Photographer Theresa Airey holds her workshops at BSoA on February 8 and 15, and March 1 and 8. Visit for a registration form or call 292-3824. *Photo supplied
Photographer Theresa Airey holds her workshops at BSoA on February 8 and 15, and March 1 and 8. Visit for a registration form or call 292-3824. *Photo supplied

Theresa Airey holds an MFA in Photography and Fine Art and has instructed Photography at the University of Maryland and at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She teaches private workshops in her studio in Monkton, Maryland. 

She also hosts workshops, each year, around the globe. Here in Bermuda she has taught on island and her students’ iPhone/iPad art is currently on display at the Bermuda Society of Arts. She has written eight photographic technique books and has restored old negatives of Bermuda printed in two books — Bermuda, the Quiet Years and Bermuda Then and Now.

Her new iPhone/iPad ART workshop is coming up at the BSOA beginning on February 8. Interview by 
Sarah Lagan.

When did you last laugh out loud?

 Four days ago when a Cuban woman told me I spoke very  good Spanish…I was ‘pantomime-ing’, asking where the pool was…by doing swimming strokes.

 Your earliest memory?

 As a wee baby sitting under the piano and looking up at my grandmother.  I remember the rug on the floor and the piano legs. 

What were you like in school?  

I was very curious and anxious to learn everything. Loved school.

If you were given a million dollars tomorrow what would you do with it?

Invest it wisely and take care of my kids’ and grandchildren’s future. Might buy a new camera and take everyone on a great

Who is your hero/heroine?  

Artist:  Leonardo, Van Gogh. Silver Hero/Heroine (Photographers: Margaret Bourke White, Ansel Adams, Jerry Uelsmann. Person: My husband, Don Airey.

Human trait you value most in others?  


Which cartoon character would you be?   

Wile E Coyote in the Road Runner… he never gives up! Just gotta love ‘em.

Do you believe in fate?

Yes, it seems we have a bit to say about our lives. There is a point that we have no control over it and a higher authority takes over. Fate? I do believe some things are meant to be and we have nothing to say about it.

Your greatest fear? 

Dying before I have accomplished what I wish to do in this life.

Your ultimate ambition?  

To be a great photographer and teacher.

Your most unappealing habit?   

Never giving up on something and keeping at it until I am satisfied that is it finished. I am relentless… some people call me a bulldog.

Describe yourself in three words.

Energetic, creative, and a fast learner.

Which human trait do you dislike the most? 


Biggest regret?   

Not having gone to college directly after high school.

Closest you’ve ever come to death? 

Hit a deer with my car and he slid up the hood and  through the windshield and his backbone stopped at my windpipe. I could feel his fur on my neck. The weight of his body would have crushed my windpipe and killed me.

Your desert island song? 


What animal would you be and why?  

Horse. They work hard and are useful, and can run like the wind and are beautiful. And in the Chinese zodiac, I am a horse.

What do you do if you can’t sleep?   

I read or work on images on the computer.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?  

To the future and see how things are working out for our planet.

Your most memorable dream?  

One time I dreamed of my children (now grown) playing in the house and I was holding my baby. When I awoke, I felt like I had just been there — I could remember their voices, their laughter, I could even smell my baby in my arms… It was like I was back in time…Very strange and very real.

Most unpleasant exchange you’ve have had with a person?  

One time I was teaching at an art centre in Rehobot, Maryland, down by the ocean. Part of my salary was the beach house for a week. I had signed a contract with them to teach two consecutive weekends. In return, I had the beach house for the week.

When I got there with my daughter and granddaughter, there was a man there...  I called the art centre and told them that there was someone in the house.

 They had mixed up the dates and had given the house to them also. But I was to teach and he was not and I had a contract. The man got in my face and told me how selfish I was and called me a lot of four letter words. The art center messed up but he blamed me and he got very ugly.  Unfortunately, my little four-year-old granddaughter witnessed the whole confrontation.

Best advice you have ever taken?  

From my father — if you put your mind to it, you can do it.

Nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?  

Someone once told me that I was a lovely person inside and out.

Define romantic love.  

Depends on your age.  

As you mature, a romantic love can be where the person you care about cares about you and accepts you in spite of your flaws. Someone who listens (really listens) when you talk, and someone who enjoys taking walks and being alone with you. And of course, someone who brings you flowers.

 At a younger age, it probably was a handsome dude with a six pack and a great body, that thought I was beautiful and wanted to jump my bones.

What’s your best joke?  

Picture this: An elderly man and woman sitting on the porch drinking a glass of wine. The woman says: “I don’t know if I could live a day without you”. The man turns to her and says: “Is that you or the wine speaking?” She answers: “It is me speaking to my wine”.

Most treasured possession?  

My sapphire ring that my husband bought for me on our 40th wedding anniversary.

A dream location for a home?   

A home overlooking the ocean with places to walk and enjoy the view. Bermuda comes to mind.

What keeps you up at night?  

My brain will not stop thinking of things that I want to do… both in my art and in my heart.  

Guilty pleasure?   


Favourite film?   

Shirley Valentine.  British film about a woman who gets tired of her hum- drum life with her boring husband and goes on vacation to Greece without him. How that defiant act changes her life (and his).  

Your proudest achievement?  

Getting my MFA in photography and fine art at the age of 42, having matriculated college at the age of 37.

Most important lesson life has taught you?

You can have all the talent in the world but if you are not self- disciplined and do not work at it, you will never succeed or get ahead.

What would you most like to be remembered for? 

Being a good person, a wonderful wife and mother, an excellent teacher and a great photographer.