Suzun Lucia Lamaina received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MA from San Francisco State University. An independent scholar, social documentary photographer and teacher, her work focuses on making portraits that reveal the interconnectedness of her subject’s essence and the surroundings in which they live.

A former colleague and student of noted Farm Security Administration photographer John Collier, Jr., as well as studying with California photographer Pirkle Jones, Suzun is acutely aware of the language of photography and the role it plays in providing us with a discourse about visual communications.


A respected educator, Suzun was awarded “Teaching in Excellence” from the University of California, Santa Cruz Art and Design Extension program for her dedication to teaching. She is an alchemist; her studio courses focus on teaching 19th century photographic processes to a new generation of photographer’s who otherwise would not experience the magic of the darkroom. Her lecture courses on Photojournalism, Social Documentary, Portraiture and Composition overlap many artistic disciplines. They offer a unique and diverse structure to studying photography with a historical and contemporary perspective.

Suzun has been teaching for 30 years. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally and has taught photography at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, the University of California, Santa Cruz Art and Design Extension program, the Walnut Creek Civic Arts program, The San Francisco Center for the Book and the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been published in numerous catalogs and is held in the Special Collections Division of the Green Library at Stanford University.

In October 2016, Suzun published her first book of contemporary portraits about former members of the Black Panther Party titled: Revolutionary Grain: Celebrating the Spirit of the Black Panthers in Portraits and Stories.