"You don't study photography. You do it." -- Elliott Erwitt
"With an edgy photojournalistic style, Randall Armor captures literal juxtapositions and absurdities as he travels the cities and roads of the world." -- Elin Spring, What Will You Remember?
After more than three decades working in the trenches of New England's commercial, creative and academic photography scene, Randall Armor enjoys a unique perspective forged from a lifetime’s worth of what he refers to as “front line, blue collar” career experience earned during an era of profound evolution.
As a commercial photographer, he worked for more than a decade in the advertising studio at Filenes in Boston, and contributed significantly to that company's transition from traditional to digital photography. In the years prior to that, he shot freelance assignments for corporate, technology and advertising clients, all after an earlier 5-year stint as a portrait and wedding photographer in Newport, RI.
As an educator, he has served as Academic Director at New England School of Photography in Boston, and as Program Director at Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Waltham, Massachusetts. He has twice participated in the Adobe Educator Summit as one of 20 post-secondary photography instructors invited each year from around the country. Hosted by Julianne Kost, Adobe Systems' Principal Digital Imaging Evangelist, the week long event provides a unique opportunity for educators to collaborate directly with developers and product managers while receiving advanced training in Lightroom and Photoshop.
But in spite of his diverse professional background, Armor has always considered himself an amateur in the best sense of the word. In recent years, he has intensified his pursuit of what he calls "Road Work", an eclectic mashup of street, travel and documentary photography. His pictures have appeared in group and solo exhibitions throughout the region, and he is included on Photoweenie's "Stellar Group of Fine Art Photographers", a list of more than 80 modern and contemporary artists compiled by independent curator and educator Jim Fitts.
In 2013 he curated "Heartbreak and Resilience- The 2013 Boston Marathon and Beyond", a fundraising exhibition at Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts to benefit the marathon bombing victims' relief fund. At the exhibition's opening reception, NPR journalist and producer Alex Ashlock spoke about his nearly non-stop reporting throughout the week of the crisis.
In 2014, his photograph "Vegas, Baby" was one of 23 selected from around the world by Magnum photographer and Guggenheim fellow Bruce Gilden for an online street photography exhibition sponsored by Duncan Miller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA.
In 2015, his diptych "Route 611 near Easton PA, 1977" was featured in a special adjunct to the traveling exhibition Early Works at the Photographic Resource Center, joining local luminaries Gus Kayafas, Lou Jones, John Goodman, Vaughn Sills, Lauren Shaw, Francine Weiss and Peter Southwick. Curated by Laura Moya and Laura Valenti of the prominent photographic non-profit Photolucida, the exhibition featured the earliest images and their stories from some 34 international artists, educators, and writers.
Beginning in 2016, Armor partnered with sociologist Wendy Cadge and architectural historian Alice Friedman on Boston's Hidden Sacred Spaces, a documentary project supported by faculty research grants from Brandeis University and Wellesley College and an award from MassHumanities. He presented the project as part of a panel discussion with Neal Rantoul and Mary Sherman at Lesley University College of Art and Design, an event sponsored by the New England chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers in 2017.
His provocative and popular essays about making a living and a life in photography appear occasionally on Petapixel, a leading photography blog with over three million page views a month.
His inspiration to become a photographer came at age 17 after seeing an image on a then-obscure Scottish singer-songwriter's album cover. Now, over four decades later, his long association and friendship with folk-rock legend Al Stewart has resulted in multiple CD and DVD covers, a number of extraordinary bottles of wine, and one really great story.
He lives in Newton, Massachusetts and Littleton, New Hampshire with his partner, technology designer Jenny Chang.