Debra Small received her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1978 from the University of California, Riverside. After working as a scientist for the State of California for over 10 years she left State Service to home school and raise her three children. Following raising her children she returned fully to her love of photography. Debra received her associate of science degree in photography as well as her certificate of achievement in photography in 2015 from Sierra College, Rocklin, CA.
Debra’s passionate interest in photography started as a young child and has continued throughout her adult life. As a fine art photographer, Debra’s photographic images encompass many areas of the art form including landscape, still life, portraiture, documentary and abstract. Her imagery strives to extract the beauty in even the simplest or mundane of objects or settings. She shoots in digital as well as medium and large format film. Recently she has been delving into the realm of alternative process photography, exploring practices such as pinhole photography, cyanotype, salt printing, gum bichromate, ambrotype, tintype, and platinum/palladium/gold split toned kallitype printing. These historic processes allow her to slow down and more thoroughly investigate the inner beauty and form of each image.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous juried and non-juried exhibitions and has received a number of awards including Artistic Distinction Award, ‘Light Is All’ exhibition, Stone Voices Magazine; Honorable Mention, 2012 Photography Competition, Artist Portfolio Magazine; Finalist, 2013 International Fine Art Photography Award, Grand Prix de la Découverte; Best Photograph 2013 Sierra College Student Art Show; 2013 Sierra College Outstanding Photography Student; Honorable Mention, 2013 American Art Today: Figures Exhibition, The Bascom, Highland, North Carolina; 2013 Hallberg Merit Scholarship Award for artistic achievement; Best Photograph and the Patrons Award 2014 Sierra College Student Art Show; Best Photograph 2015 Sierra College Student Art Show; Best Photograph Still Point VII Art Exhibition and Finalist (3 images) 2015 7th Edition of The Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers.
Recently her work has been published in the Sierra Journal, Stone Voices Magazine, and Still Points Arts Quarterly Magazine.