Nancy L. Ford in her Franklin Square studio. (Photo by Frankie M. Bartolomie)

Nancy L. Ford Photography is based out of downtown Utica, NY, and has a Northern seaboard clientele stretching from Maine to Washington, DC.

Nancy’s areas of concentration are commercial, corporate, editorial, illustrative and portrait photography. In addition, Nancy has been shooting editorial and marketing photos at for Hamilton College for over 12 years.  Her philosophy and business model centers around producing quality, story-telling images for her clients, while introducing them to her unique workflow…a workflow that takes the pain out of planning & executing shoots, as well as editing and post production work.

With 40 years of photography under her belt, Nancy’s roots lie in traditional commercial & corporate work, in addition to 15 of those years working as a photojournalist and photo editor at the Observer-Dispatch. She has degrees in Fine Arts, liberal arts and as well as a Public Communications degree from the Newhouse School of Public Communications, where her concentration was in Photo Illustration with a minor in advertising/marketing.

Nancy L. Ford and crew: (Joseph J. Mezzanini, Marilu Fretts Lopez & Kyle Gorton) photographing the Stanley Theater in 2008 in preparation for the re-opening of the restored theater,

Nancy’s accumulative experience working with teams and working on editorial deadlines, blends with her eclectic education to make her more experienced and very understanding of the needs of her clientele, whether they be art directors, designers, artists or business owners. Her creative abilities and communication skills allow her to understand and visualize their needs, and execute an assignment to deliver what is expected, plus more.

With years of experience working with other creatives, Nancy has developed a personalized workflow that makes life so much easier for her clients than just tossing a disc of images at them.  Additionally, she is always willing to assist with everything from attending planning meetings to press checks to make sure the client is getting the most perfect image possible.

The facilities at Nancy L. Ford Photography, which are located in beautiful Franklin Square in downtown Utica, are equipped with 2 studios, each with a 19′ wide infinity (cyc) wall, dressing rooms, and client lounge areas. The site is designed for client comfort in a stress-free, fun atmosphere.



Nancy L. Ford’s photography career stared in 1982 where she developed her skills by freelancing until 1987 when she started her 15-year career as a photojournalist and photo editor at the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, NY. In 2003, she opened a commercial studio in South Utica, which she later moved to downtown Utica in 2014.


Observer-Dispatch Photo Editor Nancy L. Ford circa 1995.

Newspaper years
Ford has won many awards for her editorial work from the Associated Press, National Press Photographers Association, New York State Publishers, New York State Press Association, Gannett and others. In addition to her work at the Observer-Dispatch, she has been published in other editorial publications such as People Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Pittsburgh Press, Washington Post, Adirondack Explorer, US News World Report, NY Newsday, NY Post, NY Times as well as countless commercial / trade publications and newspapers. She also was a columnist for Just Ride Magazine and still takes on editorial writing assignments.

During her first 3 years as Photo Editor at the Observer-Dispatch, Ford’s skills as an editor led her team of photographers into a stretch of impressive award-winning photojournalism that, in 2 years, brought them to the top of the National Press Photographers Association Region 2, winning the Renee Mier Award for Outstanding Achievement two years in a row. In addition, with one photographer winning Photographer of the Year and another coming in second,  the rest of the staff ended their year in the top 20, competing with photojournalist from all of New York state, including NYC and Eastern Canada. Adding to the list of honors for the staff were awards from Associated Press, New York State Publishers and Gannet. In 1998, after staffer Elizabeth Mundschenk won Gannett’s highest honor, the Best of Gannett Award, Ford and the staff were featured in a cover story of the Gannetteer Magazine, highlighting their quick rise to the top under Ford’s leadership.

On assignment

On assignment with Mr. Derek Jeter.

Commercial photography
Ford’s departure from the OD into the world of editorial freelancing, took an unexpected turn back to her roots of commercial photography, where she had been classically trained and mentored in studio photography by Jim Scherzi and Hal Silverman during the 80’s. The transition from journalism to commercial was made easy as her experience in photojournalism gave her a unique style of corporate photography that quickly made her clientele grow.

Ford is a graduate of Utica Free Academy (1978), Mohawk Valley Community College, Munson Williams Proctor Institute School of Art and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Teaching, Mentoring & Charity:
Being dedicated to education and mentoring, Ford also taught photography part-time at Herkimer County Community College. Her philosophies on photography, ethics and photo editing have been published in college and high school level text books such as “Contemporary Editing” and “In The News” (Centre For Education Technology.) She has authored web sites aimed at educating young photographers such as “Photojournalism as A Career” and “Photojournalism From the Soul.” From 1999-2003, Ford was the keynote speaker at the Western Canadian Press Photographers Association in Edmonton.


Assistant Megan Haman with Nancy L. Ford on assignment in Washington, DC.

Ford has donated countless hours to local charities such as the Children’s Miracle Network and United Way. She believes in the power of giving back, paying forward and community and is always willing to take on interns and mentor young, budding photographers. She is available to speak to classes in the 315 area code.

Professional Affiliations:
Ford is a 30-year member of the National Press Photographers Association, as well as serving the Herkimer County Community College Board of Advisors for over 25 years and a member of the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Mohawk Valley Community College’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy during a visit to the studio. (Photo by Michelle McCarrick Truett / 484 Design)