International Award Winner

Orange County California Jazz Ambassador 

My goal is for the audience to feel the intensity and ultimately HEAR the music in my images...

It is said, ..'A great image is when you turn away and the photograph entices you to take a second look.’

This was the advice given to Jazz and Culture Photographer, Valerie Huffman Herring by her photography instructor in 1998. For over a decade, Valerie has created a stunning success of works from music, theater, cultural events, natural environments while capturing the exquisite grandeur of musicians and cultural performances.   Her striking and memorable images provide a prominent focus on the many things that go unnoticed by most people, as they enjoy various venues.

Her journey began in 1998 after a visit to Tuttle’s Camera store in Long Beach, CA to buy film.  She wanted to learn how to work her Canon Rebel film camera; but most of all, she wanted to learn how to take photographs - not pictures or mere snapshots. Her curiosity got the best of her and she enrolled in a beginner’s photography class at Long Beach City College with encouragement from her son.  As a student, Valerie learned what it meant to really see an image.  She was taught how to take a photograph so that when you turn away, something draws you back in.  Soon after, Valerie was introduced to theater photography and was invited to work as a Resident Photographer for the Orange Curtain Theater in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  Her work was featured in the Orange County Register Newspaper and Back Stage West, a weekly editorial/casting trade publication.  It was in this realm that Valerie felt ignited and passionately completed the tasks of shooting performers’ headshots, press releases, marquee, and backstage photos.   

An additional assignment led to photographing a live performance of the Peony Pavilion Chinese Opera with little or no lighting, without the use of LED light, flash, shutter sound, or tripod.  Valerie successfully captured the beauty on stage from the 17th row.   She treasures the experience of taking on this assignment and ultimately is one of the proudest moments of her early photography life.

Valerie’s subsequent involvement in culturally diverse activities leads to an emphasis on bringing people together through performing art and jazz photography.  She loves capturing movement with the use of her favorite style - photojournalism.  She primarily focuses on the subject’s eyes known as “the window to the soul” to invoke a spiritual image.  Additionally, her Jazz Photograph's lures the audience to feel and hear the music.  Make you want to say... "Ahhh Yes, I can hear the Music!"

Valerie’s exhibition portfolio include “The Port of Long Beach” at the Museum of Latin American Art [MOLAA] in Long Beach, CA.  The CALB at the Shore Gallery dedicated an exhibition to women who use arts to better the world.  She participated in the group art and photography exhibition featuring works by local women artists.  

Valerie credits the following photographers:  National Geographic - Steve McCurry, New York Times - Chester Higgins, Jr., Portrait/Fashion Photographer - Lindsay Adler, Fine Art Photographer, Herman Leonard, Jazz Photographer and the late great photographer, Gordon Parks for her inspiration. 

Orange County Register, Orange County, CA,
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA
Laguna Beach News 
San Juan Capistrano News 
Newport Beach News
Backstage West - The Actors Resource


Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA [MOLAA]

Brushstrokes and Beverages - Long Beach, CA 
Long Beach City College  - Women’s Photography Exhibit
ZNON Juried Exhibit - Proceeds for Tsunami Victims
Cultural Alliance of Long Beach Gallery - Shoreline Village, Long Beach CA


Jazz Journalist Association 

Canon Professional Services 

Orange County Jazz Forum - Jazz Ambassador
American Society of Media Photographer's [ASMP] 

Women In Photography

Professional Photographer's Association [PPA] - Cultural Alliance of Long Beach - Arts Council of Long Beach Registry