experiences, and a few I know through the collaborative process of picture-taking itself. Being an insider gives me a window not open to a stranger. It also gives me a mirror through which to better understand my own personal experiences.
Lanie McNulty’s work includes documentary and experimental photography projects. Her series include Lifted Up in New York City, From the Ashes of Rwanda, You Are Invited Into Our Extra-Ordinary Lives,and the Mom Project.
McNulty’s first photo series, Lifted Up in New York City, presents intimate images of New Yorkers from all five boroughs, of diverse color, culture and class, worshipping God in their own unique and personal ways. The series was a winner of the International Arts Movement’s Encounter 09 | Art in Action juried competition. It was featured in solo exhibitions at the All Things Project, the Bronx Borough President’s Art Gallery, Trinity Baptist Church and Gallery @ Common Ground, and in a group show at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. McNulty was awarded the Bronx Borough President’s 2009 Citation for Outstanding Contribution by an Artist for this series. Several images from the series are part of Red Rooster Harlem’s permanent collection.
From the Ashes of Rwanda tells stories of life in the Rwandan villages of Nyamagabe and Mudasomwa a decade after the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Proceeds from the sale of these images were used to purchase the land for an academic high school in Kayonza, Rwanda.
In her more recent work, McNulty has developed a collaborative process that she calls “photo improv” to create staged, narrative images of human relationships. McNulty’s first body of work to employ this technique was You Are Invited Into Our Extra-Ordinary Lives, exhibited at Umbrella Arts Gallery in 2013 and at Stephen Harris | Rees Roberts + Partners and UpstART Gallery in 2014. The series was honored with a 2014 eXel photo Award and The Photo Review 2014 Editor’s Selection. McNulty continues to use this collaborative approach in creating her latest work, the Mom Project.
McNulty studied photography at the International Center of Photography. She holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a Masters in Business from Harvard University, and an M.S. in Education from Bank Street College. She credits her wide range of career and community experiences prior to becoming a professional photographer for giving her the perspective and maturity to create her collaborative and emotionally intense images. She has worked for Time Warner, Bertelsmann, The New York Times Company. McNulty currently serves on the Board of Directors of Writopia Lab, the Council of Advisors for the Association to Benefit Children in East Harlem, and the Book Committee of the International Center of Photography. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.