College for Creative Studies: Photography


Michelle Andonian

Michelle Andonian Photography, Inc.


Using film and light, the Pulitzer Prize nominated Andonian has traveled around the world as well as visiting local landmarks to photograph life and document change.

Through the viewfinder of her widelux camera, Michelle Andonian has captured some of history's most memorable moments:

The Chinese People's Liberation Army standing at attention. *Click*

Armenian families as they rebuild after a series of earthquakes. *Click*

The end of an era - the shuttered former Ford Rouge plant. *Click*

During the '80s, she traveled to Israel for a month-long series revealing the similarities between the people of Palestine and Israel during a time when most journalists focused on the differences. Her editors at The Detroit News nominated the series for the Pulitzer Prize.

"The desire to document people's lives and preserve things that will no longer be around is what makes me want to pick up my camera.

"The Rouge project is my proudest accomplishment. It's an industrial icon. The fact that it closed and then reopened shows hope - it's very inspiring," said Andonian.

Recognizing her talent at an early age, Andonian's parents supported her decision to pursue photography after high school, and attend CCS. She returned eight years ago - not as a student - but as an instructor inspired by what her alma mater had taught her.

Andonian became the second female staff photographer at The Detroit News and moved on to become senior photography editor at Detroit Monthly. She later became photography editor for The Washington Post Sunday Magazine. In 1990, Andonian opened her studio in Eastern Market where she does freelance editorial, commercial, and corporate photography.

Michelle Andonian, a fine arts professional and educator, has chronicled Detroit, its residents and their ways of life for more than 20 years.  Her editorial work has appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide, including the New Yorker, National Geographic, Newsweek, and the Washington Post.  Her advertising and commercial work has been sought after by leading agencies and companies.  Exhibitions have featured a variety of her works, including those from her "Rouge" project on the reinvention of the Ford Motor Company's landmark plant; an ongoing examination of historic Detroit churches; and travels to Armenia following a devastating 1988 earthquake.  Andonian's studio is located amid the produce hawkers and grocery suppliers of Detroit's famed Eastern Market.