Adams Shares His Passion for Photography with Commercial Art Students

Growing up around the newspaper business, Kendall Adams always felt a pull toward printing and found he had an interest in photography. He moved around a lot as a kid and photography became the one constant.

His beginnings in photography were inauspicious. While attending high school, Adams spent the club period in the library because he wasn’t involved in any of the school’s organizations. As he was looking through a photography magazine, the librarian approached him. Boris Bower was a retired Army war photographer. By the end of the period, Bower and Adams had formed the first photography club.

His involvement with the new club expanded his activities. Adams became the photographer for the newspaper and the annual.

“If you saw me, I had a camera with me,” he said.

Upon graduation, Adams attended Longwood University in Farmville, Va. He helped establish the photography program and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking, photography and graphic design.

Over the next several years, Adams worked for a variety of businesses including Camera America in the Greenwood Mall, where he served as manager; American Fast Photo as director of franchise operations; and The Rug Barn in Abbeville as director of design and communications. He was also co-owner of his own printing business. In 1997, he joined the staff at Piedmont Technical College as an adjunct photography instructor.

“They offered me a full time position, but I was involved with too many other things to take it,” Adams said. “I was glad to help out on a part-time basis, though.”

In 2009, Adams sold his interests in the printing business and joined the staff at PTC full time as the program director for the commercial art program. Since taking the reins, he has helped the program grow with the addition of a digital rendering and gaming development technology certificate. He has helped improve the program through the additions of state-of-the-art iMacs and PCs in the commercial art labs and upgrades to the digital photography studio. He has also implemented the use of iPads into the labs.

“We live in a technology-driven world today,” Adams said. “If you don’t embrace the technology, you’ll get left behind in the dust.”

Next on the horizon for the program, Adams is working on the addition of an associate degree in conjunction with the existing certificates.

“We will be only the second technical college in the state to have this degree,” Adams said. “We have outstanding, hands-on certificates now. Boosting those with the advantages of a degree will benefit the students.”

For more information on the commercial art program, call (864) 941-8474 or visit

Photo Caption: Commercial art program director Kendall Adams, right, demonstrates a photography concept on his iPad to student Emmanuel Young of Clinton.